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One Fifth Avenue Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349119546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349119540
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

** 'Bushnell's unparalleled ability to capture type borders in uncanny; the perceptiveness of David Attenborough studying a rare bird... Bushnell is clearly a master observer: no details evades, from the trapping of her protagonist s' world to their hopes and dreams (Sarah Maslin Nir, THE TIMES)

** 'Bushnell writes like a dream (Henry Sutton, Book of the Week, DAILY MIRROR)

** 'It's a shining example of accurately observed social commentary...she has matured as a writer, making it her mission to expose the warped materialism that life in the fast lane breeds, turning decent people into twisted, label-obsessed caricatures. It's all served up with a dose of devilishly dark humour, which makes us blissfully unaware we're being preached to. A hugely entertaining yarn with fascinating, and at times repellent, characters (Serena Kutchinsky, TIME OUT)

** 'Full of her usual keen-eyed observations of New York neuroses (VOGUE UK)

Book Description

* In her wonderfully witty fifth novel, bestselling author Candace Bushnell tells the stories of five women living in Manhattan's swankiest apartment building

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What I like about Candace Bushnell's writing is the way she goes into her character's heads and describes all the nasty little thoughts they have all the time. Often, many protagonists are quite pathetic, like in "Trading Up", and here with Lola. One Fifth drags you into the glamourous NY, but through the back door. Bushnell gives you the impression that you get to know a part of the NY society, but without the make up. The only thing that makes me keep away 1 star is that the story is a bit slow in the middle.
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Format: Hardcover
One Fifth Avenue is the swankiest apartment building in Manhattan. All the best people live there, and as for everyone else, well, they want to live there. Money isn't everything, however, you must have status to get in there too - the residents wouldn't let just anyone live there. So when Louise Houghton dies and leaves an enormous apartment empty, the fun really begins. There's talk of breaking the property up into smaller properties, joining it to other apartment and so on. That is, until Paul and Annalisa Rice move in. They've got the money, the status and the looks. They're a young, filthy rich couple who quickly become 'somebodies' on the social scene. But not everyone is impressed. Paul's arrogant and thinks nothing but money talks, so he quickly gets people's backs up, leaving the lovely Annalisa to smooth things over.

The arrival of the Rices isn't the only change in One Fifth - long-lost residents make a reappearance, new residents tag themselves onto current ones, and so on. The once-peaceful and law-abiding building is becoming somewhat of a shambles. The neighbours are fighting, sabotaging, cheating on partners... you name it, it starts to happen.

The long-standing residents are not happy and quickly try to rectify matters. But things get much, much worse before they get better...

Overall, One Fifth Avenue is middle of the road. It doesn't have the smart, sassy and hilarious characters of Sex and the City, but it does have characters from lots of different backgrounds, with very different lives. Their apartment block is the only thing that unites them. Other than that, they're pretty unremarkable. There's lots (and lots) of talk about how wonderful New York is, and many references to the way of life in the city, to the extent it got a little dull.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not a big fan of 'chick-lit' always having to force myself to solider through when my local book club requires I read it. I wasn't expecting much, loathing sex in the city with my entire being. But I was surprised to find myself enchanted by this book, firstly because the traditional love story takes a back seat and it focuses far more on the characters as a whole, no character was a 'ditzy, clumsy but deserving heroine' rather each had their own thoughts, flaws and ideas of the world, each was capable of seeming stupidity to the reader and each was capable of being cunning or scheming. Each character has their own justifications for each action and like within real life don't do it simply to be 'cruel' or 'evil' which I believe is a big failing in many other novels but rather because they totally agree with the course of action of the time.
I especially enjoyed Lola as a true reflection of what some people are very willing to do to become 'high society' for me the scenes in which she was included where the most fun as though you hated her for everything she represents, its undeniable you feel twinges of pity knowing she's taken on a game much larger than herself.
The characters react differently and act differently to everybody you are introduced to and while some plots can seem a little far fetched it's written in a way that you could believe somebody would do such an act.
Overall I enjoyed the book and have read it more than once, it's a fun, simple-ish read, which you can read again and again and one I would very much recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for some light reading and it for that it served its purpose just fine.I must admit I haven't read anything else by Candace Bushnell so I cannot be sure if this is the style she adopts in all of her books; however, I found the writing to be impersonal, cold and it didn't move me at all. I also disliked all the characters, Lola especially got on my nerves with her sole ambition being to 'climb' New York high society and make a name for herself. Furthermore, many scenes describing a more intimate nature were written in such a forced clinical manner, that I found myself cringing at various points. I suggest you buy this if you just want an inconsequential read, somthing to read for the sake of reading, but don't expect too much. I recommend any book by Marian Keyes a million times more, they are funnier and superbly written!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on a whim, needing a pick me up on a cold and dreary weekend. I wasn't sure if Bushnell could deliver the goods, but this novel was genuinely enjoyable. She's created an interesting little story and filled it with a mix of likable and not so likable characters. While her insight into New York society seems slightly dated, in spite of the many new media references, her passion for the city shines through as she manages to capture both its glorious history and the never-ending struggle for success.

This book won't put any demands on you as a reader, but it will help to while away a few hours.
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