I admit The Devil Wears Prada is not a book that I expected to read quite so soon. Sure, it was on my Kindle, so obviously I expected to read it eventually, and I enjoyed the movie, so I even expected to enjoy it, but it wasn’t at the top of my to read list. I ended up reading it because I had finished the other books I had taken with my on holiday and I wanted something light and easy going.
If you’ve seen the movie of The Devil Wears Prada, then you’ll have the gist of this book. Andrea wants to be a journalist and somehow, almost accidentally ends up being the assistant for Miranda Prince, the demon who runs the fashion magazine, Runway. Andrea is led to believe that a year working for Prince will be enough experience for her to land any journalism job she wants and also that she’s extremely lucky because there are “millions of girls who would die for this job.” Even though she’s not interested in fashion or becoming a fashion journalist. Right.
Nevertheless, she goes for it. Her boss is purest evil, as suggested by the title and demands that Andrea be available more or less 24/7 with no holidays, sick days or, apparently, sleep. Aside from taking a toll on Andrea’s mental and physical health, it puts a serious strain on her relationships with her family, boyfriend and her best friend. Because of course it does. She persists because she hopes her year in Hell will allow her to land her dream job at the New Yorker. You know, that bastion of fashion commentary? No? Ok, so Andrea might be just slightly naive Who am I to judge?
Silly premise aside, it’s quite a good read. It’s funny and entertaining and there are a few tense scenes. You really do feel for the characters, even when they’re being idiots, and if you’re unlucky enough to have an evil boss it will probably make you feel better about your situation. For once, though, I think this is a case of the movie actually being better than the book. In the movie events and characters are more realistically handled, and a slightly adjusted ending is somewhat more satisfying. Perhaps I’d thinking differently if I’d read the book first, and perhaps it’s just impossible for Meryl Streep to do any wrong, but I’d re-watch the movie and I wouldn’t re-read the book.