Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Hairdos and don'ts

Move over, Margaret Drabble. Take a hike, Iris Murdoch. There's a new authoress on the block, and she means business. Promising plenty of subtext, allegories aplenty, and a razor-edged insight into the human condition, Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi's debut novel 'A Shore Thing' is certain to live up to its name when it comes to selecting this year's winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction.

She may only be 4'9", but Snooki's already a towering colossus in the world of reality TV, having shot to fame as the tangerine terror of MTV's hideously compelling 'Jersey Shore'. Making The Hills look like Downton Abbey, Jersey Shore follows the misadventures of a bunch of mahogany-hued Italian Americans sharing a beach house. 

Despite a contribution to popular culture that amounts to little more than a beehive hairdo and being punched in the face in a nightclub, Snooki is the breakout star of Jersey Shore, singled out by the New York Times as the one to watch. It doesn't seem to matter that she looks like a "turnip turned on its tip", her attention-seeking behaviour has made her an easy audience favourite.

Whilst her fellow cast members pursue their own business ventures, largely based around tackily bedazzled clothing lines, Snooki has more literary ambitions, which is why she's turned her well-manicured hand to writing. With a plot that "mimics her escapades" on Jersey Shore, the book follows the adventures of two cousins, Gia and Bella, who head to the beach in search of "hot guidos, pool clubs, fried Oreos, and lots of tequila." It's like Hotel Du Lac with a six pack.

Ahead of the book's launch today, the New York Post published exclusive excerpts, and it seems that we have a new Anthony Burgess on our hands. His celebrated novel A Clockwork Orange painted an evocative picture of dystopian future, using an invented language called Nadsat that blended rhyming slang with Slavic words.

Showing a similar visionary confidence, Snooki writes boldly about "badonks", "shimmies" and "juiceheads". Here's hoping the book comes with a glossary of terms so that we can decipher sentences such as "Yum. Johnny Hulk tasted like fresh gorilla." Melvyn Bragg is going to love it.

What less certain, is whether or not Snooki's loyal fanbase will lap it up. They may have made her one of America's most popular TV stars, but they're unlikely to even know what a bookstore is. Their heroine readily admits that she's only ever read two books in her life, and one of them was 'Twilight'. Let's just hope that Snooki's first adventure in publishing doesn't land on its badonk.

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