Cause Celeb

Helen Fielding’s more serious romance. Her main character Rosie is a lot more together than Bridget, but her leading man Oliver is a lot more one-dimensional than Daniel from Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Rosie has a bad relationship with the manic-depressive Oliver, then throws herself into a relief effort in an Ethiopia-like country which is on the verge of famine. She then returns to grab a bunch of celebrities to do a sort of “Africa Aid” thing, and in the end they all learn a very special lesson.

The first half of the book is setup for the African portion (more on that later), but mainly Rosie’s experience being adopted as an accessory to Oliver, a well-connected television producer. All the celebrities know him, and she learns about dealing with “the Famous Club.” However, their antics aren’t as interesting or as depraved as say, Less Than Zero or even Glamorama, both by Bret Easton Ellis.

The second half is mostly the impending locust crisis. At this point the celebrities are more a gimmick and make me want to destroy my television. The celebrities are all slightly traumatized by the famine and by being in a third world country in general… but their “quirky” personalities makes them a constant annoynace. As in the Bridget Jones stories, there are quite a few social situations that could have been solved by raw violence.

I can’t really recommend this book. The crises in Africa are interesting but not very developed… and the celebrities are so lacking in any kind of development they are just not interesting at all. I don’t say this about many books, but Cause Celeb is a book that needed to be longer for what it seemed to be trying to accomplish.