cover image Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth about Women and Rivalry

Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth about Women and Rivalry

Susan Shapiro Barash. Tantor Media, $29.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4001-0200-6

Frasier is one of the most talented readers of nonfiction audio books (it wasn't a simple matter to make a book like Mary Roach's Stiff both edifying and wry, but Frasier pulled it off wonderfully). Frasier delivers the text at a brisk clip, just quick enough to hold the audience's interest through Barash's repetitive text, but clearly enough to enunciate every word. Moreover, Frasier individualizes the voices of research respondents, 500 heterosexual women interviewed about competitive relationships with other women, putting a human face on Barash's conclusions. Barash has a gift for innuendo: the respondents come across as reluctant, shy, angry, bitter or matter-of-fact. Although these women appear only briefly, Frasier manages to convey more than the printed text might. It's an easier task to read a brilliant book than one like Barash, which lags at times. Kudos to Frasier's fine job with a book that is an important addition to women's and cultural studies but lacks narrative sparkle. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 12, 2005).