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The Washingtonienne Hardcover – June 1, 2005

3.1 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cutler, the lowly Senate staffer who rocked the Capital last year with her salacious online diary, rehashes her ride into infamy in a tart, shallow tell-all that begs off as fiction. Smart but spoiled Jacqueline heads for the Hill after a broken engagement in New York. Soon this party girl is cavorting through the Capitol, where shameless flirting and sex appeal take her a long way. In Jacqueline's opinion, government is "Hollywood for the Ugly," and she coasts on her looks to score a fluffy job in a senator's office and effortlessly entice politicos on the prowl. She mines her dizzying array of casual sexploits, dished in callous, raunchy detail, for a blog to keep her friends in the loop ("I was a bitchy slut and so were all of my friends. Why not put it out there?"). Jacqueline winds up on D.C. gossip site Blogette—prompting her abrupt dismissal, an underdeveloped bit of soul-searching and lots of media attention. The flimsy garb of fiction makes for one coy striptease: just how much of Jessica emerges in Jacqueline? Who are the real-life counterparts to her paramours? For those who can conjure last summer's scandal, the reprise will liven up this year's beach batch. Agents, Michael Carlisle and Pilar Queen. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

". . . the real talk in the nation's capital is about the exploits of former senatorial staffer Jessica Cutler." -- In Touch

"Lively, funny and agreeably in-your-face . . . [Cutler] sticks pins in a lot of deserving targets." -- Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401302009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401302009
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,597,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Jessica Cutler shocked the world with her sexy blog, detailing her not-so-nice antics as a Senate staffer. Apparently she's not one to let her fifteen minutes simply tick by -- now she has penned "The Washingtonienne," a sleazy and shallow roman a clef.

Jacqueline is a New York party girl, smart and sexy, but somewhat spoiled as well. So when her betrayed boyfriend throws her out of their Manhattan apartment, Jacqueline ends up crashing with a pal in Washington. Her goal? Get a fluff job so she can dress nicely and party. But with her sexy appeal on the fore, she gets a lot more than that.

In an "ugly" city with a lot of middle-aged men, Jacqueline finds that she is a much-desired commodity. She has a series of flings with powerful men who will pay her way, and chronicles her naughty adventures in an online blog. Starting to sound familiar? It gets even more so when she is finally busted, fired, and becomes the center of a media storm.

The sad thing about "The Washingtonienne" is that it could have easily been great. It could have been a naughty sleaze-romp, or a wicked satire about men, women and politics. Instead, it reads like a sex-mad little girl's diary, both immature and obnoxiously self-satisfied. "The lesson I learned was: You can get whatever you want for free by lying and cheating, and there are never any consequences," Jacqueline leers. Well, that about sums up the depth of the entire novel.

Cutler's writing ability is about average for a chick-lit writer, with a lot of lame witticisms and thin characters. Unfortunately, she shows a complete lack of actual inspiration by using her blog and life for the book, but not adding anything to it. We all know how it's going to end, and Cutler doesn't give it any twists to surprise us.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Imagine watching a train wreck, not being able to turn away, while still finding in it the underlying humor of the whole event. That's what it's like to listen to this brilliantly narrated audiobook.

Alternately presenting herself as a victum of self-destructive circumstances and a self-assured woman making her own choices about what to do with her body and mind, it's hard to pinpoint whether this story will come to the screen as a total comedy movie or slightly-comedic, self-discovery drama.

Please, don't misinterpret this speculation on how it will be show on screen as a slight. The story is told seemlessly-and whether it's to be taken as pure fiction or questionable nonfiction, or somewhere in between it's an interesting tale none the less.

One thing to bear in mind though, the main character is by no stretch of the imagination a role model. She's barely a sympathetic character at all, but the feeling of honesty this creates heightens the believability of the narrative.

If I was comparing this fictionalized autobiography to Neil Simon's brilliant works in the genre, it would barely merit a single star, but compared apples to apples against guilty-pleasure, scandal novels, it holds its own and then some - even if it does end with a slight note of self-discovery pontification.

All in all, if you've ever found yourself enjoying the guilty pleasure of Valley of the Dolls, Desperate Housewives or anything by Danielle Steele, this is one supposedly non-fiction tale that lives up to these fictional standards.
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Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book horribly written, but it's just plain boring. Don't waste your time or your money. There is more hype surrounding the author than there is any worthwhile substance in the book. Must miss.
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Format: Hardcover
Face it, on a moral level we have to hate Jacqueline, the not-so-fictional protagonist at the center of this sordid and utterly un-put-downable roman a clef. If you can stomach all that she represents, there's actually something to be learned beneath that unforgettable cover.

At the end of the book, Jacqueline's therapist asks her, "Why is it easier for you to believe that you're crazy than it is for you to admit you've done something wrong?"

(This after she has accepted money for sex, cheated on multiple partners--some married, spent nearly all her time in Washington drunk and/or high, and kept a blog mocking all her lovers which leaked to the public).

Jacqueline comes to this conclusion: "The lesson I learned was: You can get whatever you want for free by lying and cheating, and there are never any consequences."

So as you sit there reading, feeling both a thrill at her crazy adventures (sex across a conference room table is only the beginning) and disgust for the manner in which she's portrayed the female mind to the public, you can't help but ask YOURSELF: Is the author right? She's now rich, famous, published, and we all know she's not so far off from the character. And on an entertainment level, you've had a blast reading her book.

On the flip side, it's blatantly obvious that as messed up as Jacqueline is, all she really wants, deep down, is love. She's just so completely cynical that none of those poor guys ever had a chance, because she never gives anyone a chance. So while that cynicism did lead to a form of success, I'd bet a lot of money that the deeper she goes believing her own philosophy, the more and more true love will elude her.

And in the meantime, she can keep us entertained. You won't want to put The Washingtonienne down. After all, it's just a book.
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