Sex and the City

( 143 )

Overview

Equal parts soap opera, gossip page, sociological study, and dating manual, Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell's regular New York Observer column, has attracted a cult following, propelling Bushnell to achieve her own star-status. This collection brings her pieces together for the first time, where they read as a twisted nineties society novel in serial format. A chronicle of the mating habits of our cultural elite, Sex and the City makes a stage of the various launch parties, openings, and celebrity affairs that...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (82) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $15.95   
  • Used (79) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$15.95
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2000-05 Paperback New Softcover, Fine condition, 2001, 228 pages. S4**USPS Priority mail will be used for most packages**

Ships from: Universal City, TX

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$16.05
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(51)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0349111863 FAST shipping. New Unread Book. (Thank you for shopping from us. Order inquiries handled promptly. )

Ships from: FORT LAUDERDALE, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$50.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(181)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sex and the City

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.00
BN.com price

Overview

Equal parts soap opera, gossip page, sociological study, and dating manual, Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell's regular New York Observer column, has attracted a cult following, propelling Bushnell to achieve her own star-status. This collection brings her pieces together for the first time, where they read as a twisted nineties society novel in serial format. A chronicle of the mating habits of our cultural elite, Sex and the City makes a stage of the various launch parties, openings, and celebrity affairs that keep New York's high society amused. It has long since been proven that the later Candace stays out at night, the better the stories she comes home with. In addition to banging on kitchen doors for more champagne, her stunts include shedding her clothes to infiltrate a sex club, plying a roomful of men with rum and marijuana as a prelude to a discussion of menage a trois, and venturing to the most posh of all suburbs to interview married women about their sex lives (only to return to Manhattan and forget her sordid findings with the aid of several cocktails). Sex and the City is a modern-day comedy of errors, a fantastic and sometimes terrifying foray into the hearts and minds of city dwellers. Traveling in packs from parties to bars to clubs, Bushnell's characters carry on the never-ending search for the perfect marriage partner, the most coveted piece of gossip, and, when the night is done, someone to go home with.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Christine Muhlke
The media celebrities! The heartbreak! The strappy sandals! This bumptious collection of Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City columns from The New York Observer provides a prime banquette seat to witness the intense and rather frightening mating rituals of the attractive, successful, over-35-and-still-unmarried set.

Those who follow Bushnell's column will be familiar with much of the material here; indeed, a fair portion of the chapters have run in The Observer in the last six months. Placed between hard covers, however, this so-called sex column takes on a different tone — it becomes a kind of serial novel that works as both a comedy of manners and a class study of the current Age of Non-Innocence. M

In her search for love amidst an endless stream of lunches and cocktail parties, Bushnell paints a bleak but funny portrait of her sisters in heels as they get everything they want except for a husband and children. We follow the intrepid, hungover "reporter" from a swingers' club (where the hottest thing was the buffet table) to a male forum on threesomes; from dinner with men who bed models to a bawdy ladies' tea where a serial dater is dissected. During the last third of the book, the voice shifts from the first person to that of Carrie (aka Bushnell). As she chronicles her relationship with Mr. Big (aka cigar-chomping Vogue publisher Ron Galotti), you may begin to understand why these womens' relationships fail.

One compelling aspect of these juicy, fast-reading pieces is that they offer an insider's view of a very elite Manhattan. Sure, names have been changed and events modified (and who knows how she records those quotes), but if you're a bold-faced-name junkie, you know who she's talking about, or can at least enjoy speculating. Bushnell delivers the bad news about love in Man-hattan in an engaging "he said/she said" style ("He gave her more drugs and she gave him a blow job"), as though she were hoarsely whispering in your ear during lunch at the Royalton.

As compelling as Bushnell can be, by the midway point of Sex and the City, the book's message is painfully clear: In her New York, locating and securing a powerful husband is, sadly, a woman's ultimate accomplishment.
Salon

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"We're leading sensory saturated lives," announces jetsetting photographer and playboy Peter Beard in a roundtable discussion of ménages à trois, setting the tone of opulent debasement that suffuses this collection of Bushnell's punchy, archly knowing and sharply observed sex columns from the New York Observer. Prowling the modish clubs, party circuit and weekend getaways of rich and trendy New York society (most of whose denizens are identified by pseudonyms), Bushnell offers a brash, radically unromantic perspective. She visits a sex club and dates a Bicycle Boy ("the literary romantic subspecies" whose patron saints are George Plimpton and Murray Kempton). But in most chapters she keeps to the sidelines, deploying instead her alter-ego Carrie (like the author, a blonde writer from Connecticut in her mid-30s), whose sweet if feckless romance with Mr. Biga nondescript power playerserves as a foil for the hilarious, unsentimentalized misadventures of her peers. These include model-chasers like Barkley, 25, a painter with the face of a Botticelli angel whose parents pay for his SoHo junior loft, and Tom Peri, the "emotional Mayflower," who ferries newly dumped women to higher emotional ground and is then invariably dumped. The effect is that of an Armistead Maupin-like canvas tinged with a liberal smattering of Judith Krantz. Collected in one volume, Bushnell's characters grow generic, but in small doses these essays are brain candy that will appeal equally to urban romantics and anti-romantics.
Library Journal
Bushnell extracts some gems from her "Sex and the City" column in the New York Observer, which has a devoted following. But will it play in Peoria?
Kirkus Reviews
Fascinating and haunting insights into the love lives of the rich and randy in New York.

Bushnell has gleaned pieces from her popular New York Observer column and combined them into an oddly touching collection. While the privileged, beautiful, pony-skin-boot-wearing folk she reports on seem ripe for parody, Bushnell has chosen to humanize them. The earlier articles feature Bushnell herself; she wisely removes herself from the later pieces, writing with the detached grace of an early Didion, and allows her friend (and alter ego?) Carrie to do the reporting. In one story, Carrie and her friends journey to Connecticut's wealthy suburbs to attend a wedding shower, complaining all the way. Bushnell perfectly captures the poignant moment when the New York group, glossy and single, realize that they are in fact jealous of their settled friend. The realization leads to a series of confessions: One woman nervously admits that she broke her ankle while rollerblading in an attempt to impress the younger man she was dating. Many of these pieces focus on the rise and fall of Carrie's relationship with "Mr. Big," who is a better date than most of the model-obsessed men she meets, but who is a "toxic bachelor" (unappreciative, self-centered, allergic to commitment) all the same. Bushnell's point, at its simplest level, is that what the glamorous women she writes about really want is a husband. But her writing is more sensitive than that, subtly catching the ways in which, beneath the veneer of Manolo Blahnik shoes and the eternal round of parties and the late nights at trendy bars, New York is a cruel place for smart, older women. Whatever lip service their male peers pay to equality, what men want is perpetual youth.

Often funny and occasionally bleak, this is a captivating look at the "Age of Un-Innocence," in a city in which the glittering diversions don't quite make up for the fact that "Cupid has flown the coop."

From Barnes & Noble
In this chronicle of the mating habits of New York's cultural elite, Bushnell infiltrates celebrity affairs, sex clubs, and posh suburbs to introduce us to "bicycle boys," "modelizers," and "toxic bachelors" — powerful and successful men who bed single and married women as if it were a contest. Often funny and occasionally bleak, this is an inside account of the quintessential '90s romance and the never-ending search for the perfect marriage partner in high society.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780349111865
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square
  • Publication date: 5/1/1900

Meet the Author

Candace  Bushnell
Candace Bushnell
Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed bestselling author of THE CARRIE DIARIES, SEX AND THE CITY, LIPSTICK JUNGLE, ONE FIFTH AVENUE, 4 BLONDES, and TRADING UP, which have sold millions of copies. SEX AND THE CITY was the basis for the HBO hit shows and films of the same name. LIPSTICK JUNGLE became a popular television show on NBC. Candace lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


My Unsentimental Education:
Love in Manhattan?
I Don't Think So ...


Here's a Valentine's Day tale. Prepare yourself.

    An English journalist came to New York. She was attractive and witty, and right away she hooked up with one of New York's typically eligible bachelors. Tim was forty-two, an investment banker who made about $5 million a year. For two weeks, they kissed, held hands—and then on a warm fall day he drove her to the house he was building in the Hamptons. They looked at the plans with the architect. "I wanted to tell the architect to fill in the railings on the second floor, so the children wouldn't fall through," said the journalist. "I expected Tim was going to ask me to marry him." On Sunday night, Tim dropped her off at her apartment and reminded her that they had dinner plans for Tuesday. On Tuesday, he called and said he'd have to take a rain check. When she hadn't heard from him after two weeks, she called and told him, "That's an awfully long rain check." He said he would call her later in the week.

    He never did call, of course. But what interested me was that she couldn't understand what had happened. In England, she explained, meeting the architect would have meant something. Then I realized, Of course: She's from London. No one's told her about the End of Love in Manhattan. Then I thought: She'll learn.

    Welcome to the Age of Un-Innocence. The glittering lights of Manhattan that served as backdrops for Edith Wharton's bodice-heaving trysts are still glowing—but thestage is empty. No one has breakfast at Tiffany's, and no one has affairs to remember—instead, we have breakfast at seven A.M. and affairs we try to forget as quickly as possible. How did we get into this mess?

    Truman Capote understood our nineties dilemma—the dilemma of Love vs. the Deal—all too well. In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak were faced with restrictions—he was a kept man, she was a kept woman—but in the end they surmounted them and chose love over money. That doesn't happen much in Manhattan these days. We are all kept men and women—by our jobs, by our apartments, and then some of us by the pecking order at Mortimers and the Royalton, by Hamptons beachfront, by front-row Garden tickets—and we like it that way. Self-protection and closing the deal are paramount. Cupid has flown the co-op.

    When was the last time you heard someone say, "I love you!" without tagging on the inevitable (if unspoken) "as a friend." When was the last time you saw two people gazing into each other's eyes without thinking, Yeah, right? When was the last time you heard someone announce, "I am truly, madly in love," without thinking, Just wait until Monday morning? And what turned out to be the hot non-Tim Allen Christmas movie? Disclosure—for which ten or fifteen million moviegoers went to see unwanted, unaffectionate sex between corporate erotomaniacs—hardly the stuff we like to think about when we think about love but very much the stuff of the modern Manhattan relationship.

    There's still plenty of sex in Manhattan but the kind of sex that results in friendship and business deals, not romance. These days, everyone has friends and colleagues; no one really has lovers—even if they have slept together.

    Back to the English journalist: After six months, some more "relationships," and a brief affair with a man who used to call her from out of town to tell her that he'd be calling her when he got back into town (and never did), she got smart. "Relationships in New York are about detachment," she said. "But how do you get attached when you decide you want to?"

    Honey, you leave town.


LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR, PART I

It's Friday night at the Bowery Bar. It's snowing outside and buzzing inside. There's the actress from Los Angeles, looking delightfully out of place in her vinyl gray jacket and miniskirt, with her gold-medallioned, too-tanned escort. There's the actor, singer, and party boy Donovan Leitch in a green down jacket and a fuzzy beige hat with earflaps. There's Francis Ford Coppola at a table with his wife. There's an empty chair at Francis Ford Coppola's table. It's not just empty: It's alluringly, temptingly, tauntingly, provocatively empty. It's so empty that it's more full than any other chair in the place. And then, just when the chair's emptiness threatens to cause a scene, Donovan Leitch sits down for a chat. Everyone in the room is immediately jealous. Pissed off. The energy of the room lurches violently. This is romance in New York.


THE HAPPILY MARRIED MAN

"Love means having to align yourself with another person, and what if that person turns out to be a liability?" said a friend, one of the few people I know who's been happily married for twelve years. "And the more you're able to look back, the more you're proven right in hindsight. Then you get further and further away from having a relationship, unless something big comes along to shake you out of it—like your parents dying.

    "New Yorkers build up a total facade that you can't penetrate," he continued. "I feel so lucky that things worked out for me early on, because it's so easy not to have a relationship here—it almost becomes impossible to go back."


THE HAPPILY (SORT OF) MARRIED WOMAN

A girlfriend who was married called me up. "I don't know how anyone makes relationships work in this town. It's really hard. All the temptations. Going out. Drinks. Drugs. Other people. You want to have fun. And if you're a couple, what are you going to do? Sit in your little box of an apartment and stare at each other? When you're alone, it's easier," she said, a little wistfully. "You can do what you want. You don't have to go home."


THE BACHELOR OF COCO PAZZO

Years ago, when my friend Capote Duncan was one of the most eligible bachelors in New York, he dated every woman in town. Back then, we were still romantic enough to believe that some woman could get him. He has to fall in love someday, we thought. Everyone has to fall in love, and when he does, it will be with a woman who's beautiful and smart and successful. But then those beautiful and smart and successful women came and went. And he still hadn't fallen in love.

    We were wrong. Today, Capote sits at dinner at Coco Pazzo, and he says he's ungettable. He doesn't want a relationship. Doesn't even want to try. Isn't interested in the romantic commitment. Doesn't want to hear about the neurosis in somebody else's head. And he tells women that he'll be their friend, and they can have sex with him, but that's all there is and that's all there's ever going to be.

    And it's fine with him. It doesn't even make him sad anymore the way it used to.


LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR, PART II

At my table at the Bowery Bar, there's Parker, thirty-two, a novelist who writes about relationships that inevitably go wrong; his boyfriend, Roger; Skipper Johnson, an entertainment lawyer.

    Skipper is twenty-five and personifies the Gen X dogged disbelief in Love. "I just don't believe I'll meet the fight person and get married," he said. "Relationships are too intense. If you believe in love, you're setting yourself up to be disappointed. You just can't trust anyone. People are so corrupted these days."

    "But it's the one ray of hope," Parker protested. "You hope it will save you from cynicism."

    Skipper was having none of it. "The world is more fucked up now than it was twenty-five years ago. I feel pissed off to be born in this generation when all these things are happening to me. Money, AIDS, and relationships, they're all connected. Most people my age don't believe they'll have a secure job. When you're afraid of the financial future, you don't want to make a commitment."

    I understood his cynicism. Recently, I'd found myself saying I didn't want a relationship because, at the end, unless you happened to get married, you were left with nothing.

    Skipper took a gulp of his drink. "I have no alternatives," he screamed. "I wouldn't be in shallow relationships, so I do nothing. I have no sex and no romance. Who needs it? Who needs all these potential problems like disease and pregnancy? I have no problems. No fear of disease, psychopaths, or stalkers. Why not just be with your friends and have real conversations and a good time?"

    "You're crazy," Parker said. "It's not about money. Maybe we can't help each other financially, but maybe we can help each other through something else. Emotions don't cost anything. You have someone to go home to. You have someone in your life."

    I had a theory that the only place you could find love and romance in New York was in the gay community—that gay men were still friends with extravagance and passion, while straight love had become closeted. I had this theory partly because of all I had read and heard recently about the multimillionaire who left his wife for a younger man—and boldly squired his young swain around Manhattan's trendiest restaurants, right in front of the gossip columnists. There, I thought, is a True Lover.

    Parker was also proving my theory. For instance, when Parker and Roger first started seeing each other, Parker got sick. Roger went to his house to cook him dinner and take care of him. That would never happen with a straight guy. If a straight guy got sick and he'd just started dating a woman and she wanted to take care of him, he would freak out—he would think that she was trying to wheedle her way into his life. And the door would slam shut.

    "Love is dangerous," Skipper said.

    "If you know it's dangerous, that makes you treasure it, and you'll work harder to keep it," Parker said.

    "But relationships are out of your control," Skipper said.

    "You're nuts," Parker said.

    Roger went to work on Skipper. "What about old-fashioned romantics?"

    My friend Carrie jumped in. She knew the breed. "Every time a man tells me he's a romantic, I want to scream," she said. "All it means is that a man has a romanticized view of you, and as soon as you become real and stop playing into his fantasy, he gets turned off. That's what makes romantics dangerous. Stay away."

    At that moment, one of those romantics dangerously arrived at the table.


A LADY'S GLOVE

"The condom killed romance, but it has made it a lot easier to get laid," said a friend. "There's something about using a condom that, for women, makes it like sex doesn't count. There's no skin-to-skin contact. So they go to bed with you more easily."


LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR, PART III

Barkley, twenty-five, was an artist. Barkley and my friend Carrie had been "seeing" each other for eight days, which meant that they would go places and kiss and look into each other's eyes and it was sweet. With all the thirty-five year olds we knew up to their cuffs in polished cynicism, Carrie had thought she might try dating a younger man, one who had not been in New York long enough to become calcified.

    Barkley told Carrie he was a romantic "because I feel it," and he also told Carrie he wanted to adapt Parker's novel into a screenplay. Carrie had offered to introduce them, and that's why Barkley was there at the Bowery Bar that night.

    But when Barkley showed up, he and Carrie looked at each other and felt ... nothing. Perhaps because he had sensed the inevitable, Barkley had brought along a "date," a strange young girl with glitter on her face.

    Nevertheless, when Barkley sat down, he said, "I totally believe in love. I would be so depressed if I didn't believe in it. People are halves. Love makes everything have more meaning."

    "Then someone takes it away from you and you're fucked," Skipper said.

    "But you make your own space," said Barkley.

    Skipper offered his goals: "To live in Montana, with a satellite dish, a fax machine, and a Range Rover—so you're safe," he said.

    "Maybe what you want is wrong," said Parker. "Maybe what you want makes you uncomfortable."

    "I want beauty. I have to be with a beautiful woman. I can't help it," Barkley said. "That's why a lot of the girls I end up going out with are stupid."

    Skipper and Barkley took out their cellular phones. "Your phone's too big," said Barkley.

    Later, Carrie and Barkley went to the Tunnel and looked at all the pretty young people and smoked cigarettes and scarfed drinks. Barkley took off with the girl with glitter on her face, and Carrie went around with Barkley's best friend, Jack. They danced, then they slid around in the snow like crazy people trying to find a cab. Carrie couldn't even look at her watch.

    Barkley called her the next afternoon. "What's up, dude?" he said.

    "I don't know. You called me."

    "I told you I didn't want a girlfriend. You set yourself up. You knew what I was like."

    "Oh yeah, right," Carrie wanted to say, "I knew that you were a shallow, two-bit womanizer, and that's why I wanted to go out with you."

    But she didn't.

    "I didn't sleep with her. I didn't even kiss her," Barkley said. "I don't care. I'll never see her again if you don't want me to."

    "I really don't give a shit." And the scary thing was, she didn't.

    Then they spent the next four hours discussing Barkley's paintings. "I could do this all day, every day," Barkley said. "This is so much better than sex."


THE GREAT UN-PRETENDER

"The only thing that's left is work," said Robert, forty-two, an editor. "You've got so much to do, who has time to be romantic?"

    Robert told a story, about how he'd recently been involved with a woman he really liked, but after a month and a half, it was clear that it wasn't going to work out. "She put me through all these little tests. Like I was supposed to call her on Wednesday to go out on Friday. But on Wednesday, maybe I feel like I want to kill myself, and God only knows how I'm going to feel on Friday. She wanted to be with someone who was crazy about her. I understand that. But I can't pretend to feel something I don't.

    "Of course, we're still really good friends," he added. "We see each other all the time. We just don't have sex."


NARCISSUS AT THE FOUR SEASONS

One Sunday night, I went to a charity benefit at the Four Seasons. The theme was Ode to Love. Each of the tables was named after a different famous couple—there were Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker, Narcissus and Himself, Catherine the Great and Her Horse, Michael Jackson and Friends. Al D'Amato sat at the Bill and Hillary table. Each table featured a centerpiece made up of related items—for instance, at the Tammy Faye Bakker table there were false eyelashes, blue eye shadow, and lipstick candles. Michael Jackson's table had a stuffed gorilla and Porcelana face cream.

    Bob Pittman was there. "Love's not over—smoking is over," Bob said, grinning, while his wife, Sandy, stood next to him, and I stood behind the indoor foliage, trying to sneak a cigarette. Sandy said she was about to climb a mountain in New Guinea and would be gone for several weeks.

    I went home alone, but right before I left, someone handed me the jawbone of a horse from the Catherine the Great table.


LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR: EPILOGUE

Donovan Leitch got up from Francis Ford Coppola's table and came over. "Oh no," he said. "I totally believe that love conquers all. Sometimes you just have to give it some space." And that's exactly what's missing in Manhattan.

    Oh, and by the way? Bob and Sandy are getting divorced.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

1

My Unsentimental Education: Love in Manhattan? I Don't Think So . . .

Here's a Valentine's Day tale. Prepare yourself

An English journalist came to New York. She was attractive and witty, and right away she hooked up with one of New York's typically eligible bachelors. Tim was forty-two, an investment banker who made about $5 million a year. For two weeks, they kissed, held hands-and then on a warm fall day he drove her to the house he was building in the Hamptons. They looked at the plans with the architect. "I wanted to tell the architect to fill in the railings on the second floor, so the children wouldn't fall through," said the journalist. "I expected Tim was going to ask me to marry him." On Sunday night, Tim dropped her off at her apartment and reminded her that they had dinner plans for Tuesday. On Tuesday, he called and said he'd have to take a rain check. When she hadn't heard from him after two weeks, she called and told him, "That's an awfully long rain check." He said he would call her later in the week.

He never did call, of course. But what interested me was that she couldn't understand what had happened. In England, she explained, meeting the architect would have meant something. Then I realized, Of course: She's from London. No one's told her about the End of Love in Manhattan. Then I thought: She'll learn.

Welcome to the Age of Un-Innocence. The glittering lights of Manhattan that served as backdrops for Edith Wharton's bodice-heaving trysts are still glowing-but the stage is empty. No one has Breakfast at Tiffany's, and no one has affairs to remember-instead, we have breakfast at seven A.M. and affairs we try to forget as quickly as possible. How did we get into this mess?

Truman Capote understood our nineties dilemma-the dilemma of Love vs. the Deal-all too well. In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak were faced with restrictions-he was a kept man, she was a kept woman- but in the end they surmounted them and chose love over money. That doesn't happen much in Manhattan these days. We are all kept men and women-by our jobs, by our apartments, and then some of us by the pecking order at Mortimers and the Royalton, by Hamptons beachfront, by front-row Garden tickets-and we like it that way. Selfprotection and closing the deal are paramount. Cupid has flown the co-op.

When was the last time you heard someone say, "I love you!" without tagging on the inevitable (if unspoken) "as a friend." When was the last time you saw two people gazing into each other's eyes without thinking, Yeah, right? When was the last time you heard someone announce, "I am truly, madly in love," without thinking, Just wait until Monday morning? And what turned out to be the hot non-Tim Allen Christmas movie? Disclosure-for which ten or fifteen million moviegoers went to see unwanted, unaffectionate sex between corporate erotomaniacs-hardly the stuff we like to think about when we think about love but very much the stuff of the modern Manhattan relationship.

There's still plenty of sex in Manhattan but the kind of sex that results in friendship and business deals, not romance. These days, everyone has friends and colleagues; no one really has lovers-even if they have slept together.

Back to the English journalist: After six months, some more "relationships," and a brief affair with a man who used to call her from out of town to tell her that he'd be calling her when he got back into town (and never did), she got smart. "Relationships in New York are about detachment," she said. "But how do you get attached when you decide you want to?"

Honey, you leave town.

LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR, PART I

It's Friday night at the Bowery Bar. It's snowing outside and buzzing inside. There's the actress from Los Angeles, looking delightfully out of place in her vinyl gray jacket and miniskirt, with her gold-medallioned, too-tanned escort. There's the actor, singer, and party boy Donovan Leitch in a green down jacket and a fuzzy beige hat with earflaps. There's Francis Ford Coppola at a table with his wife. There's an empty chair at Francis Ford Coppola's table. It's not just empty: It's alluringly, temptingly, tauntingly, provocatively empty. It's so empty that it's more full than any other chair in the place. And then, just when the chair's emptiness threatens to cause a scene, Donovan Leitch sits down for a chat. Everyone in the room is immediately jealous. Pissed off. The energy of the room lurches violently. This is romance in New York.

THE HAPPILY MARRIED MAN

"Love means having to align yourself with another person, and what if that person turns out to be a liability?" said a friend, one of the few people I know who's been happily married for twelve years. "And the more you're able to look back, the more you're proven right in hindsight. Then you get further and further away from having a relationship, unless something big comes along to shake you out of it-like your parents dying.

"New Yorkers build up a total facade that you can't penetrate," he continued. "I feel so lucky that things worked out for me early on, because it's so easy not to have a relationship here it almost becomes impossible to go back."

THE HAPPILY (SORT OF) MARRIED WOMAN

A girlfriend who was married called me up. "I don't know how anyone makes relationships work in this town. It's really hard. All the temptations. Going out. Drinks. Drugs. Other people. You want to have fun. And if you're a couple, what are you going to do? Sit in your little box of an apartment and stare at each other? When you're alone, it's easier," she said, a little wistfully. "You can do what you want. You don't have to go home."

THE BACHELOR OF COCO PAZZO

Years ago, when my friend Capote Duncan was one of the most eligible bachelors in New York, he dated every woman in town. Back then, we were still romantic enough to believe that some woman could get him. He has to fall in love someday, we thought. Everyone has to fall in love, and when he does, it will be with a woman who's beautiful and smart and successful. But then those beautiful and smart and successful women came and went. And he still hadn't fallen in love.

We were wrong. Today, Capote sits at dinner at Coco Pazzo, and he says he's ungettable. He doesn't want a relationship. Doesn't even want to try. Isn't interested in the romantic commitment. Doesn't want to hear about the neurosis in somebody else's head. And he tells women that he'll be their friend, and they can have sex with him, but that's all there is and that's all there's ever going to be.

And it's fine with him. It doesn't even make him sad anymore the way it used to.

LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR, PART II

At my table at the Bowery Bar, there's Parker, thirty-two, a novelist who writes about relationships that inevitably go wrong; his boyfriend, Roger; SkipperJohnson, an entertainment lawyer.

Skipper is twenty-five and personifies the Gen X dogged disbelief in Love. "I just don't believe I'll meet the right person and get married," he said. "Relationships are too intense. If you believe in love, you're setting yourself up to be disappointed. You just can't trust anyone. People are so corrupted these days."

"But it's the one ray of hope," Parker protested. "You hope it will save you from cynicism."

Skipper was having none of it. "The world is more fucked up now than it was twenty-five years ago. I feel pissed off to be born in this generation when all these things are happening to me. Money, AIDS, and relationships, they're all connected. Most people my age don't believe they'll have a secure job. When you're afraid of the financial future, you don't want to make a commitment."

I understood his cynicism. Recently, I'd found myself saying I didn't want a relationship because, at the end, unless you happened to get married, you were left with nothing.

Skipper took a gulp of his drink. "I have no alternatives," he screamed. "I wouldn't be in shallow relationships, so I do nothing. I have no sex and no romance. Who needs it? Who needs all these potential problems like disease and pregnancy? I have no problems. No fear of disease, psychopaths, or stalkers. Why not just be with your friends and have real conversations and a good time?"

"You're crazy," Parker said. "It's not about money. Maybe we can't help each other financially, but maybe we can help each other through something else. Emotions don't cost anything. You have someone to go home to. You have someone in your life."

I had a theory that the only place you could find love and romance in New York was in the gay community-that gay men were still friends with extravagance and passion, while straight love had become closeted. I had this theory partly because of all I had read and heard recently about the multimillionaire who left his wife for a younger man-and boldly squired his young swain around Manhattan's trendiest restaurants, right in front of the gossip columnists. There, I thought, is a True Lover.

Parker was also proving my theory. For instance, when Parker and Roger first started seeing each other, Parker got sick. Roger went to his house to cook him dinner and take care of him. That would never happen with a straight guy. If a straight guy got sick and he'd just started dating a woman and she wanted to take care of him, he would freak out-he would think that she was trying to wheedle her way into his life. And the door would slam shut.

"Love is dangerous," Skipper said.

"If you know it's dangerous, that makes you treasure it, and you'll work harder to keep it," Parker said.

"But relationships are out of your control," Skipper said.

"You're nuts," Parker said.

Roger went to work on Skipper. "What about old-fashioned romantics?"

My friend Carrie jumped in. She knew the breed. "Every time a man tells me he's a romantic, I want to scream," she said. "All it means is that a man has a romanticized view of you, and as soon as you become real and stop playing into his fantasy, he gets turned off. That's what makes romantics dangerous. Stay away."

At that moment, one of those romantics dangerously arrived at the table.

A LADY'S GLOVE

"The condom killed romance, but it has made it a lot easier to get laid," said a friend. "There's something about using a condom that, for women, makes it like sex doesn't count. There's no skin-to-skin contact. So they go to bed with you more easily."

LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR, PART III

Barkley, twenty-five, was an artist. Barkley and my friend Carrie had been "seeing" each other for eight days, which meant that they would go places and kiss and look into each other's eyes and it was sweet. With all the thirty-five year olds we knew up to their cuffs in polished cynicism, Carrie had thought she might try dating a younger man, one who had not been in New York long enough to become calcified.

Barkley told Carrie he was a romantic "because I feel it," and he also told Carrie he wanted to adapt Parker's novel into a screenplay. Carrie had offered to introduce them, and that's why Barkley was there at the Bowery Bar that night.

But when Barkley showed up, he and Carrie looked at each other and felt ... nothing. Perhaps because he had sensed the inevitable, Barkley had brought along a "date," a strange young girl with glitter on her face.

Nevertheless, when Barkley sat down, he said, "I totally believe in love. I would be so depressed if I didn't believe in it. People are halves. Love makes everything have more meaning."

"Then someone takes it away from you and you're fucked," Skipper said.

"But you make your own space," said Barkley.

Skipper offered his goals: To live in Montana, with a satellite dish, a fax machine, and a Range Rover-so you're safe," he said.

"Maybe what you want is wrong," said Parker. "Maybe what you want makes you uncomfortable."

"I want beauty. I have to be with a beautiful woman. I can't help it," Barkley said. "That's why a lot of the girls I end up going out with are stupid."

Skipper and Barkley took out their cellular phones. "Your phone's too big," said Barkley.

Later, Carrie and Barkley went to the Tunnel and looked at all the pretty young people and smoked cigarettes and scarfed drinks. Barkley took off with the girl with glitter on her face, and Carrie went around with Barkley's best friend, Jack. They danced, then they slid around in the snow like crazy people trying to find a cab. Carrie couldn't even look at her watch.

Barkley called her the next afternoon. "What's up, dude?" he said.

"I don't know. You called me."

"I told you I didn't want a girlfriend. You set yourself up. You knew what I was like."

"Oh yeah, right," Carrie wanted to say, "I knew that you were a shallow, two-bit womanizer, and that's why I wanted to go out with you."

But she didn't.

"I didn't sleep with her. I didn't even kiss her," Barkley said. "I don't care. I'll never see her again if you don't want me to."

"I really don't give a shit." And the scary thing was, she didn't.

Then they spent the next four hours discussing Barkley's paintings. "I could do this all day, every day," Barkley said. "This is so much better than sex."

THE GREAT UN-PRETENDER

"The only thing that's left is work," said Robert, forty-two, an editor. "You've got so much to do, who has time to be romantic?" Robert told a story, about how he'd recently been involved with a woman he really liked, but after a month and a half, it was clear that it wasn't going to work out. "She put me through all these little tests. Like I was supposed to call her on Wednesday to go out on Friday. But on Wednesday, maybe I feel like I want to kill myself, and God only knows how I'm going to feel on Friday. She wanted to be with someone who was crazy about her. I understand that. But I can't pretend to feel something I don't. "Of course, we're still really good fiends," he added. "We see each other all the time. We just don't have sex." NARCISSUS AT THE FOUR SEASONS One Sunday night, I went to a charity benefit at the Four Seasons. The theme was Ode to Love. Each of the tables was named after a different famous couple-there were Tammy Faye and Jim Baker, Narcissus and Himself, Catherine the Great and Her Horse, Michael Jackson and Friends. Al D'Amato sat at the Bill and Hillary table. Each table featured a centerpiece made up of related items-for instance, at the Tammy Faye Baker table there were false eyelashes, blue eye shadow, and lipstick candles. Michael Jackson's table had a stuffed gorilla and Porcelana face cream. Bob Pittman was there. "Love's not over-smoking is over," Bob said, grinning, while his wife, Sandy, stood next to him, and I stood behind the indoor foliage, trying to sneak a cigarette. Sandy said she was about to climb a mountain in New Guinea and would be gone for several weeks. I went home alone, but right before I left, someone handed me the jawbone of a horse from the Catherine the Great table. LOVE AT THE BOWERY BAR: EPILOGUE Donovan Leitch got up from Francis Ford Coppola's table and came over. "Oh no," he said. "I totally believe that love conquers all. Sometimes you just have to give it some space." And that's exactly what's missing in Manhattan. Oh, and by the way? Bob and Sandy are getting divorced. (c) 1996 by Candace Bushnell"

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 143 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(29)

1 Star

(30)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 144 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    Sex and the City

    Believe it or not, this is Candace Bushnell's worst book. I read all of her novels in reverse order, starting with "One Fifth Avenue" and ending with "Sex and the City". One Fifth is clearly her best book. I think that it captures the essence of modern times and modern life for women in a creative style which reads well and flows beautifully. It is noteworthy as bordering on a great piece of literature for the 21st century.

    With Sex and the city, the flow simply wasn't there. But it is a worthwhile novel in that she dared to right about the sexual escapades of the single woman....which can be true...depending on how independent and daring a woman wants to be in her lifestyle. Modern times haven't changed much for women, although, some of us don't seem to care what others think. However, content, is not what I criticize, it's presentation of that content and the development of a connecting thread through the pieces. However, what do I know, it was liked well enough to become a hit TV series.

    Interestingly enough, Sex and the City, was catalogued in the Social Psychology section.

    I like that way I approached reading all of Bushnell's novels. And, I have recommended to friends to read them all in the reverse order. But, I would give Sex and the City 1 or 2 stars compared to the 5 that I would give One Fifth.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 20, 2008

    Pop Culture Phenomenon

    I secretely enjoy watching SATC late at night on TBS and thought it would be fun to read the book that started it all. I was worried when I read all these bad reviews but also liked that I was forewarned that this was not a typical novel. It is filled with snippets from Bushnell's column. Therefore, I enjoyed the book more than most people. I am appalled at the New York lifestyle and hope this is not really the way people live. Bushnell does a great job though at showing the pain behind the facade of these single women--life isn't really that glamorous for these people. They are all pretty unhappy searchers. Either way, this book and show is a pop culture phenomenon and therefore it has merit...something rang true in it for a lot of people. I have a bone to pick with a few reviewers: this book is very much in the SATC show. In fact, the first episode literally quotes this book for about half the show. Also, characters are the same and the themes from this book pop up everywhere in each episode. The show was based on the book and I can see that VERY clearly...it doesn't have to be a typical 'story' novel for this to happen...think outside the box people.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 1, 2003

    Eh...It's OK

    Don't not pick up this book, but don't make a special trip either. Hate to say it but Ms. Bushnell isn't as clever as she thinks she is, nor as she has been marketed to be. Thank goodness, however, that the producers saw past the vapid picture she paints in this work and to the potential that the series held. A few well thought out tweaks and additions to these original characters yielded a great series. If you love the series, you might not like the book. Carrie is a puke, she and Samantha don't really get along and the others are inconsequential. All in all I say again, it's OK.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2009

    So Not What I Expected

    I was completely and utterly dissatisified with this book. The writing style alone was all over the place. Although I am a huge fan of the HBO series, I wonder how this book made it to the best seller list. It had no real direction and seemed to glorify the drug abuse more than anything among everyone in the book.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am a huge SATC fan and have watched each episode multiple times. I purchased this book likely for nostalgia only. I anticipated an interesting tale which outlined the foundation of the show. I was painfully surprised to read not a story, but rather small paragraphs of information that, at times, made little sense. Yes, there are aspects of this book which will ring true to SATC viewers. However, I believe that for many fans, this book will be very disappointing. Honestly, I am amazed that the book attracted enough attention to even be considered for a television series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Why are you doing this too me?

    Why are you watching the shows and reading the books. That is just nasty. I know God made sex but people are using it different. People are using sex on their anger, and all sorts of stuff. God made sex too have fun while doing sex. But everyone makes it harder on them selfs.


    People use their anger on somebody else. Would you have fun doing sex while getting hurt. A friend told me once that if you have anger issues, sex is not made for you because you are just going to hurt somebody or even hurt yourself. I am not saying you can't ever have sex again just don't hurt any body while doing sex.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sex and the City.

    A wonderful read, it was intelligent, witty. Sometimes suprising. Carrie Bradshaw is deffinatly my conection in the book. And it's a very realistic story. There are things in there I've discussed with people, in conversation and found it in this book. So it is relatible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 14, 2007

    Horrible

    I thought the book was gonna be one of those great reads since it took so long to come out in paper back and i love love love the show!!! I was to discover that it was the worst thing ever written and i want a refund!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 20, 2006

    Sex and the City

    I read this book because I absolutly love the show.....but the book is horrible!!!...with all the tittles this book does not keep my attention at all....In fact this is one of the worst books I have read...take my advice and watch the show!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 10, 2014

    Im a new beyer how is it

    Juj

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

    Posted August 28, 2013

    ITS A SERIES!!!!!!

    All of you who are giving bad reviews would get it if you read the Carrie Diaries

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

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Uw

    U

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Leo

    His nine inch co ck sits on his bed

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 19, 2012

    If you want it to be the series I would pass.

    I am a huge fan of the show. The book is similar to the first season where she speaks to many people and stops to look at the camera. but it is not a novel. It is too choppy for my taste and I wanted to read about the characters on the show. It did not keep my attention.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Exactly like SATC

    This book is exactly like the first season of SATC. Looking back, it annoys me how Carrie would freeze frame and comment, but that's exactly what the book does with it's small clips of articles. A lot of the titles for the articles are even the same as episodes from the show. The characters are loosely based, and you can usually guess which book character is the respective show lady. And, Carrie actually makes it big in the show from writing this exact kind of book (she did her book reading in CA, reading snippets about Big.)

    I got half way through before I lost interest, but the book is true to form. Don't let other reviews get in the way. It's not a book about the show and if you expect that, then you won't be disappointed.

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

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Question

    Is that Candace Bushnell on the cover?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2012

    Horrible book. The characters are underdeveloped and therefore u

    Horrible book. The characters are underdeveloped and therefore unlikeable. The whole thing is hard to follow and lacks flow. It could have been really great, but it just fell painfully short.

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

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Mind numbingly boring

    I was looking forward to reading this based on the recommendations of numerous friends. I made it through 5 chapters before I could read no more. It is without a doubt the worst book I have ever tried to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2012

    IF You Are a Fan of the TV Series (And I'm Assuming You Are)

    As a young writer and lover of the grand city called New York, I am completely appalled by the people who clearly didn't take Sex and the City as what it was--the TV series, based on this book of essays, is a classic, I'll admit. I used to watch it with my Mother every night after I turned fifteen. We would watch the reruns on HBO OnDemand and I became absolutely infatuated with the concept of Carrie trying to find love in all the wrong places. When I picked up this book, I had realized that it wasn't a novel from the very beginning, and I once I dove into the pages I saw that the show had been loosely based on the life of Candance, who in my opinion is a magnificent writer. Her columns put into this print are honest, insightful, and undoubtedly witty. This book is stunningly brilliant.
    All of the bad reviews are by people who didn't seem to realize that SATC was NOT based on a novel. The story came from the REAL-LIFE columns of Bushnell. If you are looking for the novelization of the story of Carrie, you need to read The Carrie Diaries and Summer in the City (which I also loved like crazy), because you won't find that here.

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

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Horrible

    How did this become a show? How did this become a BEST SELLER?! The sample I read prior to buying the book was too short. If it had been longer & had seen the layout of the stories, I NEVER would have purchased this book. I feel duped because I was expecting it to be like the show. I'd gladly accept my money back.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 144 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)