Saturday, April 25, 2009
Review: One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell
After listening to this book on CD for WEEKS, I finally finished it this morning as I was driving to take the Praxis exam. Yes, I've taught for awhile, so I shouldn't have had to take it, but let my license lapse in grad school. Fun eh? As I drove up this morning to take the exam, I listened to the last 2o minutes of the novel, which is a little of a relief. I get too anxious when I take this long to listen to a book!
Synopsis: Following the residents of One Fifth Avenue in New York City, Bushnell's book by the same title looks at the lives of the many residents of the much coveted building as one of its famous residents dies and leaves a wonderful apartment behind. With so much space, luxury, and special perks, just about everyone would like some piece of her apartment (or parking spot). We won't even mention the antiquity she's kept under wraps in her apartment all those years that is now back up for grabs...or is it? According to the Amazon synopsis: "There's Billy Litchfield, an art dealer who slobbers over the wealthy; strivers Mindy and James Gooch, and their tech-savvy 13-year-old Sam, the most hilariously bitter (and strangely successful) family in the building; gossip columnist Enid Merle and her screenwriter nephew, Philip Oakland, who struggle to uphold traditions and their souls; actress Schiffer Diamond, who lands a hit TV series, and her old love; and Lola Fabrikant, a cunning Atlanta gold digger whose greatest ambition is to become Carrie Bradshaw." (See, too many characters to name!)
Review: In a Sex in the City sort of revival, except with a more established variety of couples and single characters, you get an insider view to the scandalous, and what seemed to me unhappy lives. While the writing fits a Candace Bushnell creation, and the storylines move along at a quick pace as they bounce from character to character, I felt that the only characters I truly cared about were Philip Oakland and Schiffer Diamond because their history together was spelled out, and they didn't seem like total disasters in their lives (well, relatively speaking). Many of the characters lived somewhat sad, detached lives from those they loved, focusing on money and career to overshadow the next person. While a fast-paced story because of its multiple narrators, the novel is a tricky one to listen to and keep up with the story. If you enjoy the lives of the upward bound and the rich, with their fast-paced lives, affairs, and relationship issues (for some), then this novel fits that perfectly. Overall, I would say it's interesting, but I would like to feel more for the characters I read about...or did I just feel that way because I listened to this?
Well, now that my Praxis study and test-taking is over, I can now switch gears again. Does anyone else feel that life is about putting out one fire at a time? :) Oh well. I'm so glad to have the test out the way and back to more regularly scheduled chaos!
P.S. No, this smartly-dressed young lady is not me! As a self-proclaimed lie-a-bed, I rolled out of bed, threw on a sweatshirt and jeans, and headed off for the test. If I don't have to look professional on my day off, then forget it!!!