Sunday, May 6, 2007

Nicole Brown Simpson, by Faye Resnick

Truth: I am writing about this book as comic relief. Not because I think murder is funny and certainly not because I think it's funny to get away with murder. But because this is essentially the story of the rich and brainless.

The one thing Faye Resnick (written with Mike Walker) does in this book is convince us that she was a friend of Nicole Simpson's. She further provides the build-up to Nicole's murder somewhat convincingly, although I have to admit that I wonder if some of her histrionics are really after-the-fact. Did she really plead with Nicole to get away from Los Angeles because O.J. might murder her? Did she take O.J.'s proclamations, that he would kill Nicole, seriously right out of the gate? I will probably never know and I won't lose any sleep over it.

Much of the book details the friendship between Nicole Simpson and Faye Resnick. The two of them had married men who made a lot of money so they generally were not hurting financially, even after divorces. It appears that they spent their time going dancing, shopping, and to Cabo San Lucas. And occasionally hooking up.

When Faye goes to a friend's house she describes it as a nice house, "20,000 square feet". When she talks of Nicole, she amost always mentions how beautiful she was, how fit. Most of the adjectives describing places and events and people emphasize how expensive, how big, how beautiful. Quintessential Beverly Hills women. Which is to say, really, the newly rich, anxious to prove they have friends with money.

Although she frequently mentions what a great mom Nicole is, she usually means that she takes them to dance classes or recitals or holds big parties. We don't get to know the children at all in this book. We only get their names. And an odd, somewhat sensual photo of Nicole's two children which is described as her favorite.

Resnick says she wrote the book to quell the rumors about Nicole. I'm not at all sure she did her any favors. I came away seeing Nicole as a party girl, a woman lacking the ability for deep reflection, a woman lacking any sense of wrong when she has affairs with married men ("I deserve happiness"). She comes across, worse, as a woman who has "had black and can't go back". Such a cliche yet it's spelled out in here.

I have absolutely no idea about what kind of mother she was. Her long relationship with O.J. seems to have existed on a bizarre sense of what's important in a marriage - is it the diamond earrings, Nicole? The sex? Really?

Resnick drags out her dimestore psychology books and makes some attempts to explain Nicole's personality and she gets some of it right but doesn't go nearly far enough. The theories are hackneyed and in some cases just plain wrong. The result is a cardboard cutout suitable for teen boy adoration.

No reason to look for this book unless you are obsessed with Nicole. It's badly written and has nothing to illuminate Nicole's murder.

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