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4 Blondes Mass Market Paperback – Jul 30 2002

2.2 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; 1 edition (July 30 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451203895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451203892
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.5 x 17 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #331,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Never has there been such a waste of paper, ink and brain cells as this insipid book. I came across it when a coworker found it in the trash (it's rightful place), and we decided to form a joke book club around it. Even as a joke, however, we couldn't get halfway through the second story. This book is unbearable.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
4 Blondes, the latest book by Candace Bushnell has a lot in common with her mega-hit Sex and the City. Bushnell covers more of the same ground, following shallow New York women-with-attitude who think about nothing but sex, money and designer clothes. Should be fun - but these 4 blondes are almost frightening in their self-absorption. While Sex and the City was a collection of stories gleaned from Bushnell's New York Observer column, it's hard to think of it as just a book - the actresses on the HBO series have breathed such life into the characters it's hard to separate the two. When reading 4 Blondes, you try to take the good will of the TV program with you, but these new women are so frivolous they should be arrested for taking up air.
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.
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By A Customer on Aug. 26 2000
Format: Hardcover
A perfect book in many ways. Bushnell was eminently readable and sharp at the Observer, and people have tended to dismiss her work out of hand as society fluff, a fun read, etc., because it's so enjoyable. But Bushnell's got it; she's a master satirist, and so subtle, that the level at which she's working seems lost on most people. She's not playing the kind of tricks Wolfe did w/Radical Chic, which walked around with a huge sign screaming: THIS IS A LAMPOON! on its ass. Bushnell writes quiet, and she could be a great satirist, in its great tradition, if she wanted to be. She has an ability to write dialogue and turns of phrase (she describes a character with cystic acne, and i'm paraphrasing, as having the type of skin that looks as if its trying to eat the face), and also hones in on details and background moments (the pimples on a brit's 'bum', the 70's-style east village hooker get-up of one character's plagiarizing co-worker) that i think about now that the story's over. 4 vignettes about 4 blondes: first, about a hamptons summer girl, is probably the best. bushnell enjoys this character, feels sympathy for her, and accurately portrays the nouveau-riche-acts-old money scene. she likes them too, or at least has a sense of humor about them. Bushnell hates her second blonde winnie, a sexless careerist magazine writer, and bushnell's obvious distaste for the sort of person she lampoons creates a sort of flat characterization of her. the third one's great. society princess, a fairy tale. and again leaves me with a few strands of thought that resonate: specifically, in regards to a certain type of man that many women in nyc regard as the 'good ones', that, often, beneath the numerous permutations of looks, wealth, manners, etc.Read more ›
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