College Life Book Review:
The Official Preppy Handbook, edited by Lisa Birnbach
Paperback - 224 pages (1980 - currently out of print, but used copies may be available on Amazon.com) Workman Publishing
The subtitle reads: "Look, Muffy, a book for us." I hesitated before commenting on The Official Preppy Handbook, but it is such a timeless cult classic that anyone who has ever aspired to stereotypically "go Ivy" or harbored closet elitist thoughts needs to know about this gem. Savor some of these chapters' selected content highlights:
Rights of the Birthright: The years at Home
The Root of All Prep: The Years at School
The Best Years of Your Life: The College Years
Dressing the Part: The Basic Look
The Real World: The Young Executive Years
You're All Grown Up Now: The Country Club Years
Prep Spoken Here
I mentioned stereotypes in my lead. That's what this book is all about. But it's great fun, if you can get a copy. More great fun comes from reading the reviews on Amazon.com. One of my favorite Amazon review comments comes from a woman who read the Handbook and afterward was horrified to realize that she was a preppy. So, whether you're a latent preppy parent who wants prepdom for your progeny, a Boomer who yearns for prepstalgia, or a high schooler who longs to dive into the prep end of the pool, this book will give you hours of laughs and possibly, depending on your social orientation, derisive snickers.
If you can't find a used copy online (or on eBay), check your local library. This is one time when those older titles lingering on the shelves will pay off. In fact, I got my copy at a library used-book sale for 50 cents. I guess they had no idea what they were selling.
- Reviewed by Dave Berry