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Too Much Money [Paperback]

Dominick Dunne
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £9.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

28 Sep 2010

The last two years have been monstrously unpleasant for high-society journalist Gus Bailey. When he falls for a fake story and implicates a powerful congressman in some rather nasty business on a radio program, Gus becomes embroiled in a slander suit. The stress makes it difficult for him to focus on his next novel, which is based on the suspicious death of billionaire Konstantin Zacharias. The convicted murderer is behind bars, but Gus is not convinced that justice was served. There are too many unanswered questions, and Konstantin’s hot-tempered widow will do anything to conceal the truth.

Featuring favorite characters and the affluent world Dunne first introduced in People Like Us, Too Much Money is a mischievous, compulsively readable tale by the most brilliant society chronicler of our time—the man who knew all the secrets and wasn’t afraid to share them.

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Frequently Bought Together

Too Much Money + People Like Us + An Inconvenient Woman
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Product details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Ballantine Books Trade Paperback Edition edition (28 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345464109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345464101
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.5 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now you write about people like us 16 Dec 2009
Novelist/columnist Dominick Dunne died in the August of this last year, leaving behind a legacy of reporting on the uppermost circles of American society.

And he doesn't disappoint in his final roman à clef, a gilded look into the unseen world at the top of New York, where scandals and crimes swim under the glimmering surface. But "Too Much Money" could easily be called "Portrait of an Artist Who Knows the End is Near" -- the main character is pretty much identical to Dunne himself in his final years, and there's a poignant bite to his last quiet quest for the truth.

Gus Bailey has had a rough two years, especially since a corrupt politician (suspected in the death of an intern) is suing him for libel because of a careless mistake. So he's focusing on a pet project he's wanted to work on for years -- "An Infamous Woman," about the philanthropist Perla Zacharias and the mysterious, suspicious death of her husband Konstantin. However, Perla isn't about to take this lying down -- and she'll unleash filthy rumors, spying, and whatever else it takes to keep all her skeletons in the closet.

While this is going on, society is undergoing shifts both subtle and massive. The infamous Elias Renthal is being released from prison, and he and his wife are beginning a crusade to reenter polite society; a genteel old-guard matron finds herself "downsized" from her life of grandeur, but is offered a new chance; and a charming, light-fingered gay "walker" wends his way onto the trains of wealthy women. Some will rise, some will fall, and Gus Bailey will see it all.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cryptoautobiography 23 Feb 2010
Dunne makes no pretense about writing fiction that is largely based on real people and events, and in this book it is quite an interesting game to figure out who is who. Several characters are rather easily distinguished but others are more difficult. One gets the feeling that he has an excellent memory for dialogue, a skill reminiscent of Truman Capote who claimed greater than ninety percent recall. Capote also wrote about the same strata of society and received a similar sort of backlash. Anyway from Gus Bailey the writer to the billionaire Elias Renthal in and out of a "facility" and his beautiful, shoot-straight-from-the-hip wife Ruby, the interactions between people keep you turning the pages whether you want to or not. Most of the action takes place in New York City. Sometimes I felt I shouldn't be so fascinated by these rich people frequently demonstrating snobby and superficial values but I was. Sex and gossip, social climbing and money rule in this book. It's a fun and quick read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little bit sloppy 29 Mar 2010
I have always been a huge fan of Dominick Dunne's, from his articles in Vanity Fair to his potboiler novels. I do have to say, however, that I was a bit disappointed in this, his final book. The plummy prose is still there, but the story line doesn't work in all cases. It's as if Dominick Dunne tried to push everything he has ever known in his entire life into the 400+ pages of "Too Much Money." The parallels to real people are quite unmistakable -- Adele Harcourt is obviously Brooke Astor. There is a television interviewer who must be based on Barbara Walters. The cases to which Dunne referred in "A Season in Purgatory," "The Two Mrs Grenvilles," "An Inconvenient Woman" and "People Like Us" -- all liberally referenced in "Too Much Money" -- were based on real events and real people, as was the fire in a villa in Biarritz which is a central element in this last book. My problems with the book are, first of all, that it is repetitive. How many times does one really need to read that Ruby Renthal has a coat with sable cuffs? Second, dialogue in the book is sometimes unconvincing. If you find someone having a stroke in a public bathroom, no matter how much you dislike that person, are you really going to say "You've pissed all over that six-thousand-dollar suit you're wearing"? The cost of people's clothing and handbags is a fixation in this novel. And, third, the book really should be called "Too Much Money: An Autobiography of Dominick Dunne." His alter-ego, Gus Bailey, is all over the map here, conveniently happening to be at all of the places where things happen ("Such things always happen to me"). There is the story of Gus's (Dominick's) slander suit involving a congressman and a young woman. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four stars...or five? 12 Mar 2010
By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
I've loved Dunne's writing all these years, from his columns in Vanity Fair to his many novels along the way. "People Like Us" was always a particular favorite of mine. I always thought it was better than Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities", which was released at about the same time and was about the same strata of NYC society - the "titans of Wall Street" and their "Social X-ray" wives.

"Too Much Money" is about the same characters, updated a few years or so, and beginning with Elias Renthal's release from prison, i.e. "the facility" and Adele Harcourt's death, at the age of 105. A famous slander case that the real Dominick Dunne was involved in is a large part of the novel, as well as his on-going battle with one of the wealthiest widows in the world over her husband's suspicious death in Monte Carlo. Like Dominick Dunne, Gus Bailey was diagnosed with cancer and his treatment is also part of the story. As are the incidental characters, maids, chauffeurs, press people, society "walkers"; auxiliary people who Dunne draws with a wicked, but, at times, sympathetic pen.

And the most interesting part of the book is that I think Dominick Dunne "outs" himself. I won't give the part away but it seemed almost as if Dunne confesses something he has long wanted to say, but maybe couldn't until he faced death.

Was the writing great? No, it wasn't "five star" great - it was "four star" - but, in honor of the man's last work, and the honesty in writing it, I'm giving it "five stars". Enjoy.
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