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

Book cover for "Candy Girl" by Diablo Cody.Title: Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper

Author: Diablo Cody

Narrator: Natalie Moore

Publication Year: 2006

Pages: 224 (audio length: 5 hours 7 minutes)

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

Source: Audiobook version purchased from

From the cover:

Diablo Cody was twenty-four years old when she decided there had to be more to life than typing copy at an ad agency. On a whim, she signed up for amateur night at Minneapolis’s seedy Skyway Lounge. She didn’t win a prize that night, but she discovered that stripping delivered a rush she had never experienced before, and too many experiences to not write about it. While she didn’t fit the ordinary profile of a stripper — she had a supportive boyfriend, was equal parts brainpower and beauty, was from a good family, and was out to do a little soul searching — she soon immersed herself in this enticing life full-time.

In Candy Girl, Diablo tells the captivating fish-out-of-water story of her yearlong walk on the wild side. In witty prose she gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at this industry through a writer’s keen eye, from quiet gentlemen’s clubs to multi-level sex palaces, with all of her wry observations along the way. Some of her discoveries? Blondes make more money; it takes a pro to master The Pole; and while the girls wield much sway over the customers, in reality the power is totally out of their hands. Eventually, the lucrative skin trade began to drain Diablo emotionally, but her foray into this world had a profound and, surprisingly, positive effect. Funny and fascinating, Candy Girl is a seductive treat.

I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book.

I’m not entirely clear on why the book’s subtitle was chosen, when it’s never really made clear as to why Cody would be an “unlikely” stripper. Right from the beginning of Candy Girl, the author seems to jump right on into the role of stripper and sex worker. She even seems more excited about it than her boyfriend does. I’m not at all saying that I disagree with her decision to do this – on the contrary, I think that making your own conscious choice to get into sex work could be quite liberating – but that it just doesn’t seem to fit with the way that the book is marketed.


Once you move away from that bit, the book was mostly enjoyable. Cody’s anecdotes and experiences were almost always exciting and interesting, and sometimes even jaw-dropping. There were a few times when her humour struck a funny chord with me, but I read past them so fast that they just faded into the background. For the most part, I was thoroughly amused by Cody’s story, and found myself learning more about a world that I will never really understand.

Candy Girl isn’t exactly a masterpiece of modern literature, but it was a fun light read. If that’s what you’re looking for, then I would definitely recommend this book.


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