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One Fifth Avenue Paperback – Bargain Price, June 2, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sex in the City goes middle-aged, mordant and slapstick in Bushnell's chronicle of writers, actors and Wall Street whizzes clashing at One Fifth Avenue, a Greenwich Village art deco jewel crammed with regal rich, tarty upstarts and misguided lovers. When a Queen of Society dies, a vicious scramble for her penthouse apartment ensues, and it's attorney Annalisa and her hedge-funder husband, Paul Rice, who land the palatial pad, roiling the building's rivalries. There's Billy Litchfield, an art dealer who slobbers over the wealthy; strivers Mindy and James Gooch, and their tech-savvy 13-year-old Sam, the most hilariously bitter (and strangely successful) family in the building; gossip columnist Enid Merle and her screenwriter nephew, Philip Oakland, who struggle to uphold traditions and their souls; actress Schiffer Diamond, who lands a hit TV series, and her old love; and Lola Fabrikant, a cunning Atlanta gold digger whose greatest ambition is to become Carrie Bradshaw. Here are bloggers and bullies, misfits and misanthropes, dear hearts and black-hearts, dogfights and catty squalls spun into a darkly humorous chick-lit saga. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

“It was part of the pain of living in Manhattan, this overwhelming ache for prime real estate,” writes Bushnell in her first novel since Lipstick Jungle (2005). Two events throw the inhabitants of One Fifth Avenue, Manhattan’s ritziest address, into a tizzy: the return of beautiful actress Schiffer Diamond, and the death of Louise Houghton, who owned the building’s swankiest apartment. Gossip columnist Enid Merle and her dashing nephew Philip Oakland think Louise’s now-available three-story apartment should be divided up, while ambitious Mindy Gooch, whose husband is on the cusp of literary stardom, wants it sold to a high bidder. Mindy gets her way, and nouveau riche couple Paul and Annalisa snap it up for $15 million. But when Mindy refuses to let Paul install a wall-unit air conditioner, he declares war, inciting a conflict that draws in all the residents of the building. Other characters include a scheming Lolita type who tries to sleep her way into One Fifth and a penniless male socialite who has aspired to One Fifth for decades. Devotees of Bushnell’s megahit Sex in the City and fans of New York–aimed satire will enjoy this scathing all’s-fair-in-real-estate novel. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Voice (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341053
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had never read a Candace Bushnell novel before this and never seen a complete episode of Sex and the City, though I had heard of it. I've been disappointed by most of the recent (and ballyhooed) novels I've read. But on previewing an excerpt of One Fifth in Vogue, I was intrigued by the profoundly shallow character of Lola Fabrikant, a fabricated girl with a name to match. Now on reading the book, I am genuinely impressed. Candace Bushnell is a true storyteller, and that's no small praise. She's written a pageturner, crafted memorable characters, imbued them with individuality and personality, and given them the most luscious lines to speak. Her subject is not sex despite what you may think, and though there is considerably more explicitness than in Edith Wharton or Jane Austen (you may skip, as I did, the overly anatomical descriptions), Bushnell's real subject is the pursuit of status and success in New York City at the present moment. Many have tried this subject before, but the Jayne Krentzes and Rona Jaffes of the past were hacks compared to Bushnell. She's not an artist, but she is very clever and even wise. And she spins a darn good story, which is what a novel, to me, should be about. Almost every character in One Fifth Avenue is lacking his heart's desire, is deeply dissatisfied, and these frustrated desires, which conflict with those of their neighbors, drive the plot lines of the novel. The greatest desire of all is not for love, but for real estate, in the form of a penthouse triplex at One Fifth Avenue, up for sale after the death of its centenarian socialite owner, felled on her own terrace in a driving rainstorm. A crowning irony is that this aged doyenne who possesses the acme of desire, the immense apartment atop Manhattan's coveted address, dies of pneumonia because her servants can't locate her in time in the 7,000 square foot apartment. Such is the futility of possession.
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Format: Hardcover
Candace Bushnell is a genius in this medium. She is a wonderful literary talent who mixes comedy with dark drama in the most interesting of New York settings. ONE FIFTH is a comedy that both New Yorkers and Americans alike can relate to as the tenants of this grand building trample over each other when some try to reach their way to the top of the social scale and buy what is certainly one of the best penthouses in NYC's famous Greenwhich village. Where the fervent Bushnell fans will be delighted to see familar-type faces; the young Lola Fabrikant, the gorgeous actress Schiffer Diamond, that everyone wishes they were. New readers will maybe find a bit of themselves in the reserved but intelligent character of Annalisa or the overachiever, Mindy Gooch, who just never finds happiness, no matter how much she has accomomplished. ONE FIFTH is surely one of the most revelent books on the shelves right now and the best thing about it is, it's a damn good read. TS
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Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of Candace's previous work, addicted to Sex In the City, watch Lipstick Jungle faithfully - so I was excited to see this come out and grabbed it immediately. I have struggled repeatedly to get through this book, and force myself to keep coming back to finish as I keep hoping something better will happen. Almost too many character storylines fighting for attention, hard to keep track! Not only does it also seem overdone, some even seems like "I've read it before" in her other books. I too think the characters are shallow and not even quite sure of the point of some of them - even for the staunchest of fans, I wouldn't recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
If you haven't heard of One Fifth Avenue, chances are that you've been living under a rock somewhere in the middle of the desert, for everyone has heard of New York City's One Fifth Avenue. It is the singular address on the East Coast, where only the true crème de la crème of society hang their hat. A building which people stop in their tracks to admire, hoping that they'll catch a mere glimpse of a celebrated actresses gloved hand as she scurries through the oversized doors dividing those who belong from those who do not; or expecting a chance encounter with a screenwriter who holds the power to launch their career. There is one resident, however, who will never allow this to happen; and that is Mindy Gooch - head of the board.

Mindy Gooch and her journalist husband James are not of the same type of breeding as the rest of the One Fifth Avenue residents; thus the reason Mindy spends so much time trying to stop each and every idea they try to implement. And as the head of the board, Mindy has the ability to put up a good fight; but not good enough.

When Louise Houghton, a true Queen of New York Society passes on, leaving a vacant apartment within One Fifth, Mindy wants nothing more than to scoop it up; but alas, she lacks the funds. Hedge-funder Paul Rice and his beautiful, if not slightly plain, attorney wife Annalisa, on the other hand, are quite well-endowed. For them, $15 million dollars is pocket change; and so, they invest in the swankiest apartment in the building. Mindy could not be more pleased; after all, if she can't have it, the highest bidder should.
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