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Too Much Money [Hardcover]

Dominick Dunne
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Dec 2009

My name is Gus Bailey…It should be pointed out that it is a regular feature of my life that people whisper things in my ear, very private things, about themselves or others. I have always understood the art of listening.
The last two years have been monstrously unpleasant for high-society journalist Gus Bailey. His propensity for gossip has finally gotten him into trouble—$11 million worth. His problems begin when he falls hook, line, and sinker for a fake story from an unreliable source and repeats it on a radio program. As a result of his flip comments, Gus becomes embroiled in a nasty slander suit brought by Kyle Cramden, the powerful congressman he accuses of being involved in the mysterious disappearance of a young woman, and he fears it could mean the end of him.
The stress of the lawsuit makes it difficult for Gus to focus on the novel he has been contracted to write, which is based on the suspicious death of billionaire Konstantin Zacharias. It is a story that has dominated the party conversations of Manhattan's chattering classes for more than two years. The convicted murderer is behind bars, but Gus is not convinced that justice was served. There are too many unanswered questions, such as why a paranoid man who was usually accompanied by bodyguards was without protection the very night he perished in a tragic fire.
Konstantin's hot-tempered widow, Perla, is obsessed with climbing the social ladder and, as a result, she will do anything to suppress this potentially damaging story. Gus is convinced she is the only thing standing between him and the truth.
Dominick Dunne revives the world he first introduced in his mega-bestselling novel People Like Us, and he brings readers up to date on favorite characters such as Ruby and Elias Renthal, Lil Altemus, and, of course, the beloved Gus Bailey. Once again, he invites us to pull up a seat at the most important tables at Swifty's, get past the doormen at esteemed social clubs like The Butterfield, and venture into the innermost chambers of the Upper East Side's most sumptuous mansions. 
Too Much Money is a satisfying, mischievous, and 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. 

Product details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY); First Edition First Printing edition (15 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780609603871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609603871
  • ASIN: 0609603876
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 16.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 789,260 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
4.0 out of 5 stars an intriguing read 11 Sep 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This can hardly be called a roman a clef - you dont need the "clef". The disclaimer at the front that says the characters are fictional is nonsense. This gives the book the quality of good gossip, much of it scurrilous. I enjoyed it very much..
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