Jess's Reviews > One Fifth Avenue

One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell
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Jan 09, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: celebrity, chick-lit, new-york, popular-culture
Read from January 09 to 19, 2012

I think I gave this one star more than it deserves just because I kind of enjoyed disliking it so much. To be honest, I am not a big fan of Candace Bushnell's writing. I think that one of the reasons why Sex and the City the telly show actually became successful was because they worked on humanising the rather cold, distant characters of the original Sex and the City short story collection. Since that collection, I do think that Bushnell has been trying really hard to give her readers more insight into her characters - I just don't think she is very good at it. Bushnell's characters are not real - they are caricatures with very little substance. Sure, I like a couple of them - Enid and Billy in particular - but I didn't believe them. (Oh, and her attempt to explain how Phillip wasn't really Enid's nephew but rather her second cousin or something was ridiculous - by my calculations he was her great-nephew by her half-sister's daughter - what's cousin-like about that?) Other characters were disappointments - Annalisa lost all substance very quickly and Paul was ridiculous. Perhaps Bushnell was trying to be satirical; if so, it really didn't work that way for me. The SATC self-referencing made me roll my eyes; yes, a girl like Lola would be a fan of the show and it is a real part of our contemporary culture, but it just seemed ridiculous. The sex scenes were dreadful and rather clinical - I actually read out the first encounter between Phillip and Lola to my friends at the pub, and this was greeted with a chorus of shrieking laughter and grossed out groans. I like reading fluff but this lacked the warmth or outright hard-edged satire that I prefer (obviously not at the same time). If I were Bushnell, I would give it all up and live off my SATC millions.
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