Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Playing the Game

Belle de Jour is an anonymous call girl working in London. Playing the Game is the 3rd book chronicling her adventures, following The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl and The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl.

In this book, Belle decides to leave the sex game and get an office job. Playing the Game is a witty observation of office life, physical and interpersonal relationships. It is riddled with humourous pearls of wisdom like "There's only one reason a woman should agree to sub-standard sex, and that's when she's getting paid".

The book is structured as a diary of sorts. At the end of each month, Belle also provides a top 10 list. The lists include "Ten Steps to Getting Over Him", "Ten things that make a House a Home," and " Ten things about being an adult that are nothing like you could have imagined". Belle infuses these lists with her humour and witty advice and they are on of the best features of the books.

There were a few things I didn't like in Playing the Game. Maybe the most obvious (or obvs as Belle would say) was her affinity for abbreviations. Unless you are discussing an organisation or disease or something which is never referred to in full, abbreviations have no place in literature- with the possible exception of those that characters use in conversation among themselves. It was annoying to keep track of the abbreviations and there were times when I couldn't. By the same token, there were some references that only a British person would be familiar with. Fantastic for Brits, not so fantastic for the International audience. Throughout the novel, it was clear that this book was written by someone who was not an author, but a person who happened to be writing. And at times that left much to be desired.

Overall, witty and insightful, but not very well put together.


Marsha Sigman said...

Good review! I have not read these books but I watch the series that is based on them on Showtime. I really like it but part of the reason is that Billie Piper (the actress) is so talented. I think its extremely witty. Would you recommend reading this book? or sticking with the series?

Claire Dawn said...

Thanks! The book is definitely witty. There are some times that she slips off into non-author mode. Kinda like the difference between telling a story and talking to yourself while people are around... But overall a good read.