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Wallflower at the Orgy

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  2,091 ratings  ·  252 reviews
From her Academy Award—nominated screenplays to her bestselling fiction and essays, Nora Ephron is one of America’s most gifted, prolific, and versatile writers. In this classic collection of magazine articles, Ephron does what she does best: embrace American culture with love, cynicism, and unmatched wit. From tracking down the beginnings of the self-help movement to dres ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Bantam (first published 1970)
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3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,091 ratings  ·  252 reviews

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Elyse Walters
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Wanting a 'reading -palate - cleanse' ....from having recently read a delicious novel....."The Hearts Invisible Furies", by John Boyne- a long involved 600 page read.....
I reached for a thin book by the delightful and funny-(sadly deceased),
Nora Ephron. I've read other books by her including the the book I own - the 600 page
'Celebrating Nora' book called "The Most of Nora Ephron" which came out soon after she died....still 'the best' everything you want to read about Nora Ephron is really in '
While I can't say I was particularly interested in the articles' subjects, there's no denying the wit of the writing. Ephron's later work resonates with me more, but this was worth my time. If you like her, you'll enjoy dipping in and out of this collection.
Carla Stafford
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
I like Nora Ephron.

In spite of the comical title, Wallflower at the Orgy is not the least bit funny. I SHOULD have stopped reading-but, well...I am not a quitter... What Wallflower at the Orgy IS-is a collection of articles Nora Ephron wrote for Glamour the sixties and seventies. It isn't that they are poorly written...but half the time I had no idea who she was writing about. I imagine that when these articles were originally collected and reprinted as a volume that they were exce
Moira Russell
More mannered and dated than Crazy Salad, for me her standout nonfiction collection (I've heard Scribble Scribble highly praised, but it's been out of print for decades, used copies are really expensive, and the recent Kindle "omnibus" is incomplete). Altho the book is supposedly at least somewhat in defense of kitsch, there's no philosophical framework other than "I like fashion and fripperies," which is fine, but kind of shallow given Ephron's other, amazing essays on the Pillsbury Bake-Off an ...more
Apr 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
Sometime last year, I read Nora Ephron's fantastic book Crazy Salad, which was a collection of columns she had written in the 1970s for various magazines. I loved that book and her writing. Even though the essays were dated, I enjoyed her wit and writing style. After all, Ms. Ephron is the genius behind When Harry Met Sally. After finishing Crazy Salad, I went on to read Scribble Scribble (collections of her columns about the media), I Feel Bad About My Neck (more recent book; focusing primarily ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Wallflower at the Orgy was given the title because Nora Ephron said that she is always standing on the side taking notes while others are having fun.

This book is basically a compilation of magazine articles from 1968, 69, 70 about popular culture at the time.

Nora Ephron is widely known for the screenplays of Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally. I was hoping that this book would be more about Nora. But it's not really. Although you get glimpses into who she was.

My favo
Ivonne Rovira
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: intelligent women
Nora Ephron's first collection of columns, while not quite rising to the level of her brilliant Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media or I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, proves greatly entertaining. Her articles, all originally published in magazines in 1968 or 1969, are all interesting, particularly the looks at Women's Wear Daily when it was still the bitchy record of the Ladies Who Lunch, before it atrophied into WWD, at the bloviating Ayn Rand, and at the rise ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I suppose in part because of the author’s recent death, I find it difficult to say anything bad about Wallflower at the Orgy, which was a short and predictable collection of classic Ephron ruminations—on fashion, on people, on New York, etc. But even my main critique—that the book is a little too referential to withstand the test of time—turned out to be only partially true.

Helen Gurley Brown, legendary editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and the subject of one of the essays in Wallflower, passed aw
Aug 25, 2012 rated it liked it
The topics are a little out-of-date since this is a collection of Nora Ephron's work from the 1960's but it's entertaining to read about once-or-stillfamous people like Arthur Frommer (of the Europe on $5-a-day budget travel guides outdated is that?; Cosmo Editor Helen Gurley Brown (who oddly, died about the same time as Nora); thethen-young director Mike Nichols (directing a haughty Orson Wells in "Catch-22") and the writing of Aryn Rand (which GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan may re-populariz ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a great read. Ephron, of course, has a fantastic writing style, but mostly what I loved was he glimpse into magazines of the late 60s and early 70s. I was particularly amused by the article about Erich Segal, the author of Love Story, which was a huge bestseller (and movie!), but today is barely a blip on the pop culture radar. In the article, Segal talks about how he's comparable to some of the great authors and his lasting legacy. I'm only aware of Love Story because, for some reason, ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I love Nora Ephron and the pieces collected here are a great introduction to her style. But it is WAY too short to be any kind of meaningful collection.
Beth Gordon
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I found myself slogging through this book at a snail's pace. Nora Ephron is a fine writer. She does say early on that she's a succinct writer, and then she goes to ramble on more than needed (IMHO) in her essays.

The topics were dated. She had a whole essay on Rod McKuen. I have no idea who he is; he supposedly sang and wrote poetry back in the 1960s as far as I could tell based on the essay. Well, he either had a career that ended in the 1960s or early 1970s, or I live under a rock. It could be
This is a collection of Ephron's writings from the late 60s. Unfortunately, I just can't relate to these articles the way I could to her memoirs, which I really enjoyed. I think readers who remember this period in time will be able to appreciate what she had to say about contemporary things while they were happening. Having just been born in the late 60s I didn't care so much about men's fashion and Erich Segal's 'Love Story' and felt the whole collection lacked what, grew to be, her signature s ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Here's the thing: Nora Ephron is a fun writer to read. That said, this is a collection of essays from the late 1960s and 1970s. About random then-famous people like Bill Blass. So, it was interesting in a historical pop culture kind of way, and gave me a better impression of what it was like to live in the decade leading up to my appearance on this earth. But it was not information I would generally seek out.
Prima Seadiva
More like 2.5 stars. Audiobook reader ok.
I picked up the cd because I wanted something short and non-fiction to listen too.Even though I clearly remember the 70's (well mostly except when I was high which I admit was a lot) this book seemed a bit dated because the worlds and people Ephron writes about were so far from mine at the time. So it was a bit of a time capsule for things I missed.
The essays include many things I and friends would have disparaged as being part of the "straight" world as
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Jennifer Robertson
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
When I read I Feel Bad About My Neck, it was my first introduction into any of Nora Ephron’s literary works and I immediately fell in love. As a woman who has walked a few miles into her forties, Ephron’s self-deprecating sense of humor slayed me in every single page. It made me sad that it was a scant 137 pages, but it certainly piqued my interest in reading more of her work. So next was Wallflower at the Orgy.

Sadly, this was not nearly as enjoyable. While it still showcased her simple yet wit
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a bit ashamed to say that, at the age of 31, this is the first of Ephron's work that I've read. However, this is firmly in the "WAAAY better late than never" category, because it was just so great.

The first thing that struck me was how utterly modern Ephron's style was. Which, of course, shows how influential she is - our Mindy Kalings and "Working Girls" and Mary Tyler Moores and on and on probably would not be where they are without her, now I know that for sure. I get why she ended up suc
Anne Green
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was drawn to this book because I like Nora Ephron's witty, self-deprecating style and also because one of the articles deals at length with the "foodie" scene in the 1960s, (in which I'm very interested) but which seems a world away now and featured such luminaries as Julia Child, James Beard, Judith Jones and others. Renowned as a talented journalist and story teller, Nora Ephron has written much better stuff than this. As she herself admits in the introduction to the collection, written some ...more
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a delightful book from a delightful writer. Read the intro/prologue deal. Normally that is NEVER TRUE/NEVER A GOOD IDEA since the stories are ruined or someone tells a boring story about wheat in Berlin or how page 68 doesn't read the same when you are not in Madrid in 1930. But this one is great and she talks about working at the NY Post and how the editors changed her writing drastically. Her introductions to her articles are fun and interesting. The article about Mike Nichols is terrific ...more
Saba Imtiaz
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't believe it's taken me so long to get around to reading Nora Ephron's essays, but I'm so glad I finally did. Wallflower at the Orgy is a brilliant collection of Ephron's work - her profiles of Helen Gurley Brown and WWD are the standout pieces - and highlight not just how good she was at picking up on the mood and cultural trends in a time and place, but also all the insecurities and doubts her characters have.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This collection of articles and interviews from the 1960s perfectly captures the journalistic mood of the period and they are a fun read. I lived through the period -- it may not appeal to a younger generation.
Sep 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: cultures, shorts
As usual, witty and deliciously written.
But God what we were obsessed with back then!!!
A quite unwelcome look in the rearview mirror…
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It makes me so sad that this is the last Nora Ephron book that exists for me to read. I love and miss her voice. Nora forever!
Joanna Elm
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, love Nora Ephron. She is the late journalist/writer/screenwriter/novelist who applied the phrase “everything is copy” to her own life in the most delightful and delicious ways. I own the hardcover editions of her last tomes of essays, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” and “I Remember Nothing.” Many years ago, I read and loved her novel “Heartburn," a thinly-disguised fictional account of her marriage to and divorce from Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein. And, of course, there was her scre ...more
Cathy O'Neal
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will ALWAYS give Nora Ephron five stars. Always. She is my role model. She is my inspiration. I want to BE Nora Ephron. I have in fact started a volume of essays that I want to be Nora Ephron-esque. I don't work on it nearly often enough. But let's talk about Ms. Ephron.

When I became hopelessly intrigued and immersed in Ms. Ephron's ability to be smart, informative and incomparably witty, I knew there was only one thing to do. I would have to go back and read everything she has had published t
Dori Sabourin
Wallflower at the Orgy's various topics include Gourmet Food, Helen Gurley Brown, the pet peeves of Ayn Rand (author of The Fountainhead), a makeover to which Nora Ephron committed herself in order to write an article about it, men and women's fashion, Rod McKuen's poetry and Erich Segal's Love Story, Jacqueline Susann's books: The Love Machine/Valley of the Dolls/Every Night, Josephine! One article recalls Arthur Frommer's Europe on $5 a Day, $5-and-$10-a-Day books and several miscellaneous boo ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Here's the thing. Nora Ephron is the baddest essay writer a girl could hope for--sharp-witted and informative with a satirical overtone to many of her works. I love her stuff. The problem is that these essays were written in the late 60's, early 70's, which isn't necessarily problematic, but the cultural references could go over my head: "A rhinestone in a trash can and the Love Machine phenomenon of J. Susann," for example. J. Susann? Who even cares? Then, there was a long interview at the end ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting look at a Lady who was destined for greatness given the circumstances opportunities and situations her life seemed to easily lay out... (she outlined in the writings)
Interesting her position was JFK did not hit on her bc of she was Jewish ??
Ephron then goes on to write extensively about how (her words writing not mine) physically unattractive she is ??
Seems she wants it both ways ?? she had some interesting takes on HGBrown -- she was suppose to be this big feminist icon - but she wa
Cathy Williams
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
So I love Nora Ephron...When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies. But this book is a collection of essays she wrote early in her career, which was before I was born. I felt like I was reading about a time that I know nothing about, so I had no context in which to place the events/people that she was discussing. I know who Mike Nichols is, but her interview with him was very long and rambling. She talks about many NY socialites of that time, only a few of which I had a vague notion of. T ...more
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Nora Ephron was an American journalist, film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and blogger.

She was best known for her romantic comedies and is a triple nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay; for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. She sometimes wrote with her sister, Delia Ephron.
“The image of the journalist as wallflower at the orgy has been replaced by the journalist as the life of the party.” 11 likes
“I love trash. I have never believed that kitsch kills. I tell you this, so you will understand that my antipathy toward 'Love Story' is not because I am immune to either sentimentality or garbage, two qualities the book possesses in abundance. When I read 'Love Story', and I cried, in much the same way that I cry from onions, involuntarily and with great irritation, I was deeply offended...” 1 likes
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