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Sex and the City

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Candace Bushnell

The "Sex and the City" columnist for theNew York Observerdocuments the social scene of modern-day Manhattan. The reader gets an introduction to "Modelizers," the men who only have eyes for models, as well as a more common species, the "Toxic Bachelor." … see full wiki

Tags: Book, Cafe Libri
Author: Candace Bushnell
Genre: Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
1 review about Sex and the City

A disarmingly candid, greatly superificial, and charmingly quirky book

  • May 5, 2007
Rating:
+3
As someone who recently discovered (and became addicted to) HBO's delightful series "Sex and the City," it was inevitable that I'd wind up investigating Candace Bushnell's book. Bushnell's book is the collected form of the column she wrote for years before TV writer Darren Star turned it into a hit television series. Ironically, though Bushnell's book probably wouldn't get anywhere near as much attention if it weren't for the TV series, it's because of the TV series that it appears so many readers have had a foul reaction to the book. It's true that those expecting the TV show on paper are bound to be disappointed, probably in a big way, because Bushnell's "Sex and the City" doesn't have a lot in common with the show.

For the most part, the book does revolve around Carrie Bradshaw (a thinly-disguised alter-ego for Bushnell, with even the same initials), a thirty-something columnist in New York. Miranda Hobbes does show up a few times during the first half of the book, though she's not a lawyer. Samantha Jones is not a PR agent nor such a nymphomaniac as she was in the show. And Charlotte is a British woman, whose TV counterpart appeared at the beginning of the series' pilot episode. Stanford Blatch, Carrie's successful homosexual friend, is the only character who remains virtually the same, though here he's a screenwriter. Many of the same situations presented throughout the show pop up in the book, such as Stanford's obsession with his model "protege," the torment of the baby shower, and "modelizers." And those who loved Chris Noth's Mr. Big needn't worry. Big is a major character in the book and is just as adorable (and even less rambunctious) as he was in the show, though the outcome of he and Carrie's relationship is different in the book than in the show.

Bushnell's columns were meant more as musings on the life of single women in New York, and often single men as well, than as a linear narrative. Thus it's surprising that her writings work so well as a book. She has a very cute, quirky, innocent style of writing, and that's a big part of what makes her book such a blast. However Bushnell offers little insight into what any of the characters are actually feeling, and rightly so: it just accents their appalling and, frankly, upsetting superficiality. The dating scene in Manhattan is a hellish world where all that matters is sex, money, fashion, and drugs. Bushnell is obviously deeply involved in this world, and it's her knowledge of it, along with her characters' candid musings, that kept me reading.

In the end, those expecting the HBO series in a book are going to be very disappointed. Those expecting something resembling the HBO series will probably be let down as well. The book and the series are designed for two different worlds - while the show tended to have a sweet optimism to it, Bushnell writes with the same sort of dreamy, hopeful cynicism that one would find in a Bret Easton Ellis book. However, those who would rather read the book than incessently compare it with the show may enjoy it. I recommend Candace Bushnell's "Sex and the City" to those who are younger and looking for a fun, unusual, honest read.

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June 14, 2011
Very nice review! I recommend checking out @'s review of it too: http://community.cafelibri.com/reviews/book/...gical_study_of_sex.html
June 17, 2011
I agree!
 
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