Too Much Money
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Too Much Money

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  706 ratings  ·  146 reviews
The last two years have been monstrously unpleasant for high-society journalist Gus Bailey. When he falls for a fake story and implicates a powerful congressman in some rather nasty business on a radio program, Gus becomes embroiled in a slander suit. The stress makes it difficult for him to focus on his next novel, which is based on the suspicious death of billionaire Kon...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published 2009)
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Carolyn Kellogg
Dec 14, 2009 Carolyn Kellogg rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only devoted fans of Dunne
Shelves: reviewed
Reviewed for the Los Angeles Times, 12/14/09

If Dominick Dunne's posthumous novel, "Too Much Money," will get people talking about him, that's probably exactly what he would have wanted.

Dunne was something of an outsider who became a trusted chronicler of the lifestyles and trials of the privileged. He became a brand of his own -- white-haired, owl-eyed, patrician -- on cable television. Connecticut-born, Dunne was an early TV producer in New York who moved to L.A. to produce films. He had a few...more
I love revenge. Before you read the book set the scene by reading Dunne's autobiography on Wikipedia. Then you will understand that the book is non-fiction and all of the characters are real like the Von Bulows and Gary Condit. Dunne knew he was dying so he wrote a final tell-all. He exacted his revenge and entertained me, just as he did when he wrote the fictional non-fiction about OJ, which I also loved. I can't wait to write my fictional autobiography, lol.
I'm a Dominick Dunne fan. I started reading him in the 80's w/ THE TWO MRS. GRENVILLES and have read just about all the fiction he's written since. As usual, the line b/w fiction and non is blurred noticably blurred. It's all the more noticable since one of the characters is a fictional Dominick Dunne. Which begs the question (as usual) "how much of this really happened"? That can either add to the fun or get in the way depending on your point of view. Dunne's use of repetition is particularly e...more
Thus ends Gus Bailey. Written during the last months of author Dominick Dunne's life, TOO MUCH MONEY closes the life and times of his alter ego,Gus Bailey. The sense of gloom, melancholy, and sad realizations permeate this book. Though Wallis Simpson famously declared that one cannot be too rich or too thin, the inhabitants of Gus Bailey's New York high society found that too much money can lead to unimaginable challenges and sorrows reflected in the economic crisis of our world. Yet, the indica...more
I liked Dominick Dunne, but then again, I'm biased. Quite literally, a small man, from an affluent family, beaten in secret by his well-respected surgeon father, upon love-at-first-sight, marries his brother's girlfriend, somehow becomes a part of the Golden Age of Hollywood, gets divorced, fall from grace from saying shit about a fellow producer, becomes poor as shit, daughter gets murdered, becomes the mainstay of Vanity Fair. What the fuck.

Too Much Money was definitely Dunne's last hurrah bef...more
This was Dominick Dunne's last novel before he died and I'm sorry to say it was rather a weak effort. I greatly enjoyed his other novels so was excited to pick this one up but alas, I finished it with a deep feeling of ennui and, almost, distaste. The name-dropping was rampant and rather vulgar and the story went nowhere. I have previously liked reading about New York society as Mr. Dunne viewed it, from "inside the aquarium" as it were, but Too Much Money bordered on cariacture and the "rich pe...more
Patsy Chilson
It was a great read made me laugh out loud and the climbers and the society golden spooners and i especially liked the ex-convict humor. Dominick Dunne is a great writer as he moves you through the characters who are all woven together in the webs of life.
I recommend this wonderful read!
"My name is Gus Bailey...It should be pointed out that it is a regular feature of my life that people whisper things in my ear, very private things, about themselves or others. I have always understood the art of listening."The last two years have been monstrously unpleasant for high-society journalist Gus Bailey. His propensity for gossip has finally gotten him into trouble -- $11 million worth. His problems begin when he falls hook, line, and sinker for a fake story from an unreliable source a...more
Considering how long Dominick Dunne had been writing and the respect he had gained at it, I expected a better novel. I found the prose clunky, the dialogue stilted, and the plot uninteresting and loosely developed. I'm more forgiving about these issues with Too Much Money than normal, because it was Dunne's final book. While writing it, he was dying, and he knew he was dying. No doubt he felt rushed to complete it. Despite its flaws, it was still a fun book to read, so now that I've dispense wit...more
Well, I really thought I was reading a novel by a poet. The guy who said "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent." That is John Donne. Dominick Dunne kept a column in Vanity Fair chronicling things rich people did. By the time I realized this, I was on a train and 132 pages in. I guess I liked it because I finished it. Do you like tales of New York high society in the recent years but somehow no one texts? When people start gossiping about rich people you've...more
Don Schecter
If u like action driven by continual gossip among the glitterati of New York and other world-famous places, this is the book for u. A veiled mystery forms the cohesive undercurrent of plot. I detested the constant and obviously done-on-purpose repetition; it was as though Dunne couldn't resist retelling the whole story associated with a character every time he mentioned the character. Gossip by definition is repeatable, but for heaven's sake, not to the same reader. We "get it" the first time we...more
"Too Much Money" reads like an advanced season of the Upper East Side teen drama "Gossip Girl," a place where rumors run as fast as opposable thumbs can text them. In his final novel, Dunne revisits characters from "People Like Us," which he wrote in the 80s, featuring thinly-veiled versions of his friends, enemies, and acquaintances from the fancy schmancy moneyed world of NYC dinner parties.

Gus Bailey is an embedded journalist walking among people whose donations to the city's library surpass...more
I have been a fan of Dominick Dunne's for years, regularly reading his Vanity Fair column and enjoying several of his earlier novels. It seemed a genuine loss when he passed away a few years ago.

This book lacked the salacious sparkle his writing is known for. Despite the fun of vicariously hob-nobbing with the rich and infamous through the pages of the novel, it just didn't sizzle like his earlier novels and it lacked the gossipy punch of his magazine articles. The autobiographical element of th...more
In the last novel before his death Dominick Dunne uses his approaching demise as part of the plot but he still has a great time poking fun at the excesses and "trials" of New York's ultra rich and famous. This was Dunne's forte for decades as he was always at the right dinner party where people just had to to tell him their stories. I admit I love my "People" magazine and celebrity watching. Too Much Money is kind of Super Rich "People" novel. Campy, not to be taken seriously; just enjoy.
As I read Dominick Dunne’s last literary gift to us, Shakespeare’s phrase from HAMLET, lightly and insistently scampered through my mind. An appropriate farewell, I thought, to Dunne’s veiled insights into the rich, infamous, and legendary. Who better than Shakespeare to bid, Adieu…”

"...Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
it. Here hung...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Most of the characters maligned in Dunne's books are truly awful: greedy, self-absorbed, and just plain mean. Most of all, they are based on actual people, which accounts for much of the fun in reading Too Much Money. Several critics enjoyed the novel's dry humor and dead-on observations as Dunne touches on one absurdity after another. Others, however, panned it as a tedious soap opera. Still, for readers who enjoyed Dunne's previous novels, memoirs, and essays, there is much to savor within the...more
Buck Winthrop
As one of DD's biggest fans, this final book was a let down. Billed as a sequel of sorts to People Like Us, it really boggles the mind that a major publisher let this book pass through with so many continuity errors. People Like Us ended in 1987. In this book, which is clearly set in the present time, Lil Althemus has aged over 20 yrs and is 76 but yet Elias Renthal is just getting out of prison after 7 years (He went in in 1987!) Then there are many character name changes. Then there is Justine...more
Dianne Landry
The last book he wrote before he died this is an entertaining end to his opus. Writing fictional autobiographies is a really interesting way to go and Dominick's have always been fun. I miss his monthly Vanity Fair articles and I miss his books. R.I.P. Dominick, I look forward to reading your afterlife diaries.
Gretchen Rings
How much is “too much” money? Dominick Dunne chronicles the lives of the very rich—often behaving very badly—in this follow-up to his 1988 novel People Like Us. Come along with main character Gus Bailey as he records life among the über-rich and powerful, traveling from Fifth Avenue to Biarritz, and lunching in the back rooms of New York’s swankiest restaurants. Unforgettable characters like old guard society fixtures Lil Altemus who has just had to downsize from her twenty-four-room apartment,...more
T. Edmund
Dunne's Too Much Money, follows a group of New York superrich elitists as they live their lives amongst scandal debauchery and libel.

The humour of this book is great, both suble and blunt. A great reminder that no how much money you have, you still poop, pee and suffer the same mortality as everyone else on the planet.

The novel doesn't follow a story-line per se, its more a string of anecdotes from the somewhat eccentric lives of the characters that have some degree of coherence. Our main char...more
Joan Colby
It is difficult to like this roman a clef of spiteful, shallow characters. Dunne specializes in pillaring the rich as did Truman Capote ( a much better writer). “Too Much Money” contains too many repetitions that should have been edited. To be fair, as this book was published posthumously, Dunne would have not had the opportunity perhaps to make a final check. For a more interesting and balanced look at the world of the very rich, read Louis Auchincloss or Edith Wharton, both insiders, compared...more
Jennifer Plante
I have loved every Dominick Dunne book I've read, so I was a bit disappointed with this one. It definitely didn't have the same acerbic wit and fluid prose as his previous works. It did make me want to revisit my old favorites of his, though!
While still mildly entertaining, Dunne's last novel, Too Much Money, is too much of a good thing. Beyond self-referential, Dunne's last work is full of characters and stories we've heard before - in a far more intriguing manner.

Dunne's works are usually a wonderfully guilty pleasure, so it's sad that this posthumous work will be his epitaph, rather than his fantastically dishy writing for Vanity Fair or his prior novels. Fans of Dunne would be better served by a re-read of People Like Us or The...more
I didn't like this as much as other Dominick Dunne books, but it was still a good read and I'll miss this author. Per usual he delves into upper class society, with reporter Gus Bailey at a prominent spot at the dinner party table. The setting is Manhattan, and you get to know those ladies who lunch pretty intimately. The main plot concerning Gus is that he has been sued by a subject of one of his articles. That part was interesting, particularly seeing his publisher not back him up. But all the...more
David Mason
One of the most delightful reads in years. It may be aimed a small audience of New Yorkers from a certain zip code, but I thought this was a delightfully fun book. Perhaps a satire, but the excesses of the super-rich (and wannabe) that Dunne covers here are so silly merely direct reportage can seem like satire. I loved it. There were a few times early in the book that I thought the dialog didn't ring true. Perhaps this was because the author was trying a bit too hard to demonstrate how a gossip...more
I always enjoyed reading Dominick Dunne's gossipy and incisive columns for Vanity Fair and the trials he covered - O.J.Simpson's, Phil Spector's and William Kennedy Smith's and I enjoyed his last novel Too Much Money.
The book's main character is Dunne's alter ego, Gus Bailey who is dying of cancer, being sued by a congressman and writing a book about a vengeful wealthy heiress suspected of murdering her billionaire husband.
Too Much Money is a great diversion and a compulsivly readable novel just...more
Jeff Muise
This book explores the world of several elderly members of New York high society (as distinguished from the merely rich). It is a narrow world indeed consisting of lunch at "Swifty's", and marked by petty rivalries and grudges and a pathetic need for attention. However, author Dominick Dunne clearly recognizes this and his treatment is suitably satiric while remaining affectionate (after all, this is the world the author actually lives in). Some of the characters unexpectedly provoke sympathy an...more
This is better than a 3, but somewhat less than 4. It's been some time since I read Dunne, and I'd gotten out of the habit of spending time with all these rich people. (Reading Anita Brookner didn't help; her protagonists are usually well provided for, but they are so guilty and lonely and lacking in courage their money stays safely stored in a portfolio.)

Too Much Money opens with Elias Renthal is released from prison after 7 years. He and his wife, Lily, are still extremely rich. Lily is still...more
Being an admirer of Dunne's Vanity Fair columns (and a rabid Capote/vicious gossip of the moneyed elite fan) I am appalled and surprised at his absolutely dreadful writing. It's repetitive, dull, preposterous. The dialogue was apparently written by someone who has never heard other people speak. The characters are interchangeable. I just don't get it! I know that Dunne was terminally ill while writing this but shouldn't his editors have stepped in? I couldn't finish it and though I may try anoth...more
This was pretty good for a light read, though rather repetitive. I get that that's his style, but still.... The thing I like most about this book is that it reminds me that there is plenty of money out there, and the people who have it are ready to pour it on practically anything. Great ideas and good causes rejoice! There is enough for everyone. Just got to be clever about attracting it.
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Dominick Dunne was an American writer and investigative journalist whose subjects frequently hinged on the ways high society interacts with the judiciary system. He was a producer in Hollywood and is also known from his frequent appearances on television.

After his studies at Williams College and service in World War II, Dunne moved to New York, then to Hollywood, where he directed Playhouse 90 and...more
More about Dominick Dunne...
A Season in Purgatory The Two Mrs. Grenvilles An Inconvenient Woman People Like Us Another City, Not My Own

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