DIARY OF A MAD DIVA by Joan Rivers

DIARY OF A MAD DIVA

KIRKUS REVIEW

A Dear Diary–style recounting of the author’s day-to-day professional and personal life.

Rivers’ (I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me, 2013, etc.) merciless, yearlong skewering of the universe begins Jan. 1 and proceeds through the year. Sparing no one, including herself, the author employs her typically ribald take on the numerous individuals, groups or topics encountered while the author travels from her home in New York to gigs around the country and vacations in Mexico or the Hamptons. A sampling of the real or imagined scenarios Rivers recounts in her trademark style include: Anne Frank’s diary-keeping skills; Barbara Streisand’s looks; dating services; Paula Deen and the N-word; her ideas for new TV shows; Kirstie Alley’s weight (“Today is National Pig Day and I completely forgot to call [her]! I’ll send her a note. Or a bucket of slop. She’s not that fussy”); J. Edgar Hoover’s fashion choices (“J. Edgar Hoover and I were very close. In fact, we were the same size. I used to lend him my clothes for special occasions. He looked especially fetching in a simple summer shift with matching cloche and open-toed-shoes”). Rivers also includes numerous photos showing her swigging from a bottle of vodka with cigarette and prescription pill bottle in hand; holding up a “will work for food sign”; dressed as a parody of the twerking Miley Cyrus; and decorating a Christmas tree with an Orthodox Jewish friend. It’s all grand fun for the author, but after a while, the daily entries read like snippets of a stand-up routine. For a live audience, Rivers may astound with her stories and blue language, but when continually lobbed on the page, the shtick grows predictable and stale.

Readers who never tire of Rivers and her distinctive take on the world will lap up the newest entree from the octogenarian comedian. Others will want to take a pass.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-425-26902-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014




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