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Bling Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; First Edition/First Printing edition (June 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401352154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401352158
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In her debut novel Bling, Erica Kennedy exposes the dark underside of the hip-hop recording industry in the same way The Nanny Diaries outed the Park Avenue elite. Kennedy charts the course of Mimi, a small-town girl from Ohio who is discovered by Lamont Jackson, a hip-hop mogul who discards of gym clothing after one use and sends potential bedmates to his personal physician for a full work-up before hitting the sheets. Secondary characters like Lena Whitaker, the spoiled daughter of an LA lawyer who unknowingly foots the bill for trinkets like a $15,000 diamond necklace for Crazy G, Lena's booty call of the month, and Lamont's cocaine-snorting, Gucci-wearing, sister-in-law Vanessa de la Cruz, quickly become Mimi's image and social consultants. Rounding out the crew are a host of rappers who work for Lamont, including Ernesto, aka Phat E, a bear of a man who "raps about his slick girl-getting abilities" yet goes home every night to his high-school sweetheart Renee, who "was proud to walk the halls with Ernesto even though he had ballooned to 280 pounds by senior prom."

Bling takes readers on an insider's tour of the world of parties in the Hamptons, VIP lounges, fashion shows, and Tribeca penthouses. In fact, the tour is so intimate that many readers will recognize thinly veiled faces along the way, like Ally C., the blond-haired, blue-eyed publicist from Long Island, and Irv Greene, the aging music executive from Brooklyn. Kennedy leaves no stone unturned; there's even a prepubescent rapper aptly named Billy Tha Kid. All these details make for a very long book, and by the end, readers may find themselves skimming the pages to find out what eventually happens. Still, for anyone who has ever wondered what goes through the minds of P. Diddy and his entourage as they emerge from the Escalade, Bling promises to enthrall and entertain. --Gisele Toueg

From Publishers Weekly

Hip-hop's sexed-up commercial side meets its gangsta roots in this sassy beach read debut. Eternal playboy Lamont Jackson is the larger-than-life head of hip-hop label Triple Large Entertainment, and Mimi Jean, a sexy, naïve 20-year-old with golden pipes, is his newest protégé. Mimi's whirlwind life among New York's glitterati is paved with Lamont's money and guided with either love or malice by his many hangers-on, including wild child Lena, level-headed assistant Imani and height-challenged A&R rep Daryl. Mimi gets the makeover of her life in her rise to the top—a vocal coach, a new wardrobe and a boob job—as Lamont grooms his star. The label's gangsta-style rappers (Flo$$, Radickulys, MC Grimy, etc.) introduce a bit of badass into Mimi's glossy world. And it doesn't take long until Lamont and sweet little Mimi are burning up the sheets. The writing is pretty pedestrian, but who cares? Kennedy offers salacious details to spice up the already over-the-top premise. A firmer editorial hand could have chopped out a couple hundred pages and made the tale sleeker and just as lip-smacking. But then readers wouldn't get to play as many games of who's-really-who: was Lena inspired by Nicole Richie? Is Mimi Mariah Carey and Lamont Sonny Mottolla? Entertainment journalist Kennedy should find her own star rising with this urban fairy tale.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

The book was really slow at first but then it started to pick up at about page 300.
Dawn Chambray
This is one of the best books I have ever read (and as I mentioned I have read a whole lot).
Mickey
Ms. Kennedy is a talented author who writes strong, distinct and memorable characters.
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cydney Rax on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Lucrative recording contracts, shopping sprees, singing stars, paparazzi, sex, and life lived on the hip-hop edge. This is what you'll find in BLING, the splashy debut by Erica Kennedy. The story centers on Mimi, a twenty-something girl from Ohio who dreams of getting a record contract. She and her singing friends travel to New York to make the dream come true. The road the Mimi travels is one she could never predict and her life changes almost instantly when she hooks up with a hip-hop producer named Lamont.
The book is filled with short chapters and the plot moves at a fast pace. BLING is a likable page-turner. It provides a fascinating glimpse of the recording industry and can provide as a textbook of sorts for those who aspire to become a part of the hip-hop industry. There are tons of characters in this book, and at times the lines are belly-aching funny. There's plenty of fresh and hip characters who all talk the latest lingo, all of which may have you think you're reading from the pages of VIBE. Most of the characters will make you try to guess the real-life counterparts because there are plenty of similarities between BLING's subplots and actual hip-hop celebrities.
The only distractions are the mountains of background information about the minor characters. These narratives somewhat diminish the action and intensity of the story, but nevertheless BLING is an out-the-box hit; it's a recommended read that should appeal to those who love urban fiction, hip-hop music, and rags to riches African-American stories.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jordan McCray on April 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The beginning of the book does move at a fast pace, and keeps you interested. Things kind of go crazy in the last third of the book. The ending is actually a let down, very boring. The entire thing between mimi and Lamont was just way too forced.

I am from Ohio, and did not really like the way Mimi was played as some backwoods, country hick. Very stereotypical of east coasters to portray the Midwest that way.

There was a point where the number of characters became confusing. And some of the side stories like Sum Wun, and Rayshaun (I was looking for his character to really play a part, then..nothing!) and others definitely needed a good editor.

Her use of adverbs to describe dialogue became really irritating.

he said hesitantly

she said irritably

Again, the sign that her editor did not do their job.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Toni on October 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was a little weary about Bling once I saw the size of the book. Not to stereotype, but I've noticed that most of the realy large books I read tend not to be written well, as if the author thought size will make up for lack of substance. But I was thoroughly surprised by Bling. Ms. Kennedy wrote an excellent first novel with a great cast of characters in an tight industry that I enjoyed hearing more about. I really enjoyed Mimi's struggle between a personal life and business, along with the record exec's view that he made a star, therefore he owns the star. I always love a well written book about African-Amercians by an African-American and Ms. Kennedy did not disappoint me.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nadia P on August 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
And I mean this is a good way! I spent many summers reading my moms Jackie Collins books while she was away at work and trying to put them back where I found them so she wouldn't notice! Once I got old, I would try and figure out who was who in her books, since they were supposed to be based loosely on real life people and events. It's the same thing with this novel, which will probably gain "cult like" status like "Flyy Girl" and "The Coldest Winter Ever".

I think the main character, Mimi, is a mixture of Beyonce, Ashanti, Mariah Carey, and Lauryn Hill maybe. Her girl Lena seems to be Paris Hilton-ish, especially when I read about her "crawling on the floor of the club looking for her diamond studded cell phone with a short skirt and no underwear". Totally sounds like something Paris would do.

The older guy being forced out of his record label, Tommy Motola (sp?) maybe? Didn't the same thing happen to him? And I'm thinking that Daryl guy is Jermaine Dupri kind of sort of.

Some of my guesses may be way off, but it's fun to guess, and the book was pretty good. It was a good "train" read, something to make the long commute faster. This was a great first book and I hope to hear more from the author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shellfish Gene on June 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I just read this book today and it had some very entertaining parts indeed, I found myself laughing out loud several times. My only complaint is that there were to many characters involved who didn't seem to have any relevance to the story's plot. Character's such as Nate and Jordan to name a couple only make the book unnessisarily long and I found myself wondering why they were even included in the first place. But by all means, if you know anything about the circus that is the hip hop industry today or are just curious this book will certainly be amusing either way.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kharabella on December 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
The plot: A pretty biracial girl named Mimi is persuaded to ditch the rest of the girl group that she had been singing with since high school (back in Toledo, Ohio) in order to sign a solo deal with Triple Large Entertainment, one of the biggest and most successful labels in hip-hop. A little hesitant and more than a little naïve, twenty-year old Mimi leaves Ohio for the bling life of New York.

First, we watch Mimi get a makeover. When her appearance is appropriately "bling," Mimi is introduced to the public as the Princess of Triple Large. She parties, she makes mediocre records and sings silly hooks on other songs. She sleeps with the thirty-eight-year-old, womanizing CEO of Triple Large and enthusiastically falls in love with him. Eventually, she grows up a little bit. She dumps CEO days before their wedding. In the end, she becomes a neo-soul singer and songwriter and wins a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Four hundred and forty-nine pages, but I can barely remember a significant thing that happened. I didn't really think that I got to know most of the characters, especially Mimi. Granted, there are a lot of colorful characters, nearly too many to keep their stories straight. I concentrate on Mimi because I believe that she was the primary character. For the same reason, I expected to get to know her - what made her laugh, what motivated her, what she thought about when she was alone - and how she could be so freaking naïve! Although I suppose that I was waiting for Mimi to stand up for herself, I remained fairly indifferent to what might happen to her.

In the end, I wasn't moved to cheer for her or against her. Overall, reading the book was like watching a hip-hop soap opera. Or a hip-hop magazine come to life. If you are not into that kind of thing, this book might be a little much for you.
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