Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A Dishonest Takedown of "Revenge Wears Prada"

N.Y. Daily News Critic Shows True Colors in Review. Green With Envy?

I've done enough reviews of music, TV, films and books to know that, over time, you're going to dislike more than you like. It's part of the game.

No doubt, it's also more fun to write reviews of dreck. The adjectives flow more freely. You're angry that you had to waste your time--notwithstanding the fact that you're getting paid to do so--and you want the world to know that in no uncertain terms. But at least when I did a takedown I was fair. And honest.

The same can't be said about Sheryl Connelly, the book editor at the Daily News in New York (given how the News has been gutting its staff lately I'm surprised Connelly is still on the payroll, but that's for another day).

Connelly went into the storeroom for a few extra gallons of venom to review "Revenge Wears Prada," the sequel to mega-bestseller "The Devil Wears Prada," by Lauren Weisberger. The book, which was released today, will undoubtedly attract a lot of attention and sales based on its pedigree. Connelly, shall we say, is not a fan. In fact, she's more bitchy about Revenge AND Weisberger than Miranda Priestly on her worst day.

Sure, she's entitled to her opinion, such as it is. But where I have a problem is at the end of the review when Connelly writes:

Full disclosure: In a recent conversation with the author, I told her I liked “Revenge Wears Prada.”

I lied politely only because the truth would have been as bad as the book.

It's dubious enough that critics are hanging out with those they would write about. It's not something you're supposed to do. But that Connelly would not only lie but seem to relish in telling us that she did so is bad form.

Lied politely? How about not saying anything at all? In that sense, Connelly is no better than many of the characters she professes to hate in the book.

Full disclosure: Lauren and her husband Mike are friends. And I haven't read the book yet. But trust me, she doesn't need me or anyone else to stand up for her. She'll do just fine, thank you, even in the face of reviewers who have an agenda--likely rooted in deep-seated jealousy that a young author hit it big, real big on her first try--that goes way beyond evaluating the worth of the book.

And that's the truth, more than Connelly is able to muster.

1 comment:

Donna Farrer said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with your stating that people hate when a young author "hits it big". they hate, cause that's all they can do. You should take a look at Christina Geaorge, she has The Publicist out, and it's similar to the "Prada" novels as it;s about strong female characters in high positions. A phenomenal read! A must on any TBR list in the chick lit genre! thepublicist.com is the book site, worth a look!