Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: The Assistants by Robin Lynn Williams

In this wicked, laugh-out-loud debut novel, five miserable souls struggle to make their mark on Hollywood, the city of the soulless. Rachel Burt, starry-eyed and clueless, has left behind tiny Sugarland, Texas, and her position as Starbucks employee of the month, to pursue her dreams of becoming a screenwriter. The madness begins when she eagerly accepts a position as assistant to Victoria Rush, an aging television diva with "a little pill-popping problem that two tours of duty at Betty Ford couldn't remedy." Rachel learns the ropes from Michaela Marsh, a never-say-die, plastic-surgery perfect "midget Tai-Bo Barbie." Michaela has spent years (and years and years: she is -- gasp -- over thirty!) trying to break into Hollywood, which has given her a healthy respect for the casting couch; but even sleeping with her slimy agent hasn't landed her a meaty role, and the last pilot she almost got, some ten years ago, went to that little nobody, Lisa Kudrow. Jeb, who operates on pure rage, has been fired from more assistant jobs than he cares to count, and he currently teeters on the edge of insanity under Randall Blume, one of the sleaziest agents in Hollywood. Kecia Christy, a no-nonsense Pisces pining for love and addicted to Krispy Kremes, works for Travis Trask, the hottest teen heartthrob since "that other white boy, Leo." More interested in smoking prizewinning pot with his bonehead buddies than in his next movie, Travis is always looking for the next good party -- until his ex-con brother shows up at the front door. Griffin's intelligence and ambition fail to shield him from endless humiliation at the hands of Johnny Treadway, a crass A-list manager with pec and cheek implants and a perpetual tan, courtesy of the Tropical Rays tanning bed he keeps in his office. Johnny takes all the credit while Griffin does all the real work, and Griffin has begun to suspect that selling his soul might not be worth that overdue promotion after all. Once a week, Rachel, Michaela, Jeb, Griffin, and Kecia meet at a dark, unhip watering hole to commiserate. Soon enough, however, the system spits them out, and they must learn to survive through sheer determination, hard-won industry savvy, and luck.

If ever there was a perfect book that I can relate to, this must be it. The Assistants is a comedy with realistic situations that assistants face every day of their lives. It is about a group of assistants with different employers’ who are making their lives a living hell. They meet up once in a while and discuss their own problems with their horrible bosses. It’s like an AA Meeting where they can unload their deepest and darkest thoughts about their employers, (I wish I had one of these support groups, oh boy, I could tell them so much regarding my past bosses!). When I started reading this book, I can't seem to stop and wonder that, hey, wait a friggin' minute, I've experienced some of those horrible situations that some of these assistants have encountered with their bosses! I'm not an assistant per se but I know how it feels to be undermined and be bullied by some of the companies I've been employed with before. Sometimes, there’s never a right answer with these bozos. There’s no right or wrong, whichever way you go, they will have something to say about you. That’s just so unfair. When you did something wrong, they will pound you with that mistake and make you feel really bad about yourself, what they can’t see is the sacrifice you’ve made in behalf of their company. One slip, just one tiny slip and they fly off their handles! They can’t even see the good that you’ve done for them. That really sucks. I had an idea once for our Christmas party decorations, a very good idea, and my boss took all the credit for that idea. He said that it was his idea and bragged about it to everyone! Asshole! Life is unfair. I’ve learned that the hard way.  So now, I’m not the goody-two-shoes type of guy anymore, I’m sick and tired of being bullied by these imbeciles!

I’m not proud for what I’ve done with my previous work, but my boss and I had a go at each other and it was pretty ugly. I was shouting at her and she was shouting at me, it was like a shouting match! It all started when her nephew, who was a co-worker of mine, forgot to inform me that her aunt will need to pick up a couple of books at the office. I was surprised when she barged in and started telling me that I was incompetent and that I wasn’t doing my job right. She started calling me names and I can’t possibly stand there and accept all of those insults! I retaliated by matching her anger and everything went crazy! I ended up leaving the company for good. I felt so relieved when I left that horrible boss. She’s not even worth writing about, so I’ll stop now. The Assistants will teach you a lot when it comes to finding the right job and how to blend in with your working environment. I’ve learned loads from this book, that you have to stay true to yourself, even though you’re surrounded by other people (some of them are bad influence), stay real and do what you think is right. I was hoping that The Assistants had a sequel, alas, the author did not write another one. Well, that’s okay… I’ll just find another book with this kind of plot. A must read guys!

My Rating: 5 Stars

1 comment:

Carole said...

Hi there, the October edition of Books You Loved is live. Here is the link Books You Loved October Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

PS I am a follower of your blog. I know you have linked in before, too – which is great. Would you consider following Carole's Chatter back – or are you already?

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