Just when you thought there was nothing more the Kardashians could do to keep themselves in the media spotlight, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe have written their first novel, published this week by William Morrow.  Penned, more amazingly, equally by all three sisters!

One would think that reviewing the merits of this novel would be a “no-brainer,” but the Kardashians, once again, prove that their materialistic striving and blatant fame-mongering can still be endearing when sprinkled with a good dose of humor, a couple self-referential kicks in their multi-million dollar derrieres, a heap of vacuous gossip, and several sex-driven plot twists.

Dedicated “To Our Fans,” this novel follows a few developmentally significant moments in the fictional lives of The Romeros: Kamille, Kassidy and Kyle, just as Kamille is “discovered” and skyrockets to fame, leaving her two other sisters foundering in her wake.  As in the real life Kardashians, there is a blended family:  mother (Kat), father (Beau, a former athlete) and a stepbrother and sister who make up the supporting cast (a nod to fiction).  There is a good sister, a bad sister, and a sister who isn’t quite right. Boyfriends are won over and lost, jobs are attended to irregularly, there are eating and drinking binges, cat fights, obsessive texting, and, in an act of haunting foresight, a very public wedding fiasco that includes a Vera Wang bridal gown.

Wandering through the text like a ghost from bygone tabloid days is David Romero (Robert Kardashian), the beloved father, who has died tragically and whose absence is meant to explain the tailspin the daughters’ lives seem to have taken, and by implication, may also shed light on the bafflingly pathetic real-life footfalls at least one of the Kardashian offspring is making now.

As if to dispel the idea that there would be no gravitas to a novel based on this made-for-TV family, surprisingly, the Kardashian scribes have added references to Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams—a shout-out to great dramatists of yore?  Could it be that the sisters actually read, or do they just have a literate ghost writer?

Regardless, readers are exposed to the truly hyperbolic world of Kardashian making.  Young women banter about “slors,” “manwhores,” and “the stupidest hookup ever.”  Kamille muses about a hot night with her man:  “She’d never had an orgasm with a guy, but with Chase…well, she had pretty much lost count after the fourth or fifth one.” And she must’ve been sore, but when life is so exaggerated, there may be no place for the subtlety pain, although the girls do a good job getting themselves into humiliating situations.

It’s always sad to anticipate the tragic demise of any family, including one that so blatantly flaunts its excessive lifestyle during one of the worst financial crises this country has ever endured.  Yet, there’s also an eerie delight in watching this clan be “hoisted by their own petard” on such a populist vehicle as cable TV.  In the Kardashians’ case, they have now trumped reality TV with reality, and reading Dollhouse, after watching the real-life “fairytale wedding” go so nightmarishly wrong, makes this book seem dated even before it’s come out.

NAVA RENEK is a writer, editor and educator. She has published two novels: SPIRITLAND and NO PERFECT WORDS. MATING IN CAPTIVITY, a collection of short stories, will be published in early 2012. She is also editor of WRECKAGE OF REASON: An Anthology of XXperimental Prose by Contemporary Women Writers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *