Thursday, March 19, 2009

Review: The Devil Wears Prada





The Devil Wears Prada
By Lauren Weisberger
360 pages





I think that this book is best suited to read when you are lounging in the sun by the lake/pool/beach. But, I read it for the Winter Book Challenge topic "Read a book that you've already seen the movie of." I really loved the movie The Devil Wears Prada. I thought that it was funny and touching and Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway are great, so when I saw this at the library sale for a quarter, I picked it up!

The book starts out pretty similar to the movie. Andrea "Andy" Sachs is hired as a junior assistant for the editor of Runway magazine, Miranda Priestly. Miranda is an insanely powerful woman in the fashion industry and is not the easiest woman to work for, to put it lightly. Andy is hoping that her year of servitude to a demanding and bitchy Miranda will help her to be placed in a position as a writer for The New Yorker. As she gets her life more and more taken over by Miranda's "needs", Andy begins losing her friends, family, and self along the way. Finally, Andy has to make a decision between her career and her friends and moral values when something happens to her best friend while she is in Paris with Miranda. Does she stay and lose her friend? Or does she go and lose her job and future opportunity?

SPOILERS: The main difference between the book and the movie is that in the book, Miranda never has a real human moment. There's one short conversation with Andy where she tells her that she's not doing a terrible job and says that she may get a referral from her for The New Yorker, but that's it. She's really just a mean, nasty person. In the movie, Meryl Streep's Miranda is trying to be unseated from her editor position and is having marital problems so you begin to sympathize with her (as does Andy). Movie Andy quits her job solely because Miranda tells her that Andy is just like her when she was younger. Book Andy quits because not only did Miranda say that Andy was like her, but also her best friend was in a car accident (due to her downward spiral into alcoholism) and is in a coma back home and when Andy tells Miranda that she is going to stay in Paris despite her friend being in the hospital and Miranda approves, Andy gives her a hearty "F*$& you!" and storms off to return to her family and friends.

It seems like the movie just tries to make everything less controversial than the book. No alcoholic best friend, no mean but with a good heart boss, and no huge moral dilemma facing main character. It's tough to like a movie, then read the book and see how much more the movie could have been because I'm starting to feel that I didn't like the movie as much as I thought. I think that the movie people could have hit on some much tougher issues (like alcoholism and making the right choices) than it did now that I've read the book. But oh well, just another case of "book better than the movie" syndrome! Luckily I got to enjoy the movie first this time!

8 out of 10 stars for the book. Would be a great, light summer read.

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