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Publisher's Summary

From the Whore of Babylon to The Happy Hooker, eminent historian Nils Johan Ringdal has written a masterly, extremely readable world history of the world's oldest profession, spanning a wide historical swathe armed with a lively wit. Beginning with The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Old Testament, and ancient cultures from Greece to India and beyond, Love for Sale takes the listener on a tour through the entire recorded history of prostitution up to the modern red-light district. It shows how different societies have dealt with prostitutes: ancient Greece, Rome, and India incorporated them into several social echelons, including the priestess class; their close relations with artists in 19th-century Europe made them muses to the modern sensibility; the Victorians campaigned against them. It shows the similarities between medieval European heterosexuals and contemporary gay men when visiting public baths, gives lively commentary on the classic Fanny Hill and on Emma Goldman's and Eva Peron's sympathy for prostitutes, and closes with Sydney Biddle Barrows, the rise of the sex-workers' rights movement and contemporary "sex-positive" feminism, and a realistic look at the true risks and rewards of prostitution in the present day.

©1997, 2004 1997, 2004 by Nils Johan Ringdal. Danish edition 1998 by Tiderne Skifter. Translation copyright 2004 by Richard Daly. This English translation ispublished by arrangement with Tiderne Skifter, Copenhagen, and the financial support ofNORLA Non-Fiction is gratefully acknowledged. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A little dry, but interesting

The writing is a bit dry, but many of the stories are fascinating. Ringdal says he rewrote the first chapter for the English translation, but I still found it a bit confusing and unclear. I'm glad I listened, but doubt I will revisit this audiobook.

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Bored to tears -- how is that even possible?

I didn't get far into this audible. I gave up when there was a long and horrid discussion about why Mary, of Biblical fame, wasn't related to Joseph therefore their sexual relationship was A-OK -- or something like that. My eyes had glazed over by then. I expected something more based in reality, not intense investigation into thousand year old stories that may or may not be even true in the first place. And I really don't care about Biblical stories at *all*. I returned it for a refund. Maybe it got better later in the book but I doubt it. For the record: I rarely leave less than a stellar review so you know this had to be bad.

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Poor Quality Audio Product

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I couldn't fully appreciate the story, since the quality of audio editing was extremely poor. It sounded like the book was patched up from the audio pieces recorded in different studios by different people and using different technology. And I am not talking about chapters sounding different, I am talking about sentences, parts of which appear to have been erased and replaced by separately recorded pieces. Not the usual Audible's high quality standard. I struggled to keep going but had to give up after a couple of hours, and was very tempted to claim my credit back.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kahlil Joseph’s performances?

Absolutely not.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, it looks like the author has done some remarkable research on the topic, but the presentation is boring, and I am not talking about the narrator in this case.