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The latest fiction from a company insider lays bare the workings of a very thinly veiled Miramax Films.

Our hero and viewpoint character, Karen Jacobs, has just landed a job as second assistant to the head of publicity for Glorious Pictures, an independent film studio run by the irascible twins Phil and Tony Waxman. In her first weeks, she finds that her hours are insane, she can never leave her desk, and she’s surrounded by a sea of high-strung sharks in killer outfits. But she’s determined to stick it out. In The Devil Wears Prada fashion, Pine serves up predictably crazy workplace conditions and Hollywood conventions, all with lashings of the foibles of the rich and famous. Karen drives out at midnight to get the first copies of the New York Times film reviews, tries to deliver a pair of tickets for a film premiere to “The Person” (presumably the rock star Prince), and seeks a look-alike for a deceased canine star so he can still make a crucial Today Show appearance. Silly set pieces are book-ended by the ongoing workplace horror: no space, impossibly demanding superiors, and a culture that destroys any kind of life outside the office. Films and stars are generally easy to decode: a film called Perp Friction, an actor named Marvin Fischell (presumably Harvey Keitel) who got his start in films with Eddie Di Silva (presumably Robert DiNiro) and staged a comeback when he starred in The Oboe (read: The Piano). Marvin, it’s said, is such a fan of large-breasted women that he hired the woman who used to have Karen’s job; Karen was recruited partly because of her lack of endowment in that area. After a year, our girl is outta there—thanks to someone else’s mistake—but with plenty of material and possibly a new boyfriend.

Loads of fun, a guilty pleasure that goes down very easily.

Pub Date: June 8th, 2005
ISBN: 1-4013-5229-4
Page count: 384pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2005