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Fatal Charms and Other Tales of Today/The Mansions of Limbo (Omnibus)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  531 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Dominick Dunne has met them all--stars and slugs, criminals and victims, the innocent and the hideously guilty--and now his two provocative collections of Vanity Fair portraits are in one irresistible volume. From posh Park Avenue duplexes to the extravagant mansions of Beverly Hills, from tasteful London town houses to the wild excesses of million-dollar European retreats ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published March 9th 1999 by Ballantine Books (first published February 18th 1987)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  531 ratings  ·  32 reviews


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Karina
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Dominick Dunne especially what I read about his private life. In this book the first story is about his daughter's trial. She was a young actress on 'Poltergeist' at the time (22 yrs old). She was murdered by her jealous and controlling chef ex-boyfriend. He was charged with manslaughter and got 6 & 1/2 years but got off in 3 years for "good behavior." After this life changing experience Dunne wrote many books on the rich and powerful and their trials and the curious American machi ...more
RNOCEAN
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the author of the best-selling People Like Us and The Two Mrs. Grenviles comes this unvarnished look at the gilded world of the real-life rich and famous. Here are the highly colorful and highly provocative look at the gilded world of the real-life rich of famous. Here are the highly colorful and highly provocative close-up interviews Dominick Dunne has written for Vanity Fair. In them, Dunne tells all about today's creme de la creme as only as insider can tell it. Here is his engaging prof ...more
Rebecca
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved the first half of this book, and was bored by the second half. Overall, I would greatly recommend it. This book inspires me to explore the genre of short true story complations. I also plan to read more from this author. I find his writing interesting and honest, and his point of view unique.
Noreen
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Sad story about murder of Dominick Dunne's daughter.

Weird family dynamics in extremely wealthy families. Chapter on Rockefeller grandchildren: Danse Macabre: Life is not kind to wealthy daughters. Henry James lives. Margaret Strong de Cuevas de Larrain, a Rockefeller granddaughter, married a 42 year old when she was 88. Larrain, lost all her inheritance except for $400,000 and died of AIDS a few years after Margaret.

Imelda Marcos, definition of drama queen.

Don't know who is more icky, politici
...more
jeffrey
The author has written a truly heartfelt, powerful account of what must have been an extremely painful experience of his daughter's murder and the subsequent criminal trial. Unfortunately, the rest of the book is just a sad, extremely long, tedious slog, heavy on the name-dropping, of frequently sleazy high-society dames & gents who have a lot of money, but are otherwise not particularly noteworthy. ...more
Debi Emerson
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This is a collection of articles written by Dominick Dunne for "Vanity Fair" magazine. Those written about people I'd heard of (Menendez Brothers, Jane Wyman, Elizabeth Taylor, OJ Simpson, etc) were of special interest; other articles were about people I'd never heard of, but were still very interesting. Most poignant was the opening article, written about the trial of the man who killed Dunne's only daughter.
Sue
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of articles from Vanity Fair written by Dominick Dunne about the Rich and Famous. The best is the first story about the murder trial of Dominick's daughter Dominique. The murderer John Sweeney received a light sentence and the portrayal of grief is heart-wrenching. Many of the other stories are of rich people I didn't care about.
Orry Farrell
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dominick Dunne is my favorite author on dishing the dirt with a classy spin. This book was so yummy to read! O.J. Simpson, The Menedez Brothers, Candy Spelling, Imelda Marcos....... etc. He's fantastic because he knows all these people. He's attended trials and has had interviews with tons of interesting characters. Every single book of his is entertainment at its best.
John Lyman
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I would have been happy if this had not been a double book, the first half was very good, but the stories about high society and the super ultra wealthy were a little over the top for me. Not my world, not interested. I like Dunne's knowledge and writing style. Crazy how his family was part of the reason why he started covering high profile court cases.
Patti
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I enjoyed reading this book largely because I am a fan of Dominick Dunn and his writing. I read this book in 2018-2019 during the holidays because it was a pick up and read a short part type of book. It held my attention this way. It is outdated as far as the characters go but it is still interesting.
Mary Sullivan
I really like Dominick Duane’s writing style and that’s why I picked the book. But past the first chapter, I found the stories of most of these people very shallow. What did they really do to help out others - really nothing.
Marilyn Campbell
Old gossip by a master

A casual, read-while-flying, short dip into another set of eras. Mr Dunne wrote well, and the poignant story of the trial of his daughter's murderer is enraging and touching.
Donna Turpin
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tales of Yestetday

these stories are very interesting, however they take place in the 80's so if u r looking 4 current stories, this is not your book. if u want a historical perspective, this is the book 4 u.
Nightwitch
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
So much name dropping, but very readable.
Marie Rochon
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I like Dominick Dunne, but many of his books continue to include the same old previously published stories.
Linda
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Beginning was great. Great writer, interesting takes on his stories.
Leslie
May 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first story in this collection is the horrifying tale of the author's daughter's murder and the farce of a trial that followed. The remainder of the stories are "personality" stories about the places and people in the out-of-sight American jet set of the early-mid-80's. The author was in a unique position to interview the people he did for these stories, having been an actor/producer in Hollywood himself. As such, it is somewhat difficult to discern if he writes about them with sardonicism o ...more
Lara
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I love Dominick Dunne's writing, and am sad that I have now read all his books. This one is a collection of articles he wrote for Vanity Fair chronicling his encounters with the rich and famous, from O.J Simpson to Queen Noor. He seems to be welcomed by most even though or maybe because he documents their egomania. Especially amusing were the old-money community who like to bar new-money from their country-clubs, and then got hacked-off when the new super-rich didn't want to join as they had far ...more
Rose
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I love Dominick Dunne and was so sad when he passed away. This is an older book, a collection of the stories he wrote for Vanity Fair. No one had the inside scoop on the rich and famous like he did. Even though I was familiar with many of the characters and their stories, I'm having a hard time putting the book down.
Erin
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this collection of Dunne's best nonfiction pieces. The essay about the trial of his daughter's murderer is heart-wrenching. It's all his best Vanity Fair pieces about the crimes and fatal undoings of prominent people. Good stuff.
Stacey
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Insights on the trial of his daughter's murderer, the trial of Claus Von Bulow, and more. I love Dunne's writing style but I wanted the rest of the story, some of which were still ongoing when this was published.
Helen
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'd always been a fan of Dominick Dunne and had read this years ago. He infiltrates the rich and famous and gives us a glimpse of their world. I miss him and had given up my Vanity Fair subscription when he died.
Roseanne
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book has about 4 or five stories of high profile crimes. one includes the murder of the author's daughter...she was the girl in poltergeist 1 who screamed "WHATS HAPPENING!". her boyfriend murdered her. great book!
Jessica
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Dominic Dunne was one of my favorite true crime writers; his monthly Vanity Fair articles will always be missed...this being said, this collection of cases would mostly interest his die hard fans, with the exception of his own daughter's murder which was heartbreaking.
Margot Note
A fun, trashy read!
Heather Domin
Not what I thought it going to be, but still enjoyable. Makes me want to look up his other work.
Eileen
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I read most of these stories before.
Melissa
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dunne
I like Dominick Dunne's stories...Hate that he has gone on.
Maggie Jones-Tanquary
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Couldnt put it down.
2skeins
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
also published later on in a QP version.
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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

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