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Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl (Nancy Chan Novels) [Paperback]

Tracy Quan
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

4 July 2005

A fun, witty, sexy, page-turning novel written by a real-life, high-priced Manhattan call girl.

This is the diary of Nancy Chan, busy career girl, in her thirties, newly engaged and trying to balance job and romance. But Nancy is a high-class call girl, a fact her banker fiance, Matt does not know (he thinks she’s a copy editor) and Nancy wants to keep it that way.

With one foot in the bedrooms of her rich and demanding clients and one in the world of her fiancé and his family, Nancy demonstrates, in her inimitable fashion, that if you know the dance, you can keep those two worlds from colliding. At least for a while.

This wonderfully intelligent, sexually frank, rollicking novel gives us fresh insight into the machinations and politics of being an expensive call girl in the modern world. Quan pulls no punches, gives no apologies, and has written one of the best and most honest books yet on the topic.

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Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl (Nancy Chan Novels) + Diary of a Married Call Girl (Nancy Chan Novels) + Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st UK Paperback Edition edition (4 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007204396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007204397
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tracy Quan is the bestselling author of the Nancy Chan call-girl trilogy, which began as a serial novel on Salon.com. During childhood, she harbored thoughts of becoming a novelist, but her first meaningful career (which now provides the inspiration for her fiction) was not in publishing...

A frequent contributor to The Daily Beast, The Guardian website and The Drawbridge, she writes about pop culture, sex and politics from a unique perspective. Michelle Obama, Mary Magdalene and Winnie-the-Pooh have been recent subjects, along with scandal prone lads such as Tiger Woods and Eliot Spitzer. She has also written for the New York Times, Financial Times, South China Morning Post and numerous other publications.

Tracy, who can't get enough medieval history, is a recovering Enid Blyton addict, prefers Twitter to Facebook and lives in Manhattan, the setting of her first two novels.

Product Description


‘Bridget Jones with attitude’ Guardian

‘Chock-full of bad-girl secrets… tantalizing’ Cosmopolitan

‘Unexpectedly wise, observant and best of all – fun’ Los Angeles Times

‘A new perspective on the world's oldest profession’ Honey

From the Author

Who is Nancy Chan?

Ever since Nancy Chan's diary began running in Salon.com, I've been asked by readers and relatives, by prospective and former boyfriends: "Are you Nancy Chan? How much of Nancy is really you?"

I'm unable to give a completely straight answer because, well, I'm like Nancy in some ways. Fact and fiction are often blurred in Nancy's life, and in mine. Like Nancy, I ran away from home during my teens, and I know what it's like to take pride in a job while keeping it a secret.

When the original series ended -- with Matt slyly inserting himself into Nancy's apartment to deliver a surprise marriage proposal -- I received hundreds of e-mails from readers wanting to know how Nancy would handle being a full-fledged fiancée: Could a girl like Nancy really give it all up for a guy when she's at the top of her career as a call girl? How big was that engagement ring, anyway?

My call-girl readers were especially intrigued. Contrary to the latest stereotype (that prostitution is just "sex work"), selling sex is much more than a job. Having sex for money can become a way of relating to men -- and enjoying men -- that competes with your romantic life. Successful hookers are sharp-witted, hardheaded and hardworking but many are also diehard romantics. We want our emotional fantasies to come true, perhaps because we spend so much time fulfilling other people's fantasies.

When you run your own business, you are married to your job. When this job is also a secret from your boyfriend, a proposal of marriage may represent the fulfillment of a fantasy -- but it brings real-life complications, as Nancy Chan could tell you.

As to whether I am currently guilty of leading a double life, planning to marry a guy like Matt, secretly endangered by scandal, or coming out with a sequel to the current novel, I will now resort to misquoting D.H. Lawrence: "Never trust the author. Trust the tale." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three or four stars - that is the question 22 Sep 2005
This is the most recent book I've read and I would recommend it - with a word of caution. The ending is very unsatisfactory.
Overall the book was an entertaining read and went some way to making me question any stereotypes I might have had about 'working girls'. It was gritty without being filth, had good pace and made me laugh in places.
Unfortunately all the good work Quan had done in creating likeable and/or believable charachters whose lives are intertwined (in ways which even the charachters don't know) is wasted with the sudden ending in which few of the subplots are brought to a conclusion.
On balance I decided on four stars because three seemed a bit harsh for a book that kept me entertained and turning pages for a few well spent hours.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 29 Mar 2006
I never expected great meaning from this book, but what I did expect was some light reading with a few engrossing plots, and a 'gossipy' feeling to it. But I was disappointed. Hardly anything mildly interesting happens in the book, until a couple of half-baked storylines near the end which go frustratingly unconcluded. I kept waiting for something to emerge which would capture me, but this never happened. The main character, Nancy, is, for me, unlikeable and it is hard for the reader to empathise or be put in her position. Overall, the book is crammed with irrelevant little details and dialogues, and tends to drag on relentlessly. There were foundations in this book for several riveting plots, and it was exasperating to see that so many oppurtunities were wasted. I would have liked to see a little more description where emotion was concerned too.
As for the end, it was as if the author ran out of time in a high school English exam. A real train wreck of an ending-completely unsatisfying.
I hate to say that on the whole, this is a poor book, although it's marginally better than reading the back of your ticket when you're bored on the bus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rude with attitude 20 Aug 2006
I wouldn't have said that this is hard to get into but once I came to terms with the language used I found that it was quiet a enjoyable read. Not something your mother would approve of. It is in parts too graphic but that goes along with the story and bring contents to the book. Nancy is great and has a brilliant attitude that makes you like her but not really love her. Its not one that swept me along but good all the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, shame about the ending 20 July 2005
By l.a
This is a fun, fast-paced novel. The action fizzes along, and the author seems to have an ear for naturalistic dialogue and believeable characters. I read this in 24hours, as it was an easy read and the plot really seems to speed by. The plot isn't the most original - a tart with a heart story meets Bridget Jones/Sex & The City; but as it's so engaging you don't really mind, and it would be ideal fodder for commuting or holiday reading. My only complaint is that I feel that the denouement was badly handled. Instead of tying up the strands of narrative, she abruptly pulls away from them, leaving a gap (as the story is in diary format) of several months, and the conclusion is far from satisfying. Ultimately, the conclusion of this book is the one thing that Nancy and the girls definately aren't - a tease!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
As I left for work this morning, I was about to pop "Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl" into my bag but then I realised that I had actually finished it. The reason it took me a second to realise this is that I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending - it was kind of like a three-course meal where you get an entree and only half of a main course.
The beginning and majority of the book is great; witty, funny and interesting. It provides an informative and unpretentious insight into the world of being a private call-girl. But as another reviewer commented, it seems like Quan didn't know how to wrap up the strands of the narrative and opted for a cop-out instead.
Overall: Interesting but unsatisfying.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull book with no ending 16 April 2006
The title was the only part of this book that was "tantalising" and overall I found it frustrating, dull and lacking an ending.

It is the diary of a call girl, who seemingly lies to everyone around her and herself, and has no emotions or passion about anything. She talks about sex and relationships the way that other people talk about what they ate for breakfast. Her sex scenes have no erotic charge and no insight. You feel neither sympathy nor any identification with the character, and gain no understanding of why she does what she does.

There are then a whole set of implausible interwoven plotlines, in which her secret life as a whore overlaps with her plans to marry a normal guy, and her friends are stalked, blackmailed, get involved with sex-politics and investigated by the DA office. I cringed through 'normalised' descriptions of paedophilia and sexual exploitation.

I was glad to reach the end of this book, even if it was premature and unresolved. If this is autobiographical, I feel sorry for the author, not because of her lifestyle choices, but because of her lack of insight, trust or any relationships beyond the superficial level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This train ran out of steam... 8 Sep 2005
Instantly engaging with gritty, honest and believable charachters. Easy to read with various storylines centering on the main charachter Nancy. Goes to some pretty deep places compared to the normal standard of Chick-Lit, However the ending was very abrupt, unrealistic and badly written. I got the impression that the author didn't know how to write her way out of all her strands of narrative. After reading you'll be hungry to know what happened to Allison, Jason, Matt, and Elspeth. Very Enjoyable until page 268.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth persevering
Took a while to get into this book but towards the end I couldn't put it down! Will be reading the next in the series!
Published 10 months ago by rayc
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
i was replacing the paper version of this book onto my kindle. Great book to read over and over again
Published 14 months ago by mrs emma vamplew
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Enjoyable
I enjoyed the book mainly because I found the character very funny. The story is quite average. Basically it is about a girl who is secretly working as a call girl but has a... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Eva
2.0 out of 5 stars fairly dull
i'm afraid this surprised me. But not in a good way. The ending was diabolical and i wish i hadnt wasted my time trying to read the whole thing!
Published on 1 April 2008 by Ms. F. I. Macdonald
3.0 out of 5 stars alright
This book was kinda perfect for the post christmas blues because you can just read it without thinking too much about it. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2008 by kimmy
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Really bad. I had no interest in the characters and the ending was awful. Just as you get to the point where you think there might actually be a clever twist to the story and a... Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2007 by Kiki
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
I read this awhile ago and hadn't got round to leaving a review! Anyway, this is a perfect read, how did she juggle her life like that! An amazing lady - loved it!
Published on 14 Aug 2007 by Droopy_Ears
5.0 out of 5 stars Call Again
I got this book free with a magazine sometime ago, you know how it is I will get some spare time to read it, well many months later I have ! Read more
Published on 16 April 2007 by Alessi Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected!
I received this book as a freebie with a magazine and only kept it because I had nothing else to read on my journey. Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2006 by Minks
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking
I usually don't like the so called 'dirty' books but this one is entertaining and shocking. I haven't picked up such a different book for ages. It is a fantastic summer read.
Published on 17 July 2006 by Miranda England
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