Dan Venning's Reviews > Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work

Gunn's Golden Rules by Tim Gunn
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Sep 13, 2011

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Read on September 12, 2011

This book was given to me as a gift, so it's not characteristic of books I usually read. (It was given to me by a neighbor when I was injured, and although I didn't read it until I was recovered, I thought I should). It falls somewhere between a memoir, an etiquette manual, a set of epigrams for living life with examples to support them, a series of gossip columns, and a behind-the-scenes look at Project Runway, which I don't watch.

The book does assume a thorough knowledge of Project Runway, so if you haven't been watching the show religiously, a few sections, although entertaining, will have no impact.

The rest of the book, though, is thoroughly entertaining. I must admit that this is not my usual type of book, and so I'm probably not particularly well suited to reviewing it. On the other hand, Tim Gunn's stories are always engaging, his voice is present throughout the book. However, although this is the case, Tim Gunn wrote the book "with Ada Calhoun," and the degree of co-authorship is unclear. I suspect that large chunks of the book may in fact come from oral interviews conducted by Calhoun, since several chapters have a sort of frenetic stream-of-consciousness quality (and lack of focus) that comes more from speech than from writing.

Still, it was an entertaining and quick read. At times Gunn's stories are quite moving and his personal confessions also serve as an interesting window into the life of an artist, teacher, and arts administrator who, it appears, became massively famous both through hard work and lucky circumstance. Recommended (only) for fans of Project Runway and/or Tim Gunn, or for those who are interested in the gossip of the fashion world, or big fans of self-actualization/help books.

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