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Wacky Chicks: Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women Paperback – June 2, 2005

4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Doonan, New York Observer columnist and author of Confessions of a Window Dresser, loves wacky women, and if he ever opted for a sex change, "you bet your sweet bippy" he'd be one himself. A wacky chick (w.c.) is B.R.U.N.C.H.: "belligerent, resilient, uninhibited, naughty, creative and hilarious." She's got attitude and shows it, whether that means filling her apartment with exotic reptiles, setting up her own slashed latex garment business, collecting Chihuahua skeletons or dressing up as Satan in horns at anti-abortion rallies. True, w.c.'s have a hard time keeping jobs (which is why many turn their eccentricities into self-employment) and some "transition from wacky to wack-job" and start shooting, but there's no denying the tremendous life force these gals have. To Doonan, they epitomize feminism: "If the goal of women's liberation was to create a world where the sisters could do whatever the hell they wanted, then the wacky chick must surely be the screeching apotheosis of feminist achievement." Doonan has a gay time neologizing (e.g., "obnoxiosities," "chickorators," "fashiphanous fromage" ) his way through the life stories of some 16 wacky women in this silly but fun self-help book. His point? Support your local w.c. all you can: take her to lunch, treat her like a queen and "validate" her wackiness. "Becoming a wacky-chick hag" may even speed up "your own transformation from Nora Normal to B.R.U.N.C.H.
y broad."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Just in time for warm-weather reading comes Doonan's breezy, in-your-face book, in which the uppercase letters spill over from the title to be liberally sprinkled throughout, along with a splatter of exclamation marks every paragraph or so. Thus Doonan's breathless style (complete, somehow, with long, elliptical, though germane, sentences) becomes a character to equal any of the wacky chicks he has interviewed. Assembled from his weekly New York Observer column, his fashion-and-style-focused romp through Wacky Chick-dom (look out, Magic Kingdom!) will vastly entertain readers open to the wacky wisdom of a flea market fashion maven; a kick-ass, lemon-haired gossip columnist; a lizard enthusiast who hand-feeds a monster over five feet long; and a bride who emerges from an egg--and to Doonan's demonstration that these women are B.R.U.N.C.H--that is, Belligerent, Resilient, Uninhibited, Naughty, Creative, and Hilarious. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743257898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743257893
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book out of respect for my late grandmother and great-grandmother - both of them sublimely wacky ladies. I had been thinking of them, and just happened upon this book - maybe it was meant to be. As I leafed through the pages, I found myself laughing out loud at the stories and witty writing style - I had to have it. And, upon reading the book cover to cover, was delighted.
At last, a brave soul (only the likes of Simon Doonan could do it) has stepped forward, and lauded the zany lifestyles and pasttimes of these women - what society otherwise calls "characters". Here they are in all their loony glory - raising reptiles, creating burlesque home decor, fashioning spandex biker garb, writing up radical cheerleading rhymes...the tales don't stop, and come at you at rapid-fire speed. And not in a disrespectful, exploitative manner - it's done so with great respect, and an often bittersweet tinge. These wacky women didn't get that way by accident - there are some sad stories involved. But these only serve to enhance the overall feel of the book - these ladies are real people with great depth, not cartoony caricatures.
And as far as my own wacky ancestors? Well, having read this book only makes me admire them all the more, and hope to embrace their eccentricities as my own. Maybe times have changed, and maybe I'll never have to endure the hardships they had to (the Great Depression, social pressures, Great Wars, poverty...you name it), but thanks to this book, I have a much greater appreciation of their survival instincts, and sense of fun in the face of adversity. This book surely opened my eyes even more to their greatness, and to the unique nature of all "wacky chicks".
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Format: Paperback
I live in a small rural area and heard about this book online. Once I requested a copy through my local library and read it through, I realized I needed a copy of my very own. This book is The Bible for those quirky ladies out there who refuse to live by the rules of others, who march to the beat of their own drummer. Once I read it, I didn't feel like I was such an freak, for lack of a better word. If only more people went their own direction, this world would certainly be a more amusing place, let alone more tolerable. I now own this book- and read it quite regularly, as the stories are always refreshing and inspiring...Thank you Simon and ladies!
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Format: Hardcover
This is the cutest little book, every bit as snappy as the cover suggests. Whether or not you feel inclined to join the ranks of the Wacky Chicks, you will definitely enjoy reading about the courageous and resiliant women Doonan profiles here. They are absolutely hilarious with their sassy approach to life that is uninhibited and yet clean. I think they are the women every woman wants to be, though most of us lack the courage. Not only are these women funny in their own right, but Doonan's writing style is equally entertaining. He has that kind of snappy "humorous gay guy" quality to him that is really funny without being too stereotypical or campy. I really liked this book and recommend it for anyone with an inner Wacky Chick.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I had just read Eccentric Glamour and Beautiful People (aka Nasty) and was desperately starving for some more Simon Doonan. However this one was far less interesting. One reviewer said that it had "too much Simon" in it, but for me the problem was not enough Simon.

His style is breezy and witty as usual, but the women he writes about are fairly irritating, shrill, silly types who are mostly successful in fashion (except Jessica Porter, who is a macrobiotic preacher; I have a book of hers about macrobiotics, and a very silly book it is).

I thought it was odd that he describes a few of the women in this book as looking/dressing like strippers, whereas in his later book Eccentric Glamour he specifically rails against the stripper look. I think it's better to follow his advice in the latter book rather than seeking to emulate the chicks in this one.

And even if you aren't seeking to emulate these wacky chicks - I doubt anyone would be, really - they're just not that interesting to read about. Just because they aren't "traditional" (whatever that means) doesn't mean they are really that fascinating. They all come across as flaky in a bad way, like they are trying too hard to be different and are totally desperate for attention. Of course, Simon himself (or at least the character he portrays in Beautiful People) is also desperate for attention, but he is also infinitely more amusing and self-aware than these women. Reading about "the original wacky chick", his mother, is also preferable to reading about most of these overrated blathers. Skip this one and go for Beautiful People or Eccentric Glamour.
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Format: Hardcover
If you have ever looked askance at the lady next door who keeps iguanas, wears fishnets and sliced spandex, paints with crystals, sports a blue mohawk do and says whatever is on her mind at the moment - Get Over It! Simon Doonan has recognized a great truth: Wacky Chicks, those brave one-of-a-kind babes who do their own thing in their own way, are very cool. Worship them! says Doonan. They're not only having much more fun than their dress-for-success having-it-all sisters. They are the "screetching apotheosis" of feminist achievement and their lives the ultimate proof that "Womens Lib" worked after all!
Here are 14 colorful mini biographies (16 if you count the author's Mum and Gran) to prove it! Doonans deliciously provocative Chicks are out to B.R.U.N.C.H. - "Belligerent, Resilient, Uninhibited, Naughty, Creative and Hilarious" in flamboyant plumage. His riotous take on their lives is as non stop flat out over the top hilarious as the rare birds themselves. For a fearlessly funny and fabulously feathered summer treat read Wacky Chicks.
By the way, I'm one of them. I know Simon will have you laughing and loving us too. Just don't forget the worship part, 'cause honey, we earned it!
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