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Wendy's Got the Heat


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About the Author

Wendy Williams, a graduate of Northeastern University, is the host of the popular television show The Wendy Williams Show. She lives in New York with her husband and son.

Karen Hunter is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a celebrated radio talk-show host, and coauthor of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Confessions of a Video Vixen, On the Down Low, and Wendy's Got the Heat. She is also an assistant professor in the Film & Media Department at Hunter College.


Drug addiction, divorce, miscarriages, infidelity-such is the stuff of gripping biography-but the story of Williams' rise to radio fame is less than the sum of its parts, at least as it's told here. Williams, a deejay on New York R&B and hip-hop station WBLS, is something of a rarity in the industry: a top-rated African-American woman. She relates that she always felt like an outsider: "I was the black girl in a practically all-white school. And among the handful of blacks, I was the 'white girl,' the outcast." But she was sure great things were ahead. "I knew that one day my being different would pay off," she writes. While Williams goes on to explain that her success came through hard work and dedication, she doesn't show the nitty-gritty of her job-how a studio operates, how she came up with her style, what she actually does at work-which is a shortcoming in a book about a radio personality. Instead, Williams offers a very readable but standard-issue confessional autobiography, told in a smooth vernacular; she relates her long-term drug abuse, which began with marijuana in college and progressed to cocaine; her problems with men; her desire for happiness and success. The story might be inspirational for some, but it's not always deeply analytical: her drug use, for example, helps her realize that "[g]etting high with muthafuckas doesn't do anything for you except give people something to talk about or worse. Nobody's going to stick around if something goes down. And nobody's got your back." This is an worthy tale, but it's best suited to serious Williams fans, who will welcome information on her hard-won sobriety, her liposuction and breast implants, her love for her son and her tips for keeping a man. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

New York Post If you're dying to find out everything there is to know about radio scandal-monger Wendy Williams, she has a story for you.
Amy DuBois Barnett Honey magazine With the incredible success of her daily program -- full of celebrity dish and frank advice -- Wendy is at the top of her game....The best part? Wendy achieved her success by being herself.

These memoirs by "shock jocks" both belong in the popular genre of celebrity autobiographies, but one is better than the other. Muller, the host of "Mancow Morning MadHouse," a morning radio show nationally syndicated from Chicago and Fox News, attempts to use his coming to terms with his father's death to frame his journey toward freedom and love. When this quickly falls flat, the memoir becomes an egomaniac's boasting tale of his exploits in Amsterdam's Red Light district and hashish-fogged "coffee shops," with lots of shallow libertarian preaching thrown in as a bonus. The narrative is full of odd and unannounced stream-of-consciousness jumps between past and present that appear more meaningful than they are, and there is even an ill-fated attempt at free verse. As much as Muller detests Howard Stern, the undisputed king of shock jocks, this book-compared with Stern's Private Parts and Miss America-makes Muller look like a Stern clone lacking the original's character. Without any redeeming qualities whatsoever, this unimpressive memoir is not recommended. Williams, a shock jock diva and "radio gossip guru" on WBLS in New York (and in national syndication), has a lot more to offer in her autobiography. A successful woman in an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession and a product of a conservative, middle-class upbringing, she describes her college days, her early career with its many setbacks, and her personal struggles to get to the top of her profession. She talks candidly about her marital problems, drug addiction, miscarriages, job insecurity, and other topics far more interesting than the preening rants and juvenile infatuations with genitalia that Stern and Muller often focus on. Written in a down-to-earth, casual style, with only a few instances of the hubris typical of celebrity autobiographies, this book offers encouragement to other women in similar situations who want to break into a heavily male-dominated community. While public libraries in areas where Williams is unknown might want to pass, those where Williams is heard may find it a useful addition to their collections.-Mark Bay, Cumberland Coll. Lib., Williamsburg, KY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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