Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: Enter Whining

(Blogjob tags: British model Twiggy, "The Nanny"celebrity biographycomedy seriesDiana Spencer Princess of WalesFran DrescherFrancis Ford Coppolalate twentieth century actors.)

A Fair Trade Book
Title: Enter Whining
Author: Fran Drescher
Author's web site: https://www.frandrescher.com/
Date: 1996
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
ISBN: 0-06-101188-6
Length: 272 pages
Illustrations: many black and white photos
Quote: “Actually, I’ve been with the same man since I was fifteen...A lot of people ask what we attribute our seventeen-year marriage to. Screaming!”
According to the blurb on the back cover, Drescher “isn’t a whiner, she’s a winner.” “Whining” in the title is a reference to her trademark nasal voice. Enter Whining is a fairly typical actor’s biography, and relentlessly upbeat. Drescher has plenty to be happy about. This is the story of how she was a moderately successful entertainer until she and her nasal voice were perfectly typecast in a comedy series that made her a star.
Maybe it’s meant to be part of the comedy that, toward the end of the book, Drescher writes as if everybody on earth should have seen her in “The Nanny.” I hadn’t. Drescher does indulge in a couple of whines about how Francis Ford Coppola said he’d never watched her show, and Princess Diana dared, can you imagine, to snub Drescher. The model known as Twiggy was an early fan, so Drescher had apparently expected everyone else in England to be a fan of hers, too.
In an odd burst of synchronicity, around the time I found Enter Whining on sale to benefit a good cause, the TV Land cable channel announced plans to show reruns of “The Nanny,” giving me a chance to hear Fran Drescher’s famous voice. (I’ve never bought a TV set, but I’ve often sat with sick patients who watched TV, and one of mine watched TV Land.) Basically Drescher’s voice is the voice Southerners exaggerate our accents in order not to sound like, or the voice Southerners use if we stoop to mimicking Northerners in a mean, unfunny way. I don’t think I could be amused by half an hour of listening to that voice.
But I was amused by the book, and a lot of people like Fran Drescher. Her book is PG-13, apparently like her show: lots of raunchy body-centered jokes, nothing that could be called porn. In between the jokes aimed at six-year-olds, Drescher explains a few Yiddish words, which used to be Leo Rosten’s job. She tells us a lot about her parents, dogs, and lactose intolerance. The proportion of toilet jokes to clean jokes is high. If you can stand that, Drescher should get you through a few day’s commuting...especially if you take time out to show fellow commuters what you’re smiling about.

Fran Drescher is still alive and acting, although she's updated her look, so Enter Whining is a Fair Trade Book. When you send $5 per copy + $5 per package + $1 per online payment to either address at the bottom of the screen, I'll send Drescher or a charity of her choice $1 per book. Amazon prices for hardcover and paperback editions are similar (and lower than mine, since most booksellers don't pay royalties on secondhand books) but, if you choose the paperback edition, you could get eight copies of Enter Whining (or one of it and one each of seven other medium-to-slim paperbacks) for a total of $45, which might be a better deal than those other sellers offer after all.
(Hmm. Paypal is the source of the requirement that we add $1 per online payment. I actually like it, because this new rule levels the field--now it's more convenient (for some) to pay online, safer (for everyone) to mail a U.S. postal money order, and equally expensive either way. However, since this site now has an Amazon gift card widget...can you send Saloli an Amazon gift card by way of payment? You can...and yes, per contractual obligation, you'd make that $11 too. All forms of online payment have to cost the same.)