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Because She Can [Hardcover]

Bridie Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 5 2007

In a New York minute, Claire Truman lands both a plum position at a top publishing house and the man she's wanted for ten years...then reality intervenes. Her new boss is Vivian Grant, a notoriously ruthless tyrant known for her tirades, traumatized assistants, and tabloid-inspired bestsellers. Soon Claire's job is stealing more and more of her time and her relationship with her fiancé begins to feel the strain. It doesn't help that she's working late nights with a brilliant-and handsome-first-time author. As Vivian's outrageous demands continue to escalate, Claire wonders if she likes where the fast track is taking her-and worries about what she might turn into...

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From Publishers Weekly

The not–Anna Wintour character in this much-hyped my-boss-is-famously-unpleasant roman à clef is not–Judith Regan—or, to be positive, is Vivian Grant of Grant Books, "the most hotheaded, ruthless woman" in publishing. She physically and verbally abuses her staff, is having an affair with a married New York City official (who dresses in drag) and has made a "fortune by producing tabloid-inspired blockbusters." And though up-and-coming literary fiction editor Claire Truman has heard all the gossip, she takes a job as an editor at Grant Books and quickly discovers Vivian lives up to her reputation as a foul-mouthed, über-demanding, tantrum-throwing tyrant. Claire tries to maintain some semblance of a life (she's engaged to dreamboat Randall Cox, who went from big man on campus to big man at Goldman Sachs, even though she's really in love with Luke Mayville, a sensitive writer/unrecognized genius), but vicious Vivian keeps her within spitting (and swearing) distance 27 hours a day. Clark, who worked at Regan Books, nails the dark side of the vulgar, spiteful boss archetype, and though the plot is as shopworn as the characters, those in the Page Six and Lloyd Grove set will appreciate this devilish read. (Feb. 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Clark, who once worked for publishing mogul Judith Regan, makes her debut in a devilishly funny companion piece to Lauren Weisberger's Devil Wears Prada (2003), substituting the book business for the fashion industry. Claire Truman, who works for a top-tier New York publisher, is about to lose her beloved mentor to retirement. Then she runs into her old college crush, wealthy Randall Cox, who begins squiring her to all the trendiest restaurants in town and lands her a job interview with Vivian Grant, a highly successful publisher known for churning out best-sellers on porn, pulp, and politics. Things start promisingly, especially when Claire is given the go-ahead to sign up talented first novelist Luke Mayville, but Claire soon starts receiving midnight phone calls full of impossible demands from her imperious new boss. Faced with a soul-crushing workload and a marriage proposal from her too-good-to-be-true boyfriend, an overwhelmed Claire must suddenly make some life-altering decisions. This entertaining novel rises above its predictable plot and sometimes-flat characters on the strength of its humor--Vivian's vitriolic tantrums are laugh-out-loud funny. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
If you couldn't put down "The Devil Wears Prada," you'll thoroughly enjoy "Because She Can." Once again we meet a talented, hard working young girl in New York City, Claire Truman, who has the misfortune to land a job working for a wicked witch boss. Vivian Grant is the boss, and she's a shrew who can't be tamed, given to shouting diatribes, manipulation, and all manner of underling humiliation.

Author Bridie Clark was formerly an editor for ReganBooks so it's not a stretch of the imagination to realize from whence her inspiration came. Judith Regan, once in high cotton at Harper Collins, was fired after the O. J. Simpson book debacle (remember, she was going to publish a book by Simpson that contained an interview about his wife's murder). All of this is to say that Clark knows of what she writes and she pens it very, very well.

Our heroine finds herself perplexed by her feelings for Randall Cox, a terrific looking, successful guy and her attraction to Luke Mayville who has just finished his first novel. She loves the book and touts it to Vivian despite the harridan's motto "Smut sells."

What to do? Claire is involved with two attractive men. Which one is for her? That is, if there's anything left of her after suffering the slings of Vivian. She is getting three times her previous salary but is it worth it?

Voice performer Mary Birdsong has a flair for comedy (Deputy Kimball in Comedy Central's Reno 911! )and she brings this to her stunning reading of "Because She Can." She ably conveys Claire's innocence and struggles.

- Gail Cooke
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