24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2008
'Sex and the City' may be her crowning glory, but 'Lipstick Jungle' is definitely her best work. I'm a fan of Candace Bushnell and her writing style. 'Sex and the City' was a great first outing to get the public familiar with her style, 'Four Blondes' was a fun collection of short stories that showed Bushnell's growth as a writer. It's 'Lipstick Jungle' that cements her status as a great storyteller of New York City. The book focuses on the careers and love lives of three friends. While their love lives make for interesting storylines, it's their careers that are the most entertaining in this book.
I enjoyed how each woman has a very different, yet equally glamorous career. Victory struggles to put her fashion business back on top following a horrible spring fashion show. Nico fights to being the head of the magazine division of the company she works for. Then there is Wendy who is the head of a movie company and struggles to get her film made.
Of the three women, I find Nico's fight to the top to be the most compelling story in terms of their careers. In their love lives, Wendy shines as a mother and wife who realizes that even though she has a high powered career, she's looked at as a failure for not being the perfect homemaker she thinks she needs to be. Victory's love life has it's moment's but isn't nearly as interesting as Wendy's or as spicy as the affair Nico has with a young model.
What is great about Bushnell's novel is that even though they are characters living lives of the ultra-rich and famous, they are still relatable. She writes her characters to the point where they seem just as real as you and me.
I highly recommend 'Lipstick Jungle' especially for those who are a fan of 'Sex and the City.'
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2005
My favorite thing about this book it that I, and also each of my friends, have picked out a favorite character. Wendy, Nico, and Victory are all such vibrant, interesting, and very different women. My favorite is Victory. She is independent and owns her own company, something I want for myself one day. She's fiercely creative, and she always speaks her mind, even when it gets her in trouble. She's such a quirky and unique personality that I feel so personally close to. I can understand her, especially when she realizes that she pushes men away because she is afraid of getting too close to them. When she realized this I felt like I was realizing it for the first time too. This is one of those rare books that can make you think about your own life in a new way.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2005
I loved this book! I felt that Candace wasn't afraid to tackle some major issues, mainly the idea of happiness. Happiness is such a critical puzzle, and its ingredients shift (and deepen in complexity) with age. I also loved that Candace showed how wisdom and opportunity have truly, finally, turned the tables on so many of the old feminist struggles, and old sexual clichés, without solving them per se.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2008
I am going to be honest. I bought this book strictly because I absolutely loved the TV show based on the book. I had never read anything by Candace and I felt that since I was familiar with the story I would enjoy this book. Well the book is even better then the TV show. There is more development and there are more concepts that were not addressed in the TV show. Overall this was a great book and I am definitely now a Candace Bushnell fan. If you enjoyed the TV show then you will definitely enjoy this. If you have never seen the TV show then you will still enjoy this book.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If you're in the mood for solid chick-lit entertainment, then "Lipstick Jungle" is for you. This is the second book by Candace Bushnell that I've read (the other being "Sex and the City"), and it's definitely the better of the two. "Lipstick Jungle" chronicles the lives of three highly successful, 40-something women who are living the high life in New York City. The group is comprised of Victory, a fashion designer on the brink of big-time success; Nico, a magazine editor aspiring to take over her boss's job; and Wendy, a movie producer looking to add a few more Oscars to her mantle. Each woman struggles with balancing her personal and professional life, and of course there are plenty of romantic entanglements. I probably would give the book a higher rating if not for the fact that 99% of everything that happens to these women is completely unrealistic, and that the ending feels very rushed and leaves a bit to be desired. Still, I enjoyed the book. It was a quick read and it held my attention the entire time. Hopefully Bushnell's next book will be even better.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2005
This is easily Bushnell's best novel yet. She manages to paint a fascinating picture of powerful women and does so without making them all witches. The 3 heroines are complex and, despite their successes, are not without their own problems that humanize them and make them accessible and likeable. Buy this book!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2005
This is a wonderfully engrossing story of three high-powered career women in New York City. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. It's filled with all the delicious little details and insights into the social scene that make you feel like an insider even if you aren't. With all that's going on in the country right now, I was greatful to escape into this novel. Very highly recommended!!!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2005
Candace Bushnell's sexy female friends are still having sex in the city, just not as often since they are prowling the lipstick jungle of New York's most competitive and high profile industries --- fashion, publishing, filmmaking --- to secure the corner offices, multi-million dollar salaries and billboard recognition. The three friends --- Nico, Victory and Wendy --- are linked by their ambitions and their belief in one another.
The days of see-and-be-seen lunches at "café society" hot spots like "Michael's" or three martini meetings at "21" in Manhattan have become the domain of forty-something women who have moved out of the bedroom and into the boardroom. Bushnell's message to her mass audience of women in "Sex and the City" was to embrace and enjoy sexuality with confidence. LIPSTICK JUNGLE heralds career aspirations, hard work, success, and power as the secrets to attracting the opposite sex. "It's a jungle out there," a jungle of women with naked ambition and sheer attitude.
Although LIPSTICK JUNGLE is more about longer relationships with men than one-night stands and role reversal is predominant, there is a "giddy with excitement" and a "die from anticipation" sexual tension that is tempting to those who loved Samantha's ("Sex and the City") older woman-younger man relationship.
"Every woman knows that you have to combine at least two men to make one decent one" --- maybe not. I will never forget an article in the August 2004 issue of Town and Country written by David Brown, husband of Helen Gurley Brown, icon of the feminist movement and author of the groundbreaking international bestseller, SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL and founding editor of Cosmopolitan. Mr. Brown lovingly stated, "I'm never jealous of my celebrity wife. I've never felt less of a man because she was more of a woman."
Red is a symbol of passion, lust, power, heat, confidence and sex appeal, and in today's jungle, red is the only color on the cover of Bushnell's new book. Fittingly, "golden-reddish" haired Nico O'Neilly is editor-in-chief of Bonfire Magazine (I loved the connotation here) and is obsessed with being the first female CEO of the Splatch-Verner publishing division. Her timing and tactics are masterful. Feeling like nothing is new in her life, Nico takes a "hot male model who was eager to trade in his underwear for boy-toy status." Meanwhile, at home Nico's husband of 14 years, Seymour, is happy to teach one class at Columbia University, plan dinner parties and coach her on The Art of War in the office.
Victory Ford's rise to billboard recognition begins with the dazzling annual fashion week in New York and a less than victorious show. When the media and her peers reject her line, Victory rebounds with naked ambition and develops partnerships that result in her own couture line. Satisfied with her single and childless status, Victory treads cautiously with adoring billionaire boyfriend Lyne Bennett, who indulges Victory with his wealth, private jet and spur-of-the-moment trips, but acts as if he owns her. Victory wants to make billions in her own way and buy her own jet.
Wendy Healy is a distraught wife trying to keep her stay-at-home husband's extravagant spending and her three young children under control, but as President of Parador Pictures she is wildly successful and garners the Oscars to prove it. Unhappy with the role reversal, Wendy's ego-driven husband Shane demands a divorce and custody of the kids because of Wendy's hectic schedule. Wendy is in her forties, rich and successful and unthreatened by the male ego.
Candace Bushnell is one female who has successfully secured a place for herself in the lipstick jungle. The six-foot banner in the window of Borders Books announcing the release of LIPSTICK JUNGLE, a 20-city author tour and national television publicity affirms that she is the reigning tigress of the lipstick jungle. In fact, if I were to name a lipstick after Bushnell, I would call it "Manhattan Tigress." Publicity of this magnitude and expense is reserved for A-list authors whose next book is eagerly awaited by a mass audience.
From the runways of New York and Paris, the excitement of the Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera, the sleek Manhattan boardrooms, and the New York Times bestseller list, Victory, Wendy, Nico and Candace are "staying in the game" and toasting with Dom Perignon as tigresses in the lipstick jungle.
--- Reviewed by Hillary Wagy
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2005
In Candace Bushnell's new novel we meet three forty-something career women all holding powerful positions in the fast-paced, dog-eat-dog city of New York. This glamorous middle-aged trio do not waste time during their power lunches obsessing about men. In the case of these women, it's career first--men and family second.
Wendy is a movie executive. Determined to win an oscar for her current project, she didn't notice that spoiled stay-at-home hubby is getting antsy. Victory's spring fashion disaster has her so busy putting out fires, billionaire boyfriend is viewed as nothing more than a side order on her full plate. Then there's Nico, editor-in-chief of a thriving magazine who is cheating on her university professor husband (just for the sex)with a boy toy male model.
Although these women appear to lead glamorous and enviable lives, the reader quickly learns that these high-power women are just like the rest of us and at some point (for most women) despite success, the question: What's really important?" always comes up. Another great read by Bushnell.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2005
After being inundated with chick-lit books in which the heroine is
really a teenager in a 30-year old body, and where the only resolution
is to find a guy, it's refreshing to read about grown-up women who have
other things on their minds besides men. This is not your typical
chick-lit book. I loved the way Lipstick Jungle had women in situations
that we usually only think about men being in, and then watching how
the female characters dealt with these new challenges. I was also was
struck by how very real and modern these women's lives are. There were
so many things in the book that have happened to me or my
friends' especially Nico and Wendy's situations at work, where the men
were trying to take credit for their achievements. And in their
personal relationships, I loved the way Bushnell turned the tables on
men and had them in secondary positions.