Anna Kendrick says she has a hard time making friends. I'll be your friend, Anna! Call me!
I already suspected as much, but this book makes it totallyAnna Kendrick says she has a hard time making friends. I'll be your friend, Anna! Call me!
I already suspected as much, but this book makes it totally clear: she would be absolutely awesome to have a beer with. This is one of the best "here are some stories and other random thoughts" memoirs I've read, from a celebrity or otherwise, mostly because it really does feel like a long rambling conversation. One where you end up snarfing at least once.
Don't miss the "Reading Group Guide" at the end; it was possibly my favorite part....more
I really should not read Hollywood novels. I'm not like some industry ~insider~ or anything, but I feel like you don't have to be to understand that sI really should not read Hollywood novels. I'm not like some industry ~insider~ or anything, but I feel like you don't have to be to understand that so many details in this book are wrong.
*A callback audition for a major network TV show would not be held in an auditorium. It is not the school play. *Said network show would not get picked up for 13 episodes before the pilot is even filmed. *I'm not sure how an accident on Highland would cause everyone to "bail onto Fairfax" when those streets are like two miles apart. *All of the Valley is not Burbank. I'm really not sure how you would stand on Mulholland Drive "looking out at the lights of Burbank." *As far as I know, there's no room at San Diego ComicCon called "the Sayers Room," and people certainly aren't allowed to stand up against the back wall for panels when the rooms are full. Also, audience members can't stand up in their seats to ask questions!
All of these issues appeared relatively close to the beginning of this novel, but I kept reading. I kept reading because, in spite of all these errors, the characters' emotional realities and the way their relationship developed rang really true to me. Those details, Turner seemed to get right: what it would be like to suddenly have your first acting success, to get to know your castmates, to have to deal with a deeply closeted boyfriend with whom you nevertheless felt a profound connection. Vince's character voice felt authentic, even if his environs often didn't.
But those mistakes kept yanking me out. And they got worse and worse as the story progressed. I didn't believe the way Turner had her imaginary network deal with promotion or controversy, I didn't believe her depiction of how talk shows work, and I didn't buy the supposed turn-around time between when episodes are filmed and when they air (this was significant to the plot). Things that I might have otherwise let slide became glaring, because unfortunately, Turner had lost her credibility with me through all these mistakes. She even misspells Emmys. ("Hold my purse for a sec, my Emmy's really heavy" = okay; "OMG, we're going to the Emmy's!" = NOPE.) I started skimming the last third of the book because, despite caring about Vince and Alex, I had lost faith in their world.
I'm sad to see that Turner hasn't published another book (this one is, I believe, from 2011) because there's a lot of promise in this: she's a good writer. But she badly, badly needed a good editor....more
A book-long pointless intellectual exercise, but a really fun and interesting one. This is my favorite Klosterman in a while: it's both more serious aA book-long pointless intellectual exercise, but a really fun and interesting one. This is my favorite Klosterman in a while: it's both more serious and thoughtful, and funnier, than his last few efforts. If you'd like the experience of a truly excellent semi-sober dinner conversation with a smart, surprising companion but in book form, well -- here it is!...more
If you float around in certain semi-pretentious bookish circles, Javier Marías is one of those names you hear tossed around, usually coupled with a stIf you float around in certain semi-pretentious bookish circles, Javier Marías is one of those names you hear tossed around, usually coupled with a statement like, “is going to win the Nobel Prize for Literature!” As pretentious as I'm sure I myself can be at times, a statement such as this is actually not likely to make me rush out and want to read a writer's work. The Nobel Prize committee and I do not seem to have terribly similar tastes. Do I need to go off again about how much I hated Blindness? No, I don't think I do.
So this guy Marías: I was suspicious. Especially because the previous work of his we'd carried was his epic Your Face Tomorrow, which I've heard described as “1,000 pages detailing 10 minutes of espionage.” Further, when I peeked at the first volume's first page, it seemed to consist of a single paragraph and some infinitely long sentences. Not really my cuppa.
But then Bad Nature arrived, and it was of a much more manageable size, and it had an amusing subtitle (or With Elvis in Mexico). I opened it up and yup, there were those long, twisty sentences again, but suddenly I found them addictive and compelling—they grabbed me like an undertow and dragged me into this bizarre, hilarious, and wonderfully dark tale of Elvis' Spanish translator and the scary shenanigans he and the King get up to in Mexico while shooting a film. This short little book really is like a whirlpool: it's exhilarating to find yourself sucked in, tossed around—narrowly avoiding some sharp rocks—and then chucked back out again. I resort to metaphor because a large portion of the joy of this story is discovering it for yourself, being surprised by it. I for one was not expecting such humor and verve. If they're at all like this, then 1,000 pages detailing 10 minutes of espionage do not sound at all bad to me. Hell, go ahead and throw in that Nobel Prize....more
This is a prequel to the very fun Star Trek relaunch, and it’s, like, supposed to make the movie’s plot make more sense or something. (Dude. Like anybThis is a prequel to the very fun Star Trek relaunch, and it’s, like, supposed to make the movie’s plot make more sense or something. (Dude. Like anybody watched that movie for the plot.) Instead, it just gives the film’s villain, Nero, the world’s most boring and cliché villain backstory ever—“My wife/girlfriend the plot device DIED! I be evil now.” See: Batman: The Killing Joke, Dr. Horrible, and, oh, basically everything EVER. Yawn. Also, every issue ends with the reveal of—surprise!—A Character You Will Recognize If You Watched NextGen. Which I haven’t. But I recognized them anyway. Thank you, fandom osmosis!
Anyway, complaints aside, this was very shiny. So there’s that....more
My boss would probably hate this book. He’s a big fan of David Denby’s Snark, and thinks bitchy criticism is the devil. I think it’s hilarious, especiMy boss would probably hate this book. He’s a big fan of David Denby’s Snark, and thinks bitchy criticism is the devil. I think it’s hilarious, especially when it’s being dealt out by a clever writer like Ebert. (I specify clever writer because, although I enjoy Ebert’s reviews very much, I don’t always agree with his taste in movies. In that I tend to like even fewer of them than he does. If this were my book, it would be called I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie, and Yes, That One Too.) Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on the second volume at some point, because reading a good excoriation of a stinky piece of crap is like a balm on my withered old snarky soul....more
The written version of Cho's fabulously funny (and now classic) one-woman show, this book is alternately hilarious and excruciating. A lot of the mateThe written version of Cho's fabulously funny (and now classic) one-woman show, this book is alternately hilarious and excruciating. A lot of the material will be familiar to those who know Cho's act (though she left out the lesbian cruise/"Where's MY parade?" bit! WHY?), but there's also lots--and lots and lots and lots--of Cho's struggles with body issues, with drugs, with disastrously low self-esteem. I appreciate that Cho went through all of that, and that she overcame it, but it is painful to read about, especially when for much of the book, the balance is toward "here are all the horrible things that happened to me and how shitty I felt about myself" rather than "and here's what I learned/how I moved beyond it all." Ultimately, unlike the show, this book is not comedic, it's depressing--it made me feel bad. Which doesn't in the least make this a book that shouldn't have been written, but does make it one that I don't really want to read....more