Those bad bosses
Deepika Gurdev

The Devil Wears Prada
by Lauren Weisberger. Anchor Books
 Pages 432. $8.

Last night I woke up with a start. In my nightmare, there was a certain Miranda Priestly screaming ‘Ahn-dre-ah’. Never mind that I’m not Ahn-dre-ah — small mercies, as they say. But the book I read before I hit the proverbial sack was The Devil Wears Prada — the book that re-defines bad bosses forever — among a whole lot of other things.

Yes, there’s tons of high fashion, lots of brands, svelte babes, but don’t dismiss it as another piece of chick-lit. This one is deeper, more profound, even though ever other page has the signs of the big brands - the Pradas, Guccis and Versaces.

Beyond the obvious brands that seem to be leaping off every page, this is a story of bosses, some of whom are destined to be ‘bad’ forever. In fact, bad would be an under-statement, it more like the most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.

An absolutely fabulous read, it takes you through the life of Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, who lands the job, she believes and what everyone else has her believe is one "a million girls would die for." That is till she starts the job itself.

Being hired as an assistant to Miranda Priestly — the fabulously successful editor of the fashion Runway magazine, Andrea discovers more than just a Boss From Hell. Each day, her life revolves around ordering breakfast (five times), sorting two bags of laundry for dry cleaning, watch silk scarves go amiss, search for furniture stores, nannies, Harry Potter books, organise a wedding party and do the daily bulletin. It is like going on a wild goose chase every waking hour, only to find the answers could be right next to the prime suspect:

Here’s what happened, when Andrea was sent all over town in search of a vintage store:

"To make a long story short, Miranda sighed and patronised and condescended and insulted in every delightful way of hers but finally opened her black leather Hermes planner (tied shut inconveniently but chicly with a white Hermes scarf) and produced.... the business card for the store."

And this is what happened, when Miranda wanted the Harry Potter books for her girls:

"Ahn-dre-ah. It’s Mira-ahnda. It’s nine in the morning on Sunday in Pah-ris and the girls have not yet received their books. Call me at the Ritz to assure me they will arrive shortly..... Nothing was really wrong. She’d called to drive me a little crazier, push me a little bit harder. She’d called to dare me to defy her. She’d called to make me hate her that much more."

Given all this will staying on be worth it for Andrea? You have to read the book to find out.

For those of you who like a little bit of number crunching. The Devil Wears Prada is Lauren Weisberger first novel. It’s been published in 27 countries and was on the New York Times best seller list for six months. Not bad at all for a debut!

If you haven’t already read this book, this is the best time to do so. At least you can find out if Meryl Streep and Anna Hathaway live up to the print versions of the detestable Miranda Priestly and Andrea Sachs respectively. I can’t wait to figure that one out for myself.