Friday, November 1, 2013

Uninspiring Anthology: Suck It, Wonder Woman! Is An Unremarkable Collection!

The Good: Conversational writing style is fun, Some entertaining stories
The Bad: Not terribly original, insightful or clever, Repetitive
The Basics: Olivia Munn’s autobiographical essays and collection of philosophies, Suck It, Wonder Woman!, adds up to nothing of consequence.

I like Olivia Munn on The Newsroom (season two is now reviewed here!) and that was my impetus for picking up her book Suck It, Wonder Woman!. After my first night of reading Suck It, Wonder Woman!, my wife asked me what I thought of it and I frowned and noted that it wasn’t adding up to much. Her response was one of anything but surprise and she reminded me how much Olivia Minn rambled on the commentary track on the first season of The Newsroom (reviewed here!). I had forgotten how Munn dominated the audio track bonus feature on The Newsroom without, ultimately, saying much at all.

Outside The Newsroom, I had no experience with Olivia Munn until reading Suck It, Wonder Woman!,so I cannot offer a comparative analysis of how the book stacks up against her performances on Attack Of The Show. But, if Suck It, Wonder Woman! is any indication, Aaron Sorkin has seen a potential in Olivia Munn that is not at all evident in her writing. In other words, anyone hoping for a Sorkin-esque level of wit, depth and thematic sophistication will not find it from Olivia Munn, at least not in Suck It, Wonder Woman!. On The Newsroom, Munn is articulate and she delivers her lines entirely convincingly.

That voice is entirely absent from Suck It, Wonder Woman!

In Suck It, Wonder Woman!, Olivia Munn rambles from subject to subject; it begins as an autobiography and interspersed between stories of Munn’s life are her philosophies on various things. Her subjects of contemplations range from why one shouldn’t mix tequila and painkillers (it leads to homoerotic showers, apparently, which is not exactly the strongest argument against, despite the fact that it comes after nearly drowning) to why you should get a threesome out of the way if your boyfriend has not already had one. None of the passages are particularly insightful or authoritative, save the autobiographical bits. Munn describes her lonely childhood, early experiences in Hollywood (like meeting with a famous director who masturbated in front of her) to her rise to prominence on G4’s Attack Of The Show. Her story is hardly unique, though the story of the worst day of her life (when, during an admittedly bratty phase, she treated her grandmother poorly on the very night of her grandmother’s death) is heartbreaking and easy to empathize with.

Munn’s writing style is conversational and she repeats quite a bit of information. In Suck It, Wonder Woman!, aided by Mac Montandon, Munn writes like a high school girl talks. She writes enthusiastically, tells her stories in a rambling manner with little points and the stories are easy to read and get through. So, for example, when discussing her Playboy cover shoot, she writes “Playboy then said that if I flash the same amount of skin that Heidi had, they would pay me a certain amount – I’m not gonna reveal too much here (it’s a trend!) but suffice it to say it was a very good amount of money” (119). That type of voice with its own interjections is very common in Suck It, Wonder Woman!.

Moreover, there is an irksome trend in Suck It, Wonder Woman! where Munn oscillates between namedropping (like Evander Holyfield) and protecting the identities of those to whom she alludes (a famous movie director whose bedroom she visited, yet remains unnammed). As well, references to her show, Attack Of The Show come out of nowhere and she assumes readers are invested in the work. She spends a lot of time writing about a petition that led to her and her co-host jumping into a giant pie while wearing french maid outfits. This incident includes Munn complaining about hitting a support bar and getting hurt on it and her co-host leaping in minutes later to the same fare, leaving the reader baffled as to why she did not warn her co-host about the peril!

Suck It, Wonder Woman! has moments of entertainment value, but on the whole, the book does not stack up as a memoir, an autobiography or a book of philosophies. Instead, it is a meandering narrative that never becomes anything cohesive. Munn might have something to say, but in Suck It, Wonder Woman!, she does not land her message, nor does she stick to her personal story enough to make the reader care about the woman behind the words. In short, Suck It, Wonder Woman! is a not-unpleasant volume that undersells itself on all counts.

For other books that have memoir, philosophy or autobiographical aspects, please visit my reviews of:
The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stories I Only Tell My Friends By Rob Lowe
Keeping Faith By Jimmy Carter


For other book reviews, please check out my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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