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Callgirl: Confessions of an Ivy League Lady of Pleasure
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Callgirl: Confessions of an Ivy League Lady of Pleasure

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  868 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Deeply personal and moving, Callgirl challenges the commonly-held notions of the world's oldest profession as a pernicious industry peopled by amoral sex addicts.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  868 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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I learned two things from this book, and neither of them were about the sex industry.

The first one is this:
Jeannette Angell (or the character she plays in this book) thinks -- no, scratch that, she KNOWS -- that she is smarter than you. Than me. Than everyone who's going to pick up this book. She constantly mentions how educated she is (two masters and a difficult PhD!), name drops lecturing at places like MIT and Harvard, and never misses a chance to mention what an AMAZING te
Jul 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
When writing a book about being a prostitute, perhaps don't act so superior to OTHER working girls. She came off as a total self-obsessed jerk. Plus, the writing was poor so I'm not so sure why she was teaching anywhere.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Who would have thought that a book about a professor moonlighting as a callgirl could be long and boring. Angel has managed that feat and more. She spends most of the time complaining that all prostitutes are stereotyped as various things (while frequently engaging in these stereotypical behaviors) yet she generalizes the entire male population as one giant stereotype. She's frequently insulting and just plain a poor writer. Go read something else.
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoirs
So I read this probably when I was far too young to read it but I feel like that's sort of what books are for, in a way.

They allow us to explore avenues or ideas that we wouldn't have access to otherwise.

I remember liking this book and finding it interesting (even though it's been so many years ago since I read it, wow) although I feel like the main narrator was rather pretentious at parts. I remember a lot of pseudonyms and all-knowingness that really affected the way that I read the book. Fo
Jun 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the idea of this book, but at about the halfway point I really started to dislike her. I can't really put my finger on why, but I think it's how she described her abilities as a teacher despite a borderline coke and booze problem and kind of a lack of self-awareness. IDK, she came across and haughty, even though she was trying to be self-effacing. Strange, strange book.
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Halfway to 100 for 2010; this was the 50th book I've read this year, and a good one at that. So far, it's the most illuminating first-person account of prostitution I've read. In the '90s, Angell turned to working for what she calls a "mid-level escort service" -- something halfway between streewalkers and pimps on the lower rung and the most exclusive escort services for the most wealthy clients at the top level. As adjunct sociology lecturer at a Boston-area college, trying to get her foot in ...more
Karina M
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Extremely disappointed in the quality of the writing given that it was written by a former college professor who uses every chance she gets to tell the reader how intelligent, educated and talented she is. What I expected to be an interesting read ended up being boring and I had to force myself to finish it. I didn't find anything insightful about her book, and find that the subject has been explored far more successfully, ironically, by authors who didn't actually live the life of a call girl. ...more
Jun 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
i read this book when it first came out, and it was just called "callgirl." i even checked the book, which i still have, to confirm this. they later added on the "ivy league lady of pleasure" bit...this pretty aptly demonstrates just how dumb this book is.
Nikki Fitzgerald
Boring. Read half. Life's too short for a bad book
Debra B.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book. I learned a lot about a subject I knew nothing about.
Julie Ehlers
I don't really know why I bought this book--it was quite some time ago, so the reasons have slipped my mind. Anyway, this was interesting. It's a memoir by a PhD whose work as an adjunct professor (yes, at Harvard, among other schools) didn't pay the bills (surprise, surprise), so she became a high-priced "escort" on the side.

The book was certainly entertaining, as you can imagine. It provides a good snapshot of what her life was like and discusses a number of pertinent issues related to prosti
May 07, 2009 rated it liked it
I found this one while I was tidying the shelves. The Circ person who checked it out for me asked if I was considering a new career. Hah. This is a fascinating look into the world of “pay for sex,” if you can get over Angell’s agonizing page-after-page-after-page justifications and her battering-ram insistence that being a a callgirl is no different than being a waitress, postal worker, or any other delivery type business. She’s simply selling a product. Sex is just sex. Sex with a client is dif ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Good book although it was a little bit "preachy" in certain areas. The author states over and over again that not all callgirls are sex-crazed and often are working for financial gain vs. simply fulfilling their sexual needs – which makes me wonder is she trying to convince the reader or herself? It was an enjoyable read and very informative but occasionally it felt as if I was reading a lecture instead of a memoir.
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica
Not what i would call erotica more of a story of a womans life as a call girl and such.
The most funny paragraph in the whole book is when she says she is on a call getting it from behind whilst leaning over a counter watching the fish go around this guys fish tank. That bit really made me laugh like haha marriage is just like that lay down and stare at the ceiling the sex is that good haha
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
I'm only into the first chapter but Her writing style is irritating, I hope I can get into it.
I finished it but it was...Eh..
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. I think the sociology and anthropology of this topic was perfectly told by the author. Anecdotal, real, and humanizing to a subject that has such a biased past.
Claire Sayan
Apr 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like her, her self importance or her writing style. I won't be reading Madam
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A first-person account of Jeannette Angell's journey into the semi-forbidden world of prostitution. After her ex-boyfriend took all her money and left, Jen needed money and she needed it fast! While looking for extra work, she found a 'call girl with a college education' advertisement in the newspaper. With a doctorate in social anthropology herself, Jen was intrigued why the agency would want girls with education - all callgirls are depraved, drug-addicted hookers, aren't they?!

3 years working
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book was not sleazy, but I could not warm to the author of this first person account of supplementing her college lecturer job with being a call girl. She was pretty full of her insights and definitive about being right about various issues. It crystallized that she was not my kind of person when she says being paid for sex was not that different than some of her dates: one time she gave into having sex as she was so tired, it was easier than arguing with the guy.
Aussie Jo
I feel like the title was a slight marketing ploy.
Why are we drawn to titles like this? Because for most of us it is so far from our lives we find it interesting what makes someone choose such a profession.
I feel this was more of an autobiography of someone with a relatively ordinary and regular life who for a couple of years decided to work as a call girl.
I found the constant university talk and philosophical thoughts/chat not that interesting.
Alan  Main
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting and at times enlightening look inside the world of the call girl. every man should read this, it dispels some of the preconceived Ideas we hold on the lives of call girls and prostitution in general. very well written book.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting read, though the writing was a little awkward. Being a call girl is nothing like the movies, even a "nice" one. Duh.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it
The author brings a fascinating perspective through both her own experience and her background as a social anthropologist. It's a surprising thought-provoking book
SamNoelPearce Samadhi
Loved it... the Truth and honesty ...
Jul 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
If you are looking for an insightful rendering of a woman's first-hand account of her life as a prostitute, this sure ain't it! I am an open-minded person, and while I disagree with prostitution, I know that it isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and believe that it is healthy to see prostitutes as multi-faceted humans just like everyone else. Angell states her agenda right away: she aims to do no less than dispel the myths that we readers have about prostitutes and prostitution, and convince us ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
What started off as a strategic way to cope with financial crisis as her boyfriend had taken off with all her money, became an insightful journey into the world of getting cash for companionship as she delves into the sex industry. As a holder of multiple academic degrees and a doctorate, her inquisitive mind propels her to explore the depths of her new part-time job, which even lead to her teaching a course called The History and Sociology of Prostitution, after which she would head home to get ready for he ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
I struggled with this book, and I see that others have the same feedback as I do.

First, I faced a roller coaster of emotions that usually had nothing to do with what was actually happening in the book. I'll explain them as I remembered them.. (spoilers)

1. Disgust. That first sex scene made me think I was reading a gross porn, but ok, I got over it, I'm reading a book about sex, ya?

2. Invested. Around page 30ish I was like, this is kinda good, she's self reflecting, etc.<
Dec 25, 2016 rated it liked it

Well written, entertaining and an easy read. The author held a doctorate in Social Anthropology and was a part-time college lecturer when she found herself in financial hardship and decided to join an escourt service to help pay off her bills. Her account of her experience as an escourt is eye opening and forces one to cast aside (at least some of) one's judgements about prostitution. She has written the book from the perspective of an academic, which I thought elevated the book from a mere desc
Apr 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story
I started out really liking this and finding it an interesting read. Jen has a way with words that kept me hooked/entertained but I think the book also went on for too long. It's 22 chapters and I think by the 18th it could have finished and I would have felt better about the book overal. This is why I'm only giving it 3 stars instead of 4. If I could give it a 3.5 I would actually do that.

It's just after the 18th chapter things seem a little bit old and stale, actually, it could hav
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Couldn't say it was the best written book I've read, but as the author said, prostitution is something that has a strange appeal. The story pulls you in and you see different sides of the business- drugs, alcohol and money, but in the case of the main character, I guess she didn't have the worst experience, because she had something to look forward to in life. Although, there are some parts that seem kind of far-fetched, like the fact that a drug user could function as a professor. Don't get me ...more
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