Customer Reviews (30)
a pathetic excuse for celebrity lit
This book is such a waste of time, I really don't know how & why it got published.
Well-written, but falls flat compared others in the genre
Like The Devil Wears Prada and Because She Can, The Twins of Tribeca tells the story of a young, optimistic and naive young woman taking a job in a notoriously difficult environment because she is certain (a) the stories are exaggerated, and (b) the experience will be worth it. This light book obviously tracks working for the Weinstein brothers at Miramax, and is an enjoyable enough read especially anyone interested in or involved with the movie industry.
For me, the narrative never reached the levels of The Devil Wears Prada, and the drama was much less dramatic (which is a positive for the poor narrator if not for the reader). Still, this book was nowhere near as satisfyingly evil as other offerings in the genre, and left me feeling a little flat. A decent plane or beach read, The Twins of Tribeca doesn't live up to its hype, but is well-written enough to rate three stars.
Ultimately silly, but captivating
Worlds apart from your average ridiculous "chick-lit" book, this is a great tale about a hapless but ambitious young woman who goes to work for a nightmare of a movie studio in New York's TriBeCa neighborhood. The author worked at Miramax pictures for three years and it's very plain that she didn't do a lot, while writing this, to mask identities or situations. Who cares whether or not it's all true - it's all very entertaining, mostly because it hard to imagine why someone would voluntarily work for a bunch of hostile, neurotic nutcases, even if the job ostensibly gives you entre into a world closed off to many.
I agree this is very much like the Devil Wears Prada although I felt the heroine in this case was much less of a whiner than the protagonist in Devil Wears Prada. She has legitimate ambitions and wants to do a good job, but it's impossible to succeed when faced with complete and total irrationality 24/7. Which leads me to another point.
I have read a few of these books now - memoirs by people who worked at the lower levels of some high-powered industry (film, fashion, publishing, etc.) and I think it should be pretty clear to all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed ambitious young women out there that slaving away for some high-profile megalomaniac isn't necessarily the best idea. I've never worked for Miramax, or Vogue, or CAA, but I have worked for a couple of real headcases in my time. Here's some friendly advice to all young career girls starting out in their job search:
- You can avoid wasting time at a frustrating, impossible job by finding out in advance that it is frustrating and impossible. How? In the job interview. Too many young people - especially young women - go into job interviews thinking they are the supplicant, on their knees, begging for a job. Even very high-profile, high-powered companies need good people and don't want to waste time with a wrong hire that's a bad fit. As the interviewee, you are interviewing the company to determine fit just as much as they are interviewing you. If the company doesn't seem all that interested in you or your qualifications (much like Karen's job interview in the book) that's a red flag. Are they just looking to fill a seat and not interested in developing a person's professional skills? Are they in a crunch because the last person quit with no notice? A good interview is more like a conversation about what each party needs and how everyone's needs can be met if the interviewee takes the position. One-sided interviews generally aren't a good sign the company is concerned about an employee's welfare.
- If, as in this book, a company asks you to quit your old job with no notice, has no formal employee training plan or orientation, and doesn't allow you to tour the offices or meet who you would be working for and with before you accept an offer, proceed with caution. Actually, those are all good questions for the time in the interview when you're asked if you have any questions. The answer to that question should never be "I don't think so." Ask about how they train new employees. Ask to see where you will be working, ask to meet your coworkers and your potential boss, if they aren't doing the interview and if they are available. Be extremely wary of anyone who won't allow you to talk to current employees or at least let you see where people are working. There's probably a reason, and it has nothing to do with confidentiality of sensitive information.
- The other critical interview question is "how did this position become available?" Wouldn't you like to know, before jumping in with both feet, what happened to the person you're replacing? If they got promoted to a higher position or made an upward move to a different part of the company, that's usually good. If they made a lateral move to another part of the company, that could be good, or bad. (It may signal a desperate attempt to get away from a psycho boss. Usually if people move, they move upward, or they stay where they're at.) If the interviewer says it's not important, glosses over the question, or starts badmouthing the previous employee, watch out.
- Research your potential employer. Use the Internet. Ask friends if they've heard of the company, or ask your parents' friends. If push comes to shove, stand outside the doors at closing time and approach one of the current employees. Companies don't get seriously bad or difficult reputations for no reason. If no one can say anything good about the place, that is a HUGE red flag.
- Beware any company primarily run by 40-year-olds who aren't married, don't have kids, and don't appear to have any interests outside of their work. On your aforementioned tour of the office, look for family pictures, wedding photos, evidence of hobbies like skiing, boating, etc. Don't see any? That's probably a pretty good clue no one leaves the office except to sleep, and they will expect you to do the same. Eavesdrop a little on the office chatter. Are people talking about what they did last weekend or what they plan to do on the coming weekend, their families, their pets, their upcoming vacations, etc.? Or is everyone complaining about how tired they are, how many hours they worked last week or will work this week, how they haven't had a vacation in forever, etc.? Look around the office at people's workspaces - people who keep tons of food at their desk, have old takeout containers (or takeout menus), energy drinks, trash, etc. everywhere probably aren't getting to take breaks during the day to eat. Which is fine in crunch times, but months of never getting more than 5 minutes to scarf down soup at your desk can take its toll.
The bottom line here is that when you take a job, you commit to spending 40 waking hours a week (usually more - sometimes a lot more) with a certain group of people, doing certain tasks. Once you've taken a job - especially once you're on your own, and have rent to pay - it's difficult to leave it, even if the job is a nightmare. Wouldn't it be good to know, before you commit, if you're going to spend 60 hours a week wedged into a cube with another person you can barely stand, coping with a bunch of abusive harpies with personality disorders, working for a boss who basically refuses to speak to you, as in this book? Yes, some people who go to work in thankless entry-level jobs for companies like Glorious Pictures do go on to be very successful and high-powered themselves. What no one tells you is that an equal or greater amount of people burn out, wash out, and end up not so successful. You only have a certain number of years to be young - be careful about who you choose to give countless hours of your youth to. They may not appreciate or repay the favor.
Dishy and Delicious - If You're Interested...
This is another one of those confessional/chick lit books that are oh-so-popular right now, in the same vein as The Devil Wears Prada (fashion magazine),The Nanny Diaries (Manhattan nanny), and The Perfect Manhattan (bartending in the Hamptons).In fact, Pine is gracious enough to give her predecessors a send-up in the form of referencing Miranda Priestly, the faux-Vogue editor that stars in TDWP, who apparently attends a party the main character is working at.
In short, Rachel Pine used to work in publicity at Miramax.Now she's written a book about a slightly misfocused career-go-lucky girl named Karen who ends up with a chance job in publicity at Glorious Pictures, a fictional studio with elements of many of the studios out there, particularly Miramax, if you follow that sort of thing.
There isn't exactly a disceranable PLOT persay, but that isn't exactly the point of the book.Much like TDWP and TPM this is a book about finding out what life is (possibly) like in this 'fantasy' world we are only rarely exposed to.Being in the marketing/advertising industry I can only imagine that a good chunk of it is truer than true. What's most fascinating of all is how deep the betrayals within the studio and manipulations of audiences really go - it makes you wonder how much of our culture today is derived from what spin doctors in the movie (and probably television) industry deem 'trendy'.A glance at the newsstand at a grocery checkout will tell you enough that's for sure - it's all celeb rags, ones that simultaneously expect us to tear these lads and ladies apart and worship them for the rare times they make a step in the right direction.
Overall the book takes you through a series of mishaps, events, and insights into the industry that fall into Karen's lap at some point or another.There are a few mysteries and questions that keep you guessing throughout, right up to the last few pages where it is wrapped up quite speedily.I'm not saying I was entirely satisfied with this slightly rushed job of an ending, but then, the ending was never really the point or the intrigue into this kind of book.In short, if you've read any of the other 3 books I've namechecked in this review, you'll already (think you) know how this one ends.After all...Rachel Pine had enough time to write a book now didn't she?
I liked this book because it was on a topic I was interested in, and wasn't afraid to hide the fact its solidity in terms of plot line was shaky at best.Instead it was dishy and got me so wrapped up in the last 2/3rds I finished it in two days.Aside from the obvious literary shortfalls, my only other complaint would be there was an insane # of names used in the book.Although Pine does her best to use original names to help distinguish each character from the next, often you'd get confused as to whether the person being spoken about was an animal (seriously), a celebrity, or one of the figures in the offices where Karen works.Still this is a great dishy read into the movie industry - if that's your bag.
The Twins of *YAWN*
I picked up this book for a light summer read while I was on vacation and promptly discovered that there is, indeed, such a thing as a too-light summer read.
The thin, predictable plot is not enhanced even by the references to barely-renamed celebrities, most of which are so obvious there's no fun in trying to identify their real life counterparts - not that I cared enough to bother even when it wasn't apparent within a second.The heroine has little insight and less wit and, worst, was eminently unlikeable throughout the book.To call rest of the characters two-dimensional would be an insult to squares.
If you want fun chick-lit, go read Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary again - a far better use of time than this, even if it is your tenth read.Even the occasionally painful purchase-binges of Kinsella's Shopaholic series are better than this fluff - fluff that, like cotton candy after the age of 8, only tastes sticky and leaves you nauseated that you tried to swallow it.
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