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The Devil Wears Prada: A Novel Paperback – April 13, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's a killer title: The Devil Wears Prada. And it's killer material: author Lauren Weisberger did a stint as assistant to Anna Wintour, the all-powerful editor of Vogue magazine. Now she's written a book, and this is its theme: narrator Andrea Sachs goes to work for Miranda Priestly, the all-powerful editor of Runway magazine. Turns out Miranda is quite the bossyboots. That's pretty much the extent of the novel, but it's plenty. Miranda's behavior is so insanely over-the-top that it's a gas to see what she'll do next, and to try to guess which incidents were culled from the real-life antics of the woman who's been called Anna "Nuclear" Wintour. For instance, when Miranda goes to Paris for the collections, Andrea receives a call back at the New York office (where, incidentally, she's not allowed to leave her desk to eat or go to the bathroom, lest her boss should call). Miranda bellows over the line: "I am standing in the pouring rain on the rue de Rivoli and my driver has vanished. Vanished! Find him immediately!"

This kind of thing is delicious fun to read about, though not as well written as its obvious antecedent, The Nanny Diaries. And therein lies the essential problem of the book. Andrea's goal in life is to work for The New Yorker--she's only sticking it out with Miranda for a job recommendation. But author Weisberger is such an inept, ungrammatical writer, you're positively rooting for her fictional alter ego not to get anywhere near The New Yorker. Still, Weisberger has certainly one-upped Me Times Three author Alex Witchel, whose magazine-world novel never gave us the inside dope that was the book's whole raison d' etre. For the most part, The Devil Wears Prada focuses on the outrageous Miranda Priestly, and she's an irresistible spectacle. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Most recent college grads know they have to start at the bottom and work their way up. But not many picture themselves having to pick up their boss's dry cleaning, deliver them hot lattes, land them copies of the newest Harry Potter book before it hits stores and screen potential nannies for their children. Charmingly unfashionable Andrea Sachs, upon graduating from Brown, finds herself in this precarious position: she's an assistant to the most revered-and hated-woman in fashion, Runway editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly. The self-described "biggest fashion loser to ever hit the scene," Andy takes the job hoping to land at the New Yorker after a year. As the "lowest-paid-but-most-highly-perked assistant in the free world," she soon learns her Nine West loafers won't cut it-everyone wears Jimmy Choos or Manolos-and that the four years she spent memorizing poems and examining prose will not help her in her new role of "finding, fetching, or faxing" whatever the diabolical Miranda wants, immediately. Life is pretty grim for Andy, but Weisberger, whose stint as Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue couldn't possibly have anything to do with the novel's inspiration, infuses the narrative with plenty of dead-on assessments of fashion's frivolity and realistic, funny portrayals of life as a peon. Andy's mishaps will undoubtedly elicit laughter from readers, and the story's even got a virtuous little moral at its heart. Weisberger has penned a comic novel that manages to rise to the upper echelons of the chick-lit genre.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (April 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767914767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767914765
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

251 of 284 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
There is an enormous amount of buzz about this book because the author used to work at Vouge. Most of the PR implies that this is a roman a clef about those days. So far the reviews that I've seen in a least two major fashion magazines haven't been kind but that can be chalked up to fashionistas being annoyed with someone who mocked their world.
Does the book live up to the hype? Yes and no.
It's an amusing book. The descriptions of downtown life in NYC, the side characters and the horrible antics of mean Miranda Priestly are fun but the heroine, Andrea is such a stuck up little snob that it's difficult to care about her. Margaret Mitchell was able to take a character who was an absolute monster and make millions love her. Lauren Weisberger doesn't have that kind of ability.

What's really annoying is that the book has a choppy feel. Andrea lurches from one disaster to another with no transition in between. The plot has a formula that is an old as Greek mythology. The scenes with the best friend character, Lilly and the boyfriend, Alex won't surprise anyone. The climax is straight out of an old Edgar Wallace plotwheel. The ending was a sappy, predictable let down.

The bottom line is this: if you love fashion and gossip The Devil Wears Prada will make you smile. If you want a terrific book, this won't be the one you're looking for.
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163 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Alycia on March 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Summary of "The Devil Wears Prada"

- badly dressed, tacky young woman introduces herself as the "average" five

foot eleven inch, 120 pound woman who miraculously lands an undeserved

job as a personal assistant at a fashion magazine, immediately making every

other woman reading her story roll their eyes

- said young woman complains endlessly about her miserable life of wearing

designer clothes, attending gala society parties, the inhumane rule of not

being able to smoke or make personal telephone calls during business hours,

and her boss's crass insistence that she do her job without copping an

attitude

- said young woman somehow manages to retain her job despite looking down

on all of her colleagues and willfully sabotaging company spending records

- young woman fails to look human because she reacts unrealistically to her

own problems, and those of her cardboard cutout plot-point friends

- young woman somehow attracts a world famous, handsome author despite

her failure to appear attractive to her merely locally famous elementary

school teacher boyfriend.

- young woman finally tells off boss

- young woman somehow lands job at another magazine as a writer, despite

having never demonstrated any talent to her audience

- everything comes up roses for young woman

- and then, nobody cared
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! No, it's not terribly substantial and, yes, it is somewhat mean-spirited, but if even 25% of the things described in this book took place during Lauren Weisenberger's employ by Anna Wintour, I'd say that whatever Ms. Weisenberger wants to dish out, Ms. Wintour should take and be glad it's not more. Besides, does anyone think this book is meant to be taken seriously? Yes, there were times when I wanted to smack Andrea in the head and say "Get a life and a real job!" but not so much that it interfered with my enjoyment of the book. I found myself humorously horrified at the extent to which the Miranda Priestly character reigned with terror over her subordinates as well as open-mouth astonished at the number of people who took her abuse as "part of the job." If these were real people, I'd recommend therapy...and fast.

That said, I've just finished the unauthorized biography of Wintour, "Front Row" by Jerry Oppenheimer, and it appears that much of what is set forth in "The Devil Wears Prada" is closer to the truth than one might want to believe. There is outright confirmation of Wintour's attitude, demeanor, and treatment of others that runs directly parallel to the actions of Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada." So, if you're interested in a fun, easy read, I'd recommend "The Devil Wears Prada." If you're interested in Anna Wintour and plan to read both books, however, you should definitely read "The Devil Wears Prada" first. Somehow, I can't imagine it's quite as funny once you've read "Front Row" and realize how close to reality "The Devil Wears Prada" might actually be.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By J. Minton on June 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
i'm looking forward to the movie. and as i do with any movie spun off of a successful, well-known book, i decided to read the original material first, so i buy the book....

fortunately i bought the 7 dollar copy so i don't feel like i wasted too much on it. what a waste! the sad thing is, none of the characters are likable at all.

it has its moments(Mostly revolving around the titled devil, miranda priestly). but the dialogue is stilted and lame(much of what characters say are describing/explaining something that know regualr person would feel the need to say in real life, and which could easily be explained with naration), the plot is predictable, and andy, the main character, is too self-centered and pathetic to even deserve the title of 'heroine'.

i would like to know if whoever published this book did it as a practical joke. you know, get a good laugh out of it.

also, look for the part in the novel where weisenberger says in one paragraph that andy's apartment doens't have a kitchen, but in the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH mentions her boyfriend going to the kitchen of her apartment.... sad
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