Saturday, August 05, 2006

Book 62: The Devil Wears Prada

NUMBER: 62
TITLE: The Devil Wears Prada
AUTHOR: Lauren Weisberger
STARTED: July 29, 2006
FINISHED: August 2, 2006
PAGES: 360
GENRE: Chick Lit

FIRST SENTENCE: The light hadn't even officially turned green at the intersection of 17th and Broadway before an army of overconfident yellow cabs roared past the tiny deathtrap I was attempting to navigate around the city streets.

SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of Runway magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts Prada! Armani! Versace! at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child.

The Devil Wears Prada gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous,however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul.

REASON FOR READING: I saw the movie.

THOUGHTS: I don't know why people call Andrea Sachs character whiny. She's not whiny. She's intensely selfish and oblivious. That is why this book is bad - there is no way on earth you cal like the main character. Weiserberger may have tried to create a naive and idealistic character, but what she ended up with was a snob. She may have been a snob in reverse, but she was a snob nonetheless. While there is no excuse for the way Miranda Priestly behaves, that does not make Sachs attitude okay. Between the two of them, I was ready to throw the book across the room.

To make matters worse, the unlikeable characters were mixed in with insufficient description and horrible writing. The story is flat, the plot and narrative are all over the place, and, to make matters worse, Weisberger seems to have no idea how horrendous her prose is. Weisberger makes so many attempts to "sound" like a writer, that she complete forgets shes writing a book. This books reads like it was written by a High Schooler over summer vacation. Weisberger shows glimmers of talent here and there, but they're so faint that I was left wondering why any editor would let this book slide.

The only reason I continued to read this book was for the supporting cast. Andrea's roommate, boyfriend, and fellow Priestly assistant were the most fascinating characters of the novel. They had stories. They had substance. They had emotions. Too bad they were pushed to the periphery while Weisberger's yawning headliners took center stage.

MISCELLANEOUS: Dear god was the movie better.

KEEP/SHARE/CRINGE(?): Back to PBS it goes, and I certainly will not miss it.
RATING: 4/10 [An "okay" book, but I don't recommend it]

CR: Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
RN: Probably some sort of romance novel spree

2 comments:

Samantha said...

Thank you! I really didn't like this book either, but 3 of my friends read it and loved it. I still don't understand why the did. Good to know the movie was better, but I doubt I'll watch it.

Dance Chica said...

I just recently ordered this book. I just couldn't resist the premise. I've noticed that most people tend to say the same as you--that it's not that great and the movie is better. I guess we'll see how I like it. :)