Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady (20th-century Classics)
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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady (20th-century Classics)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  995 ratings  ·  136 reviews

If any American fictional character of the twentieth century seems likely to be immortal, it is Lorelei Lee of Little Rock, Arkansas, the not-so-dumb blonde who knew that diamonds are a girl's best friend. Outrageous, charming, and unforgettable, she's been portrayed on stage and screen by Carol Channing and Marilyn Monroe and has become the archetype of the footloose, goo

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Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Penguin Classics (first published 1924)
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Manny
stolen picture

March 5th

Today I went to a place called Goodreads, it is a kind of litrary salo which is useful for a girl that wants to improve her mind like I do. So I wondered how I would be a social success there it is quite different from New York but luckily I met a gentleman called Mr. Paul Bryant who took an interest in me and wanted to help me improve my mind. Mr. Bryant said it is very very easy you just post a review that is a bit riskay and has an artistic picture at the top. I said I did not know h...more
notgettingenough
How can it possibly be that only one of my goodreads friends has read this and yet James Joyce couldn't resist it?

In the 1920s, Anita Loos, a gorgeous intelligent brunette Hollywood writer became pretty well pissed off at the fact that the men around her preferred dumb blondes. This hilarious book is the result of her venting her spleen on the matter. It can be read on various levels, certainly as a biting satire of Western values both in America and Europe. It was a huge seller at the time, one...more
Paul
Driving to school to pick up Georgia only 45 minutes ago! (how up to the minute is this review?), on the Radio is "Brain of Britain 2013", a general knowledge contest. One of the questions :

Who wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?

Contestant ponders, then says

"Henry James"


Now, wouldn't that have been something? Anita Loos gets the idea for "The Wings of the Dove" and Henry James gets the idea for "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes : The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady"... I'd buy them both.
Dfordoom
Anita Loos wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1925 as a kind of whimsical tribute to her friend H. L. Mencken, who had a weakness for blondes.

The narrator of this volume, Lorelei Lee, is a formidable member of the species. She’s a dumb blonde who is not so dumb after all. She is in fact remarkably single-minded. Lorelei collects men the way some people collect stamps, and like a keen philatelist she is a discriminating collector. They have to be rich. They also have to be willing to part with the...more
Karen Beth
Jun 13, 2008 Karen Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who need a good laugh and/or love pretty things
I have never laughed so many times in one sitting in my entire lifetime of reading than I did with this book. Nor laughed so hard. It probably helps that I have traveled a lot, and to the same places these women were traveling, but I recommend this book to EVERY female on the planet. It will tickle you pink.
Colleen
I probably would have given this 5 stars if it wasn't for the fact it was written by Anita Loos, who from all I've read of her makes my skin crawl. I'm surprised her autobiography A Girl Like I, is rated so highly on Goodreads, because I though that was easily one of the most meanspirited books I've ever read.

I think that takes a bit of the fun from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for me. Since the entire book (supposedly) was a joke against her mentor HL Mencken (I don't like him much either actually...more
Talkingtowalls
I had such a fabulous time reading this book. Alone at my Aunts house, I liberated it from the back of a bookcase and spent the next two hours giggling hysterically on the sofa. My family came home and thought I'd gotten into the liquor cabinet.
eb
A charming, bloggy novel narrated by a cheerfully moronic sociopath.

It takes a lot of balls--or an already-well-established career--to write in the first-person voice of such a dumb dame. Loos was brave.
Megan
This fit into many categories that I am fond of reading; a dated bestseller written by a woman that had tremendous influence through society via the long tail. Anita Loos wrote this satire in 1926, it was made into a movie, then a musical then a movie again. She was so identified by this one work (though she was a prolific screenwriter) that "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend" was played at her funeral. To get my hands on a copy at the local library they sent an intern down to storage. It is date...more
Emily
The first time I heard the title Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was when I was in the 6th grade and I saw the Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell film. I loved the movie, but I never even knew it was a book! When I was able to finally able to get my hands on a copy I devoured it the day I began reading it. This is very different from the movie which has a very simple plot. The book however is more of a series of events, which are told in Lorelei's perspective from her diary. She has a great many of suitor...more
Realini
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

Do they prefer blondes?
I can’t say that I do, but then I am no gentleman.
The title seems to cast a shadow over the book. It seems to start on the wrong foot, but when you think that the intention is not all that serious, since we’re dealing with a comedy, we can forget about it.
Was it the egg or the hen? The book may have been a success before the movie, but once Marilyn Monroe got to play in the movie of the same name, there’s no question which is better k...more
Sarah
Somehow I managed to go years without realizing that Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the film, was actually based on a novel (of the same name, obviously). Naturally, since it's one of my all-time favorite films, I HAD to read the book.

As you might expect, it's a bit of fun and froth - not terribly long, either. Perfect for fun beach reading or for tuning out the horror of mass transit. The plot is fairly similar to the film - Lorelei Lee and her friend Dorothy hit Europe like a ton of bricks, but the...more
Constance
Written from the point of view of "dumb blonde" gold-digger Lorilei Lee, this has it's amusing moments in strategically hilarious dangling modifiers. For me, it wasn't funny enough to justify even its modest length, although I might've enjoyed it at half the length. The problem for me was the character, a shallow "little girl from Little Rock" whose main goal in life is to get men to go shopping with her. When she tires of her male conquests, she tends to come up with some way to justify how the...more
Tim
Picked up a copy of the original edition (later printing, though) at a library book sale years ago. It’s somewhat amusing but almost insufferably mannered. It’s written as the diary of a genially gold-digging flapper who keeps writing things like “a girl like I can really appreciate the Eyefull Tower”. It reads as one long “Shouts and Murmurs” column from the New Yorker. The Art Deco-y line illustrations are really wonderful, though.
Jennifer
One of my favorite movies of all time, so it was interesting to finally read the original book.

It's written in diary format, with a completely different plot than the musical, but I could see various elements they chose from the novel.

Lorelei Lee narrates from the perspective of a 1920's gold-digger, looking for men's companionship only to escalate her social status and wealth. It's a funny, enlightening glimpse into the psyche of those kind of women, who still exist today. A more recent exampl...more
J. Lynn
Maybe this is totally misguided, but it actually felt really empowering to know that this kind of a book had been written in the time that it was. I mean, it's hard to even know who the protagonist's 2008 equivalent would be, but a woman taking that kind of agency when she did is kind of kick-ass. I dunno - again, part of me feels like that's a totally misguided conception.
Anne Thomsen Lord
I wanted to like this one but didn't. I had to force myself to finish it. I know Loos is mocking Lorelei, but I would have preferred if she did it through a narration so we could have heard another voice besides her vapid heroine.
Alyssa
The light and amusing tales of a young debutante striving to improve her status by socializing with young gentlemen and relieving them of their fortunes. Not exactly highbrow literature, but very entertaining nonetheless.
Forrest Taylor
Wow, read this book in a day! It wasn't hard- the book takes the form of diary entries written by a shallow young flapper named Lorelei about her wild experiences. Lots of misspellings and misuses of words. My favorite character (clearly written to be Lorelei's foil) was Dorothy, a brunette Lorelei perpetually criticizes for being unrefined, even though her cynicism and wisecracks are by far more interesting than Lorelei's perpetual attempts to appear "educated." In the middle, the book comes cl...more
Molly
If I hadn't read this in a class with a professor who knew Loos' backstory and is an expert in the era, I would have hated it. As it is, that's exactly the context I read it in, so I have an affection for it. Wyndham Lewis excoriated Anita Loos as a mercenary who had the audacity to write for an audience and for, gasp, money. He argued that she couldn't be taken seriously as an artist but with Faulkner and Stein was taking over modern literature with the "child cult." I guess comparing her to Fa...more
Miriam
Fun. A very quick read. I had both Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. I enjoyed the ridiculousness of Lorelei's adventures and the sharp criticism that wends its way through her ramblings and misspellings. I love the innocent, vague tone of things despite her utter ruthlessness in using her sex appeal and her complete self-focus couched in helping others and making friends and getting along. Her focus on getting educated, on reforming her friend Dorothy, on shopping and...more
Scott
Decades before Marilyn, Madonna or Holly Golightly, the 20th century’s first Material Girl was Lorelei Lee, from Little Rock, Arkansas. Outrageous, illiterate, but utterly self-assured, Lorelei is the essence of a Roaring Twenties gold digger. Her motto has become an advertising icon: ‘Kissing your hand may make you feel very good, but a diamond bracelet lasts forever’. She records this and her other pensées – ‘I seem to be thinking practically all of the time.’ – in a diary of airy confessions...more
Graceann
Anita Loos sparkles in writing this satire on the gold-digging flapper who usually gets what she wants with a wink and a smile. I found myself smiling and even laughing out loud several times, and was pleased when reading it to find that bits of the 1953 musical were remarkably true to the spirit of the novel.

The edition I read was "intimately illustrated" by Ralph Barton, and these added immeasurably to my enjoyment of the read. They are deliciously of their time, and very, very funny. Also in...more
Chelsea
While at times it was entertaining and hilarious, I was mostly bored as I read the book. Lorelei is extraordinarily brainless and the best parts are where she is being insulted and takes it as a compliment. Loos does a brilliant job of capturing Lorelei's character in the words and how she uses them on the page (intentionally rife with misspellings and repeated words (very 90s Valley Girl esque only "so" and "and" and "really" instead of "like" and "totally").
Megan Lynch
This book is hysterical. It is set at the same time as The Great Gatsby and filled with even more 1920's flare. It is the diary of Lorelei, a wannabe society girl who presents herself as innocent with a desire to be "educated", yet is actually manipulative and has a such a strong power over men that it becomes comical. Her life in New York and travels through Europe with her witty friend Dorothy literally had me laughing out loud. I loved it!
Lauren
Originally published in 1925, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was a bestseller decades before Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell starred in the now more-famous screen adaptation. I didn’t even know it had been a book until I saw a stray comment about it in Bill Bryson’s One Summer. So thanks, Mr. Bryson.

It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, but I don’t remember it being this smart (or Lorelei being, for all intents and purposes, a professional mistress this side of a prostitute). The book, told from...more
Marti
Although the plot differs quite a bit from the movie, it is impossible not to imagine Marilyn Monroe as the narrator. Packed off on a whirlwind tour of Europe by her benefactor ("The Button King of Chicago"), Lorelei seeks to become "educated." However, she notes, in London "they make a great fuss over a tower that is really not even as tall as the Hickox building in Little Rock Arkansas." The only things that can impress a world class Gold Digger with a sense of historical reverence are the Car...more
Philip
Nine decades after it was first published, one has to take a bit of 'historical perspective' to understand why GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES was such a huge sensation in the 1920s - it seemed to spoof the 'flapper' era even as it was happening. Part of the book's fun is the 'educating' of its narrator, Lorelei Lee, whose main purpose seems to be nice to gentlemen who provide her with the means for her shopping sprees. It's kind of fun reading Lorelei's accounts of trips to England and Europe, with al...more
Ayaka Sasai
11/15 Penguin Readers2 97minutes
Celeb-writer-trip-education-rich-party-man

I thought that the book was written about Madonna,because the cover is the photo which looks like Madonna. But it mistook. The story is one women writer.

Q.If you had beautiful face, what were you want to do? The main character met a lot of men and was gave a lot of expensive things.

A. I want to become actress, because I wanted to become it when I was junior high school student. And every time I want to see mirror to see...more
Momoka Yamaguchi
1. Level2, penguin
2. 6/30=40minutes, 7/1=45minutes
3. A blonde girl- gentle men-diamonds-money-education-brains-diary
4. "I was sad but I had to do it for my future."
I felt she could change from this sentence.
5. I didn't like the blonde girl, because she associates with many men and she was given diamonds by many men. However she change at last, so I was impressed.
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All About Books: Week 49 - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos 10 14 Aug 26, 2014 01:18PM  
  • Love For Lydia
  • The Echoing Grove
  • Look at Me
  • The Silent Duchess
  • Diary of a Mad Old Man
  • More Die of Heartbreak
  • The Parasites
  • L'isola di Arturo
  • By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
  • The Painter of Signs
  • The Snow Goose
  • Music and Silence
  • City Boy
  • Enemies: A Love Story
  • The World According to Dave Barry
  • Cheri & The Last of Cheri
  • Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939
  • Pictures from an Institution
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Anita Loos (April 26, 1889 – August 18, 1981) was an American screenwriter, playwright and author, best known for her blockbuster comic novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
More about Anita Loos...
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady A Girl Like I But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady (20th-century Classics) Kiss Hollywood Good-By. The Talmadge girls : a memoir / by Anita Loos

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“...I overheard Dorothy talking to Mr Montrose and she was telling Mr Montrose that she thought that I would be great in the movies if he would write me a part that only had three expressions, Joy, Sorrow, and Indigestion.” 2 likes
“You can say what you want about the Germans being full of "kunst", but what they are really full of is delicatessen.” 2 likes
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