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The Bombshell Manual of Style Hardcover – May 16, 2001

149 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"By Laren Stover, it offers advice to all women, brunettes and redheads included, on how to detonate the inner bombshell." -- New York Times

"Stover, Forrest and their colleagues are . . . shrewd and insightfully observant field anthropologists . . ." -- Tom Robbins

"With prose and perception of rare and natural grace . . . deserves a place beside Neumann's The Great Mother . . ." -- Nick Tosches

About the Author

Laren Stover is currently editor-at-large of Contents and was associate creative director of advertising at Bergdorf Goodman. She has been a resident at Yaddo and Hawthornden Castle and received the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation grant for fiction in 1991. She lives in New York City. Ruben Toledo has created witty, incisive illustrations for L'Umo Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Details, Paper, the New York Times, Visionaire, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany. He lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; English Language edition (May 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786866942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786866946
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I have a degree in fine arts and like to think I paint with words. I adore illustrated books! Ruben Toledo created beautiful watercolours for my style guide, The Bombshell Manual of Style. Paris-born Izak illustrated Bohemian Manifesto. I want all my future books to be illustrated, fiction and nonfiction! (Ruben recently created iconic cover arts for three classics including Pride and Prejudice.) PHOTO: Marion Ettlinger for upcoming The 27 Notebooks of Nick Dante.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Tina Lee on October 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have had this haunting feeling lately that most women today are lacking something, or trying too hard. We don't seem to express our vulnerability or our sensuality- we just show a lot of skin-- low-cut tops, lowrise jeans. What is real sex appeal?
For that matter, what is real va-va voom? Finally, an adorable, tongue-in-cheek book about the classic goddesses who overcame bad childhoods and multiple marriages. They believed in dreams, they made us believe in dreams. The authors say you don't even need to be busty, or blonde, it's state of mind, a consciousness. This book is glamourous, sweet, empowering and made me laugh, too. (I ran out to Saks Fifth Avenue and bought Jicky perfume, very old school sexy.) There's even a quiz and a cute website which I found on the web when I looked up the book title. I only wish there had been a little more on exercise, but I guess the book was too honest for that....bombshell weights do go up and down but a bombshell is a bombshell because she believes I herself more than her scale. (I am buying this book for my depressed friends, it's better than Prozac.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For some reason, the people who buy this book expect to see a step-by-step guide on how to become Marilyn, Elizabeth, and Sofia. However, there is no such thing as step-by-step guide on becoming a bombshell. The bombshell tendency is often born into a girl (or boy) but is carefully cultivated into the full-blown bombshell that we know and adore. While I admit some of the things are dated, why can't we incorporate a little bit of the forties and fifties into our lives? Champagne baths are a tad much for those of us with budgets, but why not have a grocery store-cheap bottle in the fridge for those toasting those special occasions like a dove landing on the windowsill? This book was an eye-opener for me, showing me that I can be my own type of Marilyn or Elizabeth in the modern world, it just requires a little bit of glam and a whole lot of confidence. While you and I never may be listed with the Bombshells of legend, we know we are Bombshells, and so does everyone else with the swish of our hair, the champagne in our refrigerator and our genuine effervescene for the movie of life in which we are the star.

Don't purchase this book if you want a step-by-step guide or tips on how to become Marilyn Monroe. This book is not that. It's more of a catalogue of famous Bombshell tendencies (which bras, makeup, shoes, music, etc.) that you either find just like yours, somewhat like yours, or nothing at all like yours, and you could use these tendencies to cultivate your bombshell status. But no step-by-step. Sorry.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Samara on August 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In a time when fashionistas prescribe either cookie-cutter, sexless Anne Taylor fashion or outfits that scream "$50 an hour, me love you long time!", the return of the bombshell is long overdue! Sexy but never trampy, playful but never moronic, intelligent but not at the cost of sensuality, the bombshell is an archetype that European feminists never crucified - although it suffered more stateside. I hope this book heralds a new interest in the joyful balancing act of the bombshell. This IS a how-to book, despite what some reviewers have said. It is, however, more of a description of a paradigm than a cookie-cutter prescription - with some concrete advice on shoes, scent, clothing, attitude, lifestyle, etc. Sometimes tongue-in-cheek, high-spirited, sensual, unapologetically feminine, delighted - with a little spritz of irony- this book is a fun, fun, fun read. I loved it - treated myself to a bottle of Coco by Chanel to celebrate, and the next day I wore a just-knee length b& w polka-dotted skirt with a fitted black top and new red open-toed 1940s heels that I hadn't previously been brave enough to wear to the office. Celebrating a kinship with the Bombshell makes me feel fabulous! You might even say... liberated! Liberated to be playful, sexy, whimsical, feminine, capricious, sentimental, *and* intellectual. The Bombshell is the well-balanced, thinking woman's Cosmo Girl. The only things I wasn't too keen on were the critiques of certain artists and authors as not-for-bombshells. As far as I'm concerned, the bombshell can read as much as she wants, and whatever she wants - and the same goes for art appreciation. A Bombshell with a Ph.D. might find it a bit naff to have sex appeal linked to reading material - but then again, maybe wrapping a copy of Being and Time in a Men Are From Mars dust jacket would appeal to her whimsical sense of irony. Never mind me, though - just go get the book and see what you think!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's about time some practical advice was given with an air of humor, light-heartedness and sexiness. An adorable how-to manual that doesn't take itself too seriously. But watch out-if you follow this advice expect heads to turn. The information packed into this little pearl is dead on. The authors have obviously watched all the classic films and have distilled the best tips into a concise guide no aspiring bombshell should be without. I recommend this to everyone. (It will make men smile, too.) It's positive, fun and beautifully illustrated.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Anne Marie on June 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Isn't it always the case that what some readers hate about a book is what you love about it? I love the focus solely on vintage movie stars, perfume, music etc. I love the way it reads like a movie magazine of the era, full of fluff and fun and nothing too sad or intrusive. I love the way the author seems to be making a study of bombshells in their native habitat, the movie screen and the Hollywood of yesteryear. I love that although it's so over the top you may sense a hint of things being "tongue in cheek," she passes no judgments about the bombshell way of life.

I love the fact that it is not a how-to book which I find have a tendency to sound rather "Do this or you aren't beautiful/strong/hip/chic/accomplished etc." You can take what you will from this book. Read it to see a light and fun side to bombshells whose lives are usually mentioned in junction with tragedy now. Read it to see some suggestions as to what music a bombshell listens to and what mood it sets, what movies she loves and what books she reads (and why). Maybe you'll want to add some bombshell touches to your life or maybe you won't, either way it's a fun read.

Personally I pick it up to cast a rose glow over my life, to add some effervescence and to recapture a sense of fun. To me, that's what makes this book sparkle, it is a slice of a cotton candy world. It's a rose-tinted bygone Hollywood that you can stroll through and pick up a few trinkets to adorn your reality, or not.
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