- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 31 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143035290
- ISBN-13: 978-0143035299
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.3 x 20.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Best of Everything Paperback – May 31 2005
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A classic of its kind. The dialogue is real, the people are real. [It has] the shock of authenticity. ("Saturday Review")
About the Author
Rona Jaffe is the New York Times bestselling author of the internationally acclaimed novels The Road Taken, The Cousins, Family Secrets, and Five Women, as well as the classic bestsellers Class Reunion and The Best of Everything. She is the founder of the Rona Jaffe Foundation, which presents a national literary award to promising female writers.
Top customer reviews
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I work on Madison Avenue and though we have come a long way, there are some things that the women of the novel share with those I currently observe. Jaffe says bluntly and immediately, "None of them have enough money." I hear and see that from those women today who are just starting out in their careers. On a practical level, this presses them to quickly find support emotionally and economically. It sets up some desperate relationships that when viewed objectively are positively head-scratching. And this gives rise to the five interlocking stories that follow the personal and professional struggles faced by these "girls".
Jaffe makes some great observations that remain true today: hierarchical offices based on stature, bosses that intimidate to compensate for lack of skills, Seinfeld truisms like "You could die in New York behind the locked door of your apartment and no one would ever know until some neighbor complained of the smell", the role alcohol continues to play in many Manhattan industries like advertising and publishing "I like whiskey, I prefer it to people", and the season of the "Summer Bachelor" deliciously depicted in one of Mad Men's plot lines.
The book starts well but becomes a tad long and repetitious. Jaffe is not a Yates or Cheever but definitely worth reading. She reserves her best prose for the top of each chapter - they definitely shine - including this passage, "Every square of light was an office, and in every office all over the twilit city there were girls much like herself, happy or disappointed, ambitious or bored, covering their typewriters hastily and going off to meet people they loved, or delaying the minutes of departure because home meant the loneliness of a long dark night."
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