Acutely observed and mercilessly witty, One Fifth Avenue is a modern-day story of old and new money, that same combustible mix that Edith Wharton mastered in her novels about New York's Gilded Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminated in his Jazz Age tales. Many decades later, Bushnell's New Yorkers suffer the same passions as those fictional Manhattanites from eras past: They thirst for power, for social prominence, and for marriages that are successful - at least to the public eye. But Bushnell is an original, and One Fifth Avenue is so fresh that it reads as if sexual politics, real-estate theft, and fortunes lost in a day have never happened before.
From Sex and the City through four successive novels, Bushnell has revealed a gift for tapping into the zeitgeist of any New York minute and, as one critic put it, staying uncannily "just the slightest bit ahead of the curve." And with each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. Her stories progress so nimbly and ring so true that it can seem as if anyone might write them - when, in fact, no one writes novels quite like Candace Bushnell. Fortunately for us, with One Fifth Avenue, she has done it again.
©2008 Candace Bushnell; (P)2008 Hyperion
I'm only half way through this book, but I don't think my reaction to it will change as I finish listening. I'd never read Candace Bushnell before, so maybe it's typical of her books, but the tone of this book is very pretentious. Perhaps its because of the subject matter, but it's a bit off putting. I think the narrator's faux British accent contributes, too. The book isn't brilliant, but it is light weight reading if you don't feel like doing much heavy lifting on your commute.
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