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I'd enjoyed Belle De Jour's previous books, but disliked the TV series, so I wasn't sure how to approach this book. It is apparantly a book about how things could have been, but from the start it felt more like a lost accompaniment to the original books. Belle visits her clients, as normal, and worries about her lack of boyfriend and family issues. However, this book goes into more detail about the previously ignored influences on her life, including A1, A2, A3 and A4, and some of her clients. This book could have been so much more, though. Belle writes in an immature way, changing the spelling of words which gets quickly annoying and cutting out the explicit details which made her first book a best seller. Instead, the book reads like a badly written diary, and I soon got confused by the 'novel' writing style which simply didn't fit. If you are a die hard Belle fan, this book might add elements to your story, but it also might frustrate you. I found alot of paragraphs sounded very familiar, and I'm sure that with some effort I could have found them word for word in the previous books. I'd recommend the other books over these any day, as the extra depth this book brings isn't worth the confusion!
This is a distinctly average piece of fiction which features mild titillation and rather sub standard storyline. It is part of a series of books to feature the main character and is supoposedly based upon a real life prostitute. Billie Piper starred in the TV adaption in the TV series Diary of a Call Girl. This book is the third in the series however unfortunately it is not as good as the firts two and the whole series is starting to look a bit tired and bereft of plot ideas or maybe in the real world her lfe just got more boring. The books are written in the style of a diary and this style does mean that you find yourself always reading on an extra day just to see what happens. The plot has Belle seeking to make the transition from working girl to working behind a desk in an office and the challenges she encounters always worrying if her past will catch up with her. The book does have its funny moments and the plot does move along at a good pace however it is not quite the addictive read that the first book was. This is not a book I would recommend as I have only given it two stars.
It is claimed that the books by Bellle De Jour are based upon the real adventures of a high class hooker and they have been converted to our small screens in the TV series Diary of a Call Girl which starred Billie Piper. I enjoyed the first book for what it was, a bit of light reading with some saucy bits thrown in, no great piece of literary work but good holiday reading, the follow up was equally as enjoyable and this is the third one in the series. After reading this third offerring I was left feeling slightly disappointed, it lacks the humour and panache of the earlier work and instead you are left with a rather plodding storyline and the feeling that perhaps it is time for Belle to switch off the red light and put away her pen. Written again as a diary this does mean that you sort of get sucked into wanting to turn the next page to see what happens next, it works like having a series of short chapters really however this book was more of one that I would read for a bit and then leave alone for a few hours or even a couple of days before going back to it. The plot for what it is worth has Belle seeking to make the transition from working on her back to working behind a desk so maybe she is gettingthe message that time marches on. The book is not without its funny moments, more Bridget Jones in their nature than the saucy call girl humour of the first books and those seeking some titillation will still find a few extracts to their liking but these are a lot less than in the first book. I cannot see myself reading a fourth book if one does come out which I'm sure there will be even if it is only to cash in on earlier success, if you have read the other two then it is worth reading to see how the story progresses however if you have not then as a stand alone book this is not great.
I read the first book by Belle de Jour a couple of years ago, after watching a few episodes of the ITV2 series 'The Secret Diary of a Call Girl' which starred Billie Piper. At that time, there was some controversy about the TV series and the book on which is based, with accusations that they were glamourising prostitution and potentially encouraging vulnerable young women into the sex industry. When I spotted 'Playing the Game' in the library, I automatically assumed that this was the sequel to 'The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl' but this is actually the third book in the series. Despite the controversy and publicity surrounding the original book and the subsequent TV series, I wasn't actually aware that a follow up book, much less two books, had also been published. Despite not having read the second book, I started reading this one and didn't feel that I had missed anything crucial from the book in between. In fact, this could easily be read as a stand-alone book without even reading the original 'The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl', although personally I wouldn't recommend that as this book is much weaker than the first and doesn't quite have the shock value or general naughtiness of the original. The series is allegedly a true account of somebody's life as a high-class prostitute known as Belle de Jour, and originally started off as an online blog. This led on to the book(s) and the TV series. All of the books are written in the form of a diary, revealing some of the secrets and (possibly) realities of life as a sex worker. I'm not convinced that this is an accurate portrayal of the work and I'm pretty cynical about Belle's claims that she has never used drugs and just happened to drift into the sex industry because she had a particularly high sex drive and needed the money. I'm certainly not an expert in this area but I'd imagine that the vast majority of prostitutes do have an addiction to feed and not just a sex addiction, as Belle likes to claim! Belle is surprisingly 'normal', down to Earth and easy to like and believe in as a character - although I'm still not convinced that this is a genuine account of somebody's experiences. The diary format makes this a book that is easy to dip in and out of, which is helpful towards the end of the book as it wasn't particularly engrossing. Certain sections of the story did drag a little, as I was waiting for the saucy bits to start up again, but generally it was a fairly engaging read. There is more of a sense of a story with this book, charting Belle's transition from call girl to office worker, whereas the first book was mainly made up of anecdotes describing incidents or experiences with particular clients. On its own, this reads as a fairly average chick lit novel whereas the original novel is clearly in a class of its own with very graphic descriptions of sexual acts and a fairly shocking insight into some aspects of the more 'upmarket' sex industry. This book is less shocking, partly because it is difficult to follow on from the original as that taboo has already been broken but mainly because the majority of the book concentrates on Belle having given up prostitution and moved on to a typical office job. Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't recommend buying this as a Christmas present for your mother in law (unless she's very open-minded!) but there isn't much in here that couldn't be read in a saucy chick lit novel. Some criticisms have been levied about Belle glamourising prostition and not giving an accurate account of the industry and the realities of a hooker, albeit a highly-paid escort. I'd say this was less an issue with this book, simply because prostitution is less of a feature in this story. Having said that, Belle's life as a prostitute is certainly more interesting and makes much more compelling reading than her life as an office worker, so that could fuel the case for the critics! The two main themes in the story concentrate on Belle adapting to life as an office worker and looking for love. Belle seems to find the etiquette involved in being paid to have sex with someone much more straightforward than the complexities of trying to find love as a single young woman. There are a few genuinely amusing moments and scenes in the story but, thinking back now, there isn't anything that really stands out as particularly memorable. I enjoyed reading this but I certainly don't feel desperate to rush out and read the middle book in the series. I'm fairly confident that the first book is the one which has the real shock value and which really stands out as completely different to most other female fiction out there. If you've read the first or second in this series then, yes, this is a pleasant, pretty enjoyable read. If you haven't then take the time to read the first book (provided you're fairly broadminded about explicit sex scenes and strong language!) and only read the others if you're really desperate to discover how and why Belle decides to give up the day (night?!) job.