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Reviewing Caroline Calloway’s Instagram Trilogy*

By Chris Revelle | Celebrity | August 28, 2023 |

By Chris Revelle | Celebrity | August 28, 2023 |


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*Through their descriptions on her website. I’m not reading those books! Especially at $65 apiece, that feels like expensive homework. Besides, putting money in Caroline Calloway’s pocket seems foolish. She’s made not just 1, not just 2, but 3 books available on her website where you’re immediately being sold things. Each book is referred to as a “memoir” and together Calloway is calling them the “Instagram Trilogy.” As I’ll elaborate shortly, these words feel generous for what they’re describing.

I’ll be grading this flight of pamphlets by an extremely scientific rubric: cover, description copy, promised bonus item(s), and my imagined likelihood it’ll ever appear if ordered. Our own Emma Chance noticed a commenter on Calloway’s Instagram was asking after a book ordered in 2020, so you can guess what I’m thinking!

The Cambridge Captions
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Cover: I’m not mad at this pixelated style. It makes me think of Stardew Valley and that’s a soothing experience for me. The overall effect though, when taken with the white text and the Google Docs font and the seafoam green with the royal blue, reminds me of when I interned at a university press and authors would provide homemade cover designs. I get that “charmingly janky” is what Calloway is probably going for, but it’s a meh from me.

Description Copy: Caroline read that essay her ex-ghost-writer Natalie wrote about what an asshole Caroline is and she is maaaaaaad. From the defensive and quite sweaty description that’s almost entirely devoted to refuting Natalie, I gather this “book” is happening only to reclaim ownership of Instagram captions and charge someone $65 for the privilege of reading them.

Bonus Item(s): There are none! Perhaps the true bonus items are the friends and ghostwriters we lost along the way.

Chance It Shows: Donald Trump will be 6’3 and 215 lbs before this book of copy/pasted text arrives.

Scammer
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Cover: The pixelated art is less successful here. This is overall a more apathetic meh from me because I wasn’t all that enamored with this design the first time I saw it.

Description Copy: There’s virtually none! I guess she assumes we know already or maybe we’re meant to do our own research. It’s a series of essays that cover various moments and events of her life, allegedly including how she heard her roommate’s sexual assault and then recreated it with a consenting partner.

Bonus Items: An embarrassment of riches! The book will be signed and hand-numbered in order of printing. There’ll be stickers! There’ll be a bookmark! There’ll be satin ribbons. There’ll also be Italian endpapers because she’s “such a little slut for endpapers.” It’s a lot and it gives sales rep at a pharmaceuticals conference laden with swag.

Chance It Shows: Crisp Rat will become Best Chris before this box of nonsense crosses your doorway.

I Am Caroline Calloway
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Cover: I’m noticing now that each “book” has a different primary color on it. This is a moderate improvement from the other two, but it does make me wonder why she changed it so much from the previous two entries in this “trilogy.” It makes it feel very thrown in there. Gosh, it’s almost like this is all slapped-together bullshit or something.

Description Copy: Caroline is back to sniping at Natalie, saying this is her official response to the aforementioned essay in which she covers the same events, but from her perspective. She says it reuses her “best lines” from Scammer as if to get out in front of accusations of laziness.

Bonus Items: None, but my eyes can’t stop rolling every time I look at her website, so maybe that’s the bonus item?

Chance It Shows: Elon Musk will be cool before this printed rant about personal drama rests physically in your hands as a book.