There are some great books out there, sadly this is not one of them, Caitlin Moran seems to think she's funny, this was my first Caitlin Moran book that I have listened to, it will be my last.
"Me me me"
Prozac Nation. Though poles apart in content, both authors are unquestioningly honest, and quickly assert that they are what matters in the book. It could not all happen without them.
Though Moran has an ego to rival that of Madonna, her me me me take on absolutely everything is strangly moorish. Like chocolate and chilli, it shouldn't work, but it does. Even though her views are at times, frankly quite frightening, she doesn't fail to make you think.
"Repeat from How To Be A Woman."
I had some serious issues with this book.
I really enjoyed How To Be A Woman and went on to get this one with high hopes of another good read. The problem with this book for me is that whilst How To Be A Woman is "ranty" at times it has a real narrative and purpose. You also feel like more of the rants are justified or relatable.
In this one however the rants are more random and to me feels a bit irrelevant and self indulgent to put in a book - I mean she hates Lola from Charlie and Lola... ok. And two chapters are just love letters to Doctor Who and Sherlock, with large sections that are reviews from the series.
My main peeve about this book however is that she repeats the Lady Gaga encounter from How To Be A Woman in some paragraphs word for word from How To Be A Woman. Lazy. And I think a bit rude to those of us who bought both books. I understand that this was a big moment for her, but at least paraphrase or bring something new to the story...
Buy How To Be A Woman instead!!! that one is really great!!
"More Anthologies Please!"
Caitlin Moran is one of those open secrets of the newspaper and magazine reading fraternity that they've been keeping annoyingly quite for twenty years.
Now that she's burst onto the 'all the pages stuck together' book scene, first with How To Be A Woman, and now her Moranthology, her unusual take on life has been opened up to a whole new audience. And while the books themselves are funny, thought-provoking and occasionally not a little poignant, Moran is a writer who genuinely benefits from audio presention, and by presentation in her own voice. Clearly, she knows better than anyone how to present her columns - of which this is largely a collection - to the best effect, and her personality comes across in the reading, like the kind of thing that would happen if you sent Maureen Lipman, Katie Puckrick and Germaine Greer into the Large Hadron Collider and sat the result in front of a word processor or a microphone.
Moranthology is a sometimes sideways, sometimes "what are you looking at" straight on look at a range of subjects entirely inessential to the modern human being, but ultimately really fascinating to look at through her lenses nonetheless.
"A good read"
I bought this book as I was unexpectedly bowled over by Cailin's other book and was not disappointed by this. It is definitely not 'PC' and it won't be to everyone's taste. However, her engaging style and honest writing make a refreshing change from lots of the usual diatribes of modern day writers. I thought it was not quite as good as her previous book, but then, for me, that had the element of surprise. Well worth downloading.
"Disappointing compared to How to be a Woman"
I read How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran and loved it, it was well written, well read and I laughed out loud in several places. When Moranthology came out I was very excited to read it so as soon as it was available on audio I got it. Well it was certainly a disappointment; not interesting, not great writing or narration and not at all funny. I think I might have laughed a bit once but it certainly wasn't the burst-out-laughing-embarrass-yourself-on-public-transport laughing I did reading How To Be a Woman. It's essentially a list of things Caitlin likes which in places is very tiresome. She writes a book review in one chapter which is about as interesting as reading a GCSE essay. She spends ages going on about tv reviews and how hot Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is. We've all heard the Lady Gaga story before so stop going on about it. She considers herself some sort of political/economics/social policy expert which she clearly is not nada lot of her poorly researched, emotional witherings really put me off her. As for the painful conversations she has in bed with her poor husband, I can't bring myself to think of the cringingly pathetic stereotypical 'woman' questions she asks the poor bloke, she's not exactly doing womankind a favour by playing up to the stereotype. Some of her pronunciations are a bit dodgy and she seems to use the same words over and over again. Perhaps a thesaurus for Christmas Caitlin? I really, really wanted to like this book and desperately wanted to give it 3 stars but have opted for 2 as that's a more accurate reflection of my disappointment. 'Tangotastic' wrote an excellent review on Amazon which expresses my feelings exactly, if only I'd read it before I bought this.
"Funny, insightful, & tough-talking, classic Moran"
I had recently read 'How to be a Woman' and then seen Moran do a reading from youtube, so when I saw that she had another book out, I thought it would be one to listen to, rather than read, because she narrates it herself. I wasn't disappointed, although it is not as funny as 'How to be a Woman', its still a really good listen.
I love Caitlin Moran's attitude, I always have. She's someone I've been aware of since she first appeared on our televisions in Naked City, but have loved her all the more in recent years reading every article that I have come across, and compounded that love with her wonderful 'How to be a Woman'.
This collection of columns is brilliantly delivered with the vivacity and honesty you expect, and whilst many columnists often mostly rely on the rye, sarcastic angle to their observations of life, Moran also demonstrates a wonderful capacity for genuinely good writing too. Her descriptions of Elizabeth Taylor and Amy Winehouse are magical and serious subjects like mental health are touching, but ultimately fearless and real.
I am not a big-haired girl, I've simply never been blessed with the locks required, but I hope she'd let me be in her gang anyway.
"Disappointing. Buy something else."
Caitlin narrated her book well, but I found the content very disappointing. The writing is good, but is mostly re-writes of pieces published elsewhere, making this an odd collection of reviews & ego-boosting name-dropping articles. Considering how well she writes, I would have enjoyed hearing more that was autobiographical. I bought this because I wanted to know more about her, & ended up with something that was just tedious.
If you want a charming, well written & intelligent autobiography by a funny & strong 30-something woman, with quirky style & an off the wall insight into life, then don't buy this. Get Tina Fey's Bossypants instead. It's very good.
On a side note, I was quite taken back by the level of sexism behind Caitlin's writing. I'm surprised that she didn't spot this hypocrisy herself. When she talks of herself as a feminist, I made the mistake of thinking she actually meant Equalitist. But, this is not true. She is as much a chauvinist as the men she complains about.
For example, she makes a rather unintelligent plea in favour of positive discrimination for women (consider this; positive discrimination is always negative discrimination of another group). She complains repeatedly that women cannot be considered for any media role without a discussion of their looks, but then spends chapters writing about how attractive Benedict Cumberbatch is, and that this fact somehow makes his shows much more enjoyable. (Incidentally I completely agree that Cumberbatch is tasty, and his shows are overall more lovely for that. But she cannot say that while also asking men not to feel the same way towards women.) She notes that at sporting events the cameras seem all too glad to show female athletes wearing little clothing, but follows this directly with a lusty comment about male swimmers.
Caitlin comments that she finds it odd it is considered wrong to be a feminist. Unfortunately she herself encourages that anti-feminist reaction. She misses that importance of making a sincere effort towards equality. The stereotypical aggressive anti-male/pro-female attitude that comes with the stereotypical feminist is unpleasant & strongly counter-productive. It is very hurtful to the cause. Although there are many inequalities left to combat, there are not many people around who do not see the need to address them. The fight to convince society of a woman's worth is over, & now is the time to work together to address the issues that still linger on.
But back to the main point; buy Bossypants. Or just about anything else.
Before this I was considering Caitlin's 'How to be a woman'. I wanted to listen to it, but now don't think I can through fears of the author's sexism coming through again. I think I might just get too annoyed.