Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper

3.9 85
by Diablo Cody

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Decreed by David Letterman (tongue in cheek) on CBS TV’s The Late Show to be the pick of “Dave’s Book Club 2006,” Candy Girl is the story of a young writer who dared to bare it all as a stripper. At the age of twenty-four, Diablo Cody decided there had to be more to life than typing copy at an ad agency. She soon managed to

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Decreed by David Letterman (tongue in cheek) on CBS TV’s The Late Show to be the pick of “Dave’s Book Club 2006,” Candy Girl is the story of a young writer who dared to bare it all as a stripper. At the age of twenty-four, Diablo Cody decided there had to be more to life than typing copy at an ad agency. She soon managed to find inspiration from a most unlikely source— amateur night at the seedy Skyway Lounge. While she doesn’t take home the prize that night, Diablo discovers to her surprise the act of stripping is an absolute thrill.

This is Diablo’s captivating fish-out-of-water story of her yearlong walk on the wild side, from quiet gentlemen’s clubs to multilevel sex palaces and glassed-in peep shows. In witty prose she gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at this industry through a writer’s keen eye, chronicling her descent into the skin trade and the effect it had on her self-image and her relationship with her now husband.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Good, frothy fun. . . . For those of us who have stared, transfixed, from a distance, wondering how the air is up there, Candy Girl is a bracing lungful. (Los Angeles Times)

Diablo Cody is to stripping what Chuck Klosterman is to pop culture and Sarah Vowell is to American history. . . . Candy Girl is fiendishly funny, muscle-car fast, and frighteningly—and I do mean frighteningly—accurate. (Lily Burana, author of Strip City: A Stripper’s Farewell Journey Across America)

[Cody is] a quick, erudite, and funny writer. . . . One hell of a good story. (Time Out Chicago)

Flat-out funny and refreshingly devoid of moral conclusions. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis)

Publishers Weekly
Why, you might ask, would a healthy, college-educated young woman start stripping for a living, when she could work in a nice, clean office? Cody, now an arts editor for Minneapolis's alternative weekly, had spent her whole life (all 24 years) "choking on normalcy, decency and Jif sandwiches with the crusts amputated." When she moved from Chicago to Minnesota to live with the new boyfriend she'd found on the "World Wide Waste of Time," she took a job at an ad agency-a setup with good "porn shui" (desk well angled for undetected online porn surfing) but not much else. Attracted by a local bar's amateur stripping contest, Cody soon moved from stage stripping to lap dancing, from tableside to bedside customer service and, finally, peep-show sex. Removing her clothes and dry-humping strangers in sex clubs had become her way of escaping premature respectability. Quite inexplicably, her boyfriend was completely cool with her new occupation, even joining her on occasional sex jaunts. When the inevitable burnout set in, Cody switched to phone sex, until that, too, got old, and the 9-to-5 straight world beckoned. Cody's so alarmingly entertaining, readers will wish the book were longer, though they'll be glad it ends before anything really ugly happens. Agent, Paula Balzer. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As a college graduate from a stable family, with a boring job at a Minneapolis advertising agency and a supportive boyfriend (now husband), Cody decided to become a stripper. She jumped in on an amateur night at a local bar and then pursued her interest at several different venues, from so-called gentlemen's clubs to peep shows. Cody, now an arts editor with Minneapolis's alternative weekly, City Pages, describes in explicit detail her experiences stripping, lap dancing, and masturbating for clients. She has a fondness for the other strippers, who range from teenagers to thirtysomething mothers, but Cody has only disdain for the clubs, which generally treated the women badly and demanded a large portion of their pay. Cody tries to explain her attraction to stripping, but her descriptions of her encounters and the physical toll the work took on her body leave readers wondering why she kept going back-despite the fact that she earned enough to buy a house. Still, a very readable account of life in the sex trade. Recommended for public libraries.-Debra Moore, Cerritos Coll., Norwalk, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Geeky girl from the 'burbs enters a life of sin . . . for a little while, at least. Cody grew up nice just outside Chicago during the 1980s. (Since her equally nice Catholic parents presumably would not have named her after evil incarnate, readers may assume that "Diablo" is her own invention.) Her childhood "was a stainless suburban ideal," but by 2002, a "mid-twenties crisis weighted [her] gut like a cosmic cheeseburger" as she shuffled papers at a downtown law firm. Within a short space of time, however, this "card-carrying dweeb" got involved in an Internet romance with an equally geeky musician from Minneapolis, moved in with him, got a job in a space-age advertising firm and, on a whim, entered Amateur Night at a seedy downtown strip club. Cody doesn't depict her seemingly random decision to get up on a stage and bare herself to paunchy men (who were usually lousy tippers) as either the inevitable result of some tortured childhood or a grand experiment in feminine self-empowerment. She simply reveals herself as a gawky young woman who never had a chance for excitement. Cody's quick, self-deprecating wit proves invaluable in relating the year during which she moved from the low-rent Skyway Lounge to the laughably "upscale" Schiecks and then to the adult toy and entertainment emporium Sex World, which is rendered in off-kilter, David Lynch-ian tones. Although at the beginning and end of her book she strains too hard for the baroque, snarky tone of an overactive alt-weekly (Cody is currently an editor at Minneapolis's City Pages), for the most part this is an honest and amusing memoir that trades in neither pathos nor down-and-out freakery. Likable to a fault, an anthem of independencefor geeks everywhere.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.35(w) x 8.05(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Diablo Cody is a freelance journalist and is currently the associate arts editor for City Pages, Minneapolis’ alternative weekly. Her now defunct website, “The Pussy Ranch,” scored over one million page views in its seventeen-month run, garnering acclaim from The Village Voice, among others. Her first screenplay, "Juno," is being produced by Mandate Pictures, and she has two other screenplays in development with Warner Brothers.

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