From Lisa Birnbach, the author of The Official Preppy Handbook, comes True Prep, which looks at how the old guard of natural-fiber-loving, dog-worshipping, G&T-soaked preppies adapts to the new order of the Internet, cell phones, rehab, political correctness, reality TV, and . . . polar fleece.
Published: Alfred A. Knopf an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Jan 1, 2010
True Prep is Lisa Birnbach's follow-up to the 1980 The Official Preppy Handbook. It's a sort of mirror volume to the original -- Preppy seemed written from a twentysomething's perspective about childhood, private school/prep school/proper college, and young adulthood; True Prep looks through a middle-aged lens at house, fashion, work and leisure, re-marriage, legacy ... and (again) one's alma mater, which attaches to a prep for life.It's also a sequel of sorts, applying the prep perspective to societal changes since 1980 (including the "Interthingy") and providing an expanded collection of all-star prep mini-biographies -- a "Pantheon" from Anderson Cooper to Edith Wharton (whose quotes begin each chapter) that focuses on boomers and even gen-x, some of whom are the children of those featured in the original Preppy's Pantheon.I loved Preppy and remember the tone as humorous satire. True Prep is fun too, and wry. Its photos, illustrations and text take the reader inside the prep world, for example its costs -- childcare begins with a baby nurse at ~$300/day; decorating via walls of used hardcover books is $75-100/linear foot ($300-400 for leather); prep-class rehab facilities cost ~$1000/day. Readers wanting to get closer will be interested in the lists of vintage clothing stores and charity galas around the country.Overall, I wanted much more material devoted to preps in 21st-century culture. Possibly, it's not there because they don't much engage in it? But the omission reduces the fun; it combines with the middle-aged perspective to lend a reflective tone to this volume, and makes preps seem more enigmatic here than in the previous volume.(Review based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher.)read more
Still a reasonably fun book, but far too egalitarian to be as wickedly funny as its fore bearer The Official Preppy Handbook.read more
Not as much fun as its precursor, but still amusing enough. As the other reviewer notes, it sounds middle aged rather than youthful, perhaps the next installment "Worn Prep", will lell us where THE retirement communities and nursing homes of tweedy distinction are to be found. I find "Stuff White People Like" considerably more comprehensive on the fads and fashions of preppiedom, since in many cases the stuff seems a lot more appealing to a subset of (mostly) white people than to the great pink mass. Among recent selections, for example -- the World Cup ("real" Americans hate the World Cup), camping, yoga with dogs, Mad Men, ironic tattoos, etc etc.read more
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