I’m not sure if there are any Joan Rivers fans that are going to read this blog post, but while I don’t consider myself a fan of hers, this book made me laugh. And laugh. And laugh again. And now my husband is reading it (and while I suggested it, for once I didn’t need to convince him – I just had to let him read the first page). For a laugh-out-loud read – look no further than this book, whether you are a fan or not. (Though if you are easily offended, make sure you know what you’re getting into…) 😛
“Diary Of A Mad Diva” By Joan Rivers (July 1, 2014)
Anais Nin, Anne Frank, and Sylvia Plath wrote the world’s most famous diaries. And where are they today? Dead. But the world’s other great diarist, Joan Rivers, is alive and kicking. And complaining.
In the extraordinary tradition of “The Habit Of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor” and Geroge Orwell’s “Diaries” comes an intimate and enriching glimpse into the mind of the most illuminating woman-of-letters of her generation – the provocative exploration of an age in which she has lived on and on and on.
Following up the phenomenal success of her headline-making New York Times bestseller “I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me,” the unstoppable Joan Rivers is at it again. When her daughter Melissa gives her a diary for Christmas, at first Joan is horrified and thinks, “Who the hell does Melissa think I am? That fat pig, Bridget Jones?” But as Joan, being both beautiful and introspective, begins to record her day-to-day musings, she realizes she has a lot to say.
About everything. And everyone, God help them.
The result? A no-holds-barred, delightfully vicious and always hilarious look at the everyday life of the ultimate diva. Follow Joan on a family vacation in Mexico and on trips between New York and Los Angeles where she mingles with the stars, never missing a beat as she delivers blistering critiques on current events, and excoriating insights about life, pop culture, and celebrities (from A to D list), all in her relentlessly funny signature style.
This is the Diary of a Mad Diva. For the first time in a century, a diary by someone who’s actually worth reading – and worth suing.
I have to admit I wasn’t really thinking when I picked up this book and checked it out at my local library. I can have a biting sense of humor, but biting in the sense of delivery and not holding back when it comes to the truth… but when it comes to just being mean – I don’t find it funny – usually. At first I thought this was a memoir – I just knew it as Joan Rivers’ new book. It was something different from what I usually read and I was looking for something different. And as soon as I started in, as in before I began the actual book and had only read the three-paragraph author’s note and dedication, I was laughing – HARD. And I had my husband read it, and he laughed. (I knew he would, I tend to me fairly PC, but he is not.)
This book is written as a mock diary, which is great. You can pick it up, read a few entries (each one is sure to get a laugh) and put it down, without having to worry about remembering what you just read. It’s a fast, easy and hilarious read full of ridiculous humor, political incorrectness and tons of, “Did she just really say that?” Rivers has an opinion on everything and she is great “reading” (see the definition below) people, or groups of people and knowing the exact worst thing to say, while being witty about it. While a lot of Rivers’ humor capitalizes on existing stereotypes – her take is always original, and something one doesn’t see coming (at least I didn’t, I can’t speak for her followers and fans).
It’s strange that for a book I enjoyed so much (and finished very quickly) I don’t have a lot to say, except that anyone who is unfazed by the following warning should read it. Go. Do it now.
WARNING I want to be fair that while I enjoyed this book, there may be many people who do not. Anyone who watches “Family Guy” and doesn’t get offended will love this book. Anyone who watches “Family Guy” and is sometimes offended, but keeps watching anyway will most likely love this book. This book can offend anyone, and is definitely for the unoffendable. This doesn’t mean you can’t be politically correct and enjoy this book (I fall into that camp), but if you’re unfamiliar with Joan Rivers I felt this needed to be clear, and if you are familiar with her then this is mostly redundant. So there – end of warning. 😛
Make no mistake, this book was written as a big joke, in and of itself. Even in her author’s note, Rivers states “anyone takes anything in this book seriously is an idiot.” And, I would have to agree. She is outlandish and says so many things that I am certain she doesn’t actually think or believe (and her stories themselves are intentionally fictitious – she is not really 235 years old). She is going for pure satire chockfull of shock value. And while many things that try to shock just for the sake of being shocking – she actually pulls it off nicely.
One thing that struck me about this book on a deeper level (and it really was the only thing – this book was not meant to be deep) was the ending of the book. Rivers joked about wishing something would happen to Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper so that she and her daughter, Melissa, could be on top of the building in New York dropping the ball – counting down to 2015. And that just happened, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper were there, while Rivers herself passed away this past September. I’m not one who needs the “life is precious” or “you just never know” kind of reminders, but this book delivers them anyway. Beautiful and humbling lessons at the end of one of the loudest satires I have ever read.
And there you have it. I thought this book was fabulous. If you are unshockable or at least don’t mind being shocked, this is a must-read. Be prepared to laugh, shake your head, and cringe throughout these pages, and at the very end be prepared to sigh, and feel something else entirely.
*Read (Reading)- a) verb. To wittily and incisively expose a person’s flaws (i.e. “reading them like a book”), often exaggerating or elaborating on them; an advanced format of the insult. The term is a reference to the film Paris is Burning.