I was skimming through the ARC of Jennifer Lancaster's humorous weight-loss memoir, Such a Pretty Fat, and was rather taken aback at how... tedious it is. It's got lots of energy and a good premise (she's a fat person with no self-esteem problems) but sheesh, she goes on and on and on about herself and her terribly cute daily minutiae, to really an absurd degree. It's like having lunch with a pathologically self-absorbed person: after a bit all you can do is nod and say Uh-huh and keep glancing at your advancing-way-too-slowly watch -- but it goes on for 300 pages! I found myself wondering, Since when does a mildly amusing anecdote about your dog -- the kind that only barely qualifies for speaking aloud, when you have nothing better to talk about -- deserve to be written down for a mass audience?
Oh, yeah. Since blogging.
Such a Pretty Fat is basically a bunch of blog posts tied together with some contrived and unbelievable story lines (she keeps buying Barbie heads while high on Ambien) in order to turn it into something that resembles a book. But its heart is a blog. And though I'm not really interested in daily-life blogs (why, I wonder? The intimate lives of complete strangers should be interesting to me, but they're not), I'm sure Lancaster's is a fun one. She's very clever. She's probably terrifying to be around in person: one of those people who snarks so viciously about everyone around her you go queasy thinking about what she's saying about you when you're not there. A blog is the perfect medium for her.
But as a book... I don't know. Obviously I'm a fan of blogging and think it's going to be vital to the future of literature (somehow or other), but I hope that future doesn't look like this, like a blog: less edited, less reflective, more self-centered, and with a lower bar for being funny and interesting. Since there's no paper to waste online, you might as well ramble on and on until you accidentally say something worthwhile. Hell, I've done it myself. But a book costs money and uses natural resources and one expects a little bit more.
Have I just contradicted JRL's pro-blog post of a couple nights ago? Oh, well. We contain multitudes.