This debut novel about a girl paying her way through college working as a call girl has got a first-person narrator who starts out sounding like a female Holden Caulfield, except that she's sadder and more numbed-out. What I liked best about this book was its depiction of a wised-up, privileged Manhattan girlhood and the little vignettes of trying to get by in the city. (The little riff on how no one ever buys a futon "new" is wonderful.) It's one of those bleak books, where the author's near a breakdown. And don't expect it to be really sexy. It's more like like this, during a climactic, emotionally charged sex scene ("And we did it, and I almost sort of came.") The call girl's life isn't fun and this book strips the glamour from it. Bennington won't kiss her clients, is counting how much money she'll make, to get through it, and looks at the clock, like the prostitute Bree played by Jane Fonda in "Klute." There's a hint of redemption at the end. And a lot of wit through the book. Otherwise, a dark, often bleak read.
The plot idea is much more interesting than the execution. The book was lacking in character development and the writing style was way too sparse. I didn't really care about anything that was going on.
A really great book about the ends a girl will go to in order to get herself through college. Bennington Bloom has a timid personality, a unique voice to follow, especially when it is that of a call girl.
Bennington Bloom is a 19-year-old acting student at New York Univeristy in search of a part-time job. Answering an ad in the Village Voice for "coeds" leads her into a life as a high-paid call girl. In a light, no-nonsense, humorous voice, Bennington describes her sexual experiences, her adventures with eccentric friends, and her distant father. She becomes so hooked on the easy money she makes as a prostitute that when she finds a decent man and moves in with him, she can't give it up. Instead, she invents a job for herself as a caterer to explain her frequent evening absences, which leads to heartbreak and humiliation when the truth is discovered.