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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: #297,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

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: HASH(0xa654ce94) out of 5 stars 49 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65cfb64) out of 5 stars The book description is the best part. July 18 2015
By MzOpinion8d - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I must begin with saying the author is a very good writer, as far as technique and flow go. Content, however, was not what I was expecting. None - not even one - of the main characters is interesting. I got to about 35% and then started skipping ahead, trying to see if the pace picked up or the story improved, which it didn't. I then stopped skipping for the last 20% or so. So, you can take that into consideration when reading my review.

(Possible spoilers, but mostly vague info)
The main character doesn't like herself much. You learn she's pregnant, and wanted an abortion that she was unable to obtain, so you know she doesn't like her baby much, either. She also doesn't like the baby's father much, nor his wife, with whom she has ended up living. She also didn't like her own mother much, nor her stepfather. And, she doesn't have many friends, and the ones she has, she's not very close to.

Starting out with this premise I was expecting that some personal growth and relationship building would occur in the story, but that didn't happen. It seemed to be mainly a story about how disappointed the main character was with every aspect of her life. She survives pretty much by accident, and doesn't seem to really be all that happy to be alive, so it's really hard to connect to her.

I feel bad posting low rated reviews, because I know the authors work very hard to produce their work, but I just didn't enjoy this story. I will look for other things by the author since she is a good writer...just not a good storyteller in this instance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65cfbb8) out of 5 stars Grim, Dark, and Different April 4 2016
By OutlawPoet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book ages ago and have finally had a chance to sit down and read it. I'm so glad I did.

So, first things first: It's satire - not humor. I don't want you tripping up on that. I realize the product description says 'hilarious' and that is absolutely the wrong word for this book. Maybe (just maybe) you'll find a touch of black humor in some of the scenarios and terms like the Blonde Fury, but what you actually get is a grim, weird, and compelling apocalypse that really forces you to look at the importance appearance plays in our lives.

As for the pandemic itself? I'll be honest and say that the author can't give it any scientific legitimacy. The book offers a few theories, but don't bother look at why this is happening. Eventually you simply have to accept that it *is* happening.

You'll also find that, in many ways, the book is less about the pandemic and more about people - about values, morals, and self discovery.

Our main character is hard to read. She's bitter, somewhat morally bankrupt, selfish, and hard to like. In fact, more of the darkness of the book comes from her than it does the pandemic. As you read the book, she's so very focused on herself (despite a few instances of feeling for her fellow man/woman). This is one egocentric girl. She's pregnant with the child of a married man and what does she do when she suddenly finds herself in the midst of an apocalypse? She goes to find him - despite the wife.

In fact, you'll find that you like very few of the characters in this book, yet you'll keep reading. I was dying to know how it would end.

This is a very different, but very good book. Just don't expect that word 'hilarious'.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65cfe94) out of 5 stars This book was an easy read with a unique storyline March 29 2016
By Kathy T - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was an easy read with a unique storyline. The premise was an interesting take on a semi-horror theme. I really like the first 3/4 of the book.It was different and gruesomely fun. However, I waasn't crazy about the ending, the last part of the book seemed to lose steam, drag on and flatten out. And their were characters who got lost. I wanted to follow up and ask what happened to her friend and what was the real story why the friend's husband abandoned her ? How exactly did her lover die ? What happened to her after the baby was born ? I was left with questions I'll never get answers to.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65cfd8c) out of 5 stars Kept hoping and hoping it would get better, and *spoiler alert* it didn't July 12 2015
By Michelle Murray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Would not recommend! The book is well written but that is about all it is. Very boring, no excitement and ends abruptly, with things just magically coming together. For a book about a disease that turns women into zombie-like things you would think it would be all action. Unfortunately, the book involves very little action and focuses on the characters feelings. Additionally, the main character is very unlikeable and rather pathetic, which makes it hard to keep reading from her perspective.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65cff78) out of 5 stars Anticlimactic April 19 2016
By Tammy Presley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong the story is a good one & is VERY well written . I just expected so much more of a dramatic ending. The main character handles so much throughout the entire book but the last few pages just fell off a cliff into disappointment valley. However I don't regret reading it, the plot is amazing.

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