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Going Down

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  809 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
National Bestseller
“A funny, sad, nasty little gem of a novel.”—Jay McInerney

In bestselling author Jennifer Belle’s debut novel, Going Down, Belle introduces readers to Bennington Bloom, a coed working her way through college. As a call girl.

With a sharp eye for satire and a keen comic sense, Belle chronicles nineteen-year-old Bennington’s high-pressure adventures. Stu
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Riverhead Trade (first published January 1st 1996)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Litberg
Dec 01, 2007 Lisa Litberg rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nah.
You know the old train wreck saying--its horrible yet you can't stop looking? Yeah. That's how this book was for me. I suppose it wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it really wasn't very good. My biggest problem with it wasn't the graphic descriptions of life as a call-girl--in fact, that was probably all that kept me reading--but rather the narrator and main character of the book, who was flat, one-dimensional, static and offered nothing for the reader to invest in. She didn't seem to ca ...more
Diana
Feb 15, 2017 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book and was going to give it five stars until the last few chapters. The last few chapters seemed kind of pointless or too made-up or something. But I still liked the book. It was funny and seemed emotionally truthful.
Joanne
Dec 03, 2014 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the beginning, I was drawn into the wit, humor and funniness of this book. Bennington Bloom becomes an escort/hooker to fund her college expenses. She has an unusual cast of friends and family in her life. While the storyline is not necessarily funny, the author makes it an amusing read with the antics and situations Bennington encounters. Along the way, she finds love, but deceives her boyfriend with her occupation and things really go down. A dark grittiness and reality of the lifestyle c ...more
Jon
Jan 20, 2009 Jon rated it it was amazing
I can't imagine a better first novel. One of my biggest influences, it's the story of a girl who starts hooking to pay for college. It is stream of conscioussness, dark and funny. Really a special book.
Jacqueline
One of my favorite things to do in my downtime is to peruse the shelves of my friends on Goodreads. That's how I made the decision to order this one off of Bookmooch. Most of the books that I mooch are titles that I'm not convinced that I want to spend the cash on. Thanks to the mixed reviews that I read online - Going Down fell into that category.

After the first few pages, it became apparent why there were so many varying reviews. This story is very polarizing - you either love it or hate it. B
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~ToniG~
Apr 21, 2011 ~ToniG~ rated it it was ok
This book was sadly funny. I found the character interesting enough to finish the book, but it was a little disturbing that she was so nonchalant about being a prostitute, and about her whole attitude towards life. Her parents and her friends seemed to have some sort of mental instability. This whole "world" that was created, was very disturbing, I found it hard to continue to read the book. If it was not for the dark humor of the main character I would have stopped reading all together. The way ...more
Chris
Dec 11, 2008 Chris rated it did not like it
I picked "read" meaning I got 1/3 of the way through before I couldn't stand any more...that seems harsh...could care less about the story or characters is more like it.
All I could think of while reading is Catcher in the Rye if the nitwit was a whore rather than a teenager.
I'm afraid if I finished this book then, like the Catcher fans, I'd want to assassinate someone or something, preferably the author's manuscripts.
I started writing a synopsis, but I can't work up the gumption to care enough
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Desiree
I liked it. Much better that those dreadful chick-lit novels where some aimless young Manhattanite loses a guy and whines and eats ice cream until she falls for a perfect new guy that her mom set her up with. At least there's a real conflict. Although it's a work of fiction, you get the sense that it's highly autobiographical, especially when the protagonist, asked to name a celebrity she resembles, says "Valerie Bertinelli"-- take a look at the author photo ;)

A bit short. Some characters could
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Leslee
Jul 25, 2013 Leslee rated it liked it
Very much like a Tama Janowitz novel but not really as successful, I think. I'd much rather recommend A Certain Age or Slaves of New York. Funny, and very clever at times, however. Belle is like the rightful successor to an aging Janowitz, kind of like HBO's Girls is to Sex and the City.

Lily
Feb 13, 2012 Lily rated it did not like it
I read this book while I was holidaying in Asia - and to be honest, if I had not been away I most likely would have put it down and found something better to read! However, because I was stuck on buses and trains I did finish it. I found it quite depressing - all the characters were empty and I really didn't warm to anyone in the book. I don't know what the author was trying to achieve - although the writing style was quite entertaining at times - for me this book just that nothing to offer. Not ...more
Betty
Nov 08, 2012 Betty rated it did not like it
Shelves: won-t-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
Apr 30, 2008 Emily rated it it was ok
Leah gave me this book when she was cleaning out her house. I am now convinced that Leah is a pervert.

Okay, just kidding. But! I wasn't a big fan. The author obviously thinks quite highly of herself, and tries to write abstractly and be deep yet witty and she tries waaaaay too hard. I never felt for the main character. And at this point, I've forgotten most of the plot (she was a hooker because she was mad at daddy, I remember that much). Total waste! Leah was smart to give it away, I was a suck
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Carrie Ann
Dec 20, 2007 Carrie Ann rated it liked it
I must read for anyone who has ever wondered what it's actually like to be a call girl or "escort". It's a very realistic portrait of how a normal girl takes this path and what actually occurs on her dates (some of it not pretty). There's just something about this book that keeps your interest though.

I discovered this book in high school and later learned that Madonna was supposed to start in the movie. Can't remember if it was in fact ever made (I think it was), but I belive it was never releas
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Susan Bazzett-griffith
Really disappointed in this book. It started out very interesting and funny, then just dragged on and on, w/out any actual character development or plot. Long series of disjointed, random events and an unlikable, unsympathetic narrator. I wanted to enjoy this book, but I really didn't like it at all. I only finished it because I thought for sure something would eventually HAPPEN. Nothing does.
Marty
Jun 24, 2010 Marty rated it really liked it
Having read two other Jennifer Belle books, I wanted to read more. I really liked Going Down, I found it dark and insightful about what one does to make money and just try to get along in live. It is how our decisions can make or break us.
It does not have a downer ending, but gives hope for redemption, and family relationships.
I have now read three of her books, and will look to read anything she does in the future.
Andrea
Jul 29, 2011 Andrea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christa Dubrock
Jul 23, 2007 Christa Dubrock rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for any first person free fall into looniness; and although the storyline was a little off, I really liked the narrative. I plan to read more of her. I read somewhere that Bennington Bloom resembled a modern day Holden Caulfield, but I couldn't buy that. As a matter of fact, she wasn't nearly as crazy as she should have been considering her circumstances. I would like to give this book more than three stars, but it just wouldn't be fair.
Evann
Sep 19, 2008 Evann rated it liked it
I didn't think this book was as horrid as everyone else seems to think, but I can't decide how I felt about it. I definitely read it quickly, whether that was because I couldn't put it down, or because I was on a plane, or just because it's short, is debatable. Still, it definitely didn't bore me. It was mostly weird, and sort of tragically funny. Or hysterically depressing, or something. Oh, and the author TOTALLY wants to be J.D. Salinger. TOTALLY.
Sherry
Aug 14, 2007 Sherry rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2006-2010
55. "In this "kind of twisted version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (Tama Janowitz), Bennington Bloom is working her way through college--as a call girl. With a father who loves his dog like a daughter, a shrink who is hard of hearing, an ulcer and tuition to worry about, Bennington starts off at an all-time low--and finds herself going down from there."

Recommended by Amy. This read like a bad fifth grade play. A great story ruined by bad writing style. I couldn't finish it.
Emily
Aug 15, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Basically, she works at a brothel to make ends meet. I found the main character interesting and also infuriating. She's so casual about having sex for money but then when she falls in love, she's ashamed. Not my favorite book but it has a fairly interesting cast of characters and it's a good book to read if you just want something a little less serious.
Vas
May 11, 2007 Vas added it
Recommends it for: fans of NYC, women, bohemians.
very funny Manhattan book, takes place in the 90's, Bennington Bloom decides to take up the escort life to put aside some money so she can take acting lessons..although the book is about Bennington's trials with the escort service, the book is not sexy or erotic at all..its (once again), more about looking for love in Alphabet City..
Colleen
Jul 08, 2008 Colleen rated it it was ok
I read it while I was in Europe and it was easy to leave behind, although I was afraid the maid would think I was a pervert! The description of this woman's experiences on her dates as an "escort/call girl" was what kept me reading. Not to mention it took place in Manhattan so I was intrigued that these types of places really do exist.
Sarah Louise Leach
Jun 09, 2012 Sarah Louise Leach rated it it was ok
Ok really is the best that can be said about it. I didn't learn anything, i didn't connect with any of the characters nor understand Bennington Bloom who was the lead character, and to make matters worse it wasnt in the least bit titilating, harumph.
SGC
Aug 08, 2008 SGC rated it really liked it
There aren't too many books I enjoy re-reading and re-reading, but this is one of them. It is a funny and unique story about prostitution and NYC - in a good way. Definitely outside the typical "young woman alone and lost" box.
Lauren
Aug 11, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
This book was well written and while the main character was sick, I enjoyed her slutty story that was sarcastically funny. Definitely disturbing at times but prostitution stories shouldn't be read by the faint of heart.
Sarah
Sep 23, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok
The book didn't have much to keep my interest, though it also didn't lose my interest. The only contemporary book I've found with a semi-sympathetic protagonist who is a prostitute..in a classy brothel.
Nanaz
Jun 10, 2010 Nanaz rated it it was amazing
Funny yet sad book by one of my fave authors. Belle understands well what it is like to be a young woman trying to make it in the city. She shows how young people today are uncertain of who they are and are lost in the overwhelming daily decisions to be made.
Molly
Feb 12, 2008 Molly rated it did not like it
Shelves: prostitution
This woman is a terrible and random writer. That being said, I did read this whole book because it was easy to read, and I was on vacation. Too bad, because I will be extra lenient on books as long as they are about prostitutes, but this was more about her boring nyc neuroses than actual hooking.
Joanie
Jan 18, 2008 Joanie rated it it was ok
I thought this book would be better than it was somehow. The main character is paying her way through college by being a call girl but she's anything but the high class escort type of call girl. Parts of this book are so dark and dreary, I was really expecting more.
Elaine
Jul 09, 2008 Elaine rated it did not like it
I heard about this book while reading Make Him Look Good so I decided to read it since the character in Make Him Look Good said it was a great book. I really didn't like it the main character wasn't very likeable and the situations she was in were unreal.
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An American novelist, based in New York City.

She attended Bronx High School of Science and dropped out of college. She has also written columns for Ms. magazine. In 2002, she married entertainment lawyer Andrew Krents, after they were introduced by fellow novelist Amy Sohn.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, London’s The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s
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“What's wrong with you? I asked myself. You are a happy person. You are an upbeat sort of person. Men smile at you on the subway, women ask you what shampoo you use. Cheer up for Christ's sake, I told myself, relax, you're fine, be happy, Girl. When I talk to myself I call myself Girl.” 25 likes
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