Diary of a Mad Diva

  • by Joan Rivers
  • Narrated by Joan Rivers
  • 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2015 Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album
Following up the phenomenal success of her headline-making New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me, the unstoppable Joan Rivers is at it again. When her daughter Melissa gives her a diary for Christmas, at first Joan is horrified - who the hell does Melissa think she is? That fat pig, Bridget Jones? But as Joan, being both beautiful and introspective, begins to record her day-to-day musings, she realizes she has a lot to say. About everything. And everyone, God help them.
The result? A no-holds-barred, delightfully vicious and always hilarious look at the everyday life of the ultimate diva. Follow Joan on a family vacation in Mexico and on trips between New York and Los Angeles where she mingles with the stars, never missing a beat as she delivers blistering critiques on current events, and excoriating insights about life, pop culture, and celebrities (from A to D list), all in her relentlessly funny signature style.
This is the Diary of a Mad Diva. Forget about Anais Nin, Anne Frank, and that whiner Sylvia Plath. For the first time in a century, a diary by someone that’s actually worth reading.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

As acerbic as ever, but very US-Centric

Can we talk? Okay, when you buy a Joan Rivers book you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for; Outrageous statements, cutting put-downs and close-to-the-knuckle humour that is always skirting the edge of acceptability. And Ms Rivers does not disappoint.

That said, you need to be aware of a few things if you're considering buying this title.

1. Joan Rivers has always defined herself by three aspects; She's a woman, she's a Jew, and she is a New Yorker (capitalisation intentional) and through her years in the business she has focussed her act primarily on these 3 demographics. Consequently she makes a number of references to Americans in the public eye who many Europeans have never heard of, and therefore the ensuing vitriol and punchline falls flat. Imagine Al Murray doing a show in the US and making jokes about Ant and Dec, it just wouldn't work. Same thing with Joan.

2. Comedy has come a long way since the 80s and most comedians would agree that to stay edgy and current they often find themselves skirting the ragged edges of what is seen as acceptable. (UK's Frankie Boyle being a prime example) For me there are still some taboo subjects and so I found it hard to listen to Joan when she pokes fun at Anne Frank, Stephen Hawking, or the victims of serial killers.

3. The title is a misnomer, this is not a diary in any sense of the word. It is instead a series of Joan's stage topics, written in a diarist format. There's no insight into her life, her friends or the daily challenges of staying in the public eye as you reach your 60s.

That said I'll admit there were several places where I laughed out loud (once on the London Underground and boy did that get looks) and I am sure I will be peppering my party conversations with Joan's one-liners for years to come.

And as Joan herself says, "Why the hell not? I don't need 'em anymore!"
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- Colin


What disappointed you about Diary of a Mad Diva?

I loved Joan Rivers. I loved her outrageousness and unlike some other reviewers, I wasn't put off by her voice, after all, it's what we're used to hearing! But I suppose I was expecting something a little more informative rather than fairly average jokes/observations being linked by a calendar, I'm afraid I only made it to January 4th!

Like other readers have said, I very rarely don't finish a book, however bad and I've read/listened to a few horrors, but there's just no SUBSTANCE here. There isn't enough of what's done/thought day to day it's just digs, jokes and send-ups.

Perhaps I should just skip a chunk and see if it gets any better, but I think what I'm disappointed in is the format. It's not what I expected and not what I'm interested in. I watched a TV program of "a day in the life of Joan Rivers" and it was fascinating and impressive and that's what I was hoping this would be. It's not.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joan Rivers again?


Which scene did you most enjoy?


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

Not really.

Any additional comments?

Read the reviews for a better description of what the book is about. I listened to the clip, but that wasn't enough. I should have read some reviews for a fuller impression before purchasing.

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- R. Card

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-07-2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio