Most helpful critical review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2014
I’ve just finished reading the Kindle edition of The Real Diana, and the fact that I actually got from cover to cover indicates to me that this book is not all THAT bad. It’s worth a read. However, there is so much not to like. Tone is one thing. For the first 30% of this book, the author repeats variations of ‘mentally ill’ so often that when she attempts to say anything nice about Diana it comes across as damning with faint praise. I’m glad I kept reading. At just past 50%, she outlines her connections and qualifications for writing, which might have been on the hardback book jacket, but would have made much more sense near the front of a Kindle book. The same coterie is quoted over and over ad nauseam throughout, so surely we now know who the author’s close friends are. No matter how it was actually written, this book reminded me vaguely of my grandmother, seated at a small writing desk, capturing her innermost thoughts for posterity on vellum paper with a fountain pen—it is of another time and place…and class, as the author is so quick to point out. It’s a gossipy book, which I have to say I enjoyed, taking everything I read with a grain of salt. I didn’t know Diana. She was unreal to me in life, and is more so in death, so I have no way of knowing whether anything written here is real or true, and much of this story we will never know. This is one woman’s opinion, the author’s, and she has strong views (both pro and con) about certain people which she does not hesitate to share. She does attempt to be fair to her subject in her own unique way. However, without knowing anything about anything, I can say there are some moments in this book where the author goes seriously wrong. One notable example is her description of what happened in the tunnel, which is a convoluted mess of writing that doesn’t paint a clear word picture of any event, discusses driving on the right in great detail yet may involve a proofreading error (made absolutely no sense to me), diverges into flashing lights and photos from the speed camera she already stated wasn’t working, and digresses into how this mystery must be solved to keep us all safe on the roads? This book is filled with, as comedian Arsenio Hall was fond of saying, ‘Things that make you go hmmm'.