I love the movie Clueless, and I know it's a popular movie (otherwise, why would they show it on TV so often?), but I don't think I realized it was enI love the movie Clueless, and I know it's a popular movie (otherwise, why would they show it on TV so often?), but I don't think I realized it was enough of a cultural icon/phenomenon to warrant its own book. I guess I was wrong.
The book is an oral history (Duh!) about the making of the movie and the impact it's had on pop culture, the movie industry, girl power, etc. Chaney interviews pretty nearly everyone you could think of when talking about the movie: all of the stars (even some "Who?" characters), the writer/director, producers, makeup department, wardrobe department, music department, the studio, PR, bands that were on the soundtrack... If they had a major hand (and even some not-so-major hands) in the movie or its process, their words are in here, which makes for a pretty thorough take on the movie. Oh, right, also Jane Austen scholars, pop culture scholars, members of the fashion industry... I think the only people not interviewed were 1) me and 2) the friend who introduced me to the movie.
I'm not sure I completely agree with every conjecture Chaney and some of the scholars make, like that Clueless inspired X, Y, and Z teen movies or Austen revivals (Just because they came later doesn't mean they were inspired by. To refer to Pres. Bartlet, "Post hoc ergo propter hoc: After it therefore because of it. It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it's not always true. In fact, it's hardly ever true." *sigh* West Wing, how I love you.), but I will agree with them on some of their claims that it's perhaps the *best* inspired-by-Austen movie, or (one of) the best girls-aren't-stupid movie. And it definitely did inspire a new lexicon, and perhaps some fashion (Although, one of the interviewees said that *everyone* in her school the next year was dressed like Cher and her classmates. Dang, I knew I was from Hicksville [okay, not really], but *no one* I knew or saw dressed in any way like the movie. We all just kept to our jeans and t-shirts, or maybe some fancy blouse for the more fashion-minded. Not even a fuzzy-topped pen to be seen.).
Even if you don't agree with the bold and grand statements put forth by the interviewees and Chaney, this book is still a great trip down memory lane. After reading about the TV show, I decided it's been a few years (uh... decades?) since I saw the show, so I decided to Google it, and found a whole slew of episodes on YouTube (and I was quite amazed by how much of the episodes I still remember, and the fact that I immediately began singing along with the theme song, word for word!) And the Clueless (TV show) Barbies! I remember when those came out!
So yes, this is definitely a fabulous trip down memory lane, and has quite a bit of insight into the casting process, scriptwriting, shopping it to studios, logistics of filming and advertising a movie... on and on. ...more
I don't often suggest watching the movie rather than reading the book, but I think the movie was so well done that the book doesn't give you much of aI don't often suggest watching the movie rather than reading the book, but I think the movie was so well done that the book doesn't give you much of anything that the movie was lacking. Still, though, it's a good book; but the movie was SO good, it feels like it's just as good as the book (even though there were some scenes made up for the film)....more
It seems as though EVERYONE was reading this book a few months ago, but I had no desire for it. (Okay, c'mon, the cover looks like chicklit. I wouldn'It seems as though EVERYONE was reading this book a few months ago, but I had no desire for it. (Okay, c'mon, the cover looks like chicklit. I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole.) Then they made a movie out of it. Great, *another* chickflick made from chicklit. Whoop-dee-doo. But then I saw a commercial the other day that actually made it look like an interesting story, and not so chicklity. So, now, book is on to-read list.
So I think that day (Aug. 6) I broke down and requested the book from the library. At the time, I was around the 600-something person in line for the book. A few weeks ago I checked my status again, and I was up to #463, or something. Then out of nowhere, I'm notified that the book is in. I think my library system made a rush purchase of a few hundred new copies. So I got the book, started reading it, and did not want to stop. I probably could have finished the book in a couple of days if I didn't want to savor it so much. This was definitely one of those books that I loved so much, I never wanted it to end, so I just STOPPED READING IT. When I realized I only had 70 pages left, I couldn't bring myself to pick it up again, since I didn't want it to end.
I thought this was a really good book. A REEEEEEAAAALLY good book. Stockett tells the story from three different perspectives, along with other major characters in the story, and has a distinct but believable voice for each character. The story was funny and touching (Ooh, chicklit terms)... but not so much in a chicklit or this-is-pure-chicklit-fluff way. It was just a good story that happened to be written by a woman, about women (with a few men thrown in).
But I will say that I CRIED on the next-to-last page of the story. CRIED LIKE A GIRL. Damn you, Kathryn Stockett. Why'd you have to go and say those things? Damn you. Cried like a girl reading chicklit....more
A nice companion to the movie The King's Speech. While the book and the movie don't follow exactly the same storyline, or even portray events in 100%A nice companion to the movie The King's Speech. While the book and the movie don't follow exactly the same storyline, or even portray events in 100% the same way (the movie covers a MUCH shorter time span, and jumbles events around for dramatic purpose. Or maybe that's just me, getting lost in the European history), they're a nice complement to each other....more
A collection of interesting essays about movie and television depictions of the American presidency, both real presidents and fictional presidents, frA collection of interesting essays about movie and television depictions of the American presidency, both real presidents and fictional presidents, from the late 1800s to the early 2000s. Also includes interesting analyses of the office of the President, and how it has changed over time....more
I put this on my to-read list when it was first published, but hadn't gotten around to reading it before the movie (The Social Network) came out. So,I put this on my to-read list when it was first published, but hadn't gotten around to reading it before the movie (The Social Network) came out. So, movie came out in the second half of 2010, my mom and I both kind of wanted to see it, so we went. Now I'm finally getting around to reading the book, and hrmmm.... Maybe it's because I saw the movie first, but the book just seems flat (Not that the movie was all that complex or profound either). I know at least a few of Mezrich's books are more like historical fiction ("Well, this isn't *quite* how the story happened, but it's how I'm writing it," "Well, maybe these people didn't *really* say these things, but it makes a good story," and since Mark Zuckerberg wouldn't meet with Mezrich about this book, it's all based on what others said. And when Mezrich would write over and over "We can imagine...", ugh, it irked me.), so maybe I'm just taking the whole thing with a REALLY BIG grain of salt, and therefore can't get into it since I don't know what's real and what's made up. Why give yourself in to a "true story" when there's a good chance that 80% of it isn't true at all?
Okay, done with the book. My opinion didn't change much as I continued reading. This book was written like it could be a movie (short, descriptive, in-your-face, pack-a-punch chapters would do well as quick scenes with smash cuts between them), which makes it an interesting style. However, judging the book next to the movie that came from it, I think the movie might be better. It was touched up by the wonderful Aaron Sorkin, giving it a more well-rounded feel, and more dimension than it felt like Mezrich originally gave his prose. If you had to choose between reading the book and watching the movie, I'd say just watch the movie (which I almost never say). There are definitely a few good chapters in Mezrich's book (mostly the ones explaining the logistics of a social networking site, and why this was such a revolutionary idea), but overall, the movie was better and more worth the time and money.
However, the book (and the whole Facebook thing, really) does make me feel like a failure. These kids, way younger than I am, created this big thing, did all these computer geek creations, invented this huge social revolution... why wasn't I that intelligent at the age of 20? Or even now??
Eleven critical essays on Aaron Sorkin's works Malice, A Few Good Men, The American President, Sports Night, and The West Wing:
Introduction and interEleven critical essays on Aaron Sorkin's works Malice, A Few Good Men, The American President, Sports Night, and The West Wing:
Introduction and interview with Aaron Sorkin - Thomas Fahy. Mannerist Noir: Malice - Robert F. Gross In Plain View and the Dark Unknown: Narratives of the Feminine Body in Malice - Susann Cokal Athletes, Grammar Geeks, and Porn Stars: The Liberal Education of Sports Night - Thomas Fahy A Phantom Fly and Frightening Fish: The Unconscious Speaks in Sports Night - Douglas Keesey His Girl Friday (and Every Day): Brilliant Women Put to Poor Use - Kirstin Ringelberg Depictions of the U.S. Military: Only "A Few Good Men" Need Apply - Fiona Mills Giving Propaganda a Good Name: The West Wing - Ann C. Hall Handling the Truth: Sorkin's Liberal Vision - Spencer Downing Virtue From Vice: Duty, Power, and The West Wing - Nathan A. Paxton Women of The West Wing: Gender Stereotypes in the Political Fiction - Laura K. Garrett The Republic of Sorkin: A View From the Cheap Seats - John Nein
The major themes of the essays were generally things I'd never really thought about in Sorkin's work before, like sexism/feminism, using higher education as a weapon, and power + virtue. Also often discussed was Sorkin's ideal vision of government/politics, America, and American society. Very interesting articles....more
I had a lot of trouble with this book at first, because there were many points that were SO different from the movie, and when a movie is suc3.5 stars
I had a lot of trouble with this book at first, because there were many points that were SO different from the movie, and when a movie is such a classic, it's hard to accept any differences. As I read, though, I was able to take the book as its own entity, and I really started liking it.
However, the super-descriptive/flowery language and analogies and similes were a little much. ...more
I'm glad I read this book *after* seeing the movie (multiple times). I think if I read and knew the book first, I would have been disappointed in theI'm glad I read this book *after* seeing the movie (multiple times). I think if I read and knew the book first, I would have been disappointed in the movie. The movie is good and charming, but the book is even better. Plus, while the movie stays true to the book for the most part, there are many parts that are different, and parts that were changed drastically for the movie.
Mech. I just couldn't get into this. Palahniuk has a very distinct writing style in this book (This is the first of his books that I've read, so I donMech. I just couldn't get into this. Palahniuk has a very distinct writing style in this book (This is the first of his books that I've read, so I don't know if it's unique to this book, or common for him), but for some reason, I just couldn't get down with it. I've read other books with similar styles and had no problem, but I just couldn't do it on this one. Maybe my problem was that I've seen the movie and the movie is so cinematically stunning, and the book couldn't compare. Or maybe that wasn't it. Maybe it was because it's harder to turn away from disturbing words (i.e. the fight scenes) than it is to turn away from disturbing images in a movie. I don't know. But for whatever reason, I just couldn't get into this book. I skipped to the big reveal, because I wanted to see how Palahniuk wrote it. It was an "Oh!" moment, but that was it. Maybe if I'd read the whole book and had never seen the movie I'd be more shocked and "Wait... what?!?!" and had to go back and re-read sections. But as it was, it was just an "Oh!"/matter-of-fact moment, since I already knew what was going to happen, and that was really the only part of the book I read after page 50 (Nancy's Rule of 50). This might have been groundbreaking when it first came out, before there was a movie, but for me, having seen the movie, I didn't need the book; it paled in comparison....more
I read this sometime after the movie came out, mainly to see what all the commotion was about. It didn't become my favorite book in the world, but I aI read this sometime after the movie came out, mainly to see what all the commotion was about. It didn't become my favorite book in the world, but I also didn't loathe every minute I spent reading it. ...more
I don't even know where to begin talking about the plot of this book. It's ... drugs .... lots of drugs ... and craziness. A guy and his attorney go tI don't even know where to begin talking about the plot of this book. It's ... drugs .... lots of drugs ... and craziness. A guy and his attorney go to Las Vegas to cover a motorbike race, then a drug enforcers' convention on a lark, all while completely whacked out of their minds on drugs and alcohol (in 1971, by the way). You can imagine what kind of craziness follows.
Here's why I actually liked the book, or at least why I was able to get into it: Many moons ago, I took a Chicano Studies class and we read two books by Thompson's "Samoan attorney," so I kind of felt like I already knew a little of the backstory (or the frontstory, since I think Oscar Zeta Acosta's books came out--and took place--after Fear and Loathing). It was also interesting to weave the two views of his personality into one as I read: Thompson's portrayal of him in Fear and Loathing, and his portrayal of himself (which is itself multi-sided) in his books Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo and Revolt of the Cockroach People.
I also love the drawings in the book. Ralph Steadman's illustrations are totally trippy! So perfect....more
Ah, this book was wonderful! The movie is so amazing and so vivid in my head that I was worried the book wouldn't live up to the memory of the movie.Ah, this book was wonderful! The movie is so amazing and so vivid in my head that I was worried the book wouldn't live up to the memory of the movie. However, the book was just as engrossing as the movie. LOVED it! It totally sucked me in and was a total page-turner.