Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Maybe they wrote it like a Mad Libs."

When he's not giving me advance buzz on the Award Movie Circuit, C.K. Dexter Haven has his finger on the pulse of the lit world. He sent me a link to an excerpt of Nicole Richie's debut novel, The Truth About Diamonds, which he describes as "a hella-layered conceptual roman à clef." (As in: Nicole's writing an autobiography but she's changing a few minor details and is writing it in the third person.*) We've probed the excerpt so you don't have to; here's what we found:

Best allusion to Lionel Richie's stamina (but not really as Nicole was adopted):
"Chloe Parker was practically born in a club. It's like she spontaneously generated one night in 1981 during a fourteen-minute remix."

Best metaphor:
"Just as everyone in L.A. had to climb the social ladder, Chloe and all the rest of us had to climb three flights of stairs to get to the VIP level at Mode."

Best simile:

"Like Holly Golightly in Madonna-wannabe rags, Chloe had the ability to not only be in the moment, but to create it."

Most obviousBest use of foreshadowing:
"Chloe didn't need drugs to have fun. I mean, drugs would be double-bad for an addictive personality like hers, and I think she knew it. But she was drawn to them for the same reasons any young person may be -- drugs seemed glam, and exciting, and reckless. Being high was intriguing; it made her feel alive. Drugs were everywhere in every club. And drugs took the place of love."

Best use of alliteration:
"At Mode, people acted up, hooked up, and threw up, and the paparazzi stood outside to shoot the stars as they went in looking fabulous and staggered out totally gone."

And that's just from a piece of the first chapter. Considering that Richie is renowned for her "quick wit and candor" (at least according to her official bio), you know that the rest of the novel is going to scorch.

*If you're looking for more clarity, here's the synopsis:
In her electrifying first novel, Nicole Richie tells the sensational story of Chloe Parker, a rock royalty princess and a card-carrying member of Hollywood's inner circle. At the age of seven, Chloe was adopted by a music superstar and his wife, transforming her life from rags to riches. What followed was a wild childhood distinguished by parties with movie stars and rock idols, run-ins with the press and the police, and a subsequent stint in rehab.
Suddenly Chloe shoots to instant fame as a spokesmodel for a national ad campaign. When her long-lost birth father appears out of nowhere and her best friend betrays her, she must struggle to keep it all together -- her sobriety, her friendships, and her integrity despite the betrayals of those around her. Ultimately, Chloe comes spectacularly into her own, achieving stardom in her own right and finding true love.
Through the eyes of the captivating Chloe and the talented voice of Nicole Richie, we are given a no-holds-barred look at Hollywood's new elite, behind the velvet ropes, inside star-studded premieres and parties. Whether they're doing the "circuit" (begin with shopping at Barneys New York, Marni, and Fred Segal, then end with the grilled vegetable salad at the Ivy), or ending up on the front page of your favorite weekly magazine, Chloe Parker and her fellow A-listers never fail to dazzle, their larger-than-life dramas more riveting than any reality show.


At 7:39 AM, Blogger B.A. Slattery said...

Seriously - the cover of that book is frightening. She looks like a cracked-out Barbie doll with impure thoughts in her STD-addled cranium.

At 4:58 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

1. The line above under "best simile" sounds like vintage Bret Easton Ellis to me.

2. I love how she pays homage to all the great Victorian novelists with the disembodied first person, omniscient narrator as demostrated in the foreshadowing passage. This assumes, of course, that there isn't an actual Marlow-esque first person narrator who is both character and omniscient presence. In which case, I love how she pays homage to late nineteenth-century English nautical fiction and Joseph Conrad.

At 4:59 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

PS: It just now occured to me that you wrote this post two weeks ago and I only now read it. How did I miss it? It's one of your finest. But you need to buy the novel and do a proper, Slate-style "we'll read it so you don't have to" post.


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