Picks and Pans Review: Second Act
Yes, a jury of her peers concluded last year that Joan Collins, 64, is a perfectly adequate writer—a decision it reached after Random House tried to retrieve a big advance for a Collins novel it deemed unpublishable. Now, with that legal feather in her designer hat, Collins delivers a follow-up to her 1984 memoir Past Imperfect. The verdict? Second Act confirms her literary adequacy—but just barely.
Best known as the scheming meanie Alexis on Dynasty, Collins the Writer is up to the demands of the genre in question, which, fortunately for her, is Self-Serving, Selectively Candid Celebrity Memoirs. She takes readers on a by-the-numbers tour through her life's high and lowlights—a privileged upbringing in romantic war-torn London; four failed marriages; her years as America's favorite bitch-goddess. To keep things moving she avoids interesting details (barely a mention of her affair with Warren Beatty) and skimps on meaningful introspection.
About the only time Collins does that jury proud—and proves that writing well is the best revenge—is in an entertaining, pull-no-punches chapter on the Random House trial, in which she calls her former editor Joni Evans "a bottle blonde" with "leathery orange skin." Meow! (St. Martin's, $24.95)