Lauren Weisberger

Lauren Weisberger (1977- ) is the author of two best selling books, The Devil Wears Prada (now a major film starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway) and Everyone Worth Knowing.

It is difficult to see how either book became best selling novels as The Devil Wears Prada is tedious in the extreme, even more unbelievable that The Devil Wears Prada was the winner of the British Book Awards 2007. With Everyone Worth Knowing Lauren Weisberger does start to show promise as a writer. Both books are an insider look at the fashion industry, celebrity, no surprise then that Lauren Weisberger in her former life was in the fashion industry as an assistant at a fashion magazine in New York (where she also lives).

The Devil Wears Prada is a cynical look at fashion publishing. For the first fifty or so pages it is witty and funny, but after that it begins to pale. It would have made an interesting short story, but is not worthy of a full-length novel. The constant product placement and name dropping is extremely annoying. The only dramatic highlight in the entire novel is in the closing pages when put-upon Andrea tells her bitch-of-a-boss Miranda to go fuck herself, for which she is summarily dismissed. Andrea then gets rid of her pathetic non-entity boyfriend Alex and goes on to write fashion-related short stories for teen and show biz magazines which brings us full circle to the author Lauren Weisberger.

In Everyone Worth Knowing, our heroine Bette, appears to be a clone of Andrea, the put-upon fashion assistant from The Devil Wears Prada. Many of the other characters seem to be reincarnations of their former selves from The Devil Wears Prada. Of the two novels, Everyone Worth Knowing is the better, it is far grittier. Everyone Worth Knowing has the quirkiness of the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith, though by no means in the same class, and it is this quirkiness that makes it the better novel. It still though has the irritating, teeth-grinding product placement and name dropping of The Devil Wears Prada.

About half way through, Everyone Worth Knowing starts to pale, it almost begins to deteriorate into romance fiction, but luckily never goes quite that far. At the end, our heroine prevails, and decides to turn her hand to writing romance fiction, which brings us full circle to our author, or almost.

Could this be a Lauren Weisberger trademark? With only two books it remains to be seen, as too early to tell as yet.

If The Devil Wears Prada was an expose of the fashion industry, then Everyone Worth Knowing is an expose of the PR-events-entertainment industry.

The literary world of Lauren Weisberger is one of fashion and celebrity, a vacuous, meaningless world. Could it be her books reside in the best seller lists because they are required reading for the subscribers of OK, Hello and similar magazines devoid of any meaningful content with their emphasis on trivia, tittle-tattle, fashion and celebrity?

Karl Marx argued that Capitalism created consumer fetishes. Lauren Weisberger appears to be singlehandedly creating a literary genre devoted to these fetishes.

Lauren Weisberger grew up as a small town girl in a Jewish family, majored in English from university, did the Europe cum Asia tour, before becoming assistant to the editor-in-chief of Vogue for ten months, then started writing articles for fashion magazines, then wrote a novel, lives in New York. All of which will sound vaguely familiar to readers of The Devil Wears Prada!

If Lauren Weisberger was the subject of a school report it would read shows promise, could do better. To her credit, she can write, her books are well written.

Very much a one book author.

Copies of both novels have been registered as BookCrossing books.

A BookCrossing book, is a book that is released into the wild for others to pick up and read. Its progress is tracked by a unique Book Crossing ID (BCID).

Literature ~ Clare Dowling ~ Sarah Webb
(c) Keith Parkins 2007 -- October 2007 rev 1