Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"sTORI Telling" -- Guilty Pleasure at Its Best


Ok, I know I am admitting here on this public forum, that I, a Librarian, have read the biography of Tori Spelling and thoroughly enjoyed it. Do I feel guilty about it? You bet. I know I should be reading the greats – Tolstoy, Austen, Dickens. They are heavy meals worthy of consumption. But then there are times when you just want to scarf down a dozen donuts – that’s what reading sTORI Telling was for me without all the nasty calories and only a little guilt.

On the remote chance you don’t know who Tori Spelling is allow me to enlighten you. She is the daughter of the late great television producer Aaron Spelling and played virginal Donna Martin in the television drama Beverly Hills 90210. Ok, I’ll admit it. I have seen every episode of 90210 – that’s 10 years of episodes! She’s gone on to do other things, especially made-for-TV movies (that even I wouldn’t watch!), but she’ll always be known as the daughter of Aaron Spelling who was on his show 90210 and who has been tabloid fodder ever since (I never read tabloids! Really!).

Though the book is touted as revealing all of the secrets of the goings-on on the set of 90210 and in her private life, it really is a book that reads like a conversation with a close girlfriend. It starts with Tori’s early years with the over-the-top birthday parties and Halloween costumes through the years where she had to struggle to overcome having such a famous name. Just to give you some insight into the book, there are chapters called, “They Hated Me at Hello”, “Strings Attached (or Why I Didn’t Notice That I Shouldn’t Be Getting Married” and my favorite “Is That a Knife in Your Purse or Are You Just Glad to See Me?”. You learn through reading the book, which some could see as just another “Poor Little Rich Girl” tale, that Tori’s a regular person with a really interesting life. She’s had problems with money and with her mother and with irrational fears. It was humanizing to read about her struggle with ODC. She loves her dogs and her second husband and, just like all of us, wants to be successful on her own without help from her parents.

I find the interactions between her and her mother especially intriguing. When Tori was 12 and all dressed up for a family portrait, she asked her mother, “Am I pretty?” Her mother responded with “You will be when we get your nose done.” Throughout the book there are plenty of other examples of her mother’s “sweetness”. To anyone that has watched 90210 with any regularity, you will know that Tori’s character on the program also had an uneasy relationship with her mother. Though Tori doesn’t say so in the book, it does leave you wondering if her real mother was the pattern the writers for the show followed. It is also notable that her father on the show was very sympathetic – did the fact that the producer of the show was Tori’s father have any bearing on this too?

I am in no way saying read this book and forget all about the Dostoevskys and James Joyces out there. But every now and then it’s nice to put aside the Lobster Newburg and opt for a donut with pink icing. That’s this book.

1 comment:

leona said...

I love you for admitting to reading this... and enjoying it! :) You have inspired me to see if our copy is in and check it out. As for the meaty books.. I like my meals to be meat free, perhaps a little non-fiction chicken thrown in for protein every once in a while. And doesn't everyone say, "Eat dessert first"? So, eat the donut books first, who knows how long their print run will last.