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4 Blondes [Mass Market Paperback]

Candace Bushnell
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 30 2002
Blonde Ambition

Candace Bushnell created a sensation with her first book, Sex and the City, spawning an HBO series that has become a phenomenon. With her sharp insight and uncensored observations of the mating rituals of the Manhattan elite, Bushnell has become a celebrity in her own right—on television, on the newsstands, and in bookstores across the globe.

In a new collection of stories, 4 Blondes, the romantic intrigues, betrayals, victories, and insecurities of four modern women are told with Bushnell's keen wit and sardonic eye. A beautiful B-list model in "Nice N'Easy" attaches herself yearly to the man with the largest summer house in the Hamptons, but she soon realizes that snagging a rich man and living in a fancy beach house won't necessarily bring her happiness. In "Highlights (for Adults)," a high-powered magazine columnist doesn't feel that she needs a man; an examination of her deteriorating marriage shows that her literary journalist husband could never live up to her sexual or emotional expectations. Too many expectations overwhelm Princess Cecilia in "Platinum"; her marriage to "the world's most eligible bachelor" leads to a descent into paranoia that she chronicles in her journal. And in "Single Process," an aging "It girl" worries that she is getting too old to meet a local eligible bachelor, so she travels to London in search of a husband, where she makes pithy observations about the differences between British and American men.

Once again, Bushnell returns to the land of the pretty and the powerful, breaking down bedroom doors with her wry humor and frank portrayals of love and lust among the "It people."

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From Amazon

Candace Bushnell made her reputation as the creator of the HBO special Sex and the City, based on her book of the same name (based in turn on her eros-intensive New York Observer column). In Four Blondes, she returns with a quartet of novellas on her favorite subject--the mating habits of wealthy sex-, status-, and media-obsessed New Yorkers. These are people for whom a million or two does not make one rich, and who consider Louis Vuitton and Prada bare necessities. Janey Wilcox, for example, is a former model who each summer chooses a house in the Hamptons--or, rather, picks up a wealthy man with a pricey rental. With one movie in her past, her "lukewarm celebrity was established and she figured out pretty quickly that it could get her things and keep on getting them, as long as she maintained her standards." Yet even Janey eventually realizes that what she's getting isn't exactly what she wants. Cecelia, on the other hand, has gotten the ultimate prize: a royal husband. Still, she finds herself descending into paranoia as the Manhattan media circus reports her every flaw. Then there's Winnie Diekes, a high-powered magazine columnist whose marriage flounders as she pushes her unambitious husband to write the book that will make him--and her--famous.

Finally, in the most clearly autobiographical story, a writer gives up on the commitment-impaired men of New York and goes to London to find a husband. There she trolls for the typical Englishman--"a guy who had sex with his socks on, possessed a microscopic willy, and came in two minutes." Bushnell is famous for this sort of sexual brashness, and the book is full of her sharp wit, both in and out of the boudoir. She also clearly enjoys her characters and their misadventures, with one exception: the politically correct Winnie, with her distaste for alcohol, night life, and casual sex, inspires an odd sort of authorial contempt. Otherwise, though, Bushnell's ironic takes on the sexual foibles of the rich and famous are mordant, mischievous fun. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The author whose name is synonymous with her novel Sex and the City weighs in again with four loosely linked tales that form a sexually charged and withering analysis of how New York'sAand London'sAwomen work feverishly at their relationships, meanwhile trying desperately to make their names. In the first chapter, the bluntly scheming, semisuccessful model Janey Wilcox is in her 10th year of charming powerful, rich men into installing her in their Hamptons homes for the summer. The mutual benefits are obvious: the moguls get a gorgeous sex kitten to display and bed, while she summers in high style. When this arrangement leads to a few humiliating encounters, however, Janey tries her hand at screenwriting and attempts real estate school, but eventually she finds her fortune in a more realistic endeavor: a lucrative lingerie modeling contract. The next story features Winnie, a successful columnist married to a mediocre literary journalist. The victims of relentless ambition and disappointment, they lash one another with insults, each finding their only solace in one-night stands. The third tale is the paranoid confession of Cecelia, who wants to be "normal" and pops pills to mitigate her fear of being nothing without a man. The last blonde is an unnamed 40-year-old journalist who, disillusioned with Manhattan males, travels to London on a magazine assignment to compare English and American men's attitudes about sex. The Brit banter revolves entirely around sexual technique and penis size, but manages to be entertaining. Mostly, the novel is New York-centric, focused on the obsessions of desperate people and replete with glittering details to satisfy the most exacting fashionista. Though superficial, these characters' envy and spite rises from their fear of mortality, of dying without having left their mark. Mercilessly satirical, Bushnell's scathing insights and razor wit are laced with an understanding of this universal human fear, and they inspire fear and pity in the reader. Agent, Heather Schroder, ICM. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT A CHICK LIT BOOK! May 9 2004
This is NOT a chick lit book! This is not fun, light, fluffy, or empty. It is about women and their demises and in a few stories, their uprises. This is not the usual fluff that most female writers are pushing down our throats. These characters are not here for you to "like", there is no mindless blab of labels, designers etc, listed off just to show the author has fashion sense. The reason this book was panned by so many is because they thought this was a fun chick lit book. The characters are deep and for each novella inside the book, the writing style changes to depict the personalities of the new character(s). I loved each one. Sure it was disheartening and a little depressing at times, but everyone loves a good drama once in awhile! Surely a welcome break from the Valley Girl meets New York fashion list books with mindless dribble and emotionless fashion columnists running around in Monolos. The mention of Manolos in this book actually had importance to the plot.
Loved it! read it twice!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed... Feb. 1 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Excited to read something of Candices after being a HUGE fan of Sex and the City..... wow..... what a disappointment! Nothing like I though it would be. This book is so empty and pointless. I finished it, but grudgingly. I don't think I will even bother trying to read something else of hers.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Gives blondes a bad name!!!! July 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First off, I thought this book was one story, but in fact it is 4 different stories on 4 different blondes. I only made it through the first two. I thought this book was horrible. The stories didn't even finish in any kind of satisfying way (at least for me). Very disappointed!!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Burn it. July 6 2004
By A Customer
It's a Jackie Collins novel without a plot. I'm sure Bushnell has a point to make somewhere but the novel is so unengaging you just can't be bothered to think too much about it once you're done.
If you haven't read it, don't. Rent Sex and the City instead of reading any of Bushnell's novels and you'll have done yourself a huge favour.
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2.0 out of 5 stars ehhh....I know its not great lit but come ON June 29 2004
I found her stream of thought-style of writing to be sometimes difficult to follow, and at one point I decided that every character spoke in hysterics, because everyone was "crying" when they talked. i.e. she cried "I'm going to the bathroom". he cried "my soup is cold", etc. things that don't require such a high level of speaking emotion. And when I saw trading up was all about one of these barbie dolls, I passed on it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I actually read this June 24 2004
I don't know what possessed me to finish this book, which showed its vacuity within the first 10 pages. The characters are one-dimensional (not to mention sad and pathetic), nothing happens to them to transform them from their sad and pathetic states, and the most I can say I learned from this book is a greater understanding of the social dynamics of the Hampton Jitney.
If you already have a negative opinion of the Botox and Beemers set, this book will only reinforce it. Makes one wonder how Bushnell could've been the one behind "Sex and the City." Whatever made that series click is totally absent here.
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1.0 out of 5 stars If you buy this book, buy it used! June 22 2004
By A Customer
I found Candace Bushnell's writing style scattered, awkward, and at times difficult to follow. She describes the characters personalities in way too much detail, which only makes them seem like a robot instead of a real person. I only finished the book out of principle, and won't recommend it to anyone else.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This is the worst book I have ever read June 22 2004
By A Customer
I have read a lot of bad books in my time but this book takes the cake. Giving it 1 star is giving it more credit then it deserves. I can't believe this book every got published. The writing is horrific and there is no real sense of plot. I thought with all the fame of the TV series spun from her first novel (which I wont even touch after reading this) one would think she has some talent...I was wrong.
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