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Bitter Is the New Black

Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office
Narrated by: Jamie Heinlein
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
4 out of 5 stars (530 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jen Lancaster was living the sweet life - until real life kicked her to the curb. She had the perfect man, the perfect job-hell, she had the perfect life - and there was no reason to think it wouldn't last. Or maybe there was, but Jen Lancaster was too busy being manicured, pedicured, highlighted, and generally adored to notice.

This is the smart-mouthed, soul-searching story of a woman trying to figure out what happens next when she's gone from six figures to unemployment checks and she stops to reconsider some of the less-than-rosy attitudes and values she thought she'd never have to answer for when times were good. Filled with caustic wit and unusual insight, it's a rollicking listen as speedy and unpredictable as the trajectory of a burst balloon.

©2006 Jen Lancaster (P)2009 Penguin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    212
  • 4 Stars
    144
  • 3 Stars
    97
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    40

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    93
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    156
  • 4 Stars
    84
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    29
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Better than I'd hoped.

After reading the other reviews I was a bit skeptical, but I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, irreverent and sarcastic - all the things I love in a book!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dianne
  • Dallas, TX, United States
  • 02-23-11

Loved it!

Jen Lancaster is very funny and the book is written really well - Great Job! I also loved the narrator who can make or break a book. I had to not listen to this at night, because it was so good I didn't want to go to sleep. There are other books that I only listen to at night, because they are so boring that they put me to sleep ;-)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not So Bitter

I'm not sure why I bought this book or why I even wanted to read it but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a pretty good listen - funny, light, and real. Jen Lancaster is so relatable. I'd say she's the new age girl next door (if there's such a thing).

I would recommend that if anybody was interested in this book, that they should listen to the audio version versus reading the print version. The narrator helped bring Lancasters story to life! I'm confident that I wouldn't have liked this story half as much if I read the print version rather than listened to it - it's an experience!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed Review

I was conflicted between 3 and 4 stars. I liked it, and thought Jen Lancaster put together a great autobiographical story, but I often asked myself, "What is the point of this?" Or, "Why do I care?" On the other hand, I couldn't stop listening, and want to hear more from her. Because of that, I gave in with the 4 stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible.

What was most disappointing about Jen Lancaster’s story?

Her attitude, her tone, ugh. So irritating! I really wanted to like this book.

What aspect of Jamie Heinlein’s performance would you have changed?

She was fine. Maybe too fine because she voiced this terrible person to a tee.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Some of the humor wasn't insulting.

Any additional comments?

Let's just say I wouldn't want to be friends with Jen. I will be requesting a refund. Waste of a credit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SL
  • 12-06-12

Paper book is better- but this is entertaining

I've read "Bitter" 3x with the paper book. It is by far one of my favorite books of all time! Listening to it- the only drawback is the narrator gets a little..."Charlie Brown teacher." Listening to Jen's newest book, which she narrated herself, was better due to the fact that Jen emphasized things differently- the way she intended. The footnotes peppered through the book are also hard to understand with an audio book...unless the reader is ready for them.

Overall- still an entertaining, laugh out loud book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I chuckled a bit

At first when I started it, I thought, I hate this lady! But it got better. Yes she is kind of a pill but as time goes by, she starts to change. I enjoyed it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 02-24-11

Oh but for the love of pit bulls...

Overall, I found Jen Lancaster the character to be pretty unlikeable. Mean rather than funny and not as clever as she thinks herself. I did get through the entire book, and it looks up. There is some redemption and humility nestled in there somewhere, and post 9/11 job market was pretty much just as she describes. There's a lot in this book to like, the main character just doesn't happen to be one of them.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cute Book, Unrelatable Narrator

I bought this book after being laid off myself (that has since been remedied but that's beside the point). I thought listening to the story of someone get laid off and then find themselves would make me feel better. It did not. The narrator (I'm not talking about Jamie Heinlein, who did an amazing job) is a mostly unsympathetic character. She's crass, bratty, superficial (all things she admits to freely several times) and entitled. Whenever she doesn't get something she wants I could practically imagine her falling to the floor, kicking and flailing around in a tantrum. It's not a bad book by any means and if it had been turned into a novel instead of a memoir I think it would have translated better. I probably won't read anything else she writes because if she's this grating now I can only imagine how she is now that she's back to being successful.

On the plus side, Jen Lancaster can serve as an inspiration that in the face of adversity if you work hard enough you can achieve success, despite how annoying she probably is in real life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • Fontana, CA, United States
  • 10-08-11

Loved it!

I loved this story. I have a long commute to and from work (300 miles a day) so I like to listen to audio books. I found myself wishing the drive was longer. I wanted to hear what was going to happen next. I loved Jen's sassy persona and I loved hearing how she went from materialistic to realistic. Age, unemployment, and marriage will do that to a person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful