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Comment: Clean pages with light tanning and wrinkled edges. Cover has creases and other surface and edge wear. Not ex-library.
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Fatal Charms and Other Tales of Today/The Mansions of Limbo (Omnibus) Paperback – March 9, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 509 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; P edition (March 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034543059X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345430595
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Boswell of the blue bloods."--San Francisco Examiner.

"One of the snappiest writers around."--Liz Smith, New York Daily News.

From the author of the best-selling People Like Us and The Two Mrs. Grenviles comes this unvarnished look at the gilded world of the real-life rich and famous. Here are the highly colorful and highly provocative look at the gilded world of the real-life rich of famous. Here are the highly colorful and highly provocative close-up interviews Dominick Dunne has written for Vanity Fair. In them, Dunne tells all about today's creme de la creme as only as insider can tell it. Here is his engaging profile of the everlasting regal Elizabeth Taylor; a bizarre encounter with Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos exiled in Hawaii; a revealing, behind-the-scenes portrait of the great poseur Claus von Bulow; an inquiry into the squalid life and mysterious death of Alfred Bloomingdale's mistress, Vicki Morgan; Dunne's moving account of his daughter's violent death and the man who got away with her murder; as well as revealing glimpses of Ivan Boesky, Ava Gardner, Diane Keaton, Gloria Vanderbilt, Candy and Aron Spelling, and others-plus a look inside the exclusive Mortimer's restaurant and the real Palm Beach. Sassy and stirring, candid and controversial, Fatal Charms is a startling expose of charm-in all its guises-both fatal and benign. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Dominick Dunne has met them all--stars and slugs, criminals and victims, the innocent and the hideously guilty--and now his two provocative collections of Vanity Fair portraits are in one irresistible volume. From posh Park Avenue duplexes to the extravagant mansions of Beverly Hills, from tasteful London town houses to the wild excesses of million-dollar European retreats, here are the movers and shakers--and the people who pretend to be.

Among colorful profiles and revealing glimpses of Elizabeth Taylor, Claus von Bülow, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Aaron Spelling, discover who dumped an heiress the night before the wedding to run off with the best man . . . what happens when the ex-husband of a movie legend becomes president . . . why a beautiful singer fell in with the mob . . . and, in Dunne's most personal story, how a lying murderer and a limelight-loving judge denied justice to his family after his daughter's life was brutally destroyed.

Filled with pathos and wit, insight and sass, this candid, controversial volume gives you an extraordinary peek into the rarefied world of the rich, the royal, and the ruined. For Dunne is the man who knows all their secrets--and now those secrets are out.

More About the Author

Dominick Dunne (1925-2009) was the author of five bestselling novels, two collections of essays, and "The Way We Lived Then," a memoir with photographs. His final novel, "Too Much Money," will be published in December 2009. He was a Special Correspondent for "Vanity Fair" and lived in New York City and Hadlyme, Connecticut.

Photo (C) H. Thompson

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Enjoy-I read it in 2 days.
Virginia K Scott
THe truth is, I think Dominick Dunne was a great writer - and I like everything he does, or did.
Marsha Marks
This is really a fun book to read.
K grimsley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Virginia K Scott on August 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have enjoyed Dominick Dunne's novels (novels in disguise!), but this book has left me wishing I had been a Vanity Fair subscriber. I never realized what I had been missing, although I might have not read anything else in that magazine. I almost didn't order it, because I was disappointed with his previous work-The Way We Lived Then-which was exactly what he said it was, the recollections of a well-known name dropper, all names and not much content. However-this book is wonderful-and probably more so the recollections of a name dropper. Incredible true stories of the rich and famous, and maybe some not so famous, all intensely interesting. A number of the essays involve crime-beginning with his description of the trial of the man who killed his daughter, and including pieces on the Mendez brothers, O.J. Simpson, Claus Von Bulow, and more, told as only an "insider" could. Yet not all of the tales are crime related, so if you're looking for tabloid-style, tell all stories, this probably isn't the book for you. He tells the tales of high society with a touch of class, and I can't imagine that he has made many enemies, and probably remains in good favor with most of the people he has included in these pages. I finished the book wanting to go back and re-read several of my favorite stories, and wishing there was a sequel I could now continue with. Enjoy-I read it in 2 days.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Robert Wellen on December 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dunne is a fantastic and fun writer. This collection gets bogged down however. Many of the stories are dated and the updates are not recent. Many of the stories are reprinted in the far superior colleciton, Justice. Still, parts of this book, particularly the Gloria Vanderbilt story, stand out. If you like Dunne, I would start with Justice and move backwards. It is fun to read many of his stories do have something of a timeless quality. I was frustrated with parts of book which seemed dated and dull. Ahh..what do I know. Dunne is still great.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Litras on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I picked up Mr. Dunne's novel for my book collection of his amazing works, it was another week of neglecting my duties as a Mother to my starving children. Thank goodness for the microwave! I am a Vanity Fair subscriber and always will be due to Mr. Dunne's genius writing. Mrs. Litras.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Boston reader on November 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are essays written for Vanity Fair. Had I known Dunne was a regular contributor to V Fair, I would have picked up the magazine, and not for the fashion pix! If you like hard-boiled mysteries and if you like biographies, you will truly appreciate Dunne as a fly-on-the-wall writer. Reading these pieces, you become, like Dunne, an observer and a participant of the jet set, hobnobbing through the past couple of decades with royalty and celebs, but with a jaundice eye. Funny how Dunne did not begin such writing until his later years. Makes one appreciate the art of good storytelling when it's done by someone with a fluid command of language, respect for well-placed manners, and a taste for the absurdity of social class castes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Marks VINE VOICE on January 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
THe truth is, I think Dominick Dunne was a great writer - and I like everything he does, or did. I bought this book because it contained a lot of his earlier essays, that were unavailable as a collection elsewhere. If you are a groupie of Dunne - get the book, you'll love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Derych on May 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Short Stories from Dominick Dunn's experience with Life happenings ! The first story is from his tragic loss of his daughter Dominique by her live in lover and how this man got off the hook from a bleeding heart judge..tragic! Very Interesting stories from celebrities Dunn has known over the years are also included~ Great Book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Dasenbrock on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Dunne's books are like having a wonderful story teller sit by you at a cocktail party only to tell you the most incredible tales. Almost unbelievable tales. To know that they're real stories is just icing on the gossip cake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mayo Quin on August 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fans of the late Dominick Dunne will already be familiar with these tales, and the book is not substantial enough to become a "keeper" in one's library. If, however, you are NOT already familiar with Dominick's work (or saw him on TV but never read his prose), here is a good place to start.

To this reviewer, the value of FATAL CHARMS lies in its being a sampler of excellent personality-profile journalism. That, dear reader, is easier said than accomplished. Of course, let us not forget that Dominick Dunne emerged as a writer from the fiery furnace of tragedy (murdered daughter), and also that he had access to the rich and famous, most of whom liked and trusted him. Good place to have started a new career late in life. He took that opportunity and ran with it until his race was run.
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