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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

July 17, 1994|DICK RORABACK

THE I HATE MADONNA HANDBOOK by Ilene Rosenzweig. (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's: $12.95; 128 pp., paper) Wit eludes her. So does humor, running the gamut from bras to brass. Sensual? In 32 years of sweaty moil, Madonna has yet to achieve what Gypsy Rose Lee could do in two minutes--with a glove. She can't sing ("a sheep in pain," in the enlightened estimation of critic Dennis Hunt). She can't dance. She's mean, says author Ilene Rosenzweig, self-absorbed and greedy and manipulative and vicious, "a small person with big armpits."

Rosenzweig was a fan, she confesses, but now she has put away childish things. Almost. She can't resist this spiteful little book, part catharsis, part capitalization. No dummy, Rosenzweig knows the book, raps and all, will be bought by Madonna acolytes, and she has pitched it to their level, writing from the prone position. There is a chapter on the people Madonna has trampled, and how; one called "25 Lowlights in a Career of Amazing Disgrace"; a paper doll with cut-out clothes; a pop quiz; a board game whose object is to land on a space where you're least likely to encounter Madonna (Prague, Sean Penn's pad), that sort of thing. In short, a book as sophomoric as its subject. Jejune is busting out all over.

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