A Gorgeous Modern Fairy Tale

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

I think the best kind of fairy tales have:

  • princesses
  • ugly ducklings
  • magical transformations
  • jealous enemies
  • dead mothers
  • happy endings
  • morals to teach you the important life lesson
  • helpful friends to get you through the challenges

Paul Rudnick’s new novel, Gorgeous, is the best kind of fairy tale. The author is an established humorist, playwright and screenwriter.  I wanted to quote at least a dozen different lines to convince you how funny and insightful and quote able the writing is. But probably you should just read the book.

Okay, here’s a quick excerpt of dialogue that will reassure you the romance sub plot is going to be worth reading:

BOY: “People have been warning me, you know. They claim you’re a gold-digging, predatory Hollywood siren. They say we’ll end up in the tabloids, shouting drunken filth at each other across a nightclub dance floor. They say that you’ll drag me into a fiendish morass of narcotics and cheap publicity and deviant sexual practices.”

GIRL: “And what do you tell them?”

BOY: “I tell them, ‘God, I hope so.'”

Then he leaned down and kissed me…

Dreams really do come true. Just ask Becky Randle, who is whisked away from the Missouri trailer park where she lived with her morbidly obese mother and offered three couture dresses by a famous fashion designer in New York City which are guaranteed to make her gorgeous. And it’s true. As Rebecca Randle, she is gorgeous. And her whole life changes. Everyone treats her differently. She looks differently. She acts differently. Only there is a catch….

Rebecca’s overly-honest commentary is exaggerated satire of the fashion industry and the British royal family–you might think it’s hilarious, or be offended, or maybe find it hilariously offensive! If you’ve ever seen a fashion magazine or celebrity magazine,  you will recognize the people and behaviors and choices and judgments that are being parodied and picked apart in this book.

Following Becky’s transformation to Rebecca is like watching an E! celebrity special. Older teens and young adults may especially enjoy these characters, who are already out of high school when the story begins. But this coming of age story will appeal to anyone looking for a smart, witty, magical and modern fairy tale.

Place a request for Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick, or checkout and download the audiobook from the library’s Hoopla audiobook service.

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Health Information Librarian, Arts & Crafts Librarian, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book group leader, and frequent library customer, especially with her children. She reads a new book every few days, but recently loved Adorkable by Sarra Manning, Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Tin Star by Cecil Castellucchi.