Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Makedown

Oh the humanity. What can I say about a book that isn’t even good enough to wipe the bottom of a backwoods camper after eating fish tacos? I am not someone who endorses or supports the burning or banning of any book. Or so I thought. Now, after reading this book, The Makedown by Gitty Daneshvari, I will reluctantly agree that if someone were freezing to death, it would probably be acceptable to burn the pages of this particular tome for warmth.

I had been browsing my Twitter page one afternoon when I saw a tweet about a movie being made out of a book. This book being the one I’m reviewing now of course. Twitter has a way of making you feel like you almost know someone—or rather it makes it a little more possible to be in contact with someone in an industry you never would have had otherwise. So I figured I’d get the book and check it out, maybe tweet the author afterwards, try a little networking. Who knows. Okay, I know, it’s a long shot, but what the heck, didn’t have anything to lose.

After finally reaching the end of this awful waste of tree flesh, I clearly could not tweet about it directly to the author or publisher. Would be rather pointless. Someone had already financed this piece of crap for a motion picture and besides, I’m a lone voice among thousands. An unknown, meaningless voice. (Though I will admit, my trashing the novel on amazon.com did get one commenter’s panties in a pinch!)

That’s another thing: A plethora of 5 star ratings on amazon.com. Frankly, it shook my belief in a fair reader rating system. No way did all those people like this book! Either they were morons, or I was, or…. Or the folks leaving reviews were personal friends of the author, publisher, film company, or being paid by someone. I really just could not fathom such praise for an object that some old horse gave its life for in order to create glue for the bindings!

By this point, you have either abandoned this review, went to check amazon.com or are bristling at me, wanting me to get one with actually talking about the story. So here’s the gist of the story.
Anna Norton was an outcast loser while growing up. Overweight, bad hair, skin covered in acne, crooked teeth—the works. She escapes to New York as an adult and gets a job working for a woman with a catering company who is a complete bitch and a control freak. And not a quirky, endearing sort of control freak either. I’m talking a full on crazy nazi control bitch. She’s insulting, she’s mean. She isn’t someone an average person would want to know. At least I hope not!

This woman is Anna’s “FG”. That would be Fairy Godmother. It is with this FG that Anna becomes a “FF”. Former fatty that is. (Isn’t the author so very clever??)

After finally becoming the knock out woman Anna always wanted to be, she meets herself a man who is everything a perfect man should be: Great looking, successful, confident. What’s the problem then? Come on, you must know. Clearly he’s too good for Anna. Her “inner fatty” is too insecure and is frightened of him abandoning her. Then like a black light snapping off over a plate of pot brownies, Anna devises a scheme to keep her man.

Anna runs full steam ahead with her plan to make her new boyfriend unappealing and slovenly. She secretly switches out his protein bars for chocolate bars. She makes him depressed, she gets him to stop going to the gym. She buys entire new wardrobes of his clothing in bigger sizes so he won’t notice that he’s chubbing up. The guy misses a couple protein bars and suddenly he’s making pillow forts in the living room and inhaling whole pizzas.

The characters in this book are selfish, shallow, short-sighted, self-involved, and just plain pathetic. They are intentionally mean and manipulative and have zero endearing qualities. The author reaches for humor but falls flat on her face into a pile of horse manure. I don’t want to be melodramatic, but this thing was full of bigotry, hatred and stereotypes. My jaw had fallen so far open in shock that the bone bruised my knee. I just could not believe the stuff I was reading. On top of all the shallowness, the author even felt a need to throw in political attacks as a little icing on her ignorance cake. Her mother, the racist Republican and how it’s better to be a good, vegetarian Democrat.

Perhaps this novel was written as an in joke for the movie industry. Sort of like that movie America’s Sweethearts with John Cusack and Julia Roberts. I’m sure it was a lot funnier to people who work in Hollywood. Maybe this awful, horrible book is supposed to be like that. Benefit of the doubt. I’m trying.

If you’re looking for fun, entertaining, lighthearted chick lit, then I strongly suggest the book Notes From the Backseat. Now that was a good bit of reading!

As for The Makedown it doesn’t even warrant a single quill. It’s been entirely plucked.


Paryb said...

Heh! I look forward to passing this one up. Kristine, have you read Youth in Revolt? I read about it and it seemed interesting, hadn't heard about it until I saw trailers for the Michael Cera movie. I was going to pick it up, but it's 20 bucks because I guess it's a stupid hardback movie release book, so I'm waiting till I hear from a reliable person if it is worth a read.

Kristine said...

Are you saying I should go read it and let you know? haha!

Paryb said...

wellll. Yes.

The Pirate said...

Just yesterday I read a tweet from Levar Burton, of RIF fame speaking of books, who mentioned that the tweets from @shitmydadsays are just now being made into a tv series pilot. W. Shatner has been pegged to play the dad:)

Good books I've just read, or am reading: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Micheal Pollan and Why We Make Mistakes by Pulitzer winning author Joseph T. Hallinan