56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Reading "Wacky Chicks" is very much like dishing with a best friend. Of course, this friend knows everything, sees everything, and tells all about the most outrageous women imaginable. If you're lucky enough to have Simon Doonan as your friend he doesn't relate information disparagingly but rather affectionately and in delicious detail.
This all too short romp through the lives of the bold, brazen and sometimes beautiful is subtitled "Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women." Rightly so.
We meet Brigid Berlin, a rather chubby Andy Warhol adoptee who through this artist discovered an excellent venue for her exhibitionism - whether it was shooting whipped cream into her mouth or shooting mind altering substances into not-mentioned-in-polite-society body parts.
Today, according to Doonan, she can be found in a Park Avenue apartment. Gray haired and well groomed, she appears to be the stereotypical well-to-do matron. Don't be fooled. There's a needlepoint pillow which is a portrait of Yasir Arafat with the words "They're Our Cousins" on it. Companion pillows are Chandra Levy and Michael Jackson.
It seems that few Wacky Chicks age gracefully; they simply age with a flare.
Pages in this sometimes ditzy, always delightful tell-all also include vignettes about Isabel Garrett, doyenne and driver of a motor home which hop scotches across the United States with pit stops at swinger conventions and biker rallies. Whether or not she drives in the all-together is not mentioned, but she is a sworn nudist.
Someone on planet Earth has produced, written, and performed macrobiotic dinner theater; she is Jessica Porter, hypnotist to numerous celebrities. Having read this far, it almost comes as no surprise that Amy Sedaris, chief of everything of the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy, has transformed her apartment into a woodland wonderland all for the benefit of her beloved pet rabbit, Tattle-tale.
According to our erstwhile author, "Wacky chicks are a burgeoning and highly entertaining phenomenon. Wacky chicks will change the world. Wacky chicks dare to annoy. Wacky chicks empower themselves and others without acting like blokes. Wacky chicks are having more fun than most regular chicks and all men, except maybe gay men. Wacky chicks are disapproval-immune. Wacky chicks are belligerent, resilient, uninhibited, naughty, creative, and hilarious...."
So is Simon Doonan.
- Gail Cooke
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2004
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".
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2005
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!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2003
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2003
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2007
I love, love, love, love this book.
It is a rally cry for women who have never quite been the norm.
From the woman who wears high heels with her capris and little aprons...to celebrating Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind...(her potato collection - which only I though I noticed...)
I have been a wacky chick my entire life. I've come to accept that I may not be normal, I may just be a little off-kilter. But I am fine with that.
It is great to read a boook that does not focus on women as sexual objects, mate-seeking missles, or dizzy idiots. These are interesting, successful women who live life THEIR WAY!
I have several Wacky Chick friends who will be recieving this book for special days. I cannot wait to enjoy their connection with this fun, fabulous book.
It is all about the Wacky Chick...and her gay best-friend!
The best part of this book is the logic behind each Wacky Chick's style (i.e. wearing an apron keeps your hands free...) I LOVE that...
Thanks for celebrating women!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2004
This book has become my ULTIMATE bible, a precious life instrument- so good, I read it twice in a row when I received it!! Simon Doonan's slightly bitchy, ultra-gay, British sense of humour may not please everyone, but it was a pure joy to me. I especially loved the inspiring, motivational tone of the book and the outlook on the lives of fabulous, eccentric, smart women who are who they are without apologies. Fun, inspiring, light and wise- Wacky Chicks is a world-class instrument for builing a solid, rich, passionate life AND the happiness we deserve!!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2008
This book would have been great, but the author injects his own self-congratulatory narrative through the whole thing. Instead of biographical pieces of the women and their own thoughts, this is a collection of SIMON'S thoughts about the women, and his voice overshadows everything else. A little of the author's analysis would have been great, but he won't let this women be the stars of the show, it's Simon, Simon, Simon all over every page.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2003
I am so glad someone finally took a closer look at us.(I'm a redhead wacky chick and proud of it) Although, some of the examples were a bit extreme, he has helped me to realize I'm not looney. I am not afraid to have fun in all I do, I don't care if people judge me, and I live life to the fullest - all with a sense of humor.
Why follow the heard when you can blaze your own path?
Very inspriring and enlightening. Thanks Simon.