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Belle de Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl

(Belle de Jour #1)

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3.32  ·  Rating details ·  8,132 ratings  ·  754 reviews
Belle couldn't find a job after University. Her impressive degree was not paying her rent or buying her food. But after a fantastic threesome with a very rich couple that gave her a ton of money, Belle realized that she could earn more than anyone she knew--by becoming a call girl. The rest is history. Belle became a twenty-something London working girl--and had the audaci ...more
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published August 27th 2007 by Warner Books (first published January 7th 2005)
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Average rating 3.32  · 
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 ·  8,132 ratings  ·  754 reviews


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Start your review of Belle de Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl (Belle De Jour #1)
Jamie Nelson
Apr 16, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book initially sank its claws into me during the hot sex scene at the beginning. A friend of mine kept recommending the Showtime series to me, but already having enough television addictions, I thought I'd read the book. Big mistake.

I feel that I regressed a little while reading this, and a more appropriate title would be, "The Narcissistic Ramblings of a Nympho." That's right, don't be fooled - Ms. Dujour paints the work of a callgirl as a fun little jaunt between various male's abodes and
...more
Heather Knight
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally a blog, this book is a collection of diary entries from a London call girl. Belle is a likable narrator, even if I had a hard time believing both her unshakable businesslike nature and her overall good humor.

Being a call girl never really seems to get her depressed; the men never seem ugly, or vicious, or bad in bed. I felt like she had done better as a call girl finding decent guys than most of us do dating. Which is a pretty good recommendation for becoming a call girl, I guess.

One
...more
Christina
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads, memoir
I was originally planning to give this memoir three stars, but by the final page I couldn't justify why it didn't deserve four. I really enjoyed this. Belle is upfront honest, classy, humourous and intelligent; She has an insight to the world that you wouldn't "expect" from someone in her expertise. Any stereotype you have in mind about call girls will pretty much be banished by the time you're finished reading.

If anything, I'd say I admired her - not her chosen lifestyle, per say, but definite
...more
Shari
Feb 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: men with illusions
Still reading, maybe, but now I remember why I stopped reading her blog: "the boy."

People who say "the boy" to refer to their significant other come across as a) insecure and b) not fooling anybody about the long-term prospects of that relationship. Also, they're as annoying as a toddler discovering a new word.

While I can award 9 out of 10 for her maintaining focus on the (theoretically) titillating bits that (theoretically) everyone wants to read, where is the human side of Miss BdJ? Does she
...more
Efka
Mar 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
I think I'll go with the Tv-series, thank you very much. It's just that this novel, it's not really a novel - as the title says, it's a diary. Yeah, I know, you're probably thinking now "If it's written in the title, what were you expecting?" Honestly, I did not have any expectations, but I hoped that since it is published as a book, there will be a structure and general resemblance to a book, but it seems my hopes were too high.

The main problem, which leads to further problems with this book i
...more
Amar Pai
Mar 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect this to be great literature, but I did expect hot stories of freaky sex and interesting details about the high end of the world's oldest profession. Instead we get glib, tossed off diary entries (referring to her boyfriend as The Boy... ugh) mixed with mundane vulgarity and platitudes about love and wage slavery. There are greater insights about sex/love/money in any random episode of Sex & the City.

I know Belle de Jour is a real person but this book doesn't feel real. As bad as
...more
LaFleurBleue
Jul 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Difficult to know where to start: it's a diary, supposedly real, so there's no storyline, no beginning, no end and especially no point.
I did not manage to understand why the author kept this diary and why she felt compelled to write something in it every day give or take. Probably because she is just in love with her tonsil.
Her string of former boyfriends identified with stupid monikers like A1 to A4, then Boy. None of them seemed real, and even less interesting.
I hated the way it was very poor
...more
Taisha Mckoy
Originally a blog this book is a collection of diary entries from the summer of 2003 to the autumn of 2004 written by a London call girl - Belle de Jour. 💄

Belle is a witty narrator and at times you feel like you’re listening to your friend talk about her life over lattes at Starbucks.. Not that I or any of my friends are call girls, but I mean Belle is a likeable, relatable narrator with a hilarious sense of humour.

Belle seems to enjoy her job and never really seems to criticise any of her cli
...more
Kristina
I don't know why this piece of trash is subtitled an "Unlikely call girl" because it seems prostitution is perfect for her. I don't know how much of this crap is "real" or how much sprang from her fevered, over-active and knickers-obsessed mind, but it's all garbage. I don't recommend this book to anyone. It's awful.

As I was on vacation last week and reading Gladwell's kind of meh David and Goliath, I decided to try something more fluffy. So I bought this ebook. What a waste of $9.99. The diary
...more
Mary
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was only going to give this book three stars, but I can't justify doing that. It was a great read. True, you can read it all for free on her blog, but the girl put herself out there, blogging about a day-to-day that is much racier and far less legal than most.

Unlike some other reviewers, I thought her tone was perfect. She came off as a bit snarky and certainly intelligent--which isn't a view we're often given of anyone who works in the sex industry.

She's pretty fair about her ups and downs
...more
Lisa
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'll admit I was only curious to read this because I really enjoyed the t.v show.

I think my main problem with this was the format. Obviously, it's an actual diary and I actually enjoy books in the diary format when they're interesting. I've never read a diary that was as all-over-the-place as this.

I was expecting something different; something better. I didn't think it was awful but I didn't find much of it very entertaining. A lot of the diary entries would be completely random things that hap
...more
Suzette
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having watched Secret Diary of a Call Girl before reading this book, I have to say the book wasn't really what I was expecting. The real-life Belle certainly seems to have a better handle on balancing her life. She made time for friends, relationships, family, her professional/academic goals, and still made time for escorting. The majority of the book didn't even have to do with escorting, it mostly had to do with her her friendships and relationships past and present. I was surprised that when ...more
Katie Alexandra
I had been wanting to read this book for what felt like years, the only thing that was holding me back was that no bookstore near me ever carried it. In the meantime, I watched the show and absolutely loved it. I finally got around to ordering it a couple weeks ago, to say the least I was very disappointed.
The most disappointing thing to me was the main character (and author) Belle de Jour. This book was put together from her own, real life events that she posted about on her blog. You would th
...more
Jenn
Feb 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I would like to first say that I only gave this book 4 stars because of the end. I am not sure if the author had always been planning a sequel and that's why it ended the way it did but it just sort of stopped. On one had it was very much like an actual personal journal, people writing journals don't wrap up the plot before filling it up and moving on to the next one, but this also leaves the reader with very little closure. I finished and felt like, "OK that was odd".
Aside from that I loved th
...more
Maya
Mar 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Though I was skeptical, due to the marketing and first few minutes of the Showtime series, I was surprised at the quality of this book.

The diary format makes this book interesting because in truth, there's no story. No arc. No real character development. Just the notes and observations on life and vocation from the point of view of a beautiful British post-grad who just never cut it in the office world. "Belle" tells us about her friends, exclusively males and even more exclusively ex-boyfriend
...more
Lani
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chicklit, biography
This was pretty much complete trash. Apparently they made it into a TV show!? WTF... Dear everyone, please stop making blogs into books. The only one I found even remotely entertaining was Candy Girl, and that wasn't great either.

I just didn't find Belle very likable, and the whole thing just seemed annoying. The sex was either very vague or very graphic and just liked being shocking. Was this marketed as soft-core erotica? Did women read this? I just don't get it. Seemed like a Sex in the City
...more
Nicole Hallberg
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was fantastic. I had stumbled upon the show after some Doctor Who intervention (the lead in the show is Billie Piper, who plays Belle in the show). When I found out this was a blog turned book, I just had to scoop it up.

The writing style of blog/journal is one I admit I am not usually fond of, but she just made it work so well for her story. I was hooked immediately of course, and though I loved the inclusion of the A's, I was sad to not see her best friend from the show (whom I
...more
Kelly Buchholz
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Clever, witty, hilarious and shameless in the very best way possible. I want this woman to be my best friend.
Sana Abdulla
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
3.5 stars, an unlikely call girl as she calls herself, braves the career of prostitution after aeveral attempts at working at whatever unsatisfying jobs she finds. Desperate for cash she does join an agency and works away, giving us insights on her daily life, out of work relationships etc...
As a theme, sex is an extremely readable topic, but the book was more about her than the pros and cons of her job, which has always been an intriguing subject for me, with many partners one is bound to get s
...more
Booklover Butterfly
Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl follows a high class London escort named Belle de Jour – obviously not her real name. Belle writes journal style entries for each day that depict her encounters with peculiar clients, her interactions with friends and ex-boyfriends, and her everyday life.

I liked Belle’s writing style immediately. She’s clever and humorous in her observations, and she keeps things light. One of the things I liked best about Belle is that she doesn’t fit the trashy, unintelligent ima
...more
Emily
Mar 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book had the potential to be a unique and insightful view into an unusual industry. Unfortunately, it had more in common with 50 Shades of Grey than a memoir or a diary. The main character (and note how I say "character" and not "writer", because I find it extremely hard to believe the two are one and the same) glamorized her life and her job to the point where it was not at all realistic. The whole book was basically just her bragging about all the sex she has and how amazing she is at it ...more
Tocotin
A book about the life of a call girl, boring? Yes. I understand it was a blog first, but looks like the author didn't bother to review the entries and compose a more interesting and well-constructed story out of them.

I didn't expect anything especially revealing or insightful, but a little more substance would have been nice. Surprisingly, the author wrote a lot about her private life (boyfriends, parents, travels), and much less about her work, and this was what I wanted to read about. All righ
...more
Jess
I am a little bit over sexual adventuress books, to be quite honest (see In My Skin: A Memoir; The Bride Stripped Bare) but I'd always meant to pick this one up at some point, as I had seen the telly show with Billie Piper (very scarred at seeing Rose's boobs - what would the Doctor think?). One of the reasons why I liked this one much better than those other books is because Belle du Jour approached the topic and experiences with a sense of humour - Gemmell and Holden taken themselves so seriou ...more
Sarah Goodwin
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is the story of prostitution from a candy-coloured specs perspective. It says something that the ITV series added more depth.

Entertaining enough but Belle is a lot like friends that I avoid - always on about her exes and the dramas associated with same. Preoccupied with knickers and makeup - slipping public school french into every sentence. Not a protagonist I relate to.

Save yourself some time and watch the series instead, the book is only a parade of similar encounters with identical tho
...more
Tanny
Apr 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm sorry to be blunt but I found this book dull and hard work to read. I kept reading waiting for something exciting to happen. Like someone else wrote, I got sick of hearing (well reading!) her say "the boy" too. I really expected her to lead a more adventurous life - maybe I was too conditioned as I have had a friend who worked in the industry for a few years, but she certainly made it seem more exciting than Belle did! I already bought the sequel before reading the first so now I guess I hav ...more
Eztizen
Jun 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
I expected something similar to the tv show, and it turns out that, just like Sex & the City, the show is awesome and the book is terrible. It's so bad, so boring and so annoying that I couldn't get half through it.

She basically tells us how amaaaaaazing she is because she enjoys doing EEEEEEEVERYTHING you can imagine, and she gets paid for it! And she has a boyfriend and she has an amaaaaaazing relationship with her thousand ex boyfriends, etc.

She's just a self obssesed pretender.

Don't read th
...more
Sofia
Jul 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biographies
Why has this been written I just wonder?! To tell about life of a call girl? No, for that too little information. To write hardcore sex, erotic book to get you in the mood?No, too clinical for that. To show that she is nice and witty girl allthough a hooker?She isn't either. There is no story, no plot, just scenes and here and there taboo words like fistfuck, anal sex, s/m.Well read it to the end and wont recommend it to anyone.
Sarah
Apr 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this very dull, kept going in the hope it might get to some kind of point, but apparently not. I felt like she was trying to make sex work seem perfectly fun, safe and exciting but a sense of her quiet desperation came through.
Alice Doherty
Aug 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The ITV series is so much more entertaining than this book. Really did not enjoy the writing style and the escort's character. OTT graphic sex scenes overshadow a shallow plot.
Hannah Polley
This is the diary of a London call girl, originally written anonymously on a blog although her real identity is now known.

The book comes across as quite funny with a devil may care attitude but it is clearly a highly sanitised version of the reality.

Definitely worth a read (although the cover is embarrasing when you are reading it on a train!).
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197 followers
Brooke Magnanti is a forensic scientist and writer, who, until her identity was revealed in November 2009, was known by the pen name Belle de Jour.

While completing her doctoral thesis, in 2003 and 2004, Magnanti worked as a call girl. Her diary, published as the anonymous blog Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl became popular, as speculation surrounded the identity of Belle de Jour. Magnan
...more

Other books in the series

Belle de Jour (5 books)
  • The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl (Belle de Jour, #2)
  • Playing The Game
  • Belle de Jour's Guide to Men
  • Belle's Best Bits: A London Call Girl Reveals Her Favourite Adventures (Belle De Jour, #5)

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