Thursday, April 30

Madam - Jenny Angell

When Abby graduated college she drifted from job to job until she began work as a receptionist at a brothel. Surprised she discovered that she really enjoyed the work, until her employer (who also rented her space to live) sent a punter down to her wile she was sleeping. Deciding she could run a call out service better than Laura, Abby chose a new name, a new location and a business title. Within a short time Avanti became Boston's premiere escort agency and Peach was known to provide excellent girls with one phone call.
Madam is Peach's story, as told to Angell, a former call girl who worked at Avanti. She's written her own story, an extract of which is included at the end of Madam - Callgirl is by far the superior work. It is coherent and interesting. Madam, on the other hand, is choppy and leaves out details that would enhance the story.
We learn about a variety of problems, like the call girl whose client expired mid act, or the client who decided to withdraw from his sex addiction and asked Peach to cut him off. But then the story ends, leaving this reader at least wondering what happened next. The most annoying of these was Jill - after several months of apparently promising work Peach learned Jill had been intimidating clients into giving her extra things (from tips to tickets to games). The story ends with Peach reassuring the client who finally revealed this to her that Jill would never know it was him who told, and organising a new girl for him. What did she do next? How did Jill react? Did this affect business with other clients? Was it something Jill had done with all if them? We'll never know. I also wanted to know about how Peach paid her taxes (prostitution being illegal in the US), tested new girls, and more about how she kept her public and private personas separate, particularly after becoming pregnant.
I finished the book but was unsatisfied. I should really have known better, as most memoirs in this vein tend to be sold more on their titillation factor than good writing. As I said, Jenny Angell's own story may be more compelling, though it won't reveal much about the day to day running of an escort agency as much as the day to day life of a high end prostitute. I'll keep you posted. - Alex

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