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The Devil Wears Prada: Loved the movie? Read the book! (The Devil Wears Prada Series, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – 20 Jun 2013
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It's a killer title: The Devil Wears Prada. And it's killer material: author Lauren Weisberger did a stint as assistant to Anna Wintour, the all-powerful editor of Vogue magazine. Now she's written a book, and this is its theme: narrator Andrea Sachs goes to work for Miranda Priestly, the all-powerful editor of Runway magazine. It turns out Miranda is quite the bossyboots. That's pretty much the extent of the novel, but it's plenty. Miranda's behaviour is so insanely over-the-top that it's a gas to see what she'll do next, and to try to guess which incidents were culled from the real-life antics of the woman who's been called Anna "Nuclear" Wintour. For instance, when Miranda goes to Paris for the collections, Andrea receives a call back at the New York office (where, incidentally, she's not allowed to leave her desk to eat or go to the bathroom, lest her boss should call). Miranda bellows over the line: "I am standing in the pouring rain on the rue de Rivoli and my driver has vanished. Vanished! Find him immediately!"
This kind of thing is delicious fun to read about, though not as well written as its obvious antecedent, The Nanny Diaries. And therein lies the essential problem of the book. Andrea's goal in life is to work for The New Yorker--she's only sticking it out with Miranda for a job recommendation. But author Weisberger is such an inept, ungrammatical writer, you're positively rooting for her fictional alter ego not to get anywhere near The New Yorker. Still, Weisberger has certainly one-upped Me Times Three author Alix Witchel, whose magazine-world novel never gave us the inside dope that was the book's whole raison d'être. For the most part, The Devil Wears Prada focuses on the outrageous Miranda Priestly, and she's an irresistible spectacle. --Claire Dederer, Amazon.com
PRAISE FOR THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA:
‘This little gem mixes Sex and the City charm with dry New York wit.’ REAL
‘Sassy, insightful and sooo Sex and The City, you'll be rushing to the bookshop for your copy like it's a half price Prada sale.’ COMPANY
‘The most fun we've had in ages.’ HEAT
‘Delicious…a great insight into the world of magazines and fashion.’ REDSee all Product description
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1. Nigel in the film is an amalgamation of 2 or 3characters in the book - none of whom really have much page time. This means that there is no natural sympathiser for Andy to turn to in the office.
2. Andrea herself is actually pretty much unlikeable in the book,she has none of the charisma of her screen counter part. This was my biggest issue with the book to be honest - the main character is just so self-absorbed and just lives to have her own pity party, it drove me batty
3. In the film we do see a touch of humanity to Ms Priestly - well, towards the end we do. In the novel this is completely missing and she is painted as completely vindictive and self-centred with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
The plot is ore or less the same as that in the film so you do know what is going to happen overall. There are some significant tweaks though, particularly with Andy's living arrangements and relationships. Unusually the screenwriter has taken a rather unprepossessing novel with a great idea and turned it into broadcast gold.
I found the writing to be rather stilted and there was an awful lot of covering old ground; there are only so many ways you can describe going for coffee or answering the phone. It does feel like a one-idea book and that nothing that is put on the page should deviate from that so it does become, actually, quite boring in several places. There are some good moments but these come early on when Andy is fully subsumed by Runway magazine and still has at least half a brain and a sense of basic human dignity.
Basically if you haven't seen the film you will probably enjoy this book a lot more. If you have then probably best to steer clear as it will disappoint.
Lily is the "problematic friend", that together with Alex - the archetype of the good guy - is there essentially so that Andy can feel guilty. Guilty about what? About a demanding job. Poor Andy works late in the evening, poor Andy cannot go back to her family whenever she wants, poor Andy might not be able to leave Paris at the right time... and all of this is unacceptable for the other characters, while instead is just part of adult life - especially if you live far from your hometown, not being able to see your family or to jump on a plane when something happens.
Not to talk about the finale, which is honestly gross... I couldn't side up with Andrea, in Paris, and even later when she is so resentful I keep thinking that if she hated her job so much she should have just quitted it earlier on.
I think in the film, at least, both Miranda and Andrea are better shaped characters. Andrea is not a crying baby, she is a smart woman who impresses people around herself, and the finale actually makes sense rather than being the last tantrum of an entitled child.
Read the full review here: http://reviewdiaries.blogspot.fr/2014/10/review-devil-wears-prada-by-lauren.html
I saw the movie before I read the book, and this is one of the few cases where the movie is better than the book. So if you’re thinking about reading this after seeing Anne Hathaway turn from slouchy to glamorous, I’d really save your time.
The movie worked to make the characters likeable, both Andy and Miranda, and for there to be progress, character development, and you know, an actual plot. The book really didn’t bother. Andy remained aloof, sarcastic and whiny throughout the book and it never really felt like she grew as a person, or developed at all over the course of the year. She maybe had slightly better dress sense by the end, but there was no development, she just whinged at everyone, pushed her friends and family away and didn’t really try to integrate or work particularly hard at Runway. Yes her job was demeaning at points and yes Miranda had unrealistic expectations, but Andy never even really tried. She went out of her way to try and be obnoxious and get one over on Miranda the entire time, only for it to backfire and cause her more work as a result. It was painful to read.
I really enjoyed this book as a light and entertaining read, primarily for the acidic portrait of Miranda Priestly and the power she wields not just over her colleagues, but over the entire fashion world. Allegedly based on Anna Wintour of Vogue, the increasingly demented demands of Andy's boss become almost surreal as Andy strives to juggle her job, her parents, her love life and her friends.
As a memoir, this is great but I have to admit that the fictionalising of Andy's life feels very thin, predictable and obvious. Strands that feel like they should be important - for example, Christian, the attractive writer - simply fizzle out without going anywhere, and the issue of personal integrity vs. professionalism is very one-sided.
That said, this is funny in a dreadful kind of way, and Andy has enough charm to keep the whole thing buoyant. So I enjoyed the exposé aspect of the book, but as fiction it doesn't quite work.
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