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Whacked Hardcover – June 3, 2008

3.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Asner—ex-model, wife of director Steven Soderbergh and E! Entertainment Television personality—debuts with a dishy mix of Tinseltown hackdom, chick lit and, surprisingly, a chilling plot. Dani Hale is an L.A. TV writer for crime show Flesh and Bone who has an inordinate interest in all things forensic—one shared by technical adviser Rich Pisani, a retired LAPD cop. None of this stuff bothered me, Dani boasts about crime scene analysis. But what does bother her is slow-to-commit boyfriend and director Dave; the pretty actress he's directing, Chloe Johnson (whom Asner slyly credits as having worked with Soderbergh); her Crate and Barrel saleswoman mom; and work rival Evil Janet. But where other chick lit heroines fret about their fears, Dani hacks into e-mails and cellphones to alleviate hers. After discovering Dave has been cheating on her, Dani plots revenge on him, freckled harlot-starlet Chloe and office boor Evil Janet, but things quickly spiral out of control. Asner juggles horror and giggles and wraps it up with a subtle kicker, and though Rich's role is underwritten, the novel is still tons of fun. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Entertainment host Asner’s first novel is a send-up of the viciously cutthroat world of romance in Hollywood. Dani Hale is a staff writer for the successful forensics procedural Flesh and Blood, but while her professional success isn’t in question, she is finding her love life to be a trickier prospect. She is massively insecure in her relationship with her boyfriend of two years, a television director named Dave, and after conducting her own investigation, she soon discovers all her fears were founded when she learns he has been cheating on her with an up-and-coming starlet named Chloe. Dani dumps Dave and gingerly reenters the dating pool only to find that the prospects are grim. When Chloe turns up as a guest star on Dani’s show, Dani finds herself seeing red. This delightful black comedy shows how easy it is for someone to be driven to extremes—and how seamlessly a person can go from rifling through receipts to reading someone’s personal e-mail and beyond. Clever and witty, Asner’s debut will appeal to readers who like biting satire. --Kristine Huntley
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Weinstein Books; First Edition edition (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602860173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602860179
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,999,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Whacked is an easy read, but it is not a well written one. I got used to the clunky prose ('that halted me"), but the book failed to come alive for me on almost any level. The characters are flat and so is the emotional landscape. I didn't like the main character - not because she is 'whacked', but because she is vapid and tends to blather in cliches. The ending is surprising. It makes surprisingly little sense.

Even more baffling is the lack of descriptive detail in a Novel of Hollywood. Whence the perfume of night-blooming jasmine in the Hollywood Hills? The heat of an LA afternoon? Surely there is some Pilates Studio to the Stars I don't know about! I have no image of the narrator at all. I suppose she's 'hot' because, well, that's just the level of discourse here. The writer either lacks interest or an eye for visual or social nuance that makes these kind of books worth reading - at least for me.

Much has been made of the author's Hollywood Insider status, but the book is not enriched by it. On the contrary, the reader is served a smaller than usual portion of 'dish' - followed by a smaller than usual serving if sex. Is there such a thing as a low fat/low carb beach read? Flavorless! Neither delicious nor filling!
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Format: Hardcover
I heard about this book in a magazine's list of "fun beach reads"--it was definately not fun. The main character is petty, whiny and miserable, not to mention crazy. The ending was so out there that I had to re-read a few pages to make sure that I hadn't missed something important. The author kept adding characters to the book for no apparent reason other than to fill up pages and I could never find anything to like about the main character. The author uses plenty of profanity and some lame sex scenes that didn't really do anthing for the story.
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By F. Glinsky on September 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because it was on New York Magazine's summer recommended reading list. Jules Asner should be embarassed, as should her publisher. The book was silly, plot-deprived, and a bore (I forced myself to finish it). The book centers around a man-crazy and borderline psuchotic LA woman with no redeeming qualities, though she end up a "winner" at the end. Anyone puchasing the book is wasting their money.
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Format: Hardcover
Hollywood dish meets chic-lit noir in this engaging tale. The writing may be somewhat art-less, but the character of Dani is certainly vivid. (You may find yourself wanting to yell at the pages to try and get through to her!) There are also some laugh-out loud passages about the single life and the entertainment scene. I just wish the big twist in the novel happened earlier, as it kicks the suspense up to a different level.
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Format: Hardcover
Despite allowances for the limitations of the genre, this book is lifeless and sub-literate. It's surprising, given the author's assumed experience as a pop culture insider, when the novel fails to deliver any fresh insights into a targeted, and rich, vein of LA life. Then there's the lack of dimensional characters, dynamic plotting, any sense of place or a decent turn of phrase. I have to believe Whacked was some sort of bet between Asner and Gigi Levangie Grazer. Can't figure out if Asner won or lost.
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Format: Hardcover
I had to give up on Whacked after a few pages. It lumbered along very self consciously, a writer writing about a writer. It is nearly impossible to do after Proust. He played that game so many years ago and won it so convincingly that it you are going to play it, you have to be both brilliant and crazy. Very brilliant and crazy. Some of the stories about Hollywood were not bad, but the second assistant hating her starlet boss and writing hatefully about her starlet boss...it was too clunky to merit more of my time. And I just have to say: what kind of nepotism is going on here when this novel received so many good reviews in the mainstream media?! Thank goodness for forums like this which, I hope, offer more honest reviews.
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Format: Hardcover
With all the wonderful reviews in the papers and online about this book, I was expecting to sit down to a funny, exciting story. That never happened. The characters were very one-dimensional, the story was just dull and the ending bizarre. If you really want to read this book, borrow it from the library - don't waste your money.
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Format: Hardcover
It reads a lot like the former to me. I guess that's not surprising considering the Hollywood pedigree of the author, but it's still a disappointment. The plot borders on the absurd and the characters are paper thin. Let's hope the inevitable film version has a good director.
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