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Wacky Chicks: Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women
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Wacky Chicks: Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  472 ratings  ·  79 reviews
In his bestselling Wacky Chicks, irreverent social commentator and humor writer Simon Doonan introduces readers to a bracing cross section of exuberantly unconventional women: comedienne Amy Sedaris; fashion designer turned park ranger Spider Fawke; Warhol muse Brigid Berlin; Suzanne Bartsch, the woman who showed Madonna how to vogue; and many more. Distinguished primarily ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 2nd 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2003)
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Madison
This was not what I was expecting. What I thought was going to be an expose on strong independent women who are finding new ways to break through the infamous glass ceiling, turned out to be a talk-show style over the top feature about women portrayed as stereotypical privileged New Yorkers.

If you do any outside research you'll find that many of the women Simon Doonan profiles have led fascinating, and often, glass-ceiling breaking lives, but his cliche interview style doesn't do these women ju
...more
Christine
Perhaps no portrayal of wacky women can ever match Auntie Mame.

The book is a bit of a disappointment. A short easy read, and yet I am having difficulty finishing the book. I have neither been drawn in by the discussion of the women nor all that entertained by the "wackiness" of the chicks.
Perhaps it is my lack of knowledge of fashion icons from the 70s and 80s....
Perhaps it is my lassitude towards the "wackiness" of each woman as defined by their wardrobe...
Perhaps it is that I too know and ha
...more
Janice
Fun and interesting and yes, inspirational book to read on vacation. Has me thinking about the "wacky chicks" I know - and wish I knew more of. I believe the founding mothers of our organizations like Women Helping Battered Women and HOPEworks (formerly the Women's Rape Crisis Center) were all "wacky chicks". There are a few younger women I would put in this category and envy - me, I have my moments, but obviously have work to do to become a member of the WC hall of fame. "Wacky chicks are belli ...more
Brisbride13
This was, by far, one of the most disappointing books I have ever read! My husband and I were looking at this section in the library and both of us went to grab it at the same time; the pink caught both of our eyes. The title grabbed us right away and I swear we both said this book was about me as soon as I read "life lessons from fearlessly inappropriate and fabulously eccentric women." Honestly I have never heard of any of these women, and the fact that they were almost all clothing mongers or ...more
Amy
Sep 11, 2008 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoirs
A very interesting, if sometimes over detailed account of some pretty extraordinary women. These ladies have one thing in common, they are all completely comfortable with being themselves, no matter what the rest of the world may expect.

Author Simon Doonan creates a virtual glossary of terms to describe these women and their eccentricities. All wacky chicks must embody certain qualities that he spells out with the acronym B.R.U.N.C.H. They must be considered belligerent, resilient, uninhibited,
...more
Thirstyicon
Wow. I was going to rate this book 3 stars, but after glancing at the reviews (I know, never read the comments!), I went with 4. Clearly a number of people have no idea who Simon Doonan is (Google it, or read the About the Author section), nor do they know many of the Wacky Chicks he talks too. I would assume the latter is why he wanted to write the book. Frankly, I was disappointed how short the Amy Sedaris section was; because I LOVE her, and could read about her for days.

One thing that stuck
...more
Pamster
Okay maybe five stars. I cannot believe how much I enjoyed this crazyass book. A gift from Nina years ago, finally picked it up, and have spread out the reading for a month. Pretty much loved. Changing from 4 to 5 stars right this inst. Okay, there was just so much crazy shit in there. I don't care so much about the whole structure of "wacky chicks do this and that," it's more the specific women about whom he tells stories. Like Amy Sedaris obviously, but also tons of others I didn't know about. ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
What is a Wacky Chick? The author,
Simon Doonan, defines a Wacky Chick
as a person who is BRUNCH: Belligerent,
Resilient, Unhibited, Naughty, Creative,
and Having Hilarity. Whoa, Doonan!
Many of your Wacky Chicks are way past wacky
and on their way to Psycho Chicks.
You yourself note that there is a fine line
between "functional wackiness and
raging insanity." Well, most of your chicks
have crossed over to the other side of the road....
(We'll not question why.)
liz
Wacky chicks are a burgeoning and highly entertaining phenomenon. Wacky chicks will change the world. Wacky chicks dare to annoy. Wacky chicks empower themselves and others without acting like blokes. Wacky chicks are having more fun than regular chicks and all men, except maybe gay men. Wacky chicks are disapproval-immune. Wacky chicks are like grown-up Eloises. Wacky chicks are belligernent, resilientm uninhibited, naughty, creative, and hilarious--i.e., wacky chicks are B.R.U.N.C.H.

Being six
...more
Catherine
Loved this. I actually read this in ARC form, which may or may not have anything to do with its falling apart at the spine, its pages now billowed to the wind, somewhere. I am more interested in blaming its eventual disintegration as an inevitable result of having been read and re-read too many times. I would actually give it 4 1/2 stars, because some of the WCs (as Doonan calls them) were not entirely interesting to me, but each brought a different face to wackitude.

I loved Doonan's ethologica
...more
Kat
I confess that my feelings about this book are biased due to it being a gift from a very inspiring and special woman.

This book is a collection of mini-biographies of women who defy expectations and truly embrace who they are and what they wish to be regardless of social or familial pressures. It is a particularly inspiring read for anyone sitting a point in their life where they are embarking on something new and feel afraid or unsure of whether they will land on their feet. A perfect gift to a
...more
Shannon Myers
This book is much more informative than the other, more humor-based books. Whatever! He's still hilarious in this one and this book proved he knows his ish and researches the crap out of his subjects. I'm so impressed with this fun, almost academic profile of 14 weird/creative/passionate ladies.

Also, everyone that rated this book badly has the same complaint--"I thought a book about Wacky Chicks would have more people like me. :(" Sigh, some people.
Susan Baranoff
Slow to start, not much better at the end, this British author tries to make a case for loving fringe element women who can at best be called odd. Some ate tragic, some are fun, I just kept hoping one of them would rise above and the.price of admission worth it. Fail.

The second star is for effort. He does try in his name dropping way to remind us of the not so well known women behind the trends. Or maybe I'm just not hip enough to get it.
Jessica
This was my first introduction to Doonan's writing- picked it up on a whim (LOVED the cover!) at the airport while I awaited my flight that I took when I moved to Japan. I'm so glad that I brought this with me- I'm not for "inspirational" books, but this was so damn downright hilarious that it inspired admiration for all of those fabulous women who grace these pages.
Maurean
Nov 23, 2008 Maurean rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maurean by: bookring
hmmm...well, I guess I'm just not the "wacky chick" I thought I was, nor did I enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. Bits were interesting, I admit, but not as much as I had expected. Maybe its the 'British thing' I don't get...maybe its just me! Anyway, thanks for sharing it, just the same...hopefully the next reader will be wackier than I!!
shannon
really i got it because the wait for "confessions of a window dresser" is so long at the library. terrible, embarrasing name and cover.

but for the subthesis feminism has accomplished all it needs to because a handful of almost solely white chicks get to run around acting like auntie friggin mame, was an interesting enough read, i guess.
Mary
Enjoyed it, and the subject matter, too - real wacky chicks - independent, enthusiastic women who march to the beat of a different, each individual, drummer - he has known and loved. Inspirational, too - makes me want to let my own wacky chick shine! Not as hilarious as his "Nasty", but a very good read none-the-less.
Angela
Sep 29, 2008 Angela rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Angela by: the incomparable Honor Rovai
This is a fun book about eclectic women of style--the ones often ignored by the conforming standards of the highfashion world. Simon Doonan,creative director of Barneys NY and partner to design icon Johnathan Adler, pays tribute to the eccentricities and passions of women living life on their own stylish terms.
Sascha
This book is the best self help not self help book ever! Simon Doonan is one of the greatest wits of our time. I would even go so far as to call him the Oscar Wilde of our time. I adore him, I read his column religiously and this book made me laugh it made and it made me cry it changed my view on life. Love it!
Robyn
As a writer, Simon Doonan is very much like David Sedaris. If you love one, I bet you will love the other. Very witty, and hilarious, and I actually learned a few things from this book. Bravo to Doonan for writing this book, and giving these awesome eccentric women some of the glory that they deserve!
Kate
This is a great collection, though somewhat uneven. The fabulous Doonan seems to have petered out in the last couple of chapters. Maybe he lacked the same passion for his subjects (he seems to love most the design/fashion/nighlife doyennes).

Still, a great read, full of iconoclasts. He is a bangup writer.
Vance
The idea for this book is solid, but the execution is -- well -- not so interesting. As they are in real life, most of these "wacky chicks" in print quickly become tiresome. I'm finding it a chore to read all the way through (something just the opposite of Doonan's other books.)
Misty
A quick fun read from our favorite window dresser! If you're looking for serious style tips, move on. If you're looking for a chuckle and someone who's not afraid to point out how silly fashion can be sometimes - no matter how much we love it - then you've found the right book.
Elizabeth
This is exactly my type of book. I love weird women who own their odd talents and passons, and this is definitely filled with them! My fave woman was the one who collected all the 50s kitsch. I REALLY would love to see her house! And Simon Doonan is hilarious. 4 stars.
Virginia
I found this book far more depressing than inspiring. I'm not entirely sure why.

And, interestingly, I ran into Mr. Doonan on the street the other day outside of Barney's. Kinda cool. I think he was a little surprised that I recognized him.
Jillian
I really liked this book up until the last few chapters: The Wacky Chicklettes and The Dark Side. Both chapters seemed out of place, and the conclusion was pointless. Overall, I liked most of it so well that I still gave it four stars.
Shannan
The premise seemed all right and I definitely appreciated the subject matter. I heard the author on The Moth podcast and he was really entertaining. the book didn't live up to my hope. Oh well, it was a good shot
Becca Stokes
Look, I'm not one to bandy about phrases like "girl power"...much less "grrl power" - but this book is a must for any lady who is on the verge of losing her power - never surrender! Embrace your wackiness!
Laura
This book makes me look normal (and even feel a little bit boring)! His writing style is super fun, and the chicks he write about could be their own fiction characters. An excellent fluffy read.
Muffy Kroha
Nov 15, 2007 Muffy Kroha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fashion People
Hate the Title Love the book- Great profiles of the fashion habits of some of Simon Doonan's favorite lady friends including the fabulous Lisa Eisner, who likes to dress like Sammy Davis Jr.
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Simon Doonan (born 1952) is the Creative Ambassador-at-Large of the New York City-based clothing store Barneys.

Source: Wikipedia.
More about Simon Doonan...
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