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Bergdorf Blondes: A Novel Paperback – May 4, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; Reprint edition (May 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401359604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401359607
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (387 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,336,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

They're ravenous. They're ruthless. They live in a strictly hierarchical, alpha-dog, eat-or-be-eaten world. No, it's not a rerun of Wild America; it's the world of dressed-to-the-nines Park Avenue heiresses, aka Bergdorf Blondes, botoxed to within an inch of their barely-into-the-third-decade lives. Our unnamed London-born heroine is New York's favorite "champagne-bubble-about-town" and just as effervescent and exhilarating as a fine bottle of Dom Perignon. Blissfully self-interested and flush with the cheeriness that comes from being, well, flush, Miss Disposable Income 2004 sashays her way through New York society in search of the perfect P.H. (Potential Husband)-"Have you any idea how awesome your skin looks if you are engaged?"-and the perfect butt-shaping pair of Chloe jeans. Despair occasionally strikes when her latest prince turns into yet another toad, but it's nothing an invitation to an uber-exclusive Hermes sale and a gallon or so of Bellinis can't fix. She's got the crème de la crème along with her for the ride, including her best friend, the fabulously wealthy heiress Julie Bergdorf, who is tres supportive of her nervous breakdown=You'll be able to dine out on how crazy you went in Paris for months-and a posse of chattering, Harry Winston-bedecked clones with whom to limo around New York. Tacky? Absolutely. But it's impossible not to be massively entertained by a woman who refers euphemistically to oral sex as "going to Rio" in memory of the first man who suggested she get a Brazilian bikini wax, considers vodka a food group and who holds up glamour as the first of the commandments. This is a savvy and viciously funny trip into a glittery, glitzy world we sure wouldn't want to live in-but by which we're more than happy to be vicariously consumed for the length of a book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Our heroine is a self-described "champagne bubble about town" (the town being New York City, of course), a twentysomething socialite whose life centers on tracking down Chanel sample sales and downing Bellinis with the group of friends she calls the Park Avenue Princesses. When she notices that getting engaged brings a glow to her friends' skin that even an alpha-beta peel can't replicate, she and her best friend embark on a roller-coaster-ride of a search for prospective husbands. Their misadventures, both romantic and cosmetic, are related in a dishy, namedropping-over-cocktails tone. At the story's end, everyone has landed safely on her Manolo Blahniks, true love turns out to be where one least expects to find it, and Vera Wang is booked to design the wedding gowns. Sykes' debut is feather light, but its heart is in the right place. Like the movie Clueless, to which it owes a substantial debt, this is a breathless, sweetly tongue-in-cheek examination of the lifestyles and arcane social mores of the young, rich, and glamorous. Readers, especially fans of Candace Bushnell, will enjoy the ride. Meredith Parets
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

A great beach read, fun and light, and it entertains like it was meant to.
Lola16
As a matter of fact, the writing style was a little too slang and unecessarily posh for my taste.
Jade
The characters lack depth, which would be okay if the book had a plot of any interest.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 182 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In the tradition of Candace Bushnell's "Four Blondes" and "Trading Up" comes "Bergdorf Blondes" by Plum Sykes, a story about Manhattan's best-dressed women, and their fantastically luxurious highlights, heartbreaks, and Hermes Birkin waiting-list woes. In a sense, the unnamed narrator (a self-described champagne bubble-about-town) and her perfectly blonde best friend, Julie Bergdorf, are refreshingly unlike many rich chick-lit heroines: they're not ruthless or mean-hearted, they're oftentimes charming and witty, and their very self-indulgence has a campy quality that comes across as more amusing than petty.
There's a downside: the book never goes anywhere particularly surprising, and the whirl of men-clothes-manicures gets boring and one-dimensional after a while. The characters' very cuteness is a little unnerving as well; I love clothing as much as the next girl, but it's not all that I, or any other girl for that matter, think about. Sykes' writing isn't good enough to make her characters into real people. Rather, they're simply very well-dressed, well-coiffed shells with no interests other than clothes or men, and they're not real enough to make their silliness interesting for more than 100 pages or so.
In conclusion, it's disappointing to reach the end of the book and realize that it doesn't go anywhere: there's no well-fashioned plot, just a series of fragmented episodes that pass for a story, and there's no character growth. No one ever learns to care for anything beyond men, clothes, and grooming, and yet, despite this, they're perfectly happy people. Does that mean the book's not worth reading? No, it is; it's good beach or boredom reading. But you may find yourself losing interest in the incessant themes of designer highlights and rotten men, in which case, "Bergdorf Blondes" becomes very unpleasant to finish.
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Em1 on August 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As an Oxford graduate and an English person I'd just like to apologise to you all for Plum Sykes and Bergdorf Blondes. No, that's all. We're really sorry.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Cooper on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Initially I thought Miss Sykes was attempting to satirise the ditzy social register scene of the rich women of New York City. If this had been the case, it would have been a brave attempt, and not at all bad for a debut. However, after a few pages it became painfully obvious that there was absolutely no tongue in Miss Sykes' cheek, and that she thought her readers would actually enjoy several hundred pages of irrelevant fashion titbits and vacuous inanities. Are the women of New York really so self-obsessed and, frankly, stupid? And where was the plot? The denouement was clumsy and embarrassing, almost bringing a blush to my cheeks at the audacity of it. I think that Miss Sykes underestimated the intelligence of the average book reader, and overestimated the level of interest in her line of work and her lifestyle. As she obviously isn't going to get many royalties, I at least hope she gets a few freebies in exchange for so much ruthless plugging of designers. How many times can you say 'Marc Jacobs'?
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michele Hipp on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was so bad I almost broke my own rule that you have to finish reading any book that you start. It is a completely boring "Briget Jones' Diary" meets "The Nanny Diaries" wannabe novel. Yes, yes, Manhattan party girls are oh so chic, live oh so extravagent and bizarre lives and, have oh so funny perspectives on life. We've had a deluge of novels in the last few years that follow this theme - each attempting to be wittier than the last. I don't know if this book was just an un-fuuny version of the genre or if the genre is played out, but this book was excruciating.
What made this book particularly torturous was that the author is so obviously begging to have it turned into a major motion picture. The book really seemed like more of an exposition for a cute chick flick. The movie would be better than the book. It would have good fashion visuals, attractive characters and predictable dialogue and plot developments. Wonderful qualities for a ninety minute chick flick. Not good qualities for a book that takes more than ninety minutes to read. More than ninety minutes is a waste of time for this tired book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mira on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Not that I expected much from this book - the same way I did not expect much from the Devil Wears Prada, Trading Up and other so called chick lit books - but I felt insulted reading Bergdorf Blondes. The above-mentioned books at least attempt to be sarcastic and try to describe New York society life with an ironic and sometimes even bitter undertone. However, this read was unfortunately a complete waste of time as well as an insult to the reader. Chick/Glam lit can be great but only if the writer is capable of injecting some cynicism and irony in her writing. Plum Sykes clearly is not!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jade on July 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I admire Plum Sykes for writing a debut novel about the world she is familiar with, even though I couldn't help feeling that the book was based on events so true that the book actually lost its flavor; in brief, there was potential for a good book here. I don't mind reading about the world of PJs and thirteen-day blondes, since I don't have to relate to a character's lifestyle to enjoy a novel. Nonetheless, what undermined "Bergdorf Blondes" was the lack of plot and structure, and distracting name dropping. As a matter of fact, the writing style was a little too slang and unecessarily posh for my taste. Luckily, I speak French so that helped to keep the flow as I read. I did enjoy learning the acronyms, but that's about it. The book jacket is way cute too. As an avid reader, I just found that the characters lacked dephth. Some people such as the characters in this book are that shallow, fact of life, but "Bergdorf Blondes" was rife with them. I don't mind predictable plots to be honest, because I generally tend to like happy endings, well at least for one of the characters, but still, Moi didn't do it for me. I regret having bought this book and do not really recommend it.
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