Monday, December 14, 2009

Sophisticosity

It's been five years since I last encountered Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson, the diary-writing British teenager with the boy obsession. Her confessions entertained me through four episodes (two in audio), but then I'd figured out ... (I know, I'm slow) each book is pretty much the same. Amusing at first, but wearing in large doses. After a five-year hiatus, I enjoyed my brief visit with Georgia in her 8th adventure: Love is a Many Trousered Thing (aka Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing in England ... I think I enjoy the U.S. publisher's renaming of some of the books as much as the books themselves; for example, it replaced ... And That's When It Fell Off in my Hand with Away Laughing on a Fast Camel).

Is there any point to a brief plot description? Evidently in the books I missed, a Luuurve God from Pizza-a-gogo land (Italy) named Masimo shows up fast on the heels of the departing Sex God, Robbie (off to Kiwi-a-gogo land [figure it out]), and Georgia falls. Now, Robbie's back and Georgia must decide between the two. While on a camping trip with her German class (Georgia goes hilariously on and on about this), she seeks advice from her friend (and, as we know even if she doesn't, soul mate) Dave the Laugh, who tells her that love is a many trousered thing ... that perhaps she can love more than one person. In between, Georgia's diary entries are smart, witty and actually not very nice. No one escapes Georgia's poison pen.

As always, Georgia's glossary for all her American chums is worth waiting for. Sample: Fringe: "Goofy short bit of hair that comes down to your eyebrows. Someone told me that American-type people call them “bangs” but this is so ridiculously strange that it’s not worth thinking about. Some people can look very stylish with a fringe (i.e., me) while others look goofy (Jas). The Beatles started it apparently. One of them had a German girlfriend, and she cut their hair with a pudding bowl and the rest is history." I've complained long and loud about listening to backmatter in audiobooks, but Georgia's is a treat.

The narrator Stina Nielsen reads these books and she is delightful. She hits the right notes of sarcasm and egotism and reads with loads of teenaged expression and humor. Since everything is filtered through Georgia's voice, the story's other characters are all her over-the-top interpretations of them. So, yes ... for adult ears, it can get tiresome. It's one of those that you should just sit back and let it wash over you ... and five minutes after you've finished, poof! it's gone. But it was fun while it lasted.

It's hard to believe now that Georgia's confessions were considered so original back in 2001 when Rennison was awarded a Printz Honor. Yikes! Ten years! Georgia is 25. This is so ridiculously strange that it’s not worth thinking about.

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