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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: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #282,036 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 --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

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: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
I understand the beauty and appeal of a light and not too serious book - "light reading", if you will. This is the type of book you pick up if you're relaxing at the beach, or going on a bus ride.
This book, however, wasn't even a well-written "light" book. The book (as the title implies) deals with the stories of 4 blondes in the style of "Sex and the City" - Prada-carrying, Gucci-wearing, beautiful women. Their stories are pretty much unrelated, although some auxiliary characters pop up in more than one story. However, their recurrent appearances have no significance, making the whole thing rather lame.
The first story was pretty good, actually. Well written and easy to read. Then everything went downhill. The second story could have been interesting, but was written terribly - overused parantheses everywhere! The third story was about a neurotic model, and wasn't interesting (or well-written, for that matter). The last story was pretty short and completely underdeveloped. It had potential, but the author never realized it.
My suggestion - there are so many light and fluffy books out there, so skip this one. I like "Me times three", for example, and I would recommend that one over "4 blondes".
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Format: Paperback
A quick read of the reviews here has me wondering what the other readers were expecting from this book. Bushnell writes (or has been known to write, I guess) for the New York Observer. It'd be a tall order to line up expectations of literary ingenuity or deep mystique about the characters that 4 Blondes is about. Three of the four leads are single, all live in NYC, and all socialize with (or aspire to socialize with) the type of people who read or appear in High Society sections of leading dailies.
This is a novel of manners with no manners, pop literature that smartly captures the mores and obsessions of our times and does so with wit, insight and a lot of unshackled talk about sex. We read about enough penises to make Philip Roth blush.
It's a snappy, quick breeze through modern urban pop culture. And yes, there ARE people like this in all megapolis urbanscapes of the world, from NYC to Tokyo. And it makes no pretense of being otherwise. Which makes for a fabulous fun if you don't suffer from a Moralizing Itch.
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Format: Paperback
I must agree with the majority on this one. It has to be the worst book I've ever read in my life.
I made the mistake of buying a used copy online without reading any of the reviews first. Of course, I'm thinking, "Hey, she wrote SATC, she's gotta be pretty good". But, oh, was I ever wrong! Now I know why the book itself was only sold for 89 cents and I SERIOUSLY regret paying the S&H for it. What a waste!!
Don't think I've ever been unable to finish a book, but I just couldn't torture myself with this literary garbage any longer. I never made it past the 2nd part about Winnie. I was so disgusted with the first character, Janey, and I HATED the way the second part was written.
I just received a copy of Bushnell's 'Trading Up' as a part of an online book club and I returned it immediately. If I didn't like Janey in 4 Blondes, I'll hate an entire book about her upper-class wannabe lifestyle. Hello, she's a shallow, self-absorbed prostitute!!!
Please, I beg you, don't waste your time on this one.
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