The Full Monica Underwhelms

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If you've seen the movie, you may not want to bother reading the book. " 'Monica's Story' is like watching paint dry," says TIME correspondent Margaret Carlson. "It's the most boring tell-all I've ever read." Andrew Morton's biography hit the shelves Thursday, but contains very little in it that wasn't already in the public record -- "So now we know about the Pentagon boyfriend and the abortion," says Carlson, "but so what?" -- and Morton's take-your-subject-at-face-value style makes the book read more like a p.r. release than a work of journalism.

Wednesday's Barbara Walters interview certainly gave Lewinsky a book launch to die for, with as many as 70 million Americans watching as an eloquent and likable young woman painted herself as a sort of '90s Jane Austen character, whose travails hold up a mirror to the hypocrisy of prevailing social norms. But even that won't necessarily propel the book up the best-seller list: "People watched the interview because they wanted a common moment," says Carlson. "But now that it's over, the scandal will pass into nothingness, and I expect this book will bomb." But even if sales aren't stellar, they should still be steady -- after all, the book is less an exposť than it is a memento, and tens of thousands of people bought the Starr report...

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