Book Review: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle Du Jour

Last year I moved into halls again. It was strange going back to living in a tiny flat with five other people, especially as I was older than the others. 10 years older.

Because of this I earned the nickname “Grandad” and when watching Monsters University was told I was Don, the mature student. All quite funny, and nice of karma to get me back for mocking an older (though younger than I am now) student when I was a fresher at Lampy.


So I probably shouldn’t say this, because it’ll just give ammo to those who mock me for closing in on 30. I’ve read this book before, but had forgotten I had.

belle du jour

They do say that memory is the first thing to go, but this is ridiculous.

I knew I’d started this book a few years ago, a friend had a copy lying around so I perused it. It was mildly diverting but I assumed I’d been interrupted and never finished it. So I borrowed it off MWG and waded in. There were a few passages I recalled and others that seemed oddly familiar, but it wasn’t until the last couple of entries that I thought “hang on, I’ve read this before!”

The fact that I’d forgotten the book might sound like a damning criticism of Belle’s diary, and I guess it is in a way. The book’s not terrible but it’s not that great either. BDJ is a decent enough writer, smart and funny, but it’s all rather samey after a while. It doesn’t really leave much of an impact.

It’s raunchy in places, but being a working girl BDJ’s style is more frank than titillating which works in places, but I suspect may disappoint some readers who were looking for bedroom inspiration. Its interesting to have a look into the life of someone in such a different walk of life, but it all feels slightly sanitized and, dare I say it, dull. Luckily, BDJ is never in danger or harmed in her working life and her home life is just as incident free, aside from a slightly stalkerish ex.

The writers of the television adaptation must have had their work cut out adapting it into an engaging and raunchy show, or maybe they just got away with it by having Billie Piper go around in her underwear for much of the show.

billie piper

The often humorous tone raised a few smiles and it’s a quick, easy read, but can’t say it grabbed me. I think the greatest problem for me was BDJ. Not because of her line of work, but because of her. Others obviously like her style, but to me there was a snobbish streak throughout that I found off putting and the sections featuring her male friends left me cold. They just seemed like an insufferable bunch.

It’s worked for others, and sold well, but it did very little to me. I don’t think it’s just my advancing years that made me forget it, there’s very little impact here and just a few hours after reading it I’m struggling to remember more than a couple of moments from the book.

Verdict: Well written in places, it’s not the wank-fodder some may expect and in places it’s rather dull. BDJ is funny and clever, but all too frequently I found myself infuriated by her. Sometimes an unlikable protagonist can be interesting, even compelling, but BDJ just reminded me of the kind of person I’d try to avoid in real life. Disappointing. 3/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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