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Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir Hardcover – July 25, 2006

127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One month after discovering her husband was having an affair, 20-something Klein made him her "Wasbund" and started trying to find a man to date again-or better, a "pair and a spare," as her telephone therapist advised. She "rodated" desperately, searching for someone to repair her wounded ego. She even found a reasonably suitable boyfriend-only she broke it off when he suggested living together. At one point she faced the truth she'd avoided from the beginning, that she had to learn to appreciate herself for her own accomplishments before she could have a healthy relationship with a man. While there's nothing new about that story line-indeed, it's curiously proto-feminist for a recent Barnard grad-Klein's sense of humor is downright wicked. Her ex-mother-in-law was a "shrub of a woman" who "sounded like she'd swallowed a southerner" and looked "like a transvestite who had a one-night stand with a disco ball." Then there's "Mr. Madras Pants," who "carried a degree in poplin with a minor in seersucker... the type of man who was at complete ease when sending his order back to the kitchen." In the end, Klein's is a great, fun read.
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“Stephanie Klein is so gut-wrenchingly honest that it’s embarrassingly entertaining to read her oh-so-real stories, even if you haven’t experienced what she’s gone through--from divorce to hating tuna fish to attending weddings alone (”Something to really look forward to, you know, like a Pap smear”).” (Jane)

“Beneath the wisecracking tales of solo supermarket shopping, phone therapy and Hamptons houseshares, the raw emotion about her divorce and nightmare mother-in-law rings true. Plus, any girl who can pen such gems as, ‘I wanted to verb his noun’, deserves respect. (Marie Claire (UK))

“Stephanie Klein’s hilarious Straight Up and Dirty is perfect beach-blanket reading.” (New York Post)

“Masterfully intertwines the breakdown of her marriage with postdivorce dating exploits…Her confessional, intimate writing style has a magnetic and often voyeuristic appeal that transcends the gloss of her Sex and the City-styleescapades.” (Daily News)

“Stephanie Klein’s raw account of divorce at age 29 is refreshingly honest and funny, without delving into cheesy chick-lit territory. You’ll easily relate to Klein—even if you don’t have a “wasband.” (Marie Claire)

“Klein’s sense of humor is downright wicked…a great, fun read.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Nothing, it seems, is too private not to share with . . . Ms. Klein’s legions of followers. And that is exactly how they like it. . . . [She is] the Carrie Bradshaw of New York bloggers.” (New York Times)

“Fearless. . . . Her adventures take her from Soho to the Hamptons—looking for love, with a cocktail in her hand.” (The Independent)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060843276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060843274
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,029,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A foodie who sometimes abuses hair care products, STEPHANIE KLEIN is an acclaimed writer and photographer with a cult-like following. Her work has been published internationally in the UK, Europe, India, Australia, Japan, China, and elsewhere, and her blog, Greek Tragedy, is visited by more than 400,000 readers a month. Klein's photography is on permanent exhibit in New York's Hotel Gansevoort. Her first memoir, Straight Up and Dirty, is currently in development as a half-hour comedy series. While she enjoys living in Austin, Texas, with her husband and twin son and daughter, she'll always be a New Yorker.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By MsManners on October 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A friend who read the author's blog fanatically reccomended the book to me, so I picked it up a few days after it was released.

I am now seriously reconsidering my friendship with her.

What a pile of dung. I can deal with self-absorption. It's the pretentiousness that made the bile rise for me. The name dropping, label obsessing, the un-oaked chardonnay, gotta marry a Jewish doctor even though the signs were there that he was a tool....You can take the girl out of Long Island, but you can't take the Long Island out of the girl.

I don't begrudge anyone for getting a big fat book deal. Good for her. Now she has all the money she needs for the perfect house, chardonnay, maternity jeans, hair products, pastries, etc.

Save your money. Read the blog. Many of the passages in the book were cut and pasted from it. Just watch out for her Kujoesque fans (apparently she saved their lives, made them better people, got them in touch with their inner pain caused by adolescent bedwetting, etc.)
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A. Matteo on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Klein is entertaining in small doses and her blog entries are worth a quick morning glance. Unfortunately, her stories lose their entertainment value rather quickly and her writing style (and personality) becomes irritating within the first chapter.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina on August 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
there are so many mean, vicious reviewers out there in amazonia, that i can't help but write this less-than-5-star review with a sense of trepidation. at the same time, i imagine that's thier point-to attack everyone who doesn't think that stephanie klein is the next joan didion (or at least candice bushnell) and thus discourage them from posting a review. well, the crazy superfans don't frighten me!

the fact is, i enjoy SK's blog a lot. while she can come across as superficial, self-centered and materialistic, she also writes great posts about her freindships, family, relationships, love, new york, self, creativity, and, of course, food. and i almost always find her blog writing to be at least decent, usually good, and sometimes really excellent (and regardless of quality, always engaging)-which is more than one can say about most blogs.

one of the reviewers wrote that if you like her blog, you'll probibly like this book, but for me that did not hold true at all. the shocking amount of name dropping, the brutal transitions between writerly descriptive passages (a strength of the blog) and, sorry SK, really, really mediocre dialouge was, to me, much more jarrring than the poorly executed but conventional interlacing of post and pre divorce life.

another reviewer mentioned specifically that the book could have been better edited, and i totally agree. i found that the many passages i recognized from the blog were the best written and did the best job of telling her story, were literary in style and visually evocative, but ten those passages of "real" writing would be followed by wierd hyper-conversational, casual dialogue and asides to the reader. and the way swearing is used in the dialouge-i don't think i've ever seen it come across as more jarring.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Uptown Girl on August 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read her blog, I'll admit it. I also think she's quite a talented photographer but, unfortunately, that talent does not extend to her writing.

I thought an editor would be able to reign in Ms. Klein's disjointed prose and be able to guider her in shaping a novel and implementing structure. Unfortunately, the book is just as erratic, self-centered and all over the place as her blog, only with a cover price. It's boring, as most of the content was regurgitated from the blog itself. Also, her attempt at introducing words such as "furkid" and "wasband" into the lexicon is nothing short of lame. Sex and the City ended, that annoying trend should've died along with it.

In sum: There's quite a difference between blog content and actual literature. Hopefully she learns the difference in time for book #2.
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73 of 84 people found the following review helpful By L. Cianci on August 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
[...] It really is nothing special. The writing is obtuse and confusing at times, and there appeared to be no "gotcha" moment for Stephanie, a point when she realized she is worthy without a man. Now, I will admit I'm not her target audience, so perhaps that has something to do with my lukewarm feeling about the book. But regardless of her audience, Stephanie's writing is choppy and at times nonsensical. I lost count of how many times she mentioned her breasts and wearing a "wife-beater" -- or 'beater for short. And she referred to diarrhea at least twice as "'rhea." Seriously? I give her credit for putting her life completely out there, but some self-revelations would have been nice.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By S. Coult on August 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm not usually a critical person, but this book is ridiculous. As the front and back covers are made up of photographs of the author who looks like she is posing for hair product commericals, I guess it's not a surprise that this book is so self-absorbed to the point of nausea. If you are looking for a book about a woman who likes to victimize herself and needs people to tell her how funny she is, how strong she is and above all how beautiful her hair is (I think her hair is mentioned every ten pages or so), then you might enjoy reading about her multi-page dialogues with her phone therapist about why she should love herself more and her bizarre and alcohol-drenched dates with guys she doesn't like and has no problem ridiculing. But, if you want a glamorous and flirty read which is what I was led to believe this book would be, I recommend Candace Bushnell or Jacqueline Susann.
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