Fiction Kathy Lette Nip 'n' Tuck

ISBN 13: 9780330487399

Nip 'n' Tuck

Valutazione media 3,22
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9780330487399: Nip 'n' Tuck

*Kathy Lette's funniest and most hard hitting novel will have you in stitches - but not at the plastic surgeon's hand* Lizzie, 39, has a successful career as a TV news anchorperson, a handsome husband and two small children. Her life seems pretty marvellous - until she realises she is about to hit the dreaded 4-0. Unlike her sister, Tish, looks never mattered that much to Lizzie, but then husband Hugo falls for the outstandingly bodacious Minxy Amore, Texan model and perfect Playboy material and she loses her job to a more attractive journalist. Then Minxy Amore and her husband, Sven, persuade Hugo to use his skills as a doctor in a new clinic that specialises in plastic surgery and body refits, perpetuating the myth that looks are the only thing that count. Is Lizzie the only one to disagree, and is the only way to get her husband back to go under the knife herself?

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About the Author:

Kathy Lette first achieved succes de scandale as a teenager with the novel Puberty Blues, now a major motion picture. After several years as a singer in a rock band and newspaper columnist in Sydney and New York, and a television sitcom writer for Columbia pictures in Los Angeles, she wrote Girls' Night Out (1988). The Liama Parlour (1991), Foetal Attraction (1993), Mad Cows (1996) and Altar Ego (1998), which have all become international bestsellers. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Introduction: The Pitter Pitter Pat of Tiny Crow's-Feet

Let me introduce myselves.

First there's the me who is often found flirting with lettuce leaves on my front tooth. The me who doesn't use hair conditioner because it takes too long. The me who, only this morning, got my antihistamine and spermicide sprays confused. I now have a vagina that can breathe more freely and nostrils I can safely have sex in for at least six hours.

This is the me whose idea of "working out" is a good, energetic nap. (There is growing medical evidence, you know, that jogging can make you hot and sweaty.) The me who understands that if shop mannequins were real women, they'd be too thin to menstruate. (I mean, hello? There are three billion women in the world who don't look like supermodels. And only six who do.) Hey, if you're feeling fat, just make sure you always stand next to a heavily pregnant woman -- take one with you everywhere. That's my advice. And wear pantyhose that control your excesses the way Rupert Murdoch controls the media.

It's the me who only shaves my legs to the hemline in summer. In winter I'm too lazy to shave at all. I wear thick tights and hope nobody notices the spikes porcupining through my Lycra. As for holes? I simply paint my leg in black felt pen. Even when I do shear, I always miss a bit and end up sporting a hirsute median strip down the back of one leg. And you could use a curling wand on those pubes. I like my bikini line, goddamn it. It's like having a chia pet in my pants. Which is why I favor, at the beach, the silent-movie neck-to-knee circa 1922 look. Nothing better than a sturdy, orthopedic bathing suit.

My other sartorial preference is warm-up clothes. My motto is: If it fits, don't wear it. I like to wear clothes baggy enough to cover an aircraft carrier; teamed with voluminous knickers -- yes, my panty line is always visible. I have a positive allergy to G-strings. Hey, if I need dental floss I'll bloody well go to the drugstore and get some.

The same me who's always thought of beauty as a case of mind over matter -- if you don't mind, it don't matter. The me who allows all that aging angst to fly right under my anxiety radar. The me who doesn't think age is relevant, unless you're like, you know, a Stilton. You never see Cheddar cheeses undergoing Dermagen soft-tissue augmentation, now, do you?

This me mouths off tipsily at dinner parties that makeup generates more money than armaments. "And when you think about it, that's exactly what all those beautification products are, really -- ammunition in the sex war." (My girlfriends are usually making "Who lit the fuse on your tampon?" taunts by now.) "Most cosmetic manufacturers are French. What does that tell you? That they're full of bullshit and LOUD about it. That's what." (You're starting to be amazed that I have any friends, right?)

But honestly. "The Science of Beauty"...puh-lease. If these so-called beauty scientists are so bloody brilliant, why aren't they off fixing the hole in the ozone layer? Given the choice between an episiotomy and listening to a beauty therapist, I'd say, "Get the scalpel." It's nothing but protein-enriched witchcraft. The only reason a moisturizer is called a miracle cream is because it's such a bloody miracle that anyone would fork out fifty frigging quid for it.

That's the me who thinks "free radical" refers to Nelson Mandela. The me who hears myself described as a "lady" -- and reels around looking for the Duchess of Kent. Despite the fact that I'm a presenter for the BBC's The World News Today, I'm obviously just impersonating an adult. Actually, I'm immaturing with age. At work, after I've boiled down the day's events into digestible yet nourishing news bites, I waste entire afternoons thinking up profoundly puerile nicknames for my superiors. After I've reported on the latest volcanic eruption or political corruption, I am often to be found alone in my office, miming along to Destiny's Child using my deodorant as a microphone, or hanging out with the makeup girls, making prank phone calls to the prime minister's office and Xeroxing our labial regions.

That's the me I like -- the one who's been known to drink huge amounts of vodka and wake up stark naked in an unfamiliar nation with nipple jewelry. The me who only leaves a cocktail party when abducted. At knifepoint. The low-maintenance, high-value, worldly me who can say in sixteen languages, "Hey, buddy, I've got an extremely contagious STD I'd be only too happy to give you."

But then there's that Other Me.

That Other Me recently rear-ended a police car because I was scrutinizing my face in the rearview mirror for signs of photo-aging. This Other Me's body is coated in creams thick enough to trap small domestic creatures -- cats, squirrels, passing pet mice, they're all to be found stranded and struggling on my nether regions. Honestly, of late I've been dousing myself in a potion quotient to rival the petrochemical output of Texas. My husband, Hugo Frazer, M.D., could develop Gulf War syndrome from just one kiss. Actually, I'm terrified I'll start some toxic chain reaction by accidentally using a Revlon décolletage softener with a Clarins abdominal cellulite gel and just EXPLODE! There'll be bits of me all over the bloody room. Well, at least those beauty products will live up to their claims to "stop aging in its tracks."

This Other Me feels trapped in a body that is no longer mine...which is why I'm wheezing and panting my way to an early death on the hamster wheel of self-improvement...And why I've given up the New York Review of Books in favor of magazine articles entitled "Ten Tips for Toning Thunder Thighs."

This Other Me is backstroking up and down the pool of Narcissus, at torpedo speed...This Other Me feels so ugly that I worry if people so much as glance at me they'll need a cornea transplant, pronto.

What on earth is wrong with this woman? I hear you ask. If her brain were a toy the box would read "Batteries not included"; produced by a company called Morons R' Us. I mean, why the schizophrenia?

Why?

Because I'm thirty-nine.

That's why.

At thirty-nine, you go to bed one night as usual, your normal, scuzzy old self, in your husband's faded Arsenal football shirt, with a smudge of toothpaste on your chin and a bit of dental floss still wedged between your fangs, encased in your favorite pair of moth-eaten cottontails, the ones with the hole, the stain and the erratic elastic (just in case you get your period) -- only to wake up a Spandex-wearing gym junkie with pores in need of constant rehydration, a personal trainer, a Jungian analyst, a car shaped like a sex aid, a nail technician, a toy-boy fixation and having whole conversations about seaweed facials and tantric clitoral lavage.

Beautification techniques to which you've never given a moment's thought suddenly take up more of your brain space than third-world debt. If I had to choose between starting a new diet and eradicating world hunger, I'd have to ask, "Um...Slimfast or Jenny Craig?"

El Niño and the ensuing environmental destruction are less worrying than the discovery of a new wrinkle. Wrinkle? Who am I kidding? I've got enough crow's-feet to start a bird sanctuary. Actually, they're not crow's-feet, they're bloody great ostrich prints...Who let the pterodactyls loose? Apparently they've been stomping all over my face and I didn't notice.

It's as if UFO rays from some outer galaxy have been beamed into your brain making you agonize over, of all things, inner thigh elasticity. Just as quickly all the money in your purse evaporates, teleporting itself into the bank vaults of cosmetic companies. And for what? Some "wonder cream" that they can't tell you exactly how they make -- but, put it this way, two hundred ferrets went into the laboratory, and only two hobbled out, and those had grown a couple of extra heads and undergone some mysterious sex change.

But who cares? You buy it anyway. You seem to have developed a chronic inability to say "No" to Harrods beauty assistants. Puréed pig erections? Yes, please. Ground sheep embryos in a handy, handbag-size dispenser? Hell, yes. Good God, if beauty experts told me to eat pedicure shavings for an invigorated complexion, I'd damn well do it.

All of a sudden, sunlight, late nights, alcohol, coffee and everything else that makes life worth living are not D.C. -- Dermatologically Correct. With no prior warning, I find myself unexpectedly wanting to put a cosmetic surgeon's kids through private school. Out of the blue, I'm comparing my butt buoyancy to women on ten-foot billboards and making lists of all the females I know who are younger and more slender of thigh than I.

Me, Lizzie McPhee, the woman who could put a construction worker in a headlock as soon as his lips so much as pursed toward a wolf whistle. Me, Lizzie McPhee, the mouthy brunette who has been known to kick-start her own vibrator.

At least I'm not the only one making such a moron of herself. It seems to me all women over thirty-nine -- from the double agent who smashed terrorist cabals to the aviatrix who crash-landed on a Himalayan peak -- find themselves, contrary to all expectations, transmogrified into demented Barbie wannabes, desperate for an elixir to combat the terrible, incurable disease afflicting females -- age. It's not racial but facial prejudice -- a discrimination only suffered by women. (I mean, Woody Allen still gets laid, right?) For females, wordplay is foreplay. But for blokes? Well, if manners maketh man, makeup maketh woman. And we don't need a phalanx of behavioral scientists to explain why men judge women by their looks. Because they see better than they think.

Is it any wonder that once you hit thirty-nine a woman's I.Q. halves when she's within the vicinity of a new beauty product? Why we huddle around the latest anti...

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