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79 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2000
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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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2002
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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2001
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2009
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 1, 2014
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2013
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
on May 9, 2013
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
on May 16, 2011
Delightful morsels of gossip and inside info from the man who knew everybody worth knowing - the wonderful Dominick Dunne (RIP). He is already sorely missed by this reader. I read until 3 in the morning most nights until I had devoured each word! Jackie Frances
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2010
I am an avid reader. I have recently discovered his books.Since he wrote fiction and non-fiction it gives me the best of both worlds.
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