Picks and Pans Review: The Second Assistant

UPDATED 05/10/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/10/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Claire Naylor and Mimi Hare

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If you're someone who TiVos E! News and archives ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, this zingy, only-in-Hollywood novel is your perfect spring fling. Elizabeth Miller is a witty, winning assistant on the lowest rung of the Agency, a high-powered Tinseltown talent firm. The authors—both showbiz scribes—dish out lots of A-list names though not much dirt: "Mia took calls from at least four girlfriends.... They were variously Jen (who was married to Brad), Court[e]ney (who clearly wasn't an assistant at the Agency), Sarah Jessica (there is only one) and Julia(go figure)."

As in last spring's bestselling The Devil Wears Prada, the pleasure in The Second Assistant stems from exploring the lifestyles of the rich and spectacularly thin, in this case with a decided West Coast flavor: kabbalah water, feng shui consultants, smoked tofu salads and a "half-dog, half-slut" pooch named Anastasia. Elizabeth is a standard-issue chick-lit chick and the plot is predictable, but the over-the-top humor makes this Hollywood satire more fun than stargazing at Spago.


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