Jools's Reviews > The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl

The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle de Jour
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's review
Jun 17, 2011

really liked it

This book, which was originally an award wining blog, was turned into a TV series starring Billie Piper. I’ve posted photographs of Billie playing Belle, I think I even posted a gif which is rare for me. I watched the programme before I read the book and I’m really glad I did. The Belle we see on TV is more of an every woman than the one in the book. I’m not saying that she was dumbed down but there was less of a sense that she talked about literature, art and film with her clients than there is in the book. I prefer the Belle of the book and would have enjoyed the TV series a lot less had I read it first.

I keep calling it a book and that’s wrong really, I should be referring to it as a memoir. It has a narrative in the loosest sense of the word, just like all our lives do. It’s not that their is no sense of cohesion, but those picking this up expecting Bridget Jones’ Diary with a sprinkling of hardcore sex will be disappointed. Bridget is fictional, Belle is very real.

I love Belle’s sense of fun and the lists that she writes, including the A to Z of Working as a London Call Girl, are funny and informative (I defy you to know everything on that list. If you do, well... email me). Belle presents herself as the kind of woman you’d love to go for a drink with for her wit and conversation. Those who criticise this book for glamorising prostitution clearly haven’t read it closely enough, or with a sharp enough sense of irony. Belle repeatedly points out that she was one of the lucky ones; she was not addicted to drugs, not controlled by a pimp, able to choose who her clients were and not brutalised.

I would recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to read an account of the life of a woman who knows herself and is empowered by her attitude towards sex, money and the reality of how the world works.

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