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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!"
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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?
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.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Diary of a Mad Diva to be better than the print version?
Yes, I like to hear her voice and her expressions of her own words. She is so committed to giving her fans the best. She had to read it to us.
What does Joan Rivers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
she brings her words to life.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
She will be missed.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
When I came across this book I didn't hesitate. I had to have it. For me Joan Rivers has always been the best. The thought of a diary by Joan Rivers made me feel all tingly with anticipation.
This book was an amazing experience. I loved the whole thing. I wish that the diary would have covered every single day of the year for which this diary covers. Some days are missing. I can think of many good reasons why these days would have been missed and I do understand. We can't all have everything we want, right? Well, I sometimes think we all should have everything we need. Let me tell you this book came to me at a time when I really needed it. (I've been going through such troubles this year) This book got me smiling and laughing and that was what I was really in need of!!
Thank you so much Joan Rivers for this book. You're always amazing!!
I'm so glad that you narrated this book yourself, your words always need to be heard in your voice. You're unique and your voice is unique. I enjoyed this book so much.
It was very much worth the credit I used to get this book and I have already listened more than once. Everyone really needs to get this book, it's an experience you won't regret.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful