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One Fifth Avenue Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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** '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 protagonists' 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 ** 'As sparkling as this season's must-have cocktail ring ...Grippingly good' FOUR STARS, Eithne Farry, MARIE CLAIRE ** 'Bushnell's able to draw a large cast so vividly and imbue them with plenty of zing ... the complex, interweaving plot zips along nicely' Sharon Louger, Fiction of the Week, METRO ** 'Perfect girly fodder. 4 Stars' HEAT ** 'No one captures New York quite like Candace Bushnell' LOOK ** 'Every so often a writer comes along who is so in tune with the times in which they are living that their creation becomes an emblem of their era ... Bushnell has does it again. One Fifth Avenue manages to be slap-bang on the nose about current preoccupations' SUNDAY EXPRESS ** 'Hooray - here's some fun, girls! ... a dollop of unashamed indulgence ...flavour-filled, instantly gratifying and spiked with piquancy ... Bushnell is always of her time, and reading this book is like watching the Red Sea close up with Moses safely across. It is a swansong for the age of avarice as it passes. Have a bit - it's delicious' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY ** 'Witty writing and a gripping story' WOMAN
* In her wonderfully witty fifth novel, bestselling author Candace Bushnell tells the stories of five women living in Manhattan's swankiest apartment buildingSee all Product description
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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.
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. It just felt like the book was just another way to brag about how ace New York is, and it sacrificed what could have been a clever novel. I felt it had too many characters to really get to know and care about them all, too many interwoven plots and too many pages. It would have benefited from being much shorter. It wasn't a book I felt compelled to keep picking up - it just dragged on too long and didn't really absorb me. And for those reasons I'd say it was OK. Not terrible, not great, just - as they say - very, 'meh.'
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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One Fifth Avenue is a novel as good as the Avenue itself. No one beats Candace Bushnell when it comes to describing New York.Read more