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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

The Devil Wears Prada (Author: Lauren Weisberger)

The Devil Wears Prada (Book Cover)

Hard Going, Comprehensive, Repetitive

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Chicklit

Andrea was waiting on a call back, the interview hadn't exactly gone how she was hoping it would. She had applied to Ellias Clarke, ideally for a writer/editorial position. Writing had been all she'd ever wanted to do for as long as she could remember. The Ellias Clarke Building comprised of a number of magazine publications. Andy had memorised the names of every publication, plus it's Editor-In-Chief and anyone else who she felt might be relevant enough to be brought up. But, as fate would dictate, she was of course questioned about the one that she couldn't recall, & when asked for the name of Runway's infamous Editor-In-Chief she had.... nothing.

The telephone finally rings and the woman from Human Resources who interviewed Andy, cheerfully congratulates her on being offered the post of Miranda Priestly's second Personal Assistant at Runway. Andy is about to discover that working for the most ruthless woman in the fashion world can either make or break you in a period of a mere twelve months.

So, as in most cases with me, I saw the film first although, I wish I hadn't and I wonder if many others will have done so too. I write this review with this in mind. It was one of my favourite films up until about a year ago. I was drawn to it as it stars three of my favourite actresses, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway. I forced my partner to sit through it, which actually turned out to be quite useful as I could talk to him about the parallels between the two mediums. Anyway, I digress...when I last watched it, something made me feel a bit bored with it all...girl looks for job in journalism, girl gets hired to work for Ogre boss at fashion magazine, girl works hard at fitting into her new environment and with her colleagues, girl changes beyond all recognition in order to fit in, thereby alienating her family and old friends.....then realises she's made a terrible error and goes back to her old life.

On paper, this was a lot more tedious than on screen. I found the first half of the novel hard to get through with its constant, endless and repetitive listing of fashion labels, fashion designers and items of clothing and shoes. None of the, albeit subtle dry humour of the film comes across in the book for the first thiteen chapters (there were nineteen), and although both versions have the same lead characters, they are described very differently in the book than the on-screen cast.

Key scenes in the book did translate to the film but were then formatted completely differently and some are missing altogether. Andy is ingratiated into her new workplace without so much as a mention of her attire in the book. In the film she is teased and talked about and given a dressing down by Miranda. The car accident involves two different people. In the film, Emily is knocked down by a car, in the book Andy's best friend Lily is the driver in a drink driving incident.

The endings are also staged completely differently. In the film Andy leaves Miranda in Paris without her knowledge, in the book there is a showdown between the two women whilst in Paris. We also get to meet Andy's family in the book whereas there is no mention of them in the film..I could go on. There is however very amusing and entertaining writing within the last seven chapters that made me smile, laugh out loud and find reading it a much more enjoyable, relaxing experience.

In this instance, reading the book has re-ignited my love for the film and made me want to see it again so that's one positive. Time to unwrap that DVD. I suspect that it will be light relief after the book. There aren't many times that I claim to like the film more the book but this is one of them. The fault of course lies with those who produced in essence a quite different story to my mind, not with the Author. Some may disagree and probably will. This is the first book of a trilogy. The second and third, I suspect to like more as I have nothing to compare them to, but I shall not be reading them for a while.

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