One Fifth AvenuePaperback
- Publisher: Abacus
- Format: Paperback | 480 pages
- Dimensions: 127mm x 198mm x 30mm | 336g
- Publication date: 2 April 2009
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0349119546
- ISBN 13: 9780349119540
- Sales rank: 101,254
One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over Manhattan's hippest neighbourhood, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into - one way or another. For the women in Candace Bushnell's stellar new novel, One Fifth Avenue is at the heart of the lives they've carefully established, or hope to establish. There is Schiffer Diamond, a forty-something actress busily proving that women of style are truly ageless. There is spoiled, self-assured Lola, who is determined to launch herself into society and the arms of the right man by clawing a way into the building. Annalisa is the wife of a hedge fund manager and reluctant socialite, while bitter Mindy is married to an under-published writer and has been the family breadwinner for too long. And then there is Enid, the glamorous grande dame and gossip columnist, who has lived at One Fifth Avenue for decades, and sees everything there is to see from her penthouse view ...
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Candace Bushnell is the creator of SEX AND THE CITY and has been described by the EVENING STANDARD as a 'genius'. The OBSERVER compared her to Nancy Mitford and the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH to 'Jane Austen with a Martini'.
By Jeanie Misko 27 Dec 2009
There's a couple of things you need to remember when you start to read this book:
1. There are lots of characters, seemingly only linked by a very thin thread. Don't worry, you will start to remember who they are and who they love and hate after 50 pages or so.
2. It's a fairy tale, so please don't be too disappointed about how it all turns out.
3. Best read in large chunks (eg. holiday reading) rather than 20 minutes a day on a train- you'll forget who's doing who and who hates who.
In One Fifth Avenue, the characters aren't all best buddies like Sex in the City. This is more about people only linked because they live or know someone in the apartment building, One Fifth (Avenue). Once again, the author does a great character study of a number of imaginatively named people (Thayer Core, anyone?).
This is a nice holiday/aeroplane read. There are a couple of references to Sex and the City (the show, not the book) and what a big success the movie was. Not required in my book- and considering the remark about the movie was more than likely made *before* the movie was widely distributed, it's a little disturbing. A couple of typos too- in one paragraph the name of the character is suddenly the same as another (dead) character.
** 'Bushnell's unparalleled ability to capture type borders in uncanny; the perceptiveness of David Attenborough studying a rare bird... Bushnell is clearly a master observer: no details evades, from the trapping of her protagonist s' world to their hopes and dreams Sarah Maslin Nir, THE TIMES ** 'Bushnell writes like a dream Henry Sutton, Book of the Week, DAILY MIRROR ** 'It's a shining example of accurately observed social commentary...she has matured as a writer, making it her mission to expose the warped materialism that life in the fast lane breeds, turning decent people into twisted, label-obsessed caricatures. It's all served up with a dose of devilishly dark humour, which makes us blissfully unaware we're being preached to. A hugely entertaining yarn with fascinating, and at times repellent, characters Serena Kutchinsky, TIME OUT ** 'Full of her usual keen-eyed observations of New York neuroses VOGUE UK
The residents of a historic Manhattan building are thrown for a loop when an elderly socialite dies, leaving her spectacular apartment up for grabs.In the glittering world of Bushnell's latest (Lipstick Jungle, 2006, etc.), where you live is easily as important as how (and with whom) you live. So when Louise Houghton passes away a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday, her Greenwich Village neighbors are anxious to have a say in who ends up living in her coveted 7,000 square-foot space. The players include octogenarian gossip columnist Enid Merle, her successful screenwriter nephew Philip Oakland, and the embittered middle-aged head of the co-op board, Mindy Gooch. Long resentful of the fact that her family inhabits One Fifth's "worst" apartment, Mindy pushes through a quickie sale of Louise's place seemingly just to thwart Enid. The new residents, Paul and Annalisa Rice, certainly seem suitable. Annalisa is a down-to-earth beauty who gave up her law practice to accompany her math-genius husband to New York, where he is developing some super-secret financial software. Paul, unlike his wife, is cold and entitled, and as his fortunes grow, a sinister, paranoid side of him emerges that alienates everyone in the building, including Annalisa. But is Paul just a creep, or something worse? Philip's love life, meanwhile, takes a complicated turn when movie star ex-girlfriend Schiffer Diamond moves back after years of living in Los Angeles. The two share a deep connection, but reconciliation seems iffy when Philip starts sleeping with his 22-year-old "researcher" Lola Fabrikant. A pampered schemer who sets her sights on marriage - and Philip's apartment - Lola hedges her bets by dallying with snarky celebrity blogger Thayer Core, who in turn uses her for information. Mindy's hen-pecked novelist husband James also develops a crush on the lissome Lola, who begins paying attention to him when his new book becomes a surprise success. With a breezy pace that brings to mind a Gilded Age comedy of manners, the novel might not have anything new to say about New York society, but there are enough twists to keep it fun. (Kirkus Reviews)