REVIEW: Queen of the Oddballs by Hillary Carlip
of Queen of the Oddballs Hillary Carlip is a bit of a female Forrest Gump.
Not because she has sub-normal intelligence and rambles about the similarities
between life and Thorntons's finest (she doesn't!) but because she seems to have
been on the edge of so many pop cultural moments: from stalking (sorry, "befriending")
seventies songbirds Carly Simon and Carole King, to having a bit part in Xanadu
with Olivia Newton-John, seeing John Cusack with his zit cream on and being
all but ignored by Oprah on an episode dedicated to her first book (and much more
besides!) Hillary's seen it, done it and taught herself to juggle and breathe
fire (really). Her memoir's subtitle is "...true stories from a life unaccording
to plan". Very, very apt!
simply loved this book. Part of its charm is, to be honest, that Carlip has a
lot of quirky celebrity stories to share (I guess growing up in L.A will do that).
But the biggest selling point of the book is Hillary's sense of humour, wit, and
honesty. She's not afraid to make herself look stupid or insecure if it makes
her story more honest and true, and that's what I responded to most. There are
moments of almost unbearable poignancy, especially towards the end of the book,
which made me weep. But more than anything, this book made me laugh.
book moves chronologically and at the start of each chapter, there's a summary
of events from that time period (usually illustrated with a picture of the author
at the time) which I found informative and very entertaining. Example from 1980:
" I use a whole sheet of paper to remind myself to try the newly released
product by 3M -- post its." The author also uses different formats for some
of the chapters (a script, a diary, a letter to Olivia Newton-John) but this never
becomes gimmicky or annoying, which must be a reflection on the talent of the
really is an interesting and unique individual who's taken an inspiring yet down-to-earth
"Oddball" journey through life. And I'm so happy she decided to write
5 out of 5.
YOU KNOW?* Hillary is also a talented web visionary. You can check out her home
page here, with links to her other fabulous sites, including the Queen of the
Oddballs site. (So pretty!)