Book Reviews

What I’ve Been Reading:
Quivers: A Life by Robin Quivers

Robin Quivers is known for being the most extreme narcissist on The Howard Stern Show. In fact, she notoriously had the highest score when the staff was given a test by Dr. Drew to determine the level of their narcissism –by a fairly long shot. Ever since, it’s been a reoccurring joke on the show. That all sounds pretty bad, but it’s really just a part of her personality that is often overcome by other wonderful traits. Also, her narcissism is clearly connected to some of her strength. As narcissism is often the result of childhood trauma of some kind, hers is clearly a reaction to some of the treatment she received in her youth. Obviously, she has channeled some of her narcissism to achieve success in life.

Her story is quite fascinating to read, and I suspect it would probably still be interesting to a non-fan. It weaves through childhood abuse, schooling, her time as a nurse, serving in the Air Force, and finally getting into radio (and meeting Stern). She reveals intimate, and sometimes troubling, details about her childhood, love life, and mental health that I’m sure were not easy to put in the public realm. She also has very interesting perspectives on race relations and her role as a woman.

My only critique is that sometimes her experiences feel repetitive. One chapter would discuss some kind of issue that she had; some kind of obstacle. She would conquer that problem then proudly proclaim that she would never return to that kind of situation. The next chapter would be a slightly different version of the same mistake and she would again end the chapter by declaring that she was leaving those circumstances and never coming back. I honestly feel that her narcissism becomes apparent because she doesn’t realize that it may not have always been her circumstances, but her own flaws, that were creating uncomfortable moments in her life. I think that hurt some of the writing in the book. Ultimately, though, she is an admirable, complicated, and totally unique human being with an engrossing tale. And this book is just the stuff before she battled cancer while barely taking a day off work!

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