Wednesday, July 14, 2010

#BookReview: Red Hats - Damon Wayans

No, that's not a typo.  Damon Wayans, the comedian, has written a book about a sixty-plus year old woman.  Let that marinate for a minute, I'll wait... You done? Okay. There are a lot of people online that loved this book, I'm not one of them.

Meet Alma, wife of Harold for twenty-seven years, mother of three adult children, and the meanest, moodiest and downright evil lead character of Red Hats.  Alma may have been happy once upon a time, but if she's had a good day in the last twenty years, everyone around her has missed it.  Never one to have a kind word for her patient husband, Harold, she's at a loss when Harold drops dead and no one, not even her kids, wants to stick around to help her pick up the pieces.

In all of the years that she's lived in the neighborhood with her husband, she has managed to alienate just about everyone.  Couped up in her apartment, she watches the world go by without her, until the day that the ladies of the Red Hat Society come to her rescue.  Alma has never depended on anyone before and it will take a leap of faith for her to let this lively group of women into her life.

What did you like about this book?
The front and back covers have the most gorgeous red hats on them.  At just 211 pages, this was a very quick read.

What did you dislike about this book?
There were so many opportunities for the author to go more in depth about the reasons why Alma acted the way she did.  Instead, he decided that a paragraph would suffice.  There was also an opportunity to develop the character of Harold more, perhaps to give insight as to why he would stay with a woman so mean that she wouldn't pee on him if he were on fire.  Once again, it was a missed opportunity.

What could the author do to improve this book?
While I understand that this book was done as some sort of tribute to his mother, he may want to try his hand at writing from the male point of view going forth.  He has yet to find the voice of women.

211 pp
Published May 2010

Theme: Meanest Woman by Deborah Coleman & Joe Willie (I was looking for the Muddy Waters' version, but couldn't find it).


  1. I read it and thought it was ok for his first foray into writing. There were some laugh out loud moments.

  2. I looked at it but didn't buy it. I think I'm okay with that.

  3. Hm. I wanted to read it, but I wasn't completely sold on it. It's on my TBR list, so I suppose I'll get to it eventually. I have a feeling I'll feel the same way about it though,haha.

  4. By all means, take the money you saved not buying it and purchase 3 or 4 frappe latte blah blah blahs ;-)

  5. You may like it, but knowing books you've loved before, probably not. If you see it on the shelf at the library, flip through it. If it doesn't appeal to you right away, leave it on the shelf.

  6. This was actually his second book. His first, Bootleg, was published back in 1999. He stuck closer to home with that one, delivering his brand of humor and applying it to everyday situations.

    I just don't think this subject matter was the right one for him.