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The Social Climber's Handbook: A Novel

2.64 of 5 stars 2.64  ·  rating details  ·  179 ratings  ·  45 reviews
HIGH SOCIETY CAN BE A KILLER.

Upper East Side socialite Daisy Greenbaum is accustomed to the finer things—designer clothes, summers in the Hamptons, elite private school educations for her daughters, and a staggeringly expensive Park Avenue apartment. But Daisy finds her well-heeled lifestyle on precarious footing after her husband, master of the universe Dick Greenbaum,
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Paperback, 247 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Villard (first published April 15th 2011)
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Julie H.
I picked up this book expecting some light escapism--you know, it's 2006 and the Wall Street crash is underway. Upper East Side social climber Daisy Greenbaum, whose husband Dick specializes in derivative swaps for The Bank, begins taking out those folks who could expose her husband's personal and professional improprieties. Each chapter opens with a date, that day's Dow closing and the S & P figures for the day. Clever, clever, clever.

What I got, however, were uncomfortable truths and inter
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Dianne
Generally, I love to read about the super rich and the antics they pull to stay that way, but this was a very painful read. It was not funny, not fun, not even very interesting.


During 2008 Iceland’s banking system and the whole country crashed and much like a row of dominos, so, essentially did ours. This book follows that summer of 2008 with a satirical look at one very rich family that relies on the big banks and brokerage firms to retain the style to which they have grown accustomed. We meet
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Darcia Helle
This novel is a satirical look at the elite social class, right when our financial world was on the brink of collapse. Daisy has always been twisted and now she's rich. She decides that killing is a much better alternative to losing her money and social status.

I chuckled through the first third of the book. The characters and the way their situations were portrayed kept me amused. I found the second murder far too convenient and easy and none of the characters were even remotely likable. I had
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Jay
THE SOCIAL CLIMBER'S HANDBOOK features cover quotes from several best-selling authors who all claim this book to be a “great comedy,” “deliciously wicked,” and “an irresistible read.” These quotes make me wonder if we all read the same book. I found this book to be a mostly dark tale with an unsympathetic narrator, set against an inaccessible background.

THE SOCIAL CLIMBER'S HANDBOOK is set in 2008, just before the collapse of the economy. Even though there’s nothing really funny about an econom
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LORI CASWELL
This story takes place in 2008 when the crap was ready to hit the fan on Wall Street. Daisy Greenbaum's husband is a financial mogul for "The Bank" and he probably knows more about the collapse about to happen than he should and he starts to find away around the impending doom, but his boss shuts him down quite quickly. He needs to keep his mouth shut if he wants to keep his job.

Daisy is as a socialite who lunches and who throws parties and she starts to realize that the life she has become quit
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Laura
Daisy Greenbaum is one of New York City's elite - she has a husband, two daughters, and all of the money that she could want. Until 2008 when her husband because aware of shady dealings at The Bank, the place that he works. He becomes concerned that they will lose everything - his job and their money. Daisy is not willing to let this happen and will do everything in her power to prevent it. Even stooping to murder. Unfortunately, once she starts she can't stop.

While the premise starts very inter
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Sara
So, for the record, I'm not a literary snob - I like my fair share of escapism, reading about the exploits of the rich and beautiful, occasionally putting the more embarassing titles behind the latest issue of the New Yorker to avoid strange glances on the subway. That said, I still don't know what I think about this particular novel. It certainly has all of the ingredients for a good romp: greed, impending financial doom, rich (but not necessarily beautiful) people, murder, intrigue - but someh ...more
Katherine
Only the second of nine goodreads giveaways that I didn't like though I finished this one, hoping it would improve.

Never laughed, never chuckled, never even smiled. Nothing about this book was even slightly humorous despite the cover quotes "irresistable"--I trudged through it. " razor-sharp "--dull and boring, like the characters within it. " Blissfully entertaining "-- Not in the slightest. " fast, funny and smart "--took forever to get through it; see the first sentence; well, I DO understand
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J
Picked this up expecting a campy book. I was surprised by moments of insight into the inner life of the truly rich. (Or what I consider truly rich. One of the points of this book is that there is always someone richer than you - even the "rich" feel like they are struggling to fit in in some way.) For that reason, I gave it 4 stars and I'd recommend it to my Junior League friends.

However, I was annoyed that characters, who often seem completely detached from reality, magically "sense" or dream k
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Aislynn (Stitch Read Cook)
I hate admitting that I couldn't finish or didn't like a book. I admit I'm picky when it comes to books and it really has to catch my attention for me to pick it up. Unfortunately for this book, despite the great sounding blurb; I just couldn't get into it! The blurb for the story sounded great, something I could potentially love.

Daisy is a society wife, nice clothes, lots of money - the best of the best. Only the best schools for her daughter and designer clothes. Unfortunately, her husband is
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Naomi Kelsey
This book is a less gory, less objectionable version of American Psycho. It's darkly funny but also terrifying. A kind of horror version of Candace Bushnell. Sharp social satire mixed with truly scary sections that creep up on you. A slim book one can read in one-two sessions. For those that like the schadenfreude of knowing that money can't make you happy...and might just get you killed.
Lynnie
2 stars feels generous, but I did finish it.

The book had big ideas, but for a book that billed itself as laugh out loud funny, I don't remember laughing once. I cringed several times, but I never once laughed. Not even a chuckle. I couldn't decide if the author hated the wealthy elite she was writing about or was jealous of them. Either way they were all awful people & if you don't like the characters- any of them- what's the point?

I also thought there was a lack of creativity at some point
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Melissa Acuna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Baggerman
I'm kind of surprised that I made my way all the way through this one. I was initially drawn in by the author's writing (and yes, also because the author is Erica Jong's daughter). But the characters were so loathsome--and the fact that they didn't change or evolve at all during the book gave them the depth of reality TV characters. One of the characters' names is Easton--I suppose a shout out to Bret Easton Ellis and similar books in the loathsome rich NY elite genre? But there's something that ...more
Kristin
I kept waiting for this book to get better and match the hype on the back of the book as well as from what I read in Entertainment Weekly. I finished the book before it got any better. It also is written in a style I find obnoxious. It's where there is a "main" character, the one written about on the back. In this case, it's Daisy and the perspective --whether third person or first -- should be in that character. This book chose a different route and would put it in the 3rd person perspective of ...more
Yvette (hooked on the nook)
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The backdrop is set in my favorite city, New York and involves a well thought out plot set during the most recent crash of the stock market. What comes next is the terrible aftermath (which I can completely relate to)that precipitates into a shocking twist when murder and mayhem begins in a desparate effort for Daisy Greenbaum to secure her social standing. This is one ride you don't want to miss.
Marissa
I only finished this book because it was so short and because it is nearly impossible for me to start a book and not finish it. I started it because of the reviews and figured it had to be entertaining. The characters were boring. The plot wasn't at all exciting and I kept waiting for the big plot twist or reveal. I guess I just expected too much of this book. It was not worth reading in my opinion.
Joanna
I was expecting Jackie Collins and got Jack the Ripper instead. Don't mind a silly beach read but this was rather disturbing and filled with unlikable characters. Don't think I'll be reading another of this author's books.

If you want a readable, steamy mystery, I'd recommend A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick instead.
Dan
Dick and Daisy Greenbaum are part of the upper end of the social ladder, until the recession hits and Dick may lose his job. Daisy doesn’t want to lose her status or money, so she decides that murder is one way.

This is not a murder mystery, but a satire of the elitist lifestyle. It is a fast paced comedy, but I feel the author tries too hard. I liked it, but didn’t love it.
Babs
The book was ok for me. Some of the book was boring for me with all the bank bailouts, mortgages, investments etc. Daisy will go to any length even murder to keep her lifestyle. I didn't really care for any of the characters that are miserable, snobby, spoiled and desperate. It was a quick read it is.
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
From the description of this book, I was excited to add it to my review pile. But after reading it, I am not so sure about it. With the excessive financial talk and the crazy lady killing, I just didn't enjoy it. I would put it in the genre of dark comedy and although some may enjoy it - not really my thing.
Jennifer
This book is not well written enough to be truly effective social satire. The author's shifts in POV from one character to thhe next, often in the same paragraph are jarring and confusing. This is a lot like watching an episode of Real Housewives, vaguely entertaining and only slightly scandalous.
Linda
Really enjoyed this book. I like Molly Jong Fast's writing; she's sharp and makes good observations about NY's
wealthy. I thought the murder angle of this story would come off as totally ridiculous but it actually just added intrigue
and another twist to the already entertaining storyline,
Megan
Awful, I couldn't get through it. Generally, I can read a book this short in less than a day. It took me 4 days to read 50 pages because it just wasn't interesting. I was expecting light, funny, quick to read. Instead I got tedious, boring and completely unlikeable characters.
Aimee
This book was hysterical in its sarcasm. Snotty dark humor! I loved it. That said really wanted more, hope MJ-F does another, perhaps centered on Landon's vengeance. Showdown of the crazy UES bitches...that would be great!
Pat
Fast-paced, witty and off beat. Being part of a priviledged class certainly has it's perks for Dick and Daisy Greenbaum, but the stress of having more and trying to keep it comes to an unusual conclusion for them both.
Cyn
This book wanted to be a feminine, funky version of American Psycho and failed. Parts of this were humorous and interesting, though, so it wasn't a complete waste of reading time.
Snem
Not a book I would normally pick up, but it was included in a gift bag. It wasn't terrible and I liked the dark bits. I didn't care for any of the characters, but it was kinda entertaining.
Jami Buchanan
This may be the worst book I've read in several years. It was humorless. To make matters worse, the book just ended with no conclusion. Almost like the writer was as bored with it as I was.
Cathy
Didn't like this book at all. Never liked any of the characters and didn't see the point in it either. It took all of my energy just to finish the book. Very disappointing.
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