Ritchie Rich: Nicole Ritchie holds up a mirror to her world, and a lot of cocaine falls off.

Nov 20th, 2005 | By | Category: Prose

When I first picked up Nicole Ritchie’s The Truth About Diamonds, I assumed Ritchie would tell a tale about a tropical mining adventure as she searches for “adamas.” The book would reach its climatic end soon after Ritchie perishes in a deliciously horrible mine shaft fire.

But after reading the first few pages of Ritchie’s book, I quickly learned she would not die, nor contract a facial nerve disease. Instead, she would infect us all. With her literacy.

The Truth About Diamonds (picture inserts of Ritchie dressed up like a pedophile’s ballerina/schoolgirl dream aside) is about rich socialite Chloe Parker told from the first person narration of rich socialite Nicole Ritchie.

“I wanted to know if you knew whether or not Nicole is really doing The Simple Life 4…?

Chloe’s mood soured. She’d never begrudged me any of my success—she was always my biggest cheerleader (9).”

You see, Chloe isn’t just Chloe. She’s actually a fictionalized version of Ritchie before she gave up crack and grew inverted breasts. In the novel, the fictional Nicole doles out advice to the drugged out Chloe, who is the fictional Nicole, only the before of the fictional Nicole Nicole who is the real Nicole but fictionalized—and with the inverted breasts.

Basically, the novel is like looking into a mirror and seeing another mirror and the mirror reflects back at you and then I punch Nicole Ritchie in the face.

Seriously, it’s like that.

It’s also peppered with interesting dialogue:

““Whoa!” Lanny said, like two seconds later (21).”


“Barneys, New York on Wilshire, Marni and Fred Segal on Melrose and The Ivy on Robertson for lunch (44).”

And the requisite Other Famous Socialite With a New Name To Protect Her Identity:

“Simone, inarticulate to the point of mental incompetence ,came off as aloof and mysterious on TV for some unknown reason (83).”

Hi Paris! Knew you’d show up sooner or later. You’re so pretty.

One might decipher that anyone who likes to read or has an IQ higher then the 98 degrees needed to warm a baby chick incubator—may not like this book. However I would like to present the idea that The Truth About Diamonds is nearly identical to the classic Eikon Basilike AKA the “Royal Portrait”, a memoir written by Charles I before he was beheaded in 1649. It is still not certain if Charles I wrote the book, and it is still not certain whether or not Ritchie can read an actual book.

The similarities do not end there! Charles I was born into royalty and wealth. Nicole Ritchie was born into wealth and lives off Lionel Ritchie’s royalties.

Both express deep, philosophical thought:

For I have observed, that the Devill of Rebellion, doth commonly turn himself into an Angell of Reformation; and the old Serpent can pretend new Lights: When some mens Consciences accuse them for Sedition and Faction, they stop its mouth with the name and noise of Religion; when Piety pleads for peace and patience, they cry out Zeale. (Eikon Basilike)

“Hi,” I said softly. You can use your cell phone to communicate in so many ways other than by having a long conversation on it. People know you can see their number, so simply answering it already tells them, “I want to talk to you.” If you answer it with “Hello?” as if you have no idea who might be calling, you’re communicating distance. You’re playing a game with them, and the game is going to end with them not getting whatever it is they’re calling for. But saying “hi” like I did, acknowledging that I knew exactly who was calling and saying it with the gentleness of stroking a newborn kitten, was my way of apologizing and asking for another chance. Just…”hi”. (85)

and most importantly, prayer:

But thou, O Lord, who art perfect Unity in a sacred Trinity, in mercy behold those, whom thy Justice hath divided.

Deliver Me from the strivings of My People, and make Me to see how much they need My prayers and pity, who agreed to fight against Me, and yet are now ready to fight against one another; to the continuance of My Kingdomes distractions. (Eikon Basilike)

If you’ve never been to Koi, Japanese heaven on North La Cienega, I’d recommend the crab hand roll followed by the crispy tuna and the spicy seared albacore with crispy onions. You can’t go wrong in that place—they’ve really figured out ways to work magic with fish.  (77)

In fact, by rereading the Eikon Basilike, my faith in Ritchie’s novel has been restored. Like Charles I, Ritchie can teach all of us peons how to live, how to love and how to shop with that brand new credit card you just broke in doing blow on the bathroom counter in The Ivy.

Ritchie’s story, really, is about soul-searching. Just as Charles I searched for God before his untimely death, so Nicole searches for meaning in shiny jewelry, “there’s nothing like a perfect diamond to remind you that you’ll never be perfect–the truth is, all you can do is try (224)”.

And really, what is more touching then comparing all the people of the world to exposed carbon that can later be sold at the local Kay Jewelers $99 Holiday Sale?

A ruby encrusted copy of the Eikon Basilike, that’s what.

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