Book review: The Devil Wears Prada

This is one of the book turned movie novels that I’ve only gotten around to reading recently.

I enjoyed this movie, but had never thought to pick up the book. I only read it recently, and I’m glad I did.

With summer upon us (today!), this is a great summer read.

Andie is a recent college graduate, seeking a job in journalism in New York City. The search isn’t going very well until she interviews at the fictional “fashion Bible” Runway magazine for a position as assistant to the legendary fashion editor, Miranda Priestly.

With little interest in fashion, Andie nevertheless willingly accepts the position (“The job a million girls would kill for”), believing it will be a springboard to her real dream job in journalism.

She expects tough. She expects demanding. She expects a steep learning curve. But she’s totally unprepared for the abuse she will put up with on a daily basis to please her psychopathic boss.

True, unlike most bosses from hell, Miranda at least heaps on the abuse with a gentle voice and clad in a stylish wardrobe. But as readers, we’re just waiting for the other Manolo to drop and Andie to get the heck out of Dodge and give up her stint at indentured servitude, albeit in great clothes.

I speak as someone who really enjoyed the movie, but who still recognizes Hollywood’s unique talent for ruining a good story.

They did in this case.

Meryl Streep is brilliant in the role of Miranda Priestly, but her character has a kindness about her (buried deep, but still there) that leaves viewers with that distinct, Hollywood screenplay feel.

I preferred the cruel, narcissistic novel version, and since half of the fun is our knowledge that this is a fictionalized version of the author’s own experience working as an editorial assistant for the “real” Runway, the book version of the editor/boss-from-hell rings much more true. That’s the version I would have preferred in the film.

Enjoy this glimpse into the fashion world … from a safe distance. And, Schadenfreude anyone? Be very, very grateful Miranda’s not your boss.

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