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14 August 2011 @ 09:53 pm
#18 (+ misc)  
Something From Tiffany's, Melissa Hill

As far as I recall, Melissa Hill won a publishing contract on some daytime TV show writing contest. I read her first book many years ago, back when chicklit formed almost the entirety of my reading staple, and remembered being impressed with the twist in the tale. That, and the fact that the name 'Tiffany's' awakes my inner magpie, led me to read this book.

Well, Tiffany's has got a lot to answer for. So do the people who let a rank amateur get not just one, but ten publishing contracts.

The story centres on the mix-up between two bags from Tiffany's on Christmas Eve during a minor road traffic accident. The protag, Ethan, spends the whole book being hopelessly and completely ineffectual about reversing the unintended swap of property. There is absolutely no reason for his reticence bar the fact that without it, there would be no book.

Each chapter is narrated by a different POV character who spends the first half of it retelling what happened in the last POV from their POV. IT IS PAINFUL. Hill's trademark is the bait and switch, but it wasn't very effectual in this case; she spent too much time focusing on the one-note character's asshattery for his sudden change of heart to be in any way convincing.

Oh, yeah, and did I mention the WRITING?

All of a sudden, she looked scared. "No, no, Dad. I really don't think so..." She bit her lip; the notion that she could have been the cause of all this was obviously troubling her greatly.


She couldn't remember which book it was in particular, but there was a Toni Morrison story she had read in which the main character made bread time and time again, sustaining her family and entertaining friends.

This? THIS? Is NOT how you pay homage to another writer. I don't know what book she's referring to - and apparently neither does she, wtaf - but Terri needed to be thinking of that character's name and comparing her own life to X, not feeding us a synopsis paragraph that a twelve-year old would be embarrassed to produce for English class.

The paella he'd chosen was one of the most delicious he'd ever eaten, and the accompagnying sourdough was almost literally out of this world.

... HOW. CAN ANYTHING. BE 'ALMOST LITERALLY' ANYTHING?! I could forgive this (that's a lie), but this is not the only time she uses the phrases 'literally' and 'almost literally' in blithely irritating ignorance. I know 'literally' is a word Irish people tend to misuse an awful lot, but put it in dialogue then, not your prose.

Suck upon suck. It didn't help that the book was that really awkward halfway house size between paperback and hardback. I HATE THOSE.


Sooo, The Help isn't on UK release until OCTOBER. Note to movie magnates: this is totally the way to stymie internet piracy in a world that has instantaneous connection to the fact that IN AMERICA THIS MOVIE IS IN CINEMAS RIGHT NOW WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. NOT. Oddly I had no interest in reading the book, despite the hype. Maybe it's Emma Stone. Emma Stone makes everything better.

I'm also watching The West Wing. And, well. I'm a little disturbed. Everyone praises this up and down as one of The TV Shows of the Decade, along with The Sopranos and The Wire. I'm entertained and the writing is bright and snappy - the opposite, in fact, of the hideous late nineties styling and hairdos. However, I had the notion - and I don't know where I got it - that this show was about the ideal American administration. I'm clearly wrong about that premise. I have to be wrong. The alternative is disturbing, because it would mean that the ideal American administration has no POC on the main staff, no women in the main seats of power, and no men doing menial work of any sort whatsoever. I'm just asking for one male secretary/coffee-fetcher person, actual title unknown. One!

I also thought Josiah Bartlett was supposed to be a good guy, but he's as bomb-happy as any President whose last name is Bush.

Can I also add that it's SO WEIRD to watch pre-9/11 American political drama in a post-9/11 world ...
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: the leap // mark isham
l.m.: got; catelynincandescent on August 15th, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
Ahahaha. Your reviews are priceless. I read the worst book recently (actually only three chapters), and I can't verbalize my hatred and contempt halfway as well as you can. I adore it!

Haven't really been interested in that movie. Or most movies released recently, honestly.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 15th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
If I have a talent - and if you could justifiably call it a talent - it's for whining volubly, comprehensibly and excessively about any given thing that annoys me. Which is practically anything.

I like that it's all about women.
l.m.: hp; 'mioneincandescent on August 16th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
I have a talent for inappropriate verbosity, I believe. Or an incomprehensible brusqueness.

That is a good point. I haven't seen many movies about women lately, and something emotionally centered that isn't about a disastrous relationship might be a good thing to see. I'll check out the reviews. That always helps make up my mind. You'll have to let me know what you think of it.
oh, make it non-alcoholic, I'm trying to clotort on August 15th, 2011 09:02 am (UTC)
Emma Stone really does make evrything better.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 15th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
So does Darren Criss. THEY SHOULD GET MARRIED. :D