4 Blondes Mass Market Paperback – Jul 30 2002
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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
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
But lest you assume that this is the opinion of some "moralizing" Puritan who can't handle the subject matter...It's not the floozy New York social scene or graphic sex that's the problem here. It's that if you're going to write about these subjects - or any subject - for God's sake, make it coherent! And interesting. Ms. Bushnell manages to make even cheap sex as boring and unreadable as a vacuum cleaner manual translated from Chinese.
As for the writing itself, your average high school student could do a better job... over a weekend, if they had flunked 2 grades, were high on inhalants and learned English from watching Beavis and Butthead. It's not that this book isn't literary - it's not even literate.
What Candace seems to have done is to capitalize on the success of Sex & the City with a sick joke on the book-buying public: to see if it's possible to scrawl off a trashy, unfinished and unedited outline for a book (complete with notes to herself still in the text and typos galore), publish it without ever bothering to write the book itself, and challenge people to buy it. Well, you did, in droves, and you've made Candace rich. She thanks you!
I'll say one thing for her though: she seems to know her subject matter well. Only hard core booze binges and a serious cocaine habit could explain this book and its publication.
I am now happily returning 4 Blondes to the trashcan where it was found.
Blonde's worst offender is Janey Wilcox, heroine (and we use the tern loosely) of the first story. Janey is a former model who spends each spring looking for a man with whom to spend the summer in the Hamptons. The man doesn't matter - it's all about the house. While the story could be said to explore the age-old argument of prostitution (in the broadest sense) - is she using him or is he using her - the story isn't about prostitution. It's supposed to be about a modern, quasi-competent woman who has chosen this life. The fact that a modeling fluke solves all her problems is pretty convenient - and doesn't solve the reader's problems in the slightest.
The other blondes don't intrigue us either.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2010 by Stephanie Johnson
For those on here who gave this book a bad review, a lot of you are missing the point. Of course the book has an empy feeling. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2005 by Angie
I have just five words of advice for all you Amazon shoppers: do not buy this book. I mean it. Even if you don't believe me when I tell you how bad it is, and you insist on reading... Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by Katie
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. Read morePublished on July 11 2004 by B. Skopas
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... Read morePublished on July 5 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... Read morePublished on June 29 2004
I don't know what possessed me to finish this book, which showed its vacuity within the first 10 pages. Read morePublished on June 24 2004 by L. Rephann
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. Read morePublished on June 22 2004
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... Read morePublished on June 22 2004