Playing With The Grown-ups by Sophie Dahl

April 8th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Playing with the Grown-ups

I read this book for two reasons:

1.    Sophie Dahl is hot.
2.    Sophie Dahl is the hot granddaughter of Roald Dahl.

Were it not for her hotness and literary lineage, I would not have read, much less even heard about, Playing with the Grown-ups, Sophie’s first novel.

But despite these irrelevant, verging on sexist, and recklessly inappropriate reasons for reading a book, I enjoyed Playing with the Grown-ups immensely.

Unlike Special Topics in Calamity Physics, whose author is also very hot, Playing with the Grown-ups is actually good.

Sophie Dahl writes with a stylized, imprecise prose where limousines cruise like sharks, people chat like mongooses, the sky is moody, and feet are defenceless piglets. Out of context, such constructed flourishes would drive me up the wall, but Playing with the Grown-ups is tender, warm, girly, and very British (as if you didn’t notice how defenseless was spelled).

British: there are estates, tea, boarding school, and precocious well-to-do characters.

Girly: a large majority of the characters are female, first periods, chastising for small boobs and small butt, armpit hair, clothes, shoes, agonizing over what outfit to wear, agonizing over which boy, adolescence, puberty, shopping, and designer labels.

It’s a coming of age tale with a tragicomic, rock star, art twist. And even though the primary narrative is interrupted with flash-forwards that tease the reader with tiny glimpses of the protagonist’s future, I managed to find it a fresh and charming read.

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2 Responses to “Playing With The Grown-ups by Sophie Dahl”

  1. THE TWITS is still my fave.

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