Beach book…for sure

July 3, 2009 § 9 Comments


If you “read” Candace Bushnell at all (not just watch Sex and the City) you might ponder with me the fact that she has come a long, or rather, longer way in her writing.

I’ve stuck with her since SATC (the book) venturing into 4 BLONDES (um, well, this one registered as an “oh, dear” even for chick lit) and thrummed through TRADING UP and yes, I read LIPSTICK JUNGLE (yes, it was better than TV’s attempt.)

ONE FIFTH is a “city” thing. It’s a quick read thing. It’s fun.  Bushnell has stretched in plot, evened out her focus on including other characters and done the time-worn-but-effective gadget of using a physcial locatoin to contain all the little stories within it. I’ve walked past One Fifth dozens of times.  It’s right there, at the glorious “bottom” of Fifth Avenue, at the rim of the Village. Joni Mitchell used to live there.  

The book? There is nothing new here. Bushnell does not stray from including the rich, the indulgent, the wild, the prep, the doorman, the single extra man, and this time, a tweener, oh and a gorgeous “outsider” who is so plastic, so shallow, we are allowed to whoop at and scorn her completely, as the rest of the cast ultimately does. (come on, it’s fiction – we’re allowed to dis the bad guy.)

Hmmmm….do we learn anything? Only a reminder perhaps that middle age has some wisdom, money can’t buy everything, NY, like any town, has tons of secrets, art is invaluable….those kinds of things.

And we see that Bushnell writes about what she knows (sorta): that is, writing. Four of her characters are writers – one does screenplays, another novels, and two others, blogs. That might be a bit tired, but perhaps not given how writing has opened up really and is enjoying a resurgence of popularity (according to July REAL SIMPLE mag that says the lagging economy has pimped the Netflix and book world – no, the mag didn’t use those words exactly!)

Anyway, I liked it. I liked the book. It was more solid than her previous books in a story kind of way. It was sheer read-and-go (as in “go on to the next book on your list”). And it was just right for a working girl who squeezes in a quick read between home, family, career and her own writing. I bought it to go on my “City” shelf, but you might want to head to the library if you’re treating it as what it is: a fun summer read.

Good on ya’,  Ms. Bushnell.
Oh, and you know I’m going to comment on “appearance”!  I love the cover artwork.


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§ 9 Responses to Beach book…for sure

  • Arti says:

    Sounds like a fun beach read! Have never read anything of hers and seldom this kind of genre except maybe ‘Shopaholic’. This one seems to have more interesting characters considering all the ‘writers’ and ‘bloggers’ in the story!

  • anno says:

    This does sound like fun. Just my speed these days, too, given that I just finished a Meg Cabot binge. Good to know there’s something else on the horizon. Thanks!

  • This sounds fun. The only Bushnell book I actually read was 4 Blondes, so I’m glad to hear that was her worst. It gives me hope for this one.

  • oh says:

    Hi, Arti, I read one of the Shopaholics, too. But yes, I think you might like Bushnell a bit more though it’s still pretty lite.

    Anno, I haven’t read Cabot…if you binged on it, hmmm…I”m thinking I should her books a whirl!

    Jen, So you had kinda the same reaction to 4 Blondes, huh? Well, this one is better, yes, formulaic, but…better. See what you think!

  • anno says:

    Be forewarned: Cabot’s really fluffy. Really, really fluffy. But fun, when you’re in the mood.

  • anno says:

    In other words: don’t think less of me for liking it.

  • oh says:

    Anno! No worries. Glad to hear it’s fluff. I suspect others would be surprised at how much fluff I enjoy. And writing good fluff can’t, I imagine, be that easy! So really, thanks for the Cabot tip!

  • Py zahn says:

    I used to work as a Media Escort and I had to “handle” Ms. Bushnell on her Trading Up book tour. I’ll tell you about it sometime. Don’t want to put in a blogger comment.

  • jeanie says:

    Ive never read her (or been that big a fan of SITC) but I agree with you 100 percent on the cover — it’s great!

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