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Sex and the City Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars 335 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Fascinating and haunting insights into the love lives of the rich and randy in New York. Bushnell has gleaned pieces from her popular New York Observer column and combined them into an oddly touching collection. While the privileged, beautiful, pony-skin-boot-wearing folk she reports on seem ripe for parody, Bushnell has chosen to humanize them. The earlier articles feature Bushnell herself; she wisely removes herself from the later pieces, writing with the detached grace of an early Didion, and allows her friend (and alter ego?) Carrie to do the reporting. In one story, Carrie and her friends journey to Connecticut's wealthy suburbs to attend a wedding shower, complaining all the way. Bushnell perfectly captures the poignant moment when the New York group, glossy and single, realize that they are in fact jealous of their settled friend. The realization leads to a series of confessions: One woman nervously admits that she broke her ankle while rollerblading in an attempt to impress the younger man she was dating. Many of these pieces focus on the rise and fall of Carrie's relationship with ``Mr. Big,'' who is a better date than most of the model-obsessed men she meets, but who is a ``toxic bachelor'' (unappreciative, self-centered, allergic to commitment) all the same. Bushnell's point, at its simplest level, is that what the glamorous women she writes about really want is a husband. But her writing is more sensitive than that, subtly catching the ways in which, beneath the veneer of Manolo Blahnik shoes and the eternal round of parties and the late nights at trendy bars, New York is a cruel place for smart, older women. Whatever lip service their male peers pay to equality, what men want is perpetual youth. Often funny and occasionally bleak, this is a captivating look at the ``Age of Un-Innocence,'' in a city in which the glittering diversions don't quite make up for the fact that ``Cupid has flown the coop.'' -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.

Review

Intriguing and highly entertaining Helen Fielding, author of BRIDGET JONES' DIARY 'Imagine Jane Austen with a martini, or perhaps Jonathan Swift on rollerblades' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Imagine THE SUN edited by Jane Austen ... hilarious ... a compulsively readable book, served on bite-sized chunks of irrepressible irreverence.' MARIE CLAIRE 'Irresistable, hilarious and horrific, stylishly written. You might be appalled but anyone who lives here will recognise that Candace Bushnell has captured the big black truth. The only people who won't succumb to the book's very real charms are the ones --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002PJ4HNK
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (335 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tom Benton on May 5, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As someone who recently discovered (and became addicted to) HBO's delightful series "Sex and the City," it was inevitable that I'd wind up investigating Candace Bushnell's book. Bushnell's book is the collected form of the column she wrote for years before TV writer Darren Star turned it into a hit television series. Ironically, though Bushnell's book probably wouldn't get anywhere near as much attention if it weren't for the TV series, it's because of the TV series that it appears so many readers have had a foul reaction to the book. It's true that those expecting the TV show on paper are bound to be disappointed, probably in a big way, because Bushnell's "Sex and the City" doesn't have a lot in common with the show.

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.
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Format: Paperback
If you are a huge fan of the HBO series, (and if not, why not?), keep in mind that this book does not follow the lives of the four heroines as the show does. Carrie and Mr. Big are largely featured, as are the other ladies to a much lesser extent, but this book does not follow your typical story-telling format. Hardly surprising as it is a collection of articles.
Overall, I found the writing excellent and witty, but the format rather disjointing. It's a fun read with colorful characters. There is no depth to them, but shallow seems to be the key theme in Bushnell's examination of the Manhatten single scene. If you are looking for love in the Big Apple, you may find this book either a) full of helpful hints or b) so depressing you want to run home to Connecticut. I enjoyed it, but it's easy to put down and forget about.
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Format: Paperback
Being a huge fan of the TV series (like most people reading this, I'd imagine), and looking for something somewhat fluffy to read, I ordered this book and quickly finished it.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I've been watching the TV series for two years and just finished reading the book. I can't believe I waited so long to buy the book--it's terrific. Sure, it's different from the TV series, but anyone who is at least of normal intelligence will get the fact that the book is the real thing, while the tv series, although funny and witty, is the sugar-coated, hollywood-ized version. The book is much more complex and layered than the show, and, like real life, doesn't necessarily have happy endings (or even endings--are there really endings in life besides death?). The show is formulaic, while the book is not. It doesn't pander to the audience. Of course, this means that there are people who won't like the book or won't get it--probably because the truths it reveals make them uncomfortable about things they see in themselves (and don't want to admit to). It presents dating and relationships in a shockingly realistic way, which, I warn you, will probably frighten those people who insist on believing that life is a Harlequin romance or that Prince Charming is still going to ride up on a white horse. Some people complain that the characters are shallow, but the truth is, the characters are real, and, yes folks, we're all a bit shallow and superficial. If we weren't, we wouldn't be human. And that's the beauty of this book--it makes you laugh out loud at our all too human foibles.
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