Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers

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Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers

Buy Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Humour
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A no-holds-barred year in the life of the late, some would say great, Joan Rivers, this is like no diary you'll have read before, guaranteed.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: August 2014
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 978-0425269022

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The late Joan Rivers was, without a doubt, a character. Actress, comedian, writer, director, presenter, she was well known in the USA and beyond for her sharp tongue and no holds barred persona. This was the last of the dozen books she published, her final title before her death in September 2014.

This is a diary in the loosest sense of the word. Some dated entries apparently relate to what went on that day, others are just a prompt for a story from the past that has nothing obviously to do with that date. The one thing they all have in common? Virtually every entry references a fellow celebrity, and believe me when I say that she’s not particularly kind to them. The world’s a funny old place. You can’t make a snide comment on Twitter about something going on in the news without risking arrest, and yet a book like this can make it onto the shelves – a book which calls Tyra Banks a bitch, Heidi Klum a Nazi and Lena Dunham Fatty McFatty, among other things. She even has a go at Anne Frank – I know!

A lot of the references in this book are to celebrities that aren’t necessarily huge names outside the States, people I know from my time living over there but I’m pretty sure the average Joe on the street wouldn’t know from Adam. I think it helps if you do know the people because you can picture them in your mind and work out how whether she’s being sarcastic in her comments, so there may be a little something lost in translation.

The other big thing about this book is quite how rude it is. I will often recommend books only for those not easily offended, but in this case even those who take a lot to offend might be left open mouthed at some of the narrative. A lot of what Rivers writes is not only offensive but also borderline vulgar and I think the diary format really helps mitigate this because it allows you lots of places to stop and put the book down for a bit, rather than waiting for a chapter to finish (in this case, the end of a month). Because I did enjoy this book in short bursts but to read it cover to cover would definitely have been too much.

If this book were not the work of a celebrity, I doubt it would be sitting in front of me. As it is, the fact that she is, or was, Joan Rivers allows for some leniency, I guess. This is the Joan Rivers from the television, from the press, the person you may already know, but written down on paper she seems sharper, her jibes more permanent somehow. I’ve given it a middling rating because I genuinely felt on the fence about it. Some people, I know, will hate it, and hopefully this has put up enough red flags for those people that they know to proceed with caution. Others, however, true fans of Joan, will not be disappointed as this seems not to have been edited, restrained or censored in any way. I went in with an open mind and finished it in much the same way. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re ok with bad taste and jokes at other people’s expense, but you may want to borrow it first, or at least give it a good flick through in the shop so you know what you’re getting into.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

British celebs club together in Here Come the Girls by Loose Women for reveals that are just as human but slightly less controversial than Rivers' words.

Buy Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers at Amazon You could get a free audio download of Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.

Buy Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers at Amazon.com.


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