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The Blondes Hardcover – Aug 14 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; First Edition edition (Aug. 14 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385671059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385671057
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.7 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #346,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Trillium Award Finalist - 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2015

"An engaging, satirical study of our beauty-obsessed society and the idea that looks really can kill." —Chatelaine

"[Schultz] creates a clever, idea-layered landscape of speculative fiction in which she can deposit a very real, complex, somewhat self-absorbed yet ultimately sympathetic character, one who just by looking, feeling and responding to events both extraordinary and banal, speaks to myriad perceptions of women both real and invented." —National Post

"Corrosively humorous commentary on social, sexual and cross-border politics." —Toronto Star

"Sensitive and contemplative. . . . unnerving and sometimes comically macabre. . . . Schultz uses this worldwide calamity to . . . reflect on our tangled definitions of beauty and the life-altering responsibilities of motherhood. . . . A heroine who's also a feminist critic of pop culture is our perfect guide."
The Washington Post

"Part hysterical dystopia, part coming-of-age story and devastatingly moving throughout . . . So finely realized that you might just rethink summer highlights forever."
—Fashion Magazine

"The story weaves together elements of suspense and satire, with an academic overlay of critical cultural theory, but at its essence it is a fast-paced, unpretentious read. A wash-and-wear cut, if you will. . . . Ultimately, The Blondes is streaked with honest sentiment and a surprisingly feel-good ending: dark enough to have weight, light enough to read at the beach."
The Globe and Mail

“[A] smart new literary thriller. . . . A nail-biter that is equal parts suspense, science fiction, and a funny, dark sendup of the stranglehold of gender.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

EMILY SCHULTZ's first book, Black Coffee Night, was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Award, while her second, Joyland, received rave reviews. Her most recent novel, Heaven is Small, was a finalist for the 2010 Trillium Award alongside Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Ian Brown, and Anne Michaels. Her criticism has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Eye Weekly, The Walrus Magazine, and several anthologies. Schultz also edits an influential website called "Joyland," which publishers short fiction and commentary from across North America. For this work, she was named one of Canada's digital innovators by Quill & Quire magazine. Schultz lives in Toronto and New York.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I thought The Blondes would be a different story when I started it. I thought it’d be some lighthearted comedy featuring a tough, fast talking character because of how the synopsis was written. While The Blondes was a different read from the expected, I still really enjoyed it. The story is a bit slow but I would recommend it if you can overlook that and enjoy Schultz’s beautiful writing.

The Blondes is about a grad student named Hazel Hayes who arrives fresh in New York City and discovers that she is pregnant. She’s not just pregnant, she’s pregnant with her professor’s child and her professor is married. Whoops. But that’s when an outbreak of Blonde Rabies starts. Blonde women across cities quickly become infected by a strange form of rabies and start attacking strangers. Hysteria ensues.

I loved the social commentary around the outbreak. Everyone reacts to it differently. Some characters are petrified, some move away to places with fewer blondes, others pretend it’s not happening at all – while the media plays it up to no end. I guess I was disappointed that Hazel doesn’t have much of a reaction but then, what is a pregnant single mother-to-be to do?

Hazel is no hero but I think her role in The Blondes says a lot about the complicated relationships between women. There is often sense of competition, jealousy and fear between us that makes us all seem a little rabid. But there’s always this underlying desire to belong – to have a sisterhood and that’s most apparent when Hazel finds a friend where she would least expect it.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this novel. With a unique premise - blondes becoming rapid killers (think zombies, but exchange the ugly for beautiful blondes) - and fabulous social commentary (think The Handmaid's Tale), The Blondes is an absorbing read.

Hazel Hayes is an ordinary girl who moves from Toronto to New York City to finish her thesis on women and vanity when she finds herself pregnant just as the world becomes consumed with hysterical, raging blondes wreaking havoc and attacking people. Anyone living in Toronto during SARS or the Bird Flu scare or anywhere during a potential pandemic will understand the fear, the unknown and the desperation portrayed in this novel. The Blondes takes it a step further by exploring an illness that affects only women, particularly blondes, both natural and bleached, and how the rest of the world, from brunettes to men, react to them, their vanity at having to shave their heads, and the discrimination, the persecution, and the indignities they are treated to.

Told from the point of view of Hazel Hayes, whose pregnancy was unplanned, she gradually tells her unborn baby about how the events unfolded to get them to the cabin they were hunkered down in. Hazel starts her story at the cabin and then would skip back to various points in time from how the infections began, to how she met the baby's father and moved to New York and other times in her past. However, at no time was I confused or thought this detracted from the story. It was masterfully done. I zipped through pages to see whether she would make it out of the cabin and was equally fascinated by how the infection started, spread and the reaction to it as well as the dysfunctional relationship she had with the baby's father.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars 50 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Did live up to its potential July 13 2016
By Maggie Padek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't really know how to feel about this book. I was looking for a suspenseful read for vacation and was fairly disappointed. It kept alluding to having a climatic point but it kinda fell flat at the end. ::Spoiler:: I find it disappointing when story lines include a student-teacher affair and always portray the student (usually female) as being naive and innocent. Its a worn out trope. The book does invoke some interesting points about the way we treat women and the way we sensationalize events (especially infectious diseases) but I thought failed to make any sort of relevant point about either so wasn't sure if that was accidental or just not fully realized. Also there were some gaps in the way they described the disease that had me questioning the logic of the storyline the entire time
1.0 out of 5 stars I was hoping this was going to be like the movie "Heathers" but sadly July 6 2016
By APruitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to say I didn't care about the main character. I was hoping this was going to be like the movie "Heathers" but sadly, it was not. I ended up skimming through most of the book.
1.0 out of 5 stars for lack of better terms, boring June 4 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Truly, I thought this book was, for lack of better terms, boring. I kept reading it in hopes it would get more thrilling but it was very disappointing.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars July 12 2016
By Laura - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed most of this book, the ending was very anticlimactic and disappointing.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summer read. June 8 2016
By L. Hahn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting concept.

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