Gotham Diaries: A Novel

( 21 )

Overview

An uproarious work of social satire by Tonya Lewis Lee and Crystal McCrary Anthony, who give us an exclusive peek into the world of super-rich, super-connected African Americans.

Lauren is trying to be an independent woman by starting her own documentary film company, but it's difficult when you're married to Ed Thomas, one of the wealthiest African-American businessmen in the country -- particularly when he seems to have a roving eye. Manny is an up-and-coming gay real estate ...

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Overview

An uproarious work of social satire by Tonya Lewis Lee and Crystal McCrary Anthony, who give us an exclusive peek into the world of super-rich, super-connected African Americans.

Lauren is trying to be an independent woman by starting her own documentary film company, but it's difficult when you're married to Ed Thomas, one of the wealthiest African-American businessmen in the country -- particularly when he seems to have a roving eye. Manny is an up-and-coming gay real estate agent who arrived in Manhattan from Alabama with only the clothes on his back. He's made his way to the top of his profession -- yet he still wants more and is intent on charming his way into riches to keep his gorgeous live-in boyfriend happy. Tandy is one of the powerful "ladies who lunch" until her husband's death reveals his shocking financial problems. Now, she's desperate to reinvent herself and must find a new source of money.

In this compelling first novel, authors Tonya Lewis Lee and Crystal McCrary Anthony give us a rare glimpse inside the fashionable and urbane world of New York's chic African-American society and its incumbent scandals, foibles, and skeletons. Gotham Diaries is a gripping novel, filled with fascinating characters and a plot that won't let go.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Lee and Anthony bring their intimate knowledge of the glittery New York scene to this delicious novel.
People
A decadent romp that's sure to entertain . . . the perfect escape package, whether your destination is the backyard, bathtub or . . . beach.
Glamour
"This juicy foray into New York's African American society features scheming characters who rival anyone you'll read about in . . . tabloids."
Ebony Magazine
An evocative and gripping tale.
Publishers Weekly
Lauren Thomas, Wharton graduate, size-four beauty and rising director on the Style Channel, wants to be admired as herself, not just as the wife of Ed Thomas, billionaire baron of New York African-American society. The authors know whereof they speak, being married, respectively, to filmmaker Spike Lee and former Knicks player and ESPN commentator Greg Anthony. If Stephen Carter was the Henry James of old black money with The Emperor of Ocean Park, the Lee/Anthony team is the Edith Wharton of new black money. As Lauren rises in selfhood, her best friends tumble: Manny Marks, the gay realtor who grew up dirt-poor, and widow Tandy Brooks, who at age 51 is dethroned as the duchess of philanthropy because her despised husband left her in debt. Vicious, funny, juicy, with lots of antic real estate scenes, the story is driven by a plot in which Manny and Tandy collude to swindle Lauren and Ed. The dual authorship sometimes shows at the seams, with Tandy "cocoa-brown" on one page and "caramel" on another; dialogue drags, and brand names crowd the pages. But the insider authority carries the day. Agent, Suzanne Gluck at William Morris. (July 7) Forecast: Blurbs from E. Lynn Harris and Henry Louis Gates Jr. demonstrate Lee and Anthony's range (and probably range of acquaintances). This should have a strong start out the gate, with plenty of media attention. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
"Gotham Diaries is a poignant and deeply moving exploration of love and intimacy, race and class within the African-American community at the dawn of a new century." (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401301194
  • Publisher: Hachette Books
  • Publication date: 7/7/2004
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 0.69 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Tonya Lewis Lee, along with her husband, filmmaker Spike Lee, is the author of the successful children's book Please Baby Please, as well as a children's television producer. This is her first adult effort. Crystal McCrary Anthony is the co-author (with Rita Ewing) of the novel Homecourt Advantage, about the turbulent lives of women married to NBA players. It will be a feature film by Screengem, to be released in Oct. 2004, starring Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union.

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Read an Excerpt

The flash of the paparazzi's cameras nearly blinded Manny as he andTandy sauntered down the red carpet to the entrance of the Museum of Harlem's annual gala. Manny lived for these events, especially this one, which was the signature African-American social gathering of the year in New York City. Not only was he getting more attention than he had ever received at any fete in the past, but he was with the queen.

'Tandy! Tandy! Over here!' an elderly German photographer Manny recognized from the Daily News hollered out as they headed toward the entrance of the Metropolitan Club, the elegant venue for the gala. Manny marveled at Tandy. She was a pro. She pretended to be preoccupied with trying to reach the front door, but Manny knew better. He could tell she was profiling her face so her best angles were accentuated without appearing to be positioned for the camera. Not that Tandy had a bad angle. Her features were perfect: high chiseled cheekbones; deep-set, almond-shaped brown eyes; caramel skin; jet-black, shoulder-length hair softly layered, framing her heart-shaped face. She could hold her own up against any twenty-year-old debutante. Graceful and elegant in her burgundy one-shoulder, vintage Valentino gown, Tandy glided through the crowd.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2004

    Okay,but not great

    The characters lack description,as well as the scenery. The plot took entirely to long to thicken.However the ending helped the book out a great deal.In reality, women have best friends who are 'backstabbers'! I was curious to see what all the hype was about.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

    I highly Recommend

    This book was wonderful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Delightfully fun!

    I wish I read it sooner it was so enjoyable! It is the perfect summer beach read. I'm telling everyone about it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2005

    Enjoyed it!

    Gotham Diaries is a riotously fun tale of the realities of life in Zoo York City. Makes me glad that I don't live there anymore!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2005

    CONFUSING

    The authors are well connected. Nothing else can explain why this mess is getting rave reviews. The plot was boring, the characters one dimensional and the ending was flat. A real disappointment.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    i've read better

    this book wasn't good at all. i thought the plot line would have been a lot better because everyone talked about what a great read this was. the characters seemed fake and forced to actually go with the flow of the book. i felt sorry for all the drama that happened and was not surprised that lauren's husband cheated on her or that tandy had a fling with ed(lauren's husband) so long ago. there were no surprises or glitzy happenings it was a boring read. in my opinion the cat in the hat was better than this rubbish.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2005

    Dullsville Diaries

    Based on the reviews, I certainly expected more. Was looking for some light summer reading, but this was a struggle to get through. Weak storyline and no characters that you could pull for. And the last few sentences made me laugh out loud - I know it was serious, but it sounded so melodramatic that I had to laugh.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    Good Read

    I thought this was a good book to kick back and relax with, their were some greedy, shaddy characters who were considered friends, it makes you think about the people we call friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2005

    It was ok, but....

    The story was funny here and there, and it was nice to read about successful African-Americans in a shady city such as New York. I expected more, but it was ok. I would reccommend it for an easy read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2004

    Don't believe the hype!

    Gotham Diaries only proves that if your well-connected a below-average novel will get reviewed by some well known celebrity types. The book is just average. If you have lots of disposable income...buy it for your light reading season. If you don't there are other novels more worthy of your hard earned dollar.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2004

    WHAT HAPPEN?

    OH MY GOD!!!!!!! WHERE DO I BEGIN WITH THIS BOOK. I WAS NOT FEELING THIS BOOK UNTIL THE LAST SIX OR SEVEN CHAPTERS. THE STORY WAS NOT DEVELOPED, THERE WAS NO PLOT. THE ONLY REASON WHY I STAYED WITH IT, WAS BECAUSE I ALREADY INVESTED TIME AND ENERGY INTO IT. THIS BOOK JUST LEFT ALOT TO BE DESIRED. THE ONLY THING THAT I GOT FROM THIS BOOK WAS, BE VERY CAREFUL WHO YOU CALL YOUR FRIENDS. BECAUSE WITH FRIENDS THAT LAUREN HAD IN THIS BOOK, GOD KNOWS SHE DOES NOT NEED ANY ENEMIES.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2004

    EXCELLENT

    GREAT STORY ONLY PROBLEM THE IS THE PLOT IS GOOD BUT ONCE YOU CLIMAX IT JUST FALLS NO GRADUAL DESENT.SCALE OF 1 TO 10 YOU GET AN 8. LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR NEXT WORK .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2004

    Out of the hood

    It was good to read a novel about uppercrust African-Americans with substance and of strong backgrounds. I thought the characters at times seemed like white stereotypes but I think that this is the point of the book. Fast enjoyable read. I hope there will be a sequel where there is more character development, especially Manny.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2004

    A page turner!

    I actually liked this book. I was really into it. I couldn't stop reading at certain points and really got into the characters. The name dropping of brands was extreme, but it fit in with the theme of the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2004

    Where's the pace???

    I was enthralled with this book in the first few chapters. I thought it was written quite well, though this may be because I didn't expect much from it to begin with. I felt like I made an emotional connection with most of the characters (except Lauren, who felt a little too damsel-in- distress-ish). I particularly liked how they developed Manny. However, just as soon as it started to get good, the pacing fell apart... It had a certain slow developing climax that rushed to the end, just as you were feeling the excitement, which felt similar to your parents walking in on you, just as you are about to orgasm.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2004

    Somewhat Disappointed

    With all of the hype surrounding the book and its authors, I expected better writing and a more interesting plot, to say the least. Though a bit entertaining, it seemed to drag on. Mrs. Anthony's book with Rita Ewing was a much better read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Smart, Edgy, Great Read!!!

    I had so much fun reading this novel. Many readers will relate to Lauren as she struggles to define herself, manage a marriage, and becomes comfortable in her own skin. Also the character of Manny was written in such a progressive way. It's refreshing to see a gay black character that is not simply defined in terms of their HIV status or as a down low type. The authors have tapped into something special. A great read anytime!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2004

    disappointing

    The book was not entertaining at all.I was completely shock that two attorneys would write such a shallow book.Maybe better luck next time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2004

    I could not put this down!

    This is a great book. It is well written and although it is fiction I can think of a few that would fall into these characters far too easily. Lauren is such a dynamic woman. I love the ending. That Manny makes us realtors look like money hungry vultures..I digress. I loved the book and as I was reading it I was casting the movie. Kudos ladies! Please do not keep us waiting for a new book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2004

    An alright book...

    I saw a blurb on this book mentioned in a magazine and it sounded like something that I would like. But much like the trailer to a movie, the blurb depicted the best parts. I can say that it was a fairly quick read and the characters could have been better if developed a little bit more. I was surprised that Hyperion didn't do a better job of editing the book. My advice is wait a few months until it's marked down.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews

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