Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
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Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  9,190 ratings  ·  1,452 reviews
Decreed by David Letterman (tongue in cheek) on CBS TV’s The Late Show to be the pick of “Dave’s Book Club 2006,” Candy Girl is the story of a young writer who dared to bare it all as a stripper. At the age of twenty-four, Diablo Cody decided there had to be more to life than typing copy at an ad agency. She soon managed to find inspiration from a most unlikely source— ama...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Gotham (first published December 29th 2005)
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Stephanie
Feb 25, 2008 Stephanie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people sick of working 9 to 5
Shelves: badgirls
Just a disclaimer here: I recommended this book for book club and was thoroughly humiliated as a result. Now, I don't consider myself a prude by any stretch of the imagination, and am usually willing to stand by my recommendations. However. When it came time to lead the discussion group, I felt myself groping for questions. It seemed a little odd to open the session with, "What was your reaction when the author was working peep shows and would watch men jisming over the plate glass? Were you hor...more
Paul
Some American prose achieves a poetry unavailable to Europeans. The breakneck compression of pop culture references, loopy neologisms and fractured marketing-derived syntax stretches all the way from John Dos Passos via every hardboiled detective, through Chuck Berry through Thomas Pynchon and on to Nicholson Baker, Don DeLillo and James Ellroy. It’s not limpid, it’s hectic and the non-Americans have to hang on as best they can. Diablo Cody has this style down. Here’s a two sentence example :

At...more
Otoki
Nov 20, 2008 Otoki rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one comes to mind
Recommended to Otoki by: A friend and co-worker, who had worked with the author in one of
(This is from my review on Amazon)

I never worked with Diablo Cody (she was before my time), but I know someone who did. She was the one who suggested I read the book. Afterwards, we both talked about how we want to write the anti-Diablo Cody strip-club book. This book is like A Million Little Pieces, but because of the veiled nature of the industry, the facts are harder to check. I think the book is disgraceful, but the fallacies and exaggerations are mostly hidden to those who have never worked...more
Shiverme
The author's detachment is chilling. Her need to present herself as a badass hipster is behavior worthy of an 8th grader. She's a tourist slumming amongst the sex workers and tells the story with a note-taking, photo-snapping objectification-of-the-locals sort of air that is inhumane at best. Still another "post-feminist" telling herself she's a "sexy-pin-up-type" and confusing true subversiveness with her willingness to use and be used by the patriarchy.
In a clumsy wrap-up that was obviously...more
Lena
Mar 15, 2008 Lena rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
Diablo Cody wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the smart and funny movie Juno. As one might expect, her memoir about a year spent working as a stripper is also smart and funny, but much, much harder edged.

Cody was working as an office drone in Minneapolis when she spontaneously decided to try out "Amateur Night" at a nearby strip dive. Though her first attempt garnered her all of nine dollars, she was so fascinated by the world she saw she got herself put on the schedule at an upscale strip...more
Elizabeth
I picked this book up for a couple of reasons; first, I keep hearing buzz about Diablo Cody, who wrote the screenplay for Juno, and second, because I spent several years waitressing/bartending/DJ-ing at a Deja Vu club in San Diego. I know that SD is unique in its approach to "gentlemen's" clubs- clean to the extreme, entertainer's licenses and all- so I'm always interested to hear stories about what the industry is like in other parts of the country (Cody dances in Minneapolis). I figured since...more
Celia Powell
So why does Diablo Cody spend a year stripping? Well, because she was bored with her all-too-ordinary life, and wanted to be rebellious. At least, that's what I think she meant, in her last chapter where she sums things up. And that kind of spoils the book for me. If she needed the money, if she had a habit she needed to support - you know, your more everyday reasons for getting into stripping. Or if she was introduced to it by a friend, rather than ardently pursuing it herself. But her reasons...more
Sarah
This was a very interesting book about the world of stripping, written in Cody's unique voice. It is not for the prudish, however, especially the part about when she worked as "booth doll" at a place called Sexworld. Enough said.
Patrick
Cody's writing is funny to me in the same way as Chelsea Handler's books, or even the stand-up comedy of Dane Cook, in that the stories they tell aren't necessarily funny, but the way they're told, the delivery itself, makes them exceptional. Word choices, phrasing, going out of your way to make everything count and pack as much punch as possible into each sentence, casting all generic bits to the side. I just like people who put forth a lot of effort to amuse me, and squeeze whatever humor they...more
Madeline
Some books are meant to be kept in sacred spaces. Some books are so amazing, so wonderful, so full of personal meaning, that they can't even be kept on an ordinary bookshelf with the others, and need to occupy their own, special place. Some books deserve such honors.

And some books deserve to be kept in the bathroom. Which is exactly where the copy of Candy Girl currently resides in my apartment. (I can't claim responsibility for this placement - the book actually belongs to my roommate, but as...more
Amberjean
Self-involved, overeducated, privileged girl in the throes of post-collegiate depression decides really self-consciously to take a walk on the wild side. Yawn. a) the side is not that wild, and she's not the real deal anyway and b) who cares? Only the titillating subject matter (and haven't we all wondered about the economics of being an 'exotic dancer'?) could have made this book such a hit with the crowds. The writing itself was pretty painful...the author doesn't let a paragraph go by without...more
jess
a couple of years ago, i read most of the third-wave feminist and post-feminist sex-worker-positive books available. this book, however, came out in 2006, well after my interest in the industry (& my own career) had waned, so it never made its way across my nightstand. recently, diablo cody wrote a script for a movie called juno, and this movie's release reminded me that i had never tackled candy girl.

fortunately, cody skips a lot of the critical theory, politicizing, philosophizing, and int...more
Dayna
I'm not crazy about her writing style - way too many similes for me, and they seemed so consciously couched (not effortless), that they stuck out. And, anyone who uses the phrase "arms akimbo" (last time I ran across this was in my historical romance phase in 7th grade), well - that's just silly.
As for the subject matter-
I learned it's a fuzzy line between being a stripper and a prostitute. Both involve getting a guy off - the former in his pants, the latter in one of your orifices. I was curio...more
Erik
I'm writing this on Oscar Day 2008, and that's a fitting time to consider meteoric screenwriter Diablo Cody's first book. Back in the day, young Cody spent workdays in the beige expanse of cubicle-land, and stumbled upon the world of stripping as she casted about for adventure. The book chronicles her year-long stint taking off her clothes, for money, in one of America's more liberal stripper towns (since no alcohol is served in Minneapolis' strip clubs, a good deal more fabric can come free tha...more
tee
May 22, 2008 tee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: i-own
This wasn't superbly written, sometimes it felt like I was getting slammed over the head repetitively with crass metaphors; which I loved, being a crass sailor swearing trooper myself. I also felt like I had ADD, spinning rapidly through a year of someone's life, jumping from person to experience to person without too much depth; or personal insight. But, the observations of Cody's time as a stripper are fascinating and I couldn't put the book down.

I read it in one sitting, rather enthralled but...more
Kate
Wow, this was really poorly written. Which is weird, since this is the woman who wrote the screenplay for Juno - which was fantastic. To be fair, I think the book is best described as a train wreck. Terribly written, unnecessarily graphic (I recognize that it's a book about stripping, and some things need to be graphic to get the point across, but there is absolutely no need to describe a woman's brown lip liner as 'scat-colored' - that's just nasty.) ... but I couldn't look away. I learned some...more
Anney Ryan
I smell bullshit.

At the start of the book, Diablo Cody describes herself as a librarian type walking into a strip club. Patchwork skirt, Dorothy Hamill haircut, glasses. But on her first night stripping, she looks up into the mirrored ceilings and admires her own tattooed-covered body. Was my copy missing a couple pages?

Keep in mind - I hated Diablo Cody even before I found out that we share the exact same birthday. There's nothing genius about turning yourself into a cariacture or a trendy labe...more
Jennifer
3 Reasons You've Might Have Heard of Diablo Cody

1. She wrote the screenplay for Juno and won a screenwriting Oscar for it.
2. This summer, she wrote the screenplay for Jennifer's Body. It is doubtful she will win an Oscar for it.
3. She writes a column for Entertainment Weekly.

With that kind of resume, you may wonder why she was able to write a memoir about a year spent working as a stripper. Well, before she "hit it big," Ms. Cody was living in Minneapolis and working a "straight" job at an adver...more
Hirondelle
I find it difficult to take seriously professional writers who write paragraphs like "Thursday came too quickly; there´s a paucity of daylight hours during a long Northern winter and the days run together like the plasmic globs in an egg timer". Come on, my poor eyes! And this is just an example, the first chapters are hard hard going, the writing is not just purple, but purple-with-glitter on top and maybe leopard print fake fur trimming it. Being very indie and alternative does not make it tol...more
Alicia
I would say this is part memoir, part cultural anthropologist's field guide. There's something about Diablo Cody's descriptions of her fellow strippers (and later, her fellow peep-show performers) that's like Jane Goodall writing My Life with Chimpanzees. Because, you know, Jane Goodall knows she gets to leave the Congo and go home after studying monkeys, and Diablo Cody knows she doesn't have to be a stripper a single day longer than she feels like continuing her social experiment. Toward the e...more
Rose
Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper begins when author Diablo Cody moves from Chicago to Minneapolis to live with her new boyfriend, Jonny. A college-educated gal with a suburban upbringing, she stumbles into a job as a copy typist for an advertising agency. But her nine-to-five proves a little too bland; she finds herself craving adventure. On a whim, Cody signs up for amateur night at a strip club she passes on her way home from work. She doesn't win the $200 cash prize due...more
Liz
I found the whole thing to be, like I think Diablo Cody is at the core, disingenuous. She keeps harping on the fact she just really didn't know why she became a stripper, it can't be explained, just an adventure or lark, a desire to be naughty. Well, I can tell you what pulled her into it, a need to have something to write a memoir about so she could get published. You can almost imagine how she came to this idea: What can I get a book deal writing about: How about a punk rock fish out of water...more
Dysmonia Kuiper
Candy Girl is well-written, with clever turns of phrase and smooth transitions. Diablo Cody tells her story honestly and thoroughly, without one boring sentence. It's not an expose of any kind, just her experience working as an "entertainer" in several clubs in the Minneapolis area around the turn of the millennium.

One thing she leaves out is her interactions with female patrons. Perhaps she didn't have any. She tells a story of going to a club with her fiancee and receiving a couple's dance; s...more
♥Xeni♥
I was really looking forward to reading this book since about 2 years now so when I finally got a copy via BookMooch I was pretty excited!

In the meantime (while waiting) I had read a few reviews on GoodReads and slowly my enthusiasm began to ebb. People said it was poorly written, much too graphic, and just not all as interesting as they had thought.

Sadly, I figured out most of the same things while reading this book yesterday. I know it's supposed to be a memoir and all true-life tales, but i...more
Joeydag
I had seen Diablo Cody at Cinequest a few years ago after her screenplay, "Juno" had been so successful. The interview with her at the California Theatre was very well attended, I'd guess almost 1,000 people were there and the interview was so weird. The interviewer was an older personality who would often host sreenwriting presentations but this interview seemed to go off the tracks as the interviewer seemed to turn into a dirty old man baiting an attractive, smart younger woman. The audience t...more
Susan
Warning: Not for the faint hearted! Diablo Cody, who wrote the screenplay and won an Oscar for JUNO, writes about her experience working in the sex industry in Minneapolis. This book offers a peek into a mysterious netherworld. Against the backdrop of strip clubs and peep shows, Cody juxtaposes her numbing work for 'the man" (or should I say "the other man") in a corporate ad agency. And yes, she prefers stripping for the adrenaline and the power of immediate approval it provides, not to mention...more
Heather
Dec 27, 2010 Heather rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a peek into sex work
Recommended to Heather by: Cassi
Shelves: adult
This was between 2 stars and 3 stars for me, but I'm rounding down b/c I think she was dishonest, or at least lacking in insight. I agree w/Bridget that it's very difficult to understand how/why she got involved in this - and I think that either a) she really did it to write a book (at one point she even said she had "anthropological" yearnings to go back) and should have just said so, or b) she really doesn't know why, which is lame, and she should have worked harder to figure it out. That said...more
Janna
The only reason I picked up this book was because I ADORED Juno, so I figured her book couldn't be that bad to read. That and it was $5.

It's a good book--nothing earth shattering. And easy and quick read, filled with stories that make you laugh or disgust you. Really the only thing I didn't like was how Diablo Cody starts out the book perpetuating Minnesota stereotypes:

"Here in the woebgone upper country, Jack Frost is a liberal, rangy sadist with ice crystals in his soul patch. Winter is the...more
Eric Skillman
A light and fun read by the writer of the upcoming flick Juno. Really interesting, nonjudgmental descriptions of her time as a stripper. It sometimes seems a bit like a collection of anecdotes rather than one coherent story, but it's clever (in a good way) and funny enough to keep you entertained and intrigued throughout.

Finally worth reading primarily so that you can feel like the coolest kid on the block when Diablo Cody becomes crazy rock-star famous once Juno comes out this winter. I got to...more
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Brook Busey, better known by the pen name Diablo Cody, is an American Academy Award-winning screenwriter, writer, author, journalist and blogger. First known for her candid chronicling of her year as a stripper in her Pussy Ranch blog and her 2006 memoir, Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, Cody won wider fame as the writer of the 2007 film Juno, for which she won the Academy A...more
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