The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
Published by Penguin Random House Audio on May 19, 2015
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: audiobook
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An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.
When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.
The Knockoff was a fun and entertaining book. If you read the blurb and thought it sounded kind of similar to The Devil Wears Prada but with something of a role reversal, you’d be right.
This has been on my long list of books I’d like to get to someday since it’s publication back in May of 2015. When I was browsing through audiobooks in my library’s catalog for a lighter read, The Knockoff showed as available and it seemed the time was right to dive in. I will admit, it took me a bit to get into the audio, but after about thirty minutes or so I got used to the accents and relaxed into it. This was read by Katherine Kellgren, a prolific narrator with 250 audiobooks under her belt, and she did a fine job here making each voice unique and sounding like they really belonged to the characters.
A major theme in The Knockoff is comparing the current generation starting in the workforce’s constant preoccupation with technology and gadgets in this digital age with the older generation’s preference for face to face conversations. I sit somewhere between the two camps so it was easy to identify with both. It was also nice to see characters from each side landing on a variety of points along the scale of tech-savvy, lending some depth to an otherwise fairly one note story.
“Life is funny, you know. It isn’t a running text. It has chapters. You might have a very different ending than the one you imagined.”
Fairly farfetched, this is more of a fluffy, light read that makes for good beach reading or a break between more serious or dark books.