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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2006
I bought this book because I had recently read 'Priceless' by Charlie Daniels and thought it would be interesting to read about someone's experiences in America.

I did quite enjoy the book but felt it was quite patchy. Whilst we learn intimate details about the sex acts performed, I don't think we ever get to find out about Angell's feelings or about the impact this work had on her life. It was written with a strange detachment which left me wondering why she'd chosen to write this book in the first place.

At times the book appears to be attempting titlilation, but then will preach to the reader about not making presumptions about people working in vice. At times she is downright patronising to the reader, she says explicitly to the reader that her 'Madam' is no doubt better read that you are. I felt this was uneccessary, especially from a person who is preaching about not making generalisations!!

The parts of the book that explore Angell's friendship with a girl who becomes addicted to crack are touching and the nearest I felt to exploring any emotions.

On the whole OK but don't expect any great revealations.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 August 2004
The question posed on the dust cover of Jeanette Angell's memoir is "If you were offered the same choice, are you sure you'd make a different decision?" Provided that you're strapped for cash, the question is whether you would choose to work at a Borders bookstore or a Starbucks coffeehouse for a tad over minimum wage or would you become a call girl earning approximately $140 per hour?
Well, my response before and after reading this intriguing bio was "Hand me a Starbucks apron, please." Personal options aside, Ms. Angell has cogently and thoroughly described the time she spent in juggling her day teaching job and her night work as a paid escort, which she describes as being "a skilled professional possessing an area of knowledge for which there is a demand, and for which the client is willing to pay......"
After earning a Masters in Divinity from Yale and a 1995 doctoral degree in social anthropology, Ms. Angell anticipated joining the faculty of a prestigious university and beginning her climb to tenure. That was not to be the case. Instead she found herself teaching classes at a small Boston area college where she received a semester by semester paycheck. She also found herself co-habiting with Peter, a lowlife who absconded with the contents of their joint checking account.
Determined not to ask her family or the State of Massachusetts for assistance, she began to scan the want ads. Available openings paid the above mentioned minimum wage, which would not begin to cover her bills. Looking further, she found that girls were needed by an escort service run by a woman identified only as Peach. She picked up the phone. Mystified by the fact that Peach didn't want a face to face interview, Ms. Angell nonetheless agreed to begin immediately by seeing her first client that evening.
It worked for her. Of that encounter Ms. Angell writes, "This wasn't anything esoteric or bizarre or dangerous: this was something I had done before, something I did well, and - best of all - something I enjoyed doing." Thus, for Ms. Angell, known by night as "Tia," a second career was born, a career she would follow for three years.
During her initial days or more accurately nights as an escort Ms. Angell was teaching a course titled "Life in the Asylum," which was in part an examination of the cruel ways in which institutions then and now deal with the mentally ill. Ms. Angell, obviously, feels passionately about this injustice as she does about the ways in which women are oppressed. Writing from a sociologist's point of view, she takes time throughout her narrative to eloquently discuss these issues, as well as making a heartfelt plea not to stereotype prostitutes.
The author of several previous books, she is an accomplished writer who laces Callgirl with deftly painted portraits of her clients. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, at other times a bit frightening, these men are all different from the 400 pound fellow who seeks to control the personal lives of "his girls" to a wealthy gentleman who sent her home with a giant size bottle of Chanel No. 5.
Assuming she was only being social she began using the all too available cocaine, which she eventually needed to start each day. It was not long before she realized that this abuse was jeopardizing her teaching. Then a scary brush with the law that would have ended her academic career forever pushed her into a determination to quit working for Peach. Of this decision she writes, "It wasn't cerebral. It was emotional. More than anything, I was feeling the job, with all of its uncertainties and stresses, slowly slipping off my shoulders like an old, worn-out coat that has served its purpose well."
Ms. Angell was lucky. At the close of "Callgirl," which was written 10 years after her retirement she is happily married, teaching, and is a mother. When she looks back at what she calls the "glamour of those days," she smiles.
As I said, Ms. Angell was lucky.
- Gail Cooke
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on 7 September 2015
3 star for this good book for truth and fiction are mixed. Still a good read, not wasting time on dirtyy details about the sexual act but expands on "survival and jobs", on academical approach of the matter, on human being's complex needs...

The Seth episode or the approach to to males' brutality, show another angle of the problem!

Is "legalising prostitution" a good thing? or, should all countries castrate the male population, like in UK, where prostitutes are a rare commodity accessible to very few!!!
(FYI, ask anyone on london streets, where you can have a prostitute, no clue...even in central london, those small doors with "model" written on pen are known by few)
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on 11 February 2008
in the past I have read memoir books on prostitution such as 'call me elizabeth' and 'priceless' books I really enjoyed. I thought I would try callgirl as I am a fan of memoir books in all subjects. my confusion with this book is if it is actually a true story or fiction. on the front cover it clearly states 'true story' inside on the 3rd page there is a note saying that the novel is entirely a work of fiction and is only the work of the authors imagination!!? the author regularly makes references to her 'real' story throughout the book!

in terms of the book itself I have found sections of it to be very interesting but have also like other reviewers found it to be a bit mixed up in places going from one idea to another, I also feel that Jenny Angell does not explore her own feelings when with the clients enough for me, you hear a lot about her perception of prostitution as an educated woman but not as someone actually living with it. overall the book is worth reading but I have read better and if anyone works out if its truth or fiction it would be great to know!!
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on 29 August 2011
This book gives a great insight into the call girl world with real life stories, the book reads fluidly, and I couldn't put it down. The characters are personable and following the author's life in a diary like account make it light hearted, funny but also emotional. The language and accounts are not for the prudish so be warned, but you wouldn't expect it to be a fairy-tale childrens' book... would you?
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on 21 March 2012
I really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately i could only find one other book written by this author. If you havent read it already, recommend reading the other called 'madam'. Really easy read if your into these kind of books.
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on 20 July 2009
Absoulty loved this book. If you want sex, humor, honesty and a little bit of extra naughtiness this book is for you.
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