Book cover of 4 Blondes

4 Blondes

by Candace Bushnell

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pages: 384
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780451203892






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Overview of 4 Blondes

Blonde Ambition

Candace Bushnell created a sensation with her first book, Sex and the City, spawning an HBO series that has become a phenomenon. With her sharp insight and uncensored observations of the mating rituals of the Manhattan elite, Bushnell has become a celebrity in her own right—on television, on the newsstands, and in bookstores across the globe.

In a new collection of stories, 4 Blondes, the romantic intrigues, betrayals, victories, and insecurities of four modern women are told with Bushnell's keen wit and sardonic eye. A beautiful B-list model in "Nice N'Easy" attaches herself yearly to the man with the largest summer house in the Hamptons, but she soon realizes that snagging a rich man and living in a fancy beach house won't necessarily bring her happiness. In "Highlights (for Adults)," a high-powered magazine columnist doesn't feel that she needs a man; an examination of her deteriorating marriage shows that her literary journalist husband could never live up to her sexual or emotional expectations. Too many expectations overwhelm Princess Cecilia in "Platinum"; her marriage to "the world's most eligible bachelor" leads to a descent into paranoia that she chronicles in her journal. And in "Single Process," an aging "It girl" worries that she is getting too old to meet a local eligible bachelor, so she travels to London in search of a husband, where she makes pithy observations about the differences between British and American men.

Once again, Bushnell returns to the land of the pretty and the powerful, breaking down bedroom doors with her wry humor and frank portrayals of love and lust among the "It people."

From the former "It-girl" heroine of "Nice N'Easy," who each summer looks for a rich man who'll provide her with a house in the Hamptons, to the writer-narrator of "Single Process," who goes to London on a hunt for love and a good magazine story, Bushnell brings to life contemporary women in search of something more — when the world is pushing for them to settle for less.

Synopsis of 4 Blondes

Four Blondes tells the stories of four women facing up to the limitations of their rapidly approaching middle age in an era that worships youth. From the former "It-girl" heroine of "Nice N'Easy," who each summer looks for a rich man who'll provide her with a house in the Hamptons, to the writer-narrator of "Single Process," who goes to London on a hunt for love and a good magazine story, Bushnell brings to life contemporary women in search of something more - when the world is pushing for them to settle for less. Sexy, funny, and wonderfully lush with gossip and scandal, Four Blondes will keep you turning pages long into the night.

Publishers Weekly

The author whose name is synonymous with her novel Sex and the City weighs in again with four loosely linked tales that form a sexually charged and withering analysis of how New York's--and London's--women work feverishly at their relationships, meanwhile trying desperately to make their names. In the first chapter, the bluntly scheming, semisuccessful model Janey Wilcox is in her 10th year of charming powerful, rich men into installing her in their Hamptons homes for the summer. The mutual benefits are obvious: the moguls get a gorgeous sex kitten to display and bed, while she summers in high style. When this arrangement leads to a few humiliating encounters, however, Janey tries her hand at screenwriting and attempts real estate school, but eventually she finds her fortune in a more realistic endeavor: a lucrative lingerie modeling contract. The next story features Winnie, a successful columnist married to a mediocre literary journalist. The victims of relentless ambition and disappointment, they lash one another with insults, each finding their only solace in one-night stands. The third tale is the paranoid confession of Cecelia, who wants to be "normal" and pops pills to mitigate her fear of being nothing without a man. The last blonde is an unnamed 40-year-old journalist who, disillusioned with Manhattan males, travels to London on a magazine assignment to compare English and American men's attitudes about sex. The Brit banter revolves entirely around sexual technique and penis size, but manages to be entertaining. Mostly, the novel is New York-centric, focused on the obsessions of desperate people and replete with glittering details to satisfy the most exacting fashionista. Though superficial, these characters' envy and spite rises from their fear of mortality, of dying without having left their mark. Mercilessly satirical, Bushnell's scathing insights and razor wit are laced with an understanding of this universal human fear, and they inspire fear and pity in the reader. Agent, Heather Schroder, ICM. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

About the Author, Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell is the author of three bestsellers, Sex and the City, Four Blondes, and Trading Up. She has been a columnist for the New York Observer and a contributing editor to Vogue. She lives in New York City.

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Consider this a sequel to her Sex & The City with new characters. Bushnell's quartet of blondes struggle with high-powered success, stretch marks, romantic intrigues, Manhattan expectations, dull lovers, biological clocks, and their own paranoia. Come to think of it, this novel has T.V. series potential.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

The author whose name is synonymous with her novel Sex and the City weighs in again with four loosely linked tales that form a sexually charged and withering analysis of how New York's--and London's--women work feverishly at their relationships, meanwhile trying desperately to make their names. In the first chapter, the bluntly scheming, semisuccessful model Janey Wilcox is in her 10th year of charming powerful, rich men into installing her in their Hamptons homes for the summer. The mutual benefits are obvious: the moguls get a gorgeous sex kitten to display and bed, while she summers in high style. When this arrangement leads to a few humiliating encounters, however, Janey tries her hand at screenwriting and attempts real estate school, but eventually she finds her fortune in a more realistic endeavor: a lucrative lingerie modeling contract. The next story features Winnie, a successful columnist married to a mediocre literary journalist. The victims of relentless ambition and disappointment, they lash one another with insults, each finding their only solace in one-night stands. The third tale is the paranoid confession of Cecelia, who wants to be "normal" and pops pills to mitigate her fear of being nothing without a man. The last blonde is an unnamed 40-year-old journalist who, disillusioned with Manhattan males, travels to London on a magazine assignment to compare English and American men's attitudes about sex. The Brit banter revolves entirely around sexual technique and penis size, but manages to be entertaining. Mostly, the novel is New York-centric, focused on the obsessions of desperate people and replete with glittering details to satisfy the most exacting fashionista. Though superficial, these characters' envy and spite rises from their fear of mortality, of dying without having left their mark. Mercilessly satirical, Bushnell's scathing insights and razor wit are laced with an understanding of this universal human fear, and they inspire fear and pity in the reader. Agent, Heather Schroder, ICM. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Lorelei King's narration outclasses these drab tales of upper-class angst. In her four short stories, Bushnell, columnist for the New York Observer and author of Sex and the City (now a popular HBO series), paints a dismal picture of love in the Big Apple. In "Nice N' Easy," model Janey Wilcox hooks up with a different man each summer so she can vacation at his home in the Hamptons. When asked if she's concerned that her reputation will eventually catch up with her, she explains, "I'm a feminist it's about redistribution of wealth." "Highlights (for adults)" and "Platinum" show two marriages buckling under the pressures of demanding careers and high society. "Single Process" features a sex columnist researching the differences between British and American men. Even King's excellent performance is not likely to arouse most listeners' interest in Bushnell's sketchy, self-absorbed characters. Not recommended. Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

From the acid pen that scrawled Sex and the City comes 4 Blondes, a money-bestrewn, cocaine-dusted, Pradaladen series of hilarious vignettes portraying the straight Manhattan Women.
— Out Magazine

Bushnell's ironies are competitive [and] the sexual situations are more realistically sordid than anything on television. Her place as the Emily Post for Page Six canoodlers remains unchallenged...

From the writer of the original Sex and the City (1996), the source of the HBO series, four loosely linked stories (being marketed as a novel) about the glamorous exteriors and unfulfilled interiors of high-status, no-longer-young New Yorkers. Starting with her New York Observer columns, Bushnell has chronicled the romantic plights of 30-ish women who look like they have everything, and spend their time trying to believe it. Here, she does a fine job of sketching her characters and portraying, both satirically and realistically, their elite social ecology (with enough of a roman à clef feel to get people talking), but the longer pieces call for greater narrative skills than Bushnell's able to muster. In "Nice N'Easy," beautiful, cynical, gold-digger Janey Wilcox (whose situation strikingly parallels Lily Bart's in The House of Mirth) has traded in her looks and the semi-celebrity of a once-promising modeling/acting career for a string of wealthy, unpleasant, summer boyfriends, tolerated for their luxurious Hamptons houses. A bid for independence (her own summer rental, paid for by a married Hollywood mogul plus an attempt at writing) fails, but an unexpected contract as a Victoria's Secret model puts her back on top, and enables her to buy her own house. Likewise, in the amusing but slight "Crossing the Pond," a blond, 40-ish, New York sex columnist travels to London in search of a husband, and leaves disappointed, only to find herself on the flight home seated next to the man she's been looking. In grimmer scenarios, "Highlights (For Adults)," a driven, tightly wound journalist considers leaving her disappointing, less ambitioushusband but,instead, both have flings and regroup; and in "Snow Angels," Cecilia—part Princess Grace, part Princess Di—falls apart in New York and Cannes, abetted by her dangerous, Courtney Love-like, new best friend. Like a Bushnell character: glittery and irresistible but, likewise, ultimately unsatisfying.

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