‘IT’ by Alexa Chung. It’s not very good.
Alexa Chung, the girl-next-door-come-fashion-icon, famous for her Peter Pan Collar fetish more so than her TV presenting career has written a book. I use the word ‘written’ in the loosest sense of the word I might add, because having picked it up and flicked through it, I was gobsmacked at its arrogant shoddiness. I am but a humble, nobody blogger who has never been, and probably never will be celebrated as a ‘fashion icon’ (given my penchant for still slumming about in uni hoodies and hareem pants- come get me boys), yet I’m convinced I could have written something better than this had I shoved a pen into my vagina and played a particularly energetic game of Twister.
However, before I discuss the book, let it be known that I do not have any particularly strong feelings about Alexa Chung herself. I’m sure she is lovely. She’s got a very nice fringe. She wears nice outfits. Her ability to rock the aforementioned Peter Pan collar is something that I (and every other girl with big boobs) envy. Whilst I could never envisage her being wild enough to spend a night downing gin in a Soho haunt, she seems like the sort of gal whom one would be able to have a nice conversation with over a pot of tea. She is PG and seems very NICE. I’m not sure however that ‘nice’ is enough to warrant a whole book. One also needs a combination of the following attributes to shine through the text: charm, wit, intellect, substance and dare I say it, talent. Chung herself told Vogue, “I wrote it because I was bored and wanted to create something alongside hosting television shows.” ………………Well, wow. Whoever said one needed a burning passion in order to write and create? The saying goes that everyone has a book in them, yet if this was the book that was inside me, I’d probably ask myself for a refund.
The book has really nice binding. Sadly that’s about the only good thing about it. It’s unfortunate that no-one told her Stephen King has already used that title. Folk wishing to read a horrifyingly scarring tale about a mental clown are now going to be VERY confused when they lay their hands on this collection of Chung’s photos, musings and doodles about her favourite things. Just to clarify, that’s what the book is about. It is Alexa Chung saying things like “I like the Spice Girls” “I like my best friend” “I like East London”. (honestly, it doesn’t get any deeper or wittier than that. I’m not exaggerating.) At the end of every page I felt like exclaiming, COOL STORY BRO.
Each page reads as being unbelievably self-indulgent. Here’s a summary of the first few pages.
- When I was little I loved horses.
- I love the Spice Girls.
- Doodle of a heart with a face.
- I love my Grandpa.
- Instagram photo of a naked lady.
- I am skinny.
- I love my best friend.
- Grainy photo of two dogs.
- I like movies.
- Kate Moss is cool.
It’s already page 43 at this point. 43 PAGES IN. Everyone I have ever met managed to cover more within the first sentence of their dissertations than Chung does in 43 pages worth of hard-backed spaff. I don’t think I need to go on, although this brilliant article from The Guardian continues to summarize in this way, if you’re desperate to know more about the specific content. This book is supposedly a fashion book, yet there is not one decent photo on show. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all thankful for forgiving Instagram filters, yet within a fashion book one expects rather more.
I bought a copy of the book, mainly because I believe that you should actually read or watch stuff before you express opinions about them and it cost me £16.99. SIXTEEN NINETY NO. I really hope the entire world reads this blog post because anything less than that and I will feel like I’m out of pocket. I have however, invented the Alexa Chung ‘It’ Drinking Game. It goes like this. Gather a bunch of pals, a copy of the book, and enough alcohol to slay a baby brontosaurus. Take it in turns to read extracts from the book aloud and each time someone rolls their eyes, everyone does a shot. BEWARE: This game should not be played for more than 20 mins, otherwise there is a severe danger of alcohol poisoning.
Never have we been more fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful, intelligent, pithy and funny female writers. Like them or not, Caitlin Moran, Grace Dent, Hadley Freeman, India Knight, Lucy Mangan etc etc are all out there “writing the fuck out of shit” to quote Moran herself. They have shit to say about the world and are out there shouting about it and making us wee with laughter at the same time, making Chung’s ‘effort’ laughable and a bit insulting to potential readers. If you’re looking for something GREAT to read, you’d be much better off using your copy of Alexa Chung’s ‘It’ as a handy doorstop and buying anything written by these wonderful women instead. In fact, just buy a Mr Man book, it’ll be far more interesting and witty than this. With better pictures.
Sorry Alexa. You still a have a nice fringe though babes.