PositiveThe GuardianMcGowan’s book will not be the best book about the Weinstein scandal, but it may be the most visceral. Anger burns from every page ... But the problem with burning everything down is that it all becomes an indistinguishable pile of ash. The misogyny of gossip blogger Perez Hilton is a worthy target for McGowan; that actors occasionally have to perform wedding scenes is not ... This reads like a book written by a woman driven to near derangement by decades of abuse and gaslighting. At times I wished McGowan could filter her anger, highlighting the real abuses as opposed to folding them in among the generalised sexist garbage. But if she had been able do that she probably wouldn’t have written this book: self-control isn’t helpful when you are kicking down doors. McGowan set out to write a book that examines abuse, and she has done just that. She has also, inadvertently, shown how much damage abuse can wreak in even the toughest of women.
MixedThe GuardianBrown’s fun and often funny latest book is a sort-of (and far superior) follow-up to Life As a Party. It reveals What Tina Did Next ... Brown knows how to give her readers what they want, which is gossip about the celebrities and politicians she covered ... 'Everything in New York,' she writes at one point, 'is about personal marketing.' This certainly seems to be true of Brown, because this book isn’t really about a magazine, it’s about her, and my God, the selling is relentless ... It feels a little unfair to blame Brown for Weinstein, who, like Talk, does not feature in The Vanity Fair Diaries. But it is striking how kind she is to other men in it who have since been accused of harassment or worse.
PanThe GuardianIn trying to be so likable, Schumer seems dishonest. The only essays that ring true are those about her family, in particular the one in which she describes how it felt to watch her increasingly sick father lose control of his bowels in an airport and, later, how furious she still is with her mother for having had an affair 20 years ago ... As you’d expect of a comedian of Schumer’s calibre, the writing captures her voice and is often funny. But this book proves the theory that the larger a book’s advance, the less editing it gets.