Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book #10 The Nanny Diaries Part 2

I really tend to publish these reviews in bulk. With that said, there isn't too much to say about this book. I read the first Nanny Diaries when it came out several years ago. Kind of at the height of the "chick-lit" (which always sounds sexual to me) phenomenon. I remember it as being very entertaining and "informative" concerning the lives of Upper East Side families. I guess that was before Gossip Girl (not that I watch that trash... faithfully).

So this book picks up several years later after Nan has married, moved abroad, and finally settled with her Husband in NYC. In the past I have bitched and moaned about authors who insist upon recapping the previous book in a serious in the first two chapters. I am here to rescind that gripe. The author (too lazy to get the Kindle to figure out her name) makes vague references to events in the past but doesn't flesh them out. Which would be all fine and dandy if some of those events weren't integral to the plot in this book. At any rate, Nan's husband goes to Africa for business leaving her alone in their under-renovation Brownstone. Late one evening her charge from her Nannying day shows up drunk and despondent on her front stoop. He lays into her for the way she left (something to do with a confession spoken into a stuffed Nanny-cam bear) and promptly passes out. Hijinx ensue. Seriously. She somehow ends up in charge not only of the 17 year old but of his pre-teen brother Stilton whom the parents have also managed to treat as an object to be had rather than a child. I don't know, other people come and go, some such business about a helicopter pad at the private school at which she is employed (doing some type of vague staff liaison job), Ponzi schemes make an appearance as well as faking cancer to avoid a scandal. Snooty friends from private school, a trip to Hamptons, inappropriate groping by an entitled husband, and a discount Miro (Rothko? Neither? Don't remember) round out the story.

I can usually plow through these types of books in an afternoon. For some reason, this just didn't hold my interest. I couldn't remember character names, I had to go back and reread to figure out what the hell was going on when I would pick up the book after a few days. The sentences were oddly constructed (not that mine prove to be much better). It all seemed kind of trite. Kind of already done on Gossip Girl or other upper east side trash shows.

It wasn't bad, it wasn't good. If you have read the first, you may as well read the second. If you watch Gossip Girl, you will have heard it all before and quite frankly better. So, thumbs neutral.

Book 9. Lolita

I could have sworn that I read this book in it's entirety years ago, and perhaps I did but I just don't remember all of it. Well, either way, I have read it again. I think that when Humbert started to lose it on his final cross country trip with Dolly I started to shut down. Once she was gone and things became a bit more coherent I was able to power through and finish it (in the nick of time I might add). I found the end note by Nabakov to be more interesting than the manuscript itself. Or at the very least a wonderful addition to the story. Was Humbert truly sorry for the life (lives) that he ruined? Was he truly mad? Was Lolita's behaviour a result of his affections or used to gain his affections? It has been so many years that I have been out of school and have "needed" to read a book for more than the passing of time and enjoyment that this was a good exercise for me. I do look forward to the discussion tomorrow.