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Publisher's Summary

Delving into the long, extraordinary life of renowned French fashion designer Coco Chanel, Karen Karbo has written a new kind of book, exploring Chanel’s philosophy on a range of universal themes—from style to passion, from money and success to femininity and living life on your own terms.

Chanel is credited not simply with giving us the little black dress and boxy jackets, but with popularizing pants for women and easy, practical clothes that allowed women a chic freedom they’d never known before. In her strong-headed, elegant, opinionated, passionate, entirely French way, Coco Chanel helped bring women into the modern era, and because of this she was the only person in fashion to be named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century.

Karen Karbo weaves Chanel’s life story into chapter themes that subtly convey life lessons and leave the reader utterly entranced with Chanel’s amazing individuality, confidence, and determination. The story of the designer’s extraordinary life and rise to unprecedented success is both compelling and admirable. And while the great Coco may have launched her singular empire a hundred years ago, her methods, attitude, and élan are as relevant and modern as ever, and perhaps more appealing. Chanel was a self-made girl who knew how to make do with less until she had more, discover and stay true to her own style, problem solve using the tools at hand, and do it all with seemingly effortless flair. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is a captivating, offbeat look at style, celebrity, and self-invention—all held together with Karbo’s droll Chanel-style commentary and culled from an examination of Chanel’s difficult childhood and triumphant adulthood, passionate love affairs, career choices, habits, eccentricities, and personal philosophies.

©2009 Karen Karbo (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Anyone with a good sense of humor should hugely enjoy, or should I say enjoie, Karen Karbo’s funny and stylish take on Coco Chanel. Like a little black dress, this handy life guide will take you from day into evening. K. K. on C. C.: oui, oui!” (Henry Alford, author of How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth))
“Wise, witty, and refreshingly colloquial, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is an enchanting tour through the complex, often controversial life of fashion icon Chanel. Filled with relevant life lessons for the modern woman, this book is Karbo at her irrepressible best.” (Hilary Black, editor of The Secret Currency of Love: The Unabashed Truth about Women, Money, and Relationships)

What listeners say about The Gospel According to Coco Chanel

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She's one of my faves

What made the experience of listening to The Gospel According to Coco Chanel the most enjoyable?

This is a funny and accurate account of Coco Chanel. You can relate to Karen Karbo as if she were your friend. If you like Chanel this is a must for you. You will learn more about her and get a kick out of the perspective.

4 people found this helpful

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Karbo is Such a Mom

If you could sum up The Gospel According to Coco Chanel in three words, what would they be?

Best Feminism Ever!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Coco of course, but Karbo is quite interesting herself.

Have you listened to any of Bernadette Dunne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I loved her performance. She really creates an atmosphere and brings a lot of energy to the story. She makes it alive like I believe Karen Karbo intended.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

The idea that some of the greatest people of our time have "created" themselves literally in their own minds and refused to let anyone correct them.

Any additional comments?

Great infusion of fashion history in a way that a none fashion buff can also relate to. In fact, I was able to give background info to my husband (who probably didn't care, but pretended very well) about a recent Chanel headline.

8 people found this helpful

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Did not enjoy

This was a horrible way to tell the great story of Coco Chanel. The author jumps around from different points in Chanel's life, making it hard to follow. She attempts to make modern day comparisons and connections (frenemies? internet porn?!), but they just come across unneeded. She also follows her own hunt for a Chanel jacket that at almost all points through the book leaves me thinking "who cares?" I really didn't like this book - I wish I had spent time and money on a book that just focuses on Coco Chanel, without silly embellishments.

9 people found this helpful

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perfection!

I adore this., like a spring breeze in monet's garden. I feel like I knew her .

1 person found this helpful

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A Delight!

This telling of the life of Coco Chanel is interesting, informative — and also lots of fun.

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Delightful and so inspiring

I truly enjoyed listening to the gospel according to Chanel. I have always will loved her, and admired her and find her so inspiring

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Wow - totally unexpected

This audio book was fantastic. I only downloaded this book because it was free with my subscription. I enjoy fashion, but I don’t own any Chanel. I think what drew me to this book is the overall theme of elegance and luxury. If you enjoy that, then you’ll get so much out of this book. I knew nothing of Chanel’s life or history before listening to this book. It turns out, she was pretty amazing. This author does a great job of keeping the book light and funny, even when discussing some heavy and serious topics. The narrator is phenomenal! This was an unexpected surprise and I’m so glad it came my way!

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love love love

Thank you! I love the story the way it was written and delivered. it's a bit of a inside of both the author and coco challenging the "norm" being woman femenin and passionate! Inspires to be the brightest you can be!!

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Easy listen

I listened while spending the day at my own sewing machine and envisioned CC dashing through Paris snubbing her nose at the haute rich class all the while taking their money. A strong self-assured woman that could hold her own against the male dominated society yet unashamedly taking lovers. Determined to be her own woman and refusing to give up her identity for a man.
It takes you through her humble beginnings to her classy end, weaving a tale detailing her strengths without giving over to female dominance.

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Inspiring, every woman should learn from Coco!

A truly modern woman, still an example to us now, this is a story about escaping social constraints and essence of Coco Channel 's creative genius.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-21-21

Great book & narration!

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It is written from a modern woman’s perspective and comes with a few tongue in cheek, humorous moments based on the authors experiences of seeking out to buy Chanel. The narration was superb & I will note down the narrators name so that I can always listen to books read by her.