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Everybody Rise: A Novel Paperback – June 14, 2016
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“Full of ambition and grit. Clifford provides sharp-eyed access to a moneyed world and its glamorous inhabitants.” ―Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers
“A masterful tale of social climbing and entrenched class distinctions . . . Tense, hilarious, and bursting with gorgeous language. Stephanie Clifford is a 21st century Edith Wharton.” ―J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of The Engagements and Maine
“A superb debut. Everybody Rise is a 21st century version of a grand 19th century novel--a smart, moving tale of class, ambition, and identity.” ―Malcolm Gladwell
“A compulsive, up-close-and-personal read about the first cracks in the greed-and-bleed U.S. economy that went flying off the rails so spectacularly a short time later.” ―Library Journal
About the Author
As a New York Times reporter, Loeb-award winning journalist Stephanie Clifford covered courts, business and media. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, she grew up in Seattle and lives in Brooklyn. Everybody Rise is her first book.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main failing of the book is that none of the characters are particularly well-developed or likable. Evelyn’s motivation for embracing the high society life is never sufficiently explained, and rather than coming across as conflicted or struggling, she just becomes more and more unlikeable throughout the book. The other characters are similarly one-dimensional. Camilla, the “perfect” society girl that Evelyn befriends, is never portrayed as more than a grade A b**ch. Why Evelyn is so taken with her is mystifying. The group of friends who connect to bring Evelyn into the story – Camilla, Nick, Scot, Charlotte and Preston – seem to have nothing in common or any reason to spend nights and weekends together socializing. Evelyn’s boyfriend Scot is consistently described as a kind of affable dork who never seems to interest her or have much of anything to say. As a result, there’s no entry point for the audience to care about their relationship or how Evelyn treats him.
In addition, the plot points don’t seem to organically connect, instead coming across as contrived and disjointed. Major elements of the plot (like the incident at the debutante ball that disrupts Evelyn and Camilla’s “friendship”) seem to come out of nowhere. Events that drive the story, like whether her father is guilty (and if so, why no one else at his firm is indicted), or whether her friend Preston is gay, are never satisfactorily resolved. The looming housing market collapse and stock market crash are never used as more than background noise.
About halfway through this book, I realized that I didn’t care about anyone in it and so I speedread through the rest. I didn’t expect Everybody Rise to be great literature, but I at least expected it to be entertaining. This book has neither the fluffy escapism of Crazy Rich Asians or the hilarious satire of Where’d You Go Bernadette. Don’t waste your time on it.
As others have noted, there aren't too many (any?) characters here to life (maybe Charlotte?), but I think the bigger issue is actually believing in their behavior and speeches. I am fine reading about someone I don't like if they seem credible; Evelyn never did, nor did most of the others. Very broadly drawn, caricatures instead of people. This may be the focus of satire, but someone like Tom Wolfe accomplished a whole lot more in Bonfire of the Vanities, for example, as did Wharton in House of Mirth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A story about a bunch of insufferable bores and the girl who desperately tries to fit in with them. Evelyn Beegan is an on-the-fringe outsider.Read more
Evelyn grew up just on the outskirts of everything, she went to the fancy prep school, but wasn't in the in crowd.Read more