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Gossip Hound Paperback – February 25, 2003

3.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Holden's latest satirical novel (after Farm Fatale) looks at love and lust among players in the London publishing biz. Hapless publicist Grace works for tiny Hatto & Hatto ("we specialize in obscure and unsuccessful-I mean, authors with a more selective appeal"). She is trapped in a loveless relationship with a Labour party political guru who is all talk and no action, and must decide whether to pursue one of her authors, with whom she has already shared an improper one-night affair. In an attempt to clear away the literal and figurative detritus of her life, Grace hires a cleaning lady, who turns out to be as keen on finding Grace a perfect suitor as she is on organizing her sock drawer. A dreaded visit to her diplomat father and snobbish mother in Venice leads Grace to a fortuitous encounter with a Texan media mogul who claims to have what it takes to put Hatto & Hatto on the map-a novel by A-list movie star Red Campion. Since it normally takes a miracle to generate even limited interest in her eccentric authors, Grace thinks she has hit the mother lode, until she learns that Campion wants to publish anonymously-and that his book is about an amphibious race that's taken over the White House. Teeming with outlandishly randy characters, the plot may be somewhat predictable, but it bounces along with smart sendups of the literary scene and shows once again why Holden is a favorite on both sides of the Atlantic.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The single-British-working-gal subgenre of fiction is in no danger of going on the dole as long as Holden is writing. In her latest novel, her everygal heroine, Grace Armiger, works for a floundering publishing house. It is Grace's job to promote the house's quality no-sellers, and in an effort to find an audience for a handsome explorer's unusual memoir, she runs into numerous public relations pitfalls. In another corner of the publishing world, scheming tabloid journalist Belinda Black is suffering through B-list celebrity interviews for a column called "Tea Break" while contemplating ways of taking over the star feature interview slot. When Grace is assigned to handle the first novel of a shallow international movie star, Belinda sees a way to score the interview of her career. Grace meets her new writer armed with tact and heart palpitations, while Belinda fires up her "cleavagecam." Holden gives the world of books and writers a cheerful drubbing, and readers will enjoy every word. Kaite Mediatore
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1st US Printing: March 2003 edition (February 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452283930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452283930
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,399,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Does anyone else notice this awful trend of brainless, drunken and sexually indiscriminate "heroines"? "Bridget Jones" was funny and likable. The characters of "Gossip Hound", as well as those of a host of other so-called "women's fiction" are utterly insulting. The whole point of this book and others like it seems to be to show supposedly educated urban 20- and 30-something women who make the stupidest amd most self-destructive choices at every possible opportunity.
The main character of this book (I swear I read it yesterday and I can't remember her name) is a publicist. She cheats on her neglectful boyfriend during a drunken one-night stand with her client. She seems to be interested in the client, but somehow keeps making the worst and most ill-informed choices for his career and stays with the boyfriend because he's "better looking" (I'm not kidding).
Later, she breaks up with the boyfriend, but only after learning he's been cheating (nevermind that she hasn't heard from him in a month).
She then has a bizarre, wholly inexplicable 3-day fling with a movie star, somehow actually believes he's in love with her, and is shocked to discover that he isn't.
Then, she tumbles back to the one-night stand guy because he happens to be there when she wants to hide from movie star guy.
And that's just the main character. You don't even want to know about the ridiculous gossip columnist.
And what the heck was that running gag about stepping on Louis De Bernieres' foot?
What a bad book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gossip Hound by Wendy Holden
For fans of reading material that has come to be known as "chick lit", here's Wendy Holden's latest novel, GOSSIP HOUND. It's a book that takes the reader into the world of London publishing and celebrity "A Lists" and the latest low-down gossip that is being spread across tabloids, bars, and celebrity bedrooms all over London and beyond.
Grace Armiger is a publicist who works for a small London publishing house called Hatto and Hatto. It sounds like a glamorous job, but it's far from it. Hatto and Hatto has gotten a reputation of never having books that make it to the bestseller lists, so their authors are never the ones that are treated like royalty at any bookseller festival. In other words, it's a company that is going nowhere, and Grace is struggling to keep afloat. To sum it up, the morale at work is only going in one direction: down.
Her latest protege, Henry Moon, has just written the book SUCKING STONES, all about his adventures with an aboriginal tribe, and she is quite anxious to get this book into the realms of the bestseller lists. Unfortunately, no one seems very interested in the book, and she can't seem to sell it at any of the book festivals. Even getting a book signing for Henry is like pulling teeth.
In the meantime, in another part of the London publishing world, Belinda Black, the queen of newspaper smut, is on a tirade and is bent on landing the number one celebrity, Red Campion, as her latest interview conquest. The lengths this woman will go to get her man is hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing at all her antics. Her adventures, believe it or not, and Grace's publishing career, collide during the course of this book, as they both become involved in the world of high-in-demand celebrities and fast paced living.
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Format: Paperback
Wendy Holden has a rather unique voice in women's fiction. Her novels have the sort of distinctive wit and cleverness that set them apart from most of today's single-woman-in-the-city books. Having read Bad Heir Day, I had looked forward to reading another one of Holden's fantastic novels. Gossip Hound is one of the most entertaining novels I've read all year.
Grace Armiger handles the PR services at Hatto & Hatto, a publishing house that's notoriously known for its WORSTselling authors. She questions her professional ethics after she spends the night with one of her clients. Her life couldn't be less glamorous and more complicated if she'd tried. However, her luck changes when an A-list entertainer enters her life. What she doesn't know is that Belinda Black, a ruthlessly ambitious tabloid journalist, is out to get the scoop that will catapult her career to epic proportions -- even if it means hurting others in the process. There are some fun twists throughout the novel.
Gossip Hound is filled with Holden's signature wit and prose. Also, since all of her books have a backdrop of socialites and fashionistas, Gossip Hound is no exception. Grace and Henry are my favorite characters. And I hated Belinda Black's ruthless ambition and deluded arrogance -- the perfect antagonist. I love women's fiction of this sort, and Gossip Hound is one of satirical and distinctive humor. I couldn't recommend it enough. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't believe how bad this is, and also - how many good reviews it got. First, it's the kind of average writing that makes one wonder why it got published in the first place. Second, in this book Wendy Holden continually bashes writers of chick novels (?), and repeatedly dogs Louis de Bernieres at one point, even disses Corelli's Mandolin - a far better work for many reasons (though i don't particularly enjoy his writing either). Third, she relies on silly one-liners that by now are so old, being used in every chick-lit book coming out of Britain. Finally, and most annoying, she puns constantly but not wittily. I say that because she sets the situation up with names and places and then delivers the pun - as if you couldn't think of it yourself - and comes off as a "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" to the reader that is tiresome. No doubt, the book would've been much smarter if she resisted this urge. Unfortunately a lot of women's light romance writers seem to be punsters of this ilk. They just don't get the difference between this kind of punning and Kathy Lette -- who actually can pun off of real life, not having to set up her own jokes beforehand. When Kathy Lette started this in the 90's and helen fielding basically stole her plot lines, it created a monster! Now everyone thinks they can do this ... and apparently they're making good money trying.
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