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Publisher's Summary

In Tales from the Back Row, Cosmopolitan.com editor Amy Odell takes listeners behind the stage of New York's hottest fashion shows to meet the world's most influential models, designers, celebrities, editors, and photographers. But first, she has to push her way through the crowds outside, where we see the lengths people go to be noticed by the lurking paparazzi, and weave her way through the packed venue, from the very back row to the front.

As she describes the allure of Alexander Wang's ripped tights and Marchesa's Oscar-worthy dresses, Amy artfully layers in something else: ultimately this book is about how the fashion industry is an exaggerated mirror of human fallibility - reflecting our desperate desire to belong, to make a mark, to be included. For Amy is the first to admit that as much as she is embarrassed by the thrill she gets when she receives an invitation to an exclusive after-party, she can't help but RSVP "yes".

©2015 Amy Odell (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A sharply amusing fashion memoir." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    22
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    9
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    9
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    5

Performance

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    15
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    7
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    7

Story

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

Funny & Engaging

What did you love best about Tales from the Back Row?

As a fashion outsider it was phenomenal to learn about the fashion world from an insider who still maintainers her "outsider eyes." The book was funny and entertaining. I loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Soooo Good! I Mean... Really Good.

I work in fashion, in NYC. This book is so accurate, right on point. I really enjoyed it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Terrific narrator makes this fun to listen to

Where does Tales from the Back Row rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

between a 1 and a 10 I give it 8It's one of the lighter books I've listened to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tales from the Back Row?

The interview with Anna Wintor

What does C. S. E Cooney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Lilt, she has the perfect voice and effortless timing when reading the book. She make you think she is the author.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

If you love the fashion world and satire, you will find it both, along with anhonest perspective of the industry and the people in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Quick Read

I enjoyed listening to this book, the witt and honest approach of the author held my attention.

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

Funny, Fascinating Memoir Excellently Narrated

Amy O'Dell is a funny, smart woman and a very good writer. If the fashion industry interests you, but you don't fall for all the bullshit and are one to say, "The emperor is wearing no clothes!", then this is the book for you.

C. S. E. Cooney is a terrific reader and this audio production is a good reason why most authors should let a professional narrate their books.

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

just ok

i was hoping for much more insider detail. the wedding dress shopping was excruciatingly dull.

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

Disappointing

The performance seemed forced and contrived. The author is very preachy. A much more interesting and better written fashion memoir is Kate Betts's My Paris Dream.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • kt
  • ALEXANDRIA, MN, US
  • 11-10-15

Only O.K.

Not much for fun or spicy insight into fashion industry. Author tends to drone on about herself in clunky, unnecessary internal, descriptive monologues. There is little humor or joy in this book.

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

Couldn't get past the voice

If you could sum up Tales from the Back Row in three words, what would they be?

Funny, honest, witty

What other book might you compare Tales from the Back Row to and why?

Devil Wears Prada, How To Be A Grown-up

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of C. S. E Cooney?

Just about anyone. She does that "sexy baby" voice that may work for YA books.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Fashion from the inside out.