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Sex and the City Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2006
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The "Sex and the City" columnist for the New York Observer documents the social scene of modern-day Manhattan. The reader gets an introduction to "Modelizers," the men who only have eyes for models, as well as a more common species, the "Toxic Bachelor." Reading like a society novel gone downtown and askew, Sex and the City is a comically sordid look at status and ambition and the many characters consumed by the sexual politics of the '90s. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
"We're leading sensory saturated lives," announces jetsetting photographer and playboy Peter Beard in a roundtable discussion of menages a trois, setting the tone of opulent debasement that suffuses this collection of Bushnell's punchy, archly knowing and sharply observed sex columns from the New York Observer. Prowling the modish clubs, party circuit and weekend getaways of rich and trendy New York society (most of whose denizens are identified by pseudonyms), Bushnell offers a brash, radically unromantic perspective. She visits a sex club and dates a Bicycle Boy ("the literary romantic subspecies" whose patron saints are George Plimpton and Murray Kempton). But in most chapters she keeps to the sidelines, deploying instead her alter-ego Carrie (like the author, a blonde writer from Connecticut in her mid-30s), whose sweet if feckless romance with Mr. Big?a nondescript power player?serves as a foil for the hilarious, unsentimentalized misadventures of her peers. These include model-chasers like Barkley, 25, a painter with the face of a Botticelli angel whose parents pay for his SoHo junior loft, and Tom Peri, the "emotional Mayflower," who ferries newly dumped women to higher emotional ground and is then invariably dumped. The effect is that of an Armistead Maupin-like canvas tinged with a liberal smattering of Judith Krantz. Collected in one volume, Bushnell's characters grow generic, but in small doses these essays are brain candy that will appeal equally to urban romantics and anti-romantics.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
For the most part, the book does revolve around Carrie Bradshaw (a thinly-disguised alter-ego for Bushnell, with even the same initials), a thirty-something columnist in New York. Miranda Hobbes does show up a few times during the first half of the book, though she's not a lawyer. Samantha Jones is not a PR agent nor such a nymphomaniac as she was in the show. And Charlotte is a British woman, whose TV counterpart appeared at the beginning of the series' pilot episode. Stanford Blatch, Carrie's successful homosexual friend, is the only character who remains virtually the same, though here he's a screenwriter. Many of the same situations presented throughout the show pop up in the book, such as Stanford's obsession with his model "protege," the torment of the baby shower, and "modelizers." And those who loved Chris Noth's Mr. Big needn't worry. Big is a major character in the book and is just as adorable (and even less rambunctious) as he was in the show, though the outcome of he and Carrie's relationship is different in the book than in the show.
Bushnell's columns were meant more as musings on the life of single women in New York, and often single men as well, than as a linear narrative. Thus it's surprising that her writings work so well as a book. She has a very cute, quirky, innocent style of writing, and that's a big part of what makes her book such a blast. However Bushnell offers little insight into what any of the characters are actually feeling, and rightly so: it just accents their appalling and, frankly, upsetting superficiality. The dating scene in Manhattan is a hellish world where all that matters is sex, money, fashion, and drugs. Bushnell is obviously deeply involved in this world, and it's her knowledge of it, along with her characters' candid musings, that kept me reading.
In the end, those expecting the HBO series in a book are going to be very disappointed. Those expecting something resembling the HBO series will probably be let down as well. The book and the series are designed for two different worlds - while the show tended to have a sweet optimism to it, Bushnell writes with the same sort of dreamy, hopeful cynicism that one would find in a Bret Easton Ellis book. However, those who would rather read the book than incessently compare it with the show may enjoy it. I recommend Candace Bushnell's "Sex and the City" to those who are younger and looking for a fun, unusual, honest read.
The thing that struck me most was how *empty* the book felt. Whereas the characters on the TV series have some very close friends, the book doesn't really have that dimension. Sure, people go out with their fabulous acquaintances, but there never really seems to be a true connection among them. Lonliness is nearly a constant with the characters in this book. It left me feeling pretty sad, as well. Yes, it was comical, but it also had a fairly serious side.
For fans of the series, this book is *not* told solely through the eyes of Carrie. The narrator is someone else, a "friend" of Carrie's and the other characters, who does indeed write a newspaper column. Most of the characters in the TV series are in the book by name only -- for example, Charlotte makes an appearance as a journalist with a completely different personality thank Charlotte in the series. And whereas I think most people genuinely like at least one person from the series, I think I finished this book disliking every single character. What did surprise me is that the first episode of the series is nearly verbatim from the book.
What I liked about this book were the vivid scenes and the ability to create a feeling. I think Bushnell did a great job and making her audience feel what the characters feel. While it's not the series, it's certainly worth a read.
But you can't read this book and THINK Sex and The CIty the TV show because this Carrie Bradshaw and that Carrie Bradshaw are a number of ticks different. There's no way a studio exec would take the chance the book's CB. They have to make $$$. They have to make her "LIKABLE" for all the women who are inflicted with the Cinderella Syndrome. I mean, this CB, sniffs lines, smokes marijuana and drinks until she pukes. She has a lot of friends and sometimes Samantha Jones gets on her nerves. This book is grittier and is not a story for those who ascribe to the "THE SCRIPT."