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Going Down

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  697 ratings  ·  80 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. Stuc
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Riverhead Trade (first published January 1st 1996)
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Dec 01, 2007 Lisalit rated it 1 of 5 stars
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
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.
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.
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
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
This book was ok. The narrative kind of reminded me of the programme Girls. This is about a young woman who ended up as a prostitute to fund her acting studies. It follows through her encounters with clients and her trying to hide what does from the people she cares about.
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
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
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.

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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie Ann
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
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
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Christa Dubrock
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
Dec 10, 2009 Melissa added it
Recommends it for: anyone who is curious about the life of a prostitute
Recommended to Melissa by: Amazon
This book is unlike any other book I've read before. As it turns out, it was a very easy and entertaining read. I enjoyed reading Belle's "Little Stalker" very much so I decided to read this one. It is a story about Bennington Bloom and everyone she encounters and knows so you really get to know ALL of the characters.
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.
Again, couldn't stand it, couldn't even read it through. Skimmed. The compulsive quirkiness seemed like a joke told too many times, with all the staleness of that phenomenon. & I'm a sex worker and usually lust for any portrayal of sex work in the media...blurghhh.
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.
This book was funny, clever and slightly raunchy. Its basically about a young woman who enters the escort business. She's normal enough just trying to raise some funds for acting classes or something. Its a definite chick lit book. I am a chick and I enjoyed it.
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.
Feb 25, 2012 Sara added it
Shelves: tried-failed
Also started and didn't finish. This was recommended to me as a funny book about a girl putting herself through school as a call girl in NYC. It wasn't funny to me. The main character is atrocious, and the other characters and situations just made me nauseous.
Julie Levenhagen
Depressing in parts, but oddly touching. Bennington is a great character, even though (especially because?) I didn't understand a lot of the things she does. She's naive, twisted, quirky, interesting, and sweet, all wrapped up in a gap-toothed smile.
Sarah Louise Leach
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.
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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
More about Jennifer Belle...
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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.” 23 likes
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