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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

(Lorelei Lee #1)

by
3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,845 ratings  ·  363 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 ...more
Paperback, 165 pages
Published August 17th 1998 by Liveright (first published 1925)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  2,845 ratings  ·  363 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
”So when I got through telling Dorothy what I thought up. Dorothy looked at me and looked at me and she really thought my brains were a miracle. I mean she said my brains reminded her of a radio because you listen to it for days and days and you get discouraged and just when you are getting ready to smash it, something comes out that is a masterpiece.”

 photo Lorelei20Lee_zpspyia1eib.jpg

Beauty can be born just about anywhere. It can appear in blue stocking families, or come from hard working blue collar families, or it can eve
...more
Manny
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Brunettes
Recommended to Manny by: notgettingenough
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
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Because not only is it timeless as well as hilarious, but when your kid is one of the cast members it’s even sweeter. Every star!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
...more
Roman Clodia
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gerry has had quite a lot of trouble himself and he can not even get married on account of his wife.


To quote my friend Sid, Anita Loos is a comic genius. But not only does she skewer a character in a few words ('I mean he always says that there is really no place to see the latest style in buttons like Paris') but she also exposes so much about the cultural mores of early twentieth century jazz-and-prohibition-age America and its values. It's no wonder that Edith Wharton and James Joyce both
...more
Loretta
I wasn't impressed with this book at all! The movie with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell was so funny and cute. I can't believe the movie was based on this book which wasn't funny or cute. If you're looking for enjoyment, see the movie instead and save yourself from being bored stiff!
Alex
Here is what Edith Wharton called the Great American Novel, and when it showed up on the Guardian's Top 100 English Novels list it was suggested that perhaps she was being sarcastic. But when one nominates the Great American Novel, one is defining America at least as much as the Novel, yes? And I'm going to venture to suggest that it may not have been the Novel that Wharton was feeling sarcastic about.

There's a straight line between Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' Lorelei and Marilyn Monroe and Madonn
...more
Duane
Anita Loos (1889-1981) was a successful playwright, screenwriter, and novelist, but she is best known for her best selling book, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Loos released her novel in a period when some of the great American authors were writing books like The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, Main Street, and The Age of Innocence, whose author Edith Wharton referred to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as "the great American novel". There may have been a little sarcasm in that, but I think she was impress ...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
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.
Susan
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many others, my introduction to this book was the Marilyn Monroe film, and the narrator of this audio book tells the story in the same breathy, little girl, voice. The novel was actually written in 1925 and was inspired when the author witnessed the reaction of intellectual male friends of hers, to a fellow female traveller on a train journey. Having asked why this lady inspired such interest, she deduced it was her blonde hair that caused such slavish devotion and an idea was born.

Lorelei
...more
Susan
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a lot of fun. It was recently brought to my attention by a fellow goodreads pal (thank you Paul) I was able to find a copy in our local library that had it stored in its basement. It included the original borrowing records showing it was 1st checked out April 1930 and completed with fabulous illustrations. The story is one long scream and left me very intreeged to improve my brain and find more writing by Loos, providing I can talk my maid into reading it for me.
Jonathan
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonathan by: Dorothy Richardson and James Joyce
Wonderful, witty, linguistically experimental in all sorts of unusual ways, and way more intelligent than you may have been led to believe...just like its main character.

I mean, is this not like something from Stein?

" So Mr. Spoffard spends all of his time looking at things that spoil peoples morals. So Mr. Spoffard really must have very strong morals or else all the things that spoil other peoples morals would spoil his morals. But they do not seem to spoil Mr. Spoffards morals and I really t
...more
notgettingenough
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, modern-lit
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
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is the story, first person diary form, of a little blonde girl from Little Rock, Arkansas who is apparently so mesmerizingly pretty that every man who comes into contact with her wants her for himself and finds himself, not always willingly, spending oodles of money on her, in New York and abroad. This little blonde is able to swindle any man, married or single. She is the ultimate gold digger.

The writing is fluid and funny in that the protagonist, Lorelei Lee, writes like she is some wide
...more
WhatIReallyRead
Meh. It's supposed to be humorous but I didn't really laugh.

I guess at the time this was a bold book to write. The main character is the beautiful blond featherhead who manipulates men for money and is so upfront about it she almost sounds innocent about it. I guess at the time the image of such a woman was fresh and alluring enough for such a book to be funny and sound like social commentary.

But I guess the humor got dated out of that historical context. I was pretty bored. Glad the book was
...more
Leslie
Review of the audiobook edition:
This Audible edition starts with an introduction and a preface (I guess) which are labelled as Chapters 1 and 2. If, like me, you prefer to skip introductions, then start with Chapter 3!

Patrice O'Neill's voice was excellent for this novel; a bit reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe in the film version but not overly so.
Kate Tooley
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Sketchbook
Asked if she could write a sequel in the 1970s, the tiny imp Anita Loos said, "I'd have to call it, 'Gentlemen Prefer Gentlemen.' "
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This purports to be the diary of Lorelie Lee, gold-digging dumb blonde extraordinaire. If I ever saw the movie, I have entirely forgotten it. I just looked at Wikipedia, and I remember the song "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend", but I remember it from Carole Channing, not Monroe, so maybe I just have never seen the original film.

This is barely worth 3 stars. I found much of it thoroughly amusing, especially the first half. Well Dorothy and I are really on the ship sailing to Europe as anyone c
...more
Dfordoom
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Tim
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
LittleSophie
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the novel that far outshone "The Great Gatsby" during its time, and I can see why. Funnier and light hearted, this is a different story of social ambition, delivered in the voice of a barely educated but ruthless and cunning girl from the Middle West. Full of absolute shameless wit, the slim novel picks apart the era's hypocrisy until you have to cheer on Lorelei and Dorothy while they bend the rich men to their will and collect their rewards.
Karen Beth
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Theresa
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 This is from another age, so seems not so funny today as when it came out. It's been a long time since I saw the movie, but Marilyn was certainly the perfect Lorelei. I'll check out the sequel after a little time lapse.
Lindsey
May 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Movie far exceeds book—maybe because movie is told from a more sincere perspective (the brunette's) rather than just satirizing the blonde mercilessly. (Not saying movie lacks irony—far from it—or that the book lacks humor; however, the book just beats one joke to death.) Book's at best when Dorothy is talking.
shakespeareandspice
I honestly believed I would enjoy this book despite the 101 problems I had with the story after seeing the adaption, but I really didn’t. The narration was boring and I much preferred the film to the book.
Nerita
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5. Basically, this is a guide book for baracudas. Watch the movie instead.
Cyndi
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an adorable book. Our heroine may appear to be a bit of a bubblehead but she travels the world on someone else’s dime.
In the 1920’s Anita Loo was on a train with a group of actors and other movie folk when she noticed the special treatment a certain girl was getting. Now she knew that she, herself was just as pretty as this other girl, but Anita had to carry her own bags while this girl dropped a book and three men bent over to pick it up. The only difference she could see between them
...more
Scott
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1920s, humor
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
Semina
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Such a wonderful little novel about a good-natured gold-digger from Little Rock, Arkansas who's on a quest to find herself a husband and gather as many diamonds she can get her hands on.

If you've seen the film with the fantastic Marilyn Monroe, you're sure to enjoy this book, written as a diary of the main character Lorelai Lee, who's a blonde but who is far from dumb. She went away from home after shooting a man and landed in New York to find her fortune. Blessed with amazing good looks, she
...more
Marti
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor-and-satire
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
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All About Books: Week 49 - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos 12 47 Oct 07, 2014 09:14AM  

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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.

Other books in the series

Lorelei Lee (2 books)
  • But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady (20th-century Classics)

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