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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 September 2011
It's a Man's World, but which sex is the best !

Polly Courtney shows with her character that women do hold the place in the boardroom as well as the bedroom and with big success.

She shows in this book that a woman can be pushed and made to make it in a Man's world but at what cost?

It really does have you questioning your own morals, by just thinking if it were me, what would I do?

Yes, the main character is full on, but being in an all 'lad mag' environment that is needed, her character is not a wall flower but a woman on a mission. You see her weighing up various situations and traumas and all with a cost .... Sometimes her own sanity and others her own morals. There must be other women out there in the magazine industry knowing just what Polly is talking about and living that life most days.

So good to have such a hard hitting story in today's age ...... But at the end will she carry on and be the hard hitting woman or will her feminine side come through stronger? You will have to grab a copy to find out.

I have previously read an earlier book by Polly, 'The Day I Died', really is worth a read if you haven't read it yet.
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on 19 September 2011
Not my usual book, but I was advised by my girlfriend to look beyond the cover and I'm glad I did. This isn't Kafka, but it's well-written and gives you something to think about.
The plot follows a female protagonist as she sets out to save a floundering lads' mag and slowly gets pulled into the social issues caused by her own industry.
An easy read, but a pretty compelling story and more thought provoking than you average book which would be placed in this genre.
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on 19 February 2014
It's hard to believe that this is by the same author as the fantastic, Feral Youth, and it more than justifies Courtney's decision to go it alone. You get the feeling this was produced to a tight deadline and the author wasn't given the creative control she merits.

The dramas experienced by the central character all seem a bit trivial in the grand scheme of things, especially as she has achieved so much success at a young age, making it difficult to root for her. While the author was at pains to say this isn't chick-lit (and yes, it has more depth than the cover suggests), I don't think many men would find this an enjoyable read. While the book raises some interesting points, it reads as a bit man-hating, and indeed woman-hating (a certain type of woman at least). Too much hating.
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on 22 February 2012
After finishing the book I have one word to describe it `disappointing'. I have found the whole concept interesting and I was intrigued how the topic would be presented. I was content for the first part of the book, the author was trying to present opposite points of view and lead a debate. Unfortunately, something went wrong in the second part of the novel. I could not resist the feeling that the author was desperate to finish it as soon as possible or had a page limit to comply with. Due to that, all the changes that appear in the main character seamed artificial/fake and unconvincing. Unfortunately, the duality and balance of opinions were lost and in the end one point of view was presented as `the right' one without enough explanation of why. It becomes clear that the characters that were in favour of the preferred point of view were showed in a much better light than the others. In the end book was just disappointing.
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on 9 June 2012
I was a little concerned that this might be something of 'chick' novel but was delighted to be proved wrong. It was a very true to life portrayal of life in a male dominated office and I'm sure many of us recognised much of the behaviour (you don't need to be in publishing!). Polly's angst at mixing career with conscience working on a lads mag was well portrayed and made for an interesting read. My only criticism is that the book could probably have been a bit shorter as there were a few rambling sections which to my mind didn't really add to the story; however that's minor and I recommend this to both male and female readers.
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on 25 October 2011
Polly Courtney continues to confront difficult issues in her latest book, this time finding a new angle on the "harmless fun or exploitation" debate surrounding lads' magazines. Main protagonist Alexa Harris is a typical Courtney lead, intelligent but vulnerable, and tries to be objective when called in to save an underperforming lads' title, "Banter". Some deft characterisation of her supporting cast creates a three-dimensional world where an analytical approach to financial success must factor in the "nipple count", while argument rages throughout about the morality of the genre. The mixed perceptions of Alexa's friends and family (another powerful element here as with previous novels) are augmented by the subtle tactics of lead protestor Georgie Caraway, whom Alexa first meets at a BBC Breakfast News debate.

The only tiny criticism is that perhaps the key event which changes Alexa's mind is a little sketchily portrayed - the television debate at this point in the book would have been very different - but this does not detract from another thought-provoking read. Don't be distracted by the "chick-lit" furore surrounding the publication of this one - it delivers a satisfying plot with well-drawn and sympathetic characters. Recommended.
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on 19 September 2011
Where ambition and morality collide: this fast paced tale deals with the difficulties of resolving the conflict between doing what's best for the business and doing "the right thing" against the backdrop of the realities of sexism in the work place. A must-read for any ambitious executive. I was left asking myself whether I would have made the same choices Alexa did....
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on 25 October 2011
A very just synthesis of the workplace today... a page turner!! Suitable for both male and female readers, especially those in a male-dominated world. The cover does not say it all!! I very much enjoyed reading this thought-provoking book, even tried to read as slowly as possible to make it last a bit longer! Have bought copies for my friends... Enjoy!
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on 19 September 2011
I first discovered Polly's books years ago, when, whilst working at an investment bank, I happened to pick up 'Golden Handcuffs', and it changed my life! Not only did I enjoy reading the book, but it made me reflect upon myself, I left my job, changed careers, and have been a millions times happier ever since! And I have continued to read each and every of Polly's novels. My life's path has not been quite as effected by the others, but I have greatly enjoyed every single one. Polly is brilliant at enticing you into the story with her colourful, believable characters and I find myself racing through page after page wondering what they are going to do next. At the same time, each book has given me an insight into another realm of life, another aspect of society, and made me think about things that I have not considered before. Polly's book always focuses on the people, but the background setting and theme and the research that must go into each novel always wows me. Its a Man's World is no exception at all, and again I found myself pulled into a new world - this time that of glossy magazines, and not in a 'Devil wears Prada' kind of way, but a different angle - lads magazines, their impact and their effects. How many times have I gazed at the rows of such mags in the airport as I wait for my plane - well now I will look at them in a different light! The only thing that really good have been better about this book was the title and picture..luckily I know Polly's work well enough by now to know she wasn't going to be writing some silly feminist rant through the eyes of someone who looks like a secretary!
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on 3 October 2011
There was much ado about this book when it first came out. The author said it was marketed in a sexist, fluffy manner and fired her publisher. That got my attention. I said, "this author has balls." And I like a woman with balls and I expected such from this novel. And she is right, this WAS mis-marketed.

On the back of my copy it has a chart of sorts, a content guide. It promises to be a tear-jerker with thrills, drama, love, sex, humour, and friendship. Um, it's missing half of that stuff.

I wasn't moved to tears. Though the book is very thought evoking and brings up good issues: is it the exploitation of women if the women agree to be exploited? And how far should a man's mag be allowed to go? But I wasn't moved to tears. Thrills come in the way of harassment.. such as the heroine having her face plastered on a pornographic photo and almost installed in one of the magazine issues. There is plenty of drama!!! Love... She loved him, but she loved her career more so.. not really. Sex: there is NONE at all outside of dirty jokes and awful harassment and mentions of rape and sex trafficking. Humour... I honestly felt the story was too serious to be laughing. Friendship, there is. Alexa has two girlfriends, each on opposing sides of the issue brought forth in the book.

The entire novel is about the issue of exploiting women, marketing them as nothing but hot bodies and sending the message out to women that that's what they should look like. And Alexa is behind the scenes. She sells her soul and give up her boyfriend to promote this stuff and must realize what she's doing before it's too late.

Any women who has worked in a male dominated profession will be able to sympathize, but I found the story a bit long winded and repetitive though I appreciate the point it makes.
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