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The Party Audio, Cassette – Unabridged, June 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Before she married Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Washington Post, and became a society hostess herself, Sally Quinn made her living going to parties and reporting on them for the Post's "Style" section. Her years of experience as both guest and hostess have put Quinn in the perfect position to counsel others on the dos and don'ts of entertaining, and she does so with gusto in The Party. Granted, the average reader won't be faced with some of the problems Quinn and her beltway buddies cope with regularly--the president of the United States staying longer than expected at a pre-dinner cocktail party, for example, or the ambassador to Great Britain getting drunk and making out with a reporter (not his wife) in the spare bedroom. Still, Quinn points out, some things are universal, whether you're entertaining in an embassy ballroom or a one-room apartment in Queens: good food, good drink, and good company make for a great party. And even if you don't throw parties like Quinn does, you can still enjoy getting the dish on after-hours Washington . The Party is the next-best thing to being invited to Sally Quinn's house for dinner. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Having started her journalistic career covering the Washington social scene for the Washington Post's style section and now married to former executive editor Ben Bradlee, Quinn knows a thing or two about parties. "Over the years I have gone to thousands and given hundreds. And over the years I think I have been able to figure out what makes things work." Here she shares with anxious would-be hosts or hostesses her tips for throwing a successful party. Stressing the importance of making sure your guests have a good time, Quinn details elements to consider: the setting, food, booze, table, entertainment, and guests. She interposes her advice with gossipy stories of celebrity-laden disasters and hits. At times the name dropping becomes excessive ("Dick Cavett drove all the way from Montauk with his dog in the car, Swedish actress BiBi Anderson was there"). And how many of us entertain the president of the United States? But, unlike Martha Stewart, Quinn at least has a sense of humor. An optional purchase.?Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786115785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786115785
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,956,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I assumed, from the title, that this would be a book of practical advice for giving parties. Instead, it was a thinly disguised excuse for the author's collection of anecdotes about the Washington rich-'n'-famous. The only practical advice given are gems such as "temperature is important--don't let your guests be too hot or too cold." Gee--that one I'd already figured out for myself. If you want to read about the Washington social scene, this is a great book. If you're seeking advice about how to entertain, don't bother with this one.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Yankee Dame on November 17, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only bad, it's irratating. It's like sitting next to a fading social butterfly on a long flight and listening to stories of her life. At first it's sort of interesting-- I mean,lets face it, this dame's been around. But after a while the endless name dropping starts getting to you, till finally you just want to snap, "Will you just shut up already?" The world of Washington society-- a world filled with women named "Mitzi" and men named "Huntington"-- she describes is a hot house, in-bred world in the grips of a Versallies mentality. This is no where better seen then in one of the last stories of her book. She and her husband were giving a New Year's Party for a hundred or so of their "dearest friends". Suddenly an older, rather modest, couple show up, introduce themselves and are hesitiantly admitted. Neither Quin nor her husband nor any of their glittering friends have any idea who these...these "people" were. As a result, says our hostess with the mostest, "I was so annoyed that I ignored them all night." Turns out that due to a computer error Mr.& Mrs. Nobody actually had been invited. This elderly couple from the heartland weren't gate crashers. "I still haven't forgotten how rude I was,"sighs Quinn. Still, she reminds us brightly, "There is no such things as perfection."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michela on February 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Near the end of her book, "The Party: A Guide to Adventurous Entertaining," Washington "hostess" and Southern belle Sally Quinn discloses for whom she has written this book. Ms. Quinn says that ". . . many newcomers to Washington, whether they are members of Congress or administration types or diplomats or journalists, do find the whole notion of Washington and Georgetown dinner parties terribly intimidating." Through her outspoken and irreverent memoir-guide, she hopes to demystify "what goes on here."
Ms. Quinn does mention "names"; she says she does so in order to level the playing field, to show that anyone can drop the ball when entertaining. Her book is filled with anecdotes as well as practical tips. She exhorts would-be hosts and hostesses to follow the Golden Rule: "Treat your guests the way you would like to be treated."
Much of the book repeats commonsensical rules that those of us who entertain already know. However, I did pick up some pointers, such as ". . . no matter how bad the food is or what disaster befalls you in the kitchen, when all else fails, make sure you have plenty of booze on hand, and the party won't be a total bomb," and "[e]veryone in your home must be treated like a celebrity, must be made to feel wanted and special."
"The Party" may not appeal much to experienced party-givers and party-goers. However, it is an amusing addition to more "serious" books on entertaining. For someone who is starting out as a host or hostess, I think he or she will find some good tips here. As Ms. Quinn says, "the point is to have a good time." If one cannot do so, then she says to "get over it."
If you don't know what a "P.R.F." is, then that is reason enough to get this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, so it's not an etiquette book, nor is it a step-by-step party guide. The lessons are given via examples -- and what examples! The rich and famous -- including Sally herself -- are all grist for the mill.
But the key factor is Sally's breezy writing style. It's good enough that I am back on Amazon looking for other books she has authored.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Molly in the Bay Area on February 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
The title of this book implies that it's a how-to-guide to throwing a great party. You do get a few tips here and there, but this book serves mainly for Sally Quinn to name drop, describe the fun parties she's hosted, and generally tell you how terrific she is. Sally Quinn was the style editor for the Washington Post; her husband is Ben Bradlee, the famous Washington Post editor during Watergate, the Pentagon Papers and a number of other significant historical events. The tone of this book is lighthearted, and many of the stories are quite funny. After a while, though, I got tired of reading about "when Hillary and Bill came over one time," or "when all these Senators and Representatives were at our house," or "when we hosted this fabulous dinner party and everyone in Washington was talking about it for weeks." The tone of this book was too self-congratulatory for me to fully enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Formerly of Washington, D.C., I couldn't resist reading this lighthearted romp into Sally Quinn's world of entertaining. I don't believe Quinn wanted to write a book that laid out clear "do's and don'ts" á la Judith Martin, but instead wanted to lead by example - sharing stories of her party successes and misfires. Some of the stories are absolutely priceless, especially the ones involving Colin Powell. Quinn stresses overall the Golden Rule of Hostessing: treat others as you would want to be treated. Another one of my favourite tips is "no matter how bad the food is or what disaster befalls you in the kitchen, when all else fails, make sure you have plenty of booze on hand, and the party won't be a total bomb." So very, very true.
If you have some down time in your own world of adventurous entertaining, pick up this book and settle in for a good time.
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