People Like Us

People Like Us

4.3 6
by Dominick Dunne
     
 

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The way journalist Gus Bailey tells it, old money is always preferred, but occasionally new money sneaks in--even where it is most unwelcome. After moving from Cincinnati, Elias and Ruby Renthal strike it even richer in New York, turning their millions into billions. It would be impolite for high society to refuse them now. Not to mention disadvantageous. As long as…  See more details below

Overview

The way journalist Gus Bailey tells it, old money is always preferred, but occasionally new money sneaks in--even where it is most unwelcome. After moving from Cincinnati, Elias and Ruby Renthal strike it even richer in New York, turning their millions into billions. It would be impolite for high society to refuse them now. Not to mention disadvantageous. As long as the market is strong, there's absolutely nothing to worry about--except for those nasty secrets from the past. Scandal, anyone...?

Editorial Reviews

Kit Reed
The dialogue is funny and dead-on target, as Dominick Dunne makes it clear that Americans are not as democratic as they pretend...Engaging us in his characters' concerns and then pulling multiple story strands into a tight knot, Dominick Dunne demonstrates with wit and accuracy the delicate, merciless distinction between ''people like that'' and ''people like us.'' -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First, forget that this is a roman a clef: it might give additional thrills to New Yorkers and subjects of Liz Smith and Suzy's society columns, but Dunne's novel is entirely enjoyable if one has never heard of, let alone dined at, Mortimer's. People Like Us opens with the entrance into Clarence's, a smart New York restaurant, of Gus Bailey and Ruby Renthal. Gus has recently been released from prison, and Ruby is rarely seen in society anymore. Then the author swoops back in time to begin chronicling a dizzying round of parties and gossip and gossip and parties. This is a world whose bible is the Social Register and where lavish gifts to the Metropolitan Opera can procure entree to the chintz-bedecked drawing-rooms of families who are as snobbish as any described by Edith Wharton. Dunne (The Two Mrs. Grenvilles) has created Gus Bailey, one of the few decent characters here, in his own image. The last scene in the book is a reprise of the first, but by this time we know that Gus served time for shooting the killer of his daughter and that Ruby has been ostracized by New York society because her husband was jailed for financial offenses. The point is that Gus and Ruby don't care anymore about whether they get a good table at Clarence's. People Like Us is witty, wise, compassionate, and a darn good read. (June)
Library Journal
Best-selling author ( The Two Mrs. Grenvilles , 1985) and Vanity Fair contributor Dunne presents a contemporary comedy of manners (really a satirical ``tragedy of morals'') that examines the values of Manhattan's old families and ``nouveau riche'' alike. Juxtaposed against the problems of opulent ``Social Register'' types at the ``best'' parties are basic issues with far-reaching consequences, often escaping the understanding of these inbred members of high society. When disasters touch those at the top, their lives must be reshaped, enabling some to restructure their existences more realistically. Discerning readers will find much to ponder within sublevels of this entertaining story. Highly recommended. Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md.
From the Publisher
“A masterly popular novel . . . by a man who knows–along with F. Scott Fitzgerald–that the rich are very different. And wonderfully fascinating.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Dead-on-target.”—New York Times Book Review

“Spicy.”—Los Angeles Times

“Wickedly sharp.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816147274
Publisher:
Cengage Gale
Publication date:
06/28/1989
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
602

Meet the Author

Dominick Dunne is the author of five bestselling novels, two collections of essays, and, most recently, The Way We Lived Then, a memoir with photographs. He is Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair and lives in New York City and Hadlyme, Connecticut.

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People Like Us 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed Mr. Dunnes' books, ever since I read "The Two Mrs. Grenvilles" and this one dos not dissapoint. He has an uncanny way of dragging one into the very secret lives of the old-money super-rich. His descriptions of apartments, fashion, jewelry and, of course, the endless parties is superb! The back-stabbing and endless gossip from these so-called 'elite' make one think of elementary or junior high school age children with their cliques and "I'm better than you are" attitudes. Don't get me wrong...I loved every page, and found it hard to put down, even at 3 a.m.!!! I enjoy his books so much probably because my life is so dull in comparison, ha-ha! I mean, come on...compare the ritzy drawing rooms of NYC to Syracuse, where we're sitting on the edge off our seats, wondering if we'll break last years snow total!!!
Cherine More than 1 year ago
A delicious and juicy story about very rich people for whom appearance and one-up-manship is everything. Sympathy for anyone is just not an emotion that rises within the reader as the characters are totally self-absorbed. When things go bad, that is when the reader gets his or her satisfaction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You won´t be able to put it down, it´s the original book on New York society.
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