Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada

Yeah, I know DWP is not the height of literature but I’m a stay at home mom and I tend to read some pretty fluffy stuff. Theoretically this is a step up from my usual romance novels.

This movie just came out and the preview looked cute so I thought I’d read the book to see what it was about. I was unprepared for the sheer number of pages of train wreck-ocity. I wanted to stop reading but just I couldn’t put it down. The main character floats into a job at a fashion magazine, is tortured extensively by the editor-in-chief and somehow loses her ability to make decisions until the end of the book when she suddenly realizes that she can quit and find another job. I didn’t like the unnatural focus on women’s appearance or the fact that the editor-in-chief had zero redeeming qualities other than her status as editor. There was a big section in the middle where I hated all the characters. That sounds like I didn’t like the book and for the most part, I’d say that’s pretty accurate.

But despite all of that, there was something there that kept me turning pages. For one, Lauren Weisberger has a pretty good ear for conversation. She has some good scene construction. And it was funny, funny, funny maybe in some spots not how she intended it to be but I laughed anyway. And in the end the main character finds her spine and does something more positive with her life (like go and write a thinly-veiled novel account of her life).

I loaned DWP to Jessica so I’m anxious to hear her review of it.

What I’m reading now and will review next: David Sederis’ Me Talk Pretty One Day.

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13 Comments

  1. on August 8, 2006 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve read David Sedaris’s book. It’s a good read. My wife also thoroughly enjoyed it. That was the book that made my wife decide that she and I should apply for Mensa. (I made it, she didn’t and I dropped out after two years in it. Didn’t really do anything for me)

  2. on August 8, 2006 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    What specifically about that book brought out the Mensa applications? I haven’t finished it yet, so is there an essay about Mensa there?

    I’m sure that if Stephen and I were to apply it would be much the same story and what fun is that?

  3. on August 8, 2006 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Yes there is a story in there on Mensa, and I agree. We wanted something fun we could do together. I found that a good portion of the people in Mensa have no people skills. They seem to be lonely people who only know how to deal with Mensans. I’m sorry, I’m just not that shallow.

  4. on August 8, 2006 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I started reading last night. I only got 12 pages in though because I was sooo sleepy! At this rate, it may be a while before you get my review. 😉

  5. Dan Shiovitz
    on August 8, 2006 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I liked the movie of DWP, although based on the wikipedia page I get the impression that it is somewhat loosely based on the book. The boss definitely has some redeeming features in the movie.

  6. Kat
    on August 8, 2006 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I read DWP a while back when it came out in paperback. It was a good book. I actually liked how she focused on the world she was in when she was at the magazine and how everyone was so focused on their appearance, because it shows you that “other side” where appearance means more than brains or people skills. I think that was even part of the point she was trying to make, even though there were times I felt like she was shoving it down my throat.

    Anyway, definitely a good book. Right now, I’m reading Heat, by Bill Buford. Review forthcoming upon my completion (which, at the rate I’m going will be sometime tomorrow).

  7. on August 9, 2006 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Dan: Bravo to you for going to see such a “chick” movie! 🙂 Glad you liked it. I have a feeling that I’d actually like the movie better than the book anyway.

    Kat: I think the focus on appearance is what made me so uncomfortable as well as the wealth of stuff they were handling and mishandling. The world she lived in was so disheartening simply becuase the focus was on things that don’t matter and Miranda was the end all be all of self-centeredness. There were points in the book where her demands where so over the top that I wanted to slap the main character around for being stupid enough for continuing to go to work everyday. But despite all that, I still couldn’t put it down, so there had to be something there.

    I read an interesting review yesterday after I posted my review. I thought I’d pass it on for those who are interested. It’s from National Review Online.

  8. on August 9, 2006 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Did Misty really just link to NRO?

    What’s next, the Drudge Report? 😉

  9. on August 9, 2006 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh, sorry, is NRO too right-wing for me? I’d never heard of them till I found this review. I liked what the guy had to say as he talked a lot about the real magazine job the author had and some of the scandal surrounding the book coming out.

  10. on August 9, 2006 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    NRO might be too right-wing for Rick. I loved it in high school, but … not so much anymore. 😉

  11. on August 9, 2006 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    The most I can say about NRO is that I recognize it as a conservative publication.

    That said, I really don’t think I’m all that far to the right!

  12. on August 9, 2006 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Rick: I’m not sure that you are all that far right you are just the right-est of the bunch of us. I also don’t think that those of us who think we are left-est are really that far left either.

  13. on August 9, 2006 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I believe that Misty is correct. 🙂

One Trackback

  1. […] A few notes: I know I’m a bit late to the David Sedaris love-in, but hey, at least I made it. I don’t usually read non-fiction, although the collection of essays in Me Talk Pretty One Day, written about David’s life, sometimes seems to border on the fictional. I borrowed this book from my mom who didn’t think it was all that funny and I was laughing like a maniac two pages in. Also, insert fluffy reading disclaimer here. […]