Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography

>> Monday, September 13, 2010

Originally, I had no interest in reading this. I suffered through Morton's version of Tom Cruise's life, which was meanderingly uneventful, particularly when you consider how frakked up that man is. I mean, really, why bother? I've read enough about the Jolie even when she put forth lightweight interviews that weren't even worth the paper or cover they were printed on. (I'm talking to you August 2010 issue of Vanity Fair!)

So why did I?

Well...last week when I was strolling through the book section of Target to see if they had Generation Kill, I saw it sitting there on the bookshelf with a 30% off sticker. I started thinking that, hm, using the remaining portion of a gift card I'd be paying well under the cover price for it. Yeah, whatever rationale would cushion the indignity to my brain.

But I didn't buy it then because I really, really, really, really wanted to read Generation Kill after having watched the miniseries over and over. So I drove all the way across town to the only large bookstore in the area and got the only copy out on the shelf. I read it every chance I could get and finished it within a few days. Surprisingly not at all bored when reading it even though I knew what happened. That is the power of excellent writing.

Which cannot be said for Andrew Morton.

I went back to Target, got the book and started reading. And I cannot believe I made it alive through the first few chapters because it was SO boring. Did you know how Jolie's parents met? Lived? Divorced? Feuded? No? Well, you're going to know now because it's the first three or four chapters. Chapters that felt so long they could have been renamed "War & Peace: Chapters 1, 2 & 3."

That's what so annoying about reading an Andrew Morton book. The prose is like that of 8th grade book report trying to be cool and edgy.
Angie's drug use, eating disorder, and cutting were clearly symptoms, a way of dulling or avoiding her emotional pain. In the presenting narrative of her life, she had been abandoned by her father, and sustained by her mother, who had given up her career to raise her. Black and white, dark and light, devil and angel. (p. 80)
Fucking and cheesy. Going from Generation Kill to this felt like going from reading Shakespeare to Stephenie Meyer. It is that bad. An editor who wasn't so interested in keeping the page count above 300 could easily slice 50 to 75 pages from this. A third is sheer padding of "blah, blah, blah and she was quoted saying this." Throw in some random child psychologist giving a general statement about some disorder and insecurity and there you have it, with the last 50 to 75 pages regarding Brangelina solely composed of a wordy timeline courtesy of the tabs.

Since Morton's main two named sources for the book are friends of Jolie's late mother, the most revealing things in the book aren't about Jolie but her mother. It really should be retitled: Marcheline Bertrand: How Some of My Worst Personality Traits Really Fucked Up My Daughter, Through No Fault of My Own Of Course.

What am I going to do with this book now? Pawn it off on my sister?

Here's hopin'...

*fingers crossed*


Janel B 13 September, 2010 15:07  

Sure, I'll take it off your hands. Along with the book by Madonna's bro that I loaned you...

House of Brat 13 September, 2010 15:51  

Whoopee! You're definitely getting that book back. I think you forgot to take it back home last Christmas.

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