Now a major fim starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Welcome to the dollhouse, baby! When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway she knows nothing. She's never heard of the world's most fashionable magazine, or its feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly. But she's going to be Miranda's assistant, a job millions of girls would die for. A year later, she knows altogether too much: That it's a sacking offence to wear anything lower than a three-inch heel to work. But that there's always a fresh pair of Manolos for you in the accessories cupboard. That Miranda believes Hermes scarves are disposable, and you must keep a life-time supply on hand at all times. That eight stone is fat. That you can charge cars, manicures, anything at all to the Runway account, but you must never, ever, leave your desk, or let Miranda's coffee get cold. And that at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, when your boyfriend's dumping you because you're always at work, and your best friend's just been arrested, if Miranda phones, you jump. Most of all, Andrea knows that Miranda is a monster who makes Cruella de Vil look like a fluffy bunny. But also that this is her big break, and it's going to be worth it in the end. Isn't it?
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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.comReview:
'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 'Not since the heyday of Sex and the City has a story so caught the imagination of ladies who lunch.' HARPERS & QUEEN 'The most fun we've had in ages.' HEAT 'Delicious!a great insight into the world of magazines and fashion.' RED 'Perfect reading in the bath with a flute of champagne.' EVENING STANDARD 'A fabulous book you won't put down.' THE SUN 'A fun read.' DAILY EXPRESS 'A rattling read.' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 'Laugh out loud at this fictional fash editor's outrageous shenanigans.' ELLE GIRL 'An entertaining read.' GUARDIAN from the media coverage on acquisition: 'Lauren Weisberger! recently sold the rights to a first novel called The Devil Wears Prada about the glamorous but demeaning life of an editorial assistant. At a time when The Nanny Diaries, a gossipy roman a clef, is a bestseller, Ms Weisberger's proposal drew bids from half a dozen publishers!.' New York Times May 2002 'Fashionistas will be paying attention to The Devil Wears Prada.' Independent on Sunday July 2002
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