Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Everyone Worth Knowing - Book Review

Everyone Worth Knowing
by Lauren Weisberger
Pocket Books 2005

This is the authors second novel. The first was the hugely succesful The Devil Wears Prada. This book is also set in NYC but this time it is about Bette, a young lady who quits her job at the bank and looks around for something else. She eventually gets a job with Kelly PR at the behest of her uncle.

Some years ago I used to work for a media monitoring company and it was my job to read the newspapers and magazines and mark up the articles with key words in them that were required by our client. Frequently we had to read and clip every single press release for the PR companies. Apparently they wanted to know which papers and magazines picked up and printed their releases and which did not.

In reading this book, I finally gained some idea of what it is like to work for a PR company, and I have decided that I do not wish to work in a PR company if they really are like this book claims.

Anyway Bette's jobs start out with event planning. She meets a bouncer at a prestigious night club. His name is Sam and he looks vaguely familiar. It turns out that Sam attesnded Bette's old high school 12 years before. Sam is taking cooking classes part time to become a chef. He also cooks Sunday lunch at a tavern.

Kelly's PR company do not associate with bouncers. Bette is hooked up with Philip Weston, a rich English fellow, a socialite and a snob. Bette's job is to do anything Philip wants and keep him happy. If that means sleeping with him, then yes, do that too.

Kelly's employees thrive on name dropping. Even names of real celebrities are mentioned frequently. Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt, Lindsay Lohan etc. And then Bette's name starts turning up in a newspaper social gossip column.

Bette has to cope with her loathing for Philip, her growing love for Sam and her desire to "keep her job" and not upset the uncle.

So when Kelly sends the team to Istanbul to help advertise the Istanbul Night clubs, Bette discovers Philip in bed with a man, and learns the real reason why Philip has never had sex with her. However Philip thinks nothing of telling the gossip colums that he has slept with her. Bette spends the night with Sam instead, and is photographed leaving Sam's room in the morning. When that picture shows up in the gossip column, Bettes discovers who the writer of the gossip column is.

During all this Bette has been arranging the major event of the year - the Playboy party. On the night of the Playboy party, it all goes wrong (but not because of Bette). And when Bette discovers that one of her co-workers was passing the information to the gossip writer, Bette just says to Kelly, I quit, and walks out.

Two months later the gossip writer has also lost her job when it was discovered that she lied on her job application. And a few more months later Bette and Sam finally get together. Sam opens his own restaurant, and Bettes joins him in managing it. Sam creates the menus and Bette does the administration. She's a whiz with numbers. She used to work in a bank, you know.

I really enjoyed this book, although I was not too happy with all the name dropping. Thats why I have decided that if this is true then PR work is not the place for me.

No comments: