Maneater

Maneater

by Gigi Levangie Grazer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416523345
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Gigi Levangie Grazer is the author of three prior novels: Rescue Me (2000), Maneater (2003), and The Starter Wife (2006). The Starter Wife was adapted for an Emmy Award–winning USA Network miniseries starring Debra Messing, and later for a television series; Maneater was adapted for a Lifetime miniseries starring Sarah Chalke in May 2009. In addition, Gigi wrote the screenplay for Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. Gigi’s articles have appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour. She lives in L.A. with her two children and three miniature dachshunds.

Hometown:

Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:

January 2, 1963

Place of Birth:

Los Angeles, California

Education:

Degree in Political Science, UCLA, 1984

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Meet

My God, the wedding was beautiful. So what if the bride with the translucent skin and white-gold hair (courtesy of the ex-gay-porn-star hairdresser with the pregnant Amazonian wife) had fucked every one of the groomsmen at one point or another in her short life.

Back up. Clarissa Alpert's life wasn't actually as short as she liked to let on. She deemed herself twenty-eight, which was a surprise to everyone who'd grown up with her in the relative impoverishment of the (Lower) Beverly Hills flats, where bungalow after bungalow had trudged only recently into the half-million-dollar range. In fact, she was thirty-one, but to her twenty-seven-and-a-half- ("halves" were still important to the boy) year-old bridegroom, the damaged scion of an old-money family, she was twenty-eight. Even her brittle-boned, anorexic, four-pack-a-day-smoker, Jewish mother, confused by the conviction of her daughter's lie, came to believe she had given birth to this unnatural force twenty-eight years ago.

Clarissa had set her sights on Aaron not long after dumping Sean Penn.

She hadn't really dated Sean Penn. However, Aaron Mason, of the Mason Department Stores, the largest midlevel chain in the South, idolized Sean Penn. Aaron, an SMU film school grad, was a nascent producer, new to Hollywood and its ways. Clarissa had discovered him tripping off the bus (in this case, out of his 2002 Bentley at valet parking in front of the Ivy). She always had had a thing for handicapped men, and finding one who happened to be driving her favorite luxury vehicle was enough to make Clarissa, confirmed atheist, a Sunni.

Clarissa had dated all kinds of men with various afflictions -- they ranged from dyslexics to a blind Moby-knockoff singer for a techno band to a wheelchair-bound Emmy-winning screenwriter. Clarissa had found herself, unfortunately, in like-plus with the screenwriter: she had enjoyed wiping spittle from his face, she had treasured his incoherent affections.

But a screenwriter? And a television screenwriter at that? Clarissa was only twenty-eight (she insisted); she was not ready to give up the brass (platinum, Tiffany) ring quite yet.

Aaron's affliction was a clubfoot. Clarissa watched him like a tiger eyeing a fatted wildebeest as he made his way from his navy Bentley up the ziggurat-like patio steps of the Ivy to his awaiting table, where three men with chubby egos yelled obscenities into tiny cell phones.

The limp cinched the deal.


Their romance was short; two weeks longer, it could have been called "whirlwind." Clarissa squired her prized cabbage to parties from the graffitied, Ecstasy-laden banks of Silverlake to the gilded, coke-encrusted shorelines of Malibu. Aaron could not have known what hit him, though he may have known (as we'll later learn) that Clarissa had slept her way, without mercy, regret, mourning or conscience, through Greater Los Angeles. But he could not have known that she lied about her age, religion (Episcopalian at the Bel Air country club, Jewish at Hillcrest), mating habits, hair color, plastic surgeries, level of education, her mother's nose job, her upbringing, her downfall, her rehab stay(s), the number of pregnancies she'd experienced -- three -- without an actual birth, and that she lied to anyone at any time for any reason.

At least, in the beginning, he could not have known Clarissa was a sociopath-in-training, as common to L.A. as envy and palm trees. He could not have known, emerging from the relative norm that is suburban Georgia, that sociopaths are even more prevalent in Los Angeles than in Washington, D.C. -- and more celebrated.

And here, Clarissa Alpert was very celebrated, indeed.

Prologue, or How This Whole Mess Got Started


10:42 P.M., New Year's Eve. The following was being scribbled onto a Le Domaine cloth napkin:

January 1, 2003, Wish List: Men I, Clarissa Alpert, being of soundish mind and incredible (aux natural!) body, would like to acquire this year:
1. Bruce Springsteen (too old, married, children [ugh], probably happy. Level of difficulty: 9+)
2. Peter Morton (rich, Hard Rock (Planet Hollywood?) restaurants, etc., divorced...rich, rich, rich, engaged. Level of difficulty: 6)
3. Ted Field (rich, heir, ext. rich, likes tall, skinny, beautiful blondes. Who are 18. Who have proof of being 18. May be difficult: 10)
4. Graydon Carter (ink-hasn't-dried-divorced, dozen or so kids). Powerful, underlined. Semi-British accent -- yummy AND peculiar. Level of difficulty: 8+ -- P.S. Prefers classy girls with exquisite taste...UGH.)


Clarissa Regina Alpert was making up her yearly to-do list. Lists, she knew, were important to the goal-oriented life; writing them imbued focus and direction. She had learned this lesson from an ex-ex-ex...ex boyfriend bartender/actor/stuntman with a permanently curled lip who learned it from a Dianetics course at the giant, Smurf-blue Church of Scientology (which he'd joined to meet Tom Cruise, John Travolta, or, at the very least, Jenna Elfman, better known as "Dharma").

Clarissa tried to learn one tidbit of knowledge from every man she'd ever dated; though she was never a great student of school or life, she happened to be the Valedictorian of Men.

She had written her "Man List" every year, on the New Year, since she had turned eighteen (twenty-one). Most of her waking minutes were spent in the company of girlfriends, but this was one tradition Clarissa saved for her own company; planning her future demanded her full and immediate attention.

She scribbled on, using Larry the Waiter's chewed pen. She was on her third Kir Royale, and work was to be done...

"You a screenwriter?" said a voice. Male. (No one in Los Angeles who appeared to be a writer could be anything but a screenwriter. Poets and novelists, much like vampires, hate the sun. Even if it's shrouded behind a smog burkha.)

A gorgeous "hairless" was standing in front of Clarissa. "Hairless" or "Leos" or "Preschoolers" were terms Clarissa and her girlfriends used for men under twenty-five.

However, Clarissa looked not at his unmarked, eager face, but at his shoes.

They were not Prada. They were not Gucci. They were not even Kenneth Cole.

They looked suspiciously like Hush Puppies. Vomit, Clarissa thought. Sherman Oaks studio apartment, music industry mailroom -- or worse, agent-in-training...

"You may leave," Clarissa said, and went back to her mad scribbling.

"Excuse me? You don't even know -- "

"Go. Away. Now. Take your ball, go on..." She said, with the warmth of an injured cobra.

Poor boy; he looked shocked. He almost frowned, but, unused to the expression, settled for a pout.

He made the mistake of trying to talk again.

"Look, I've eaten at your table, comprendez-vous? Not interested." Clarissa cut him off.

"Bitch." But he used the invective under his breath; the Leo was afraid.

Clarissa emitted a proper bobcat hiss, her precisely bonded teeth briefly displayed.

Back to the list. This year, the list had taken on greater importance.

"Think, Princess," she said to herself. Clarissa checked her watch. She had many, many girlfriends but they weren't to be trusted with her secret list. Much as she loved and adored them, why should she give her friends any ideas? However, she had promised to meet up at the Playboy Mansion (Silicone Valley, Tits Central, Home of the Free and the Laid) with her girls later. There was much fun to be had there among the cheesy food, the failed sitcom stars, the dank, infamous grotto that reeked of semen, desperate laughs, and cash, and then, the endless river of gorgeous women, so many they had to be bused in, and all so aggressively beautiful that ugliness itself became a welcome commodity.

But right now, there was work to be done.

5...

5. There has to be more than four.

Clarissa thought, out loud, "Have I dated everyone on the bicoastals?"

Larry the Waiter came by again, lanky as a rubber band. "Si, oui, affirmative -- that would be a yes in any language," he said, and set down another champagne cocktail. Without having to be asked.

All men, Clarissa thought, should be gay waiters.

"You should know, Mother," Clarissa agreed.

Clarissa wrote a name down.

"Larry the Waiter knows all, Miss All-That-and-More. You've been sliding in here since you were legal."

5. John F. Kennedy, Jr. (rich, good family, married [unhappily?]. Dead. Level of Difficulty:...8)

"Correction. Before I was legal." Clarissa loved Larry the Waiter. He was gay, smart, bitchy, and bald. A yummy combo.

"Listen, honey, if you don't land one of these jumbo jets soon, I'm going to tie a yellow ribbon around your head and declare you a national emergency."......

Customer Reviews

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Maneater 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
stacyinthecity on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The main character was too superficial and just plain unlikeable, while I could not relate to any part of the plot. She is a rich snob who never had to live in the real world, when she learns she is being cut off from the family money. She comes up with a plot to marry a rich man but there are more twists and turns in store for her. There were a few redeeming bits here and there which is why it didn't get just one star, but overwhelmingly it wasn't great.
theepicrat on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I picked this along with The Starter Wife to see how the book compared to the USA miniseries. Sadly, I did not think either book was worthwhile. The main character in Maneater was annoying and superficial. The main character was planning a wedding between her and her love interest well before they had a first date - what couldn't be more intriguing? I did not think the book executed this well. I had expected more battle between the sexes and the wedding to occur far later in the book. It occurred halfway through the book, and the rest of it just got weirder and unbelievable.
roseysweetpea on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I absolutely adored this book with its herione who gets the tables turned on her. While she is shallow, it only makes what follows even more funny. It is the story of what happens when you let your wants and expectations go and just let yourself fall in love. I love that it ends up happy even though for a while, you don't see how it possibly can. It is a quick read and completely enjoyable.
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
I loved the book just as much as I loved the mini-series starring Sarah Chalk. While the characters were airheads and sometimes the storyline became downright ridiculous; I cant imagine someone getting married without even telling her what his real name was, the book was fantastic. It really makes you wonder if some Beverly hills ladies are like this.. A++++
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greenmtngirl More than 1 year ago
I thought that the book was good and enjoyed reading it! It Also made me LOL! I would recommend you to read it.
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angels44 More than 1 year ago
I read the book because I recorded part 1 of the movie and wanted to know how it ended. The story line was ok but I could have done without the vulgarity at times.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Gigi is an awesome writer. I bought this book first and went out and purchased her other two books. For someone that reads more serious type fiction....this was an awesome vacation. I would love for her to write more....more...more
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading and usually read 3-4 books per week (sometimes more). I had to force myself to read this book since I had wasted money on buying it. The story line (plot) was practically non-existent and what there was, was poorly written. The female characters lacked sustenance (they were real air-heads) and most male characters were in the same boat (the only possible exception was James and he was quirky with his stuffed animals tucked in the marriage bed). I could not relate to any of the female characters and found that I really didn't want to. Not a book that I would recommend to anyone. (By the way, my use of parentheses in this review was intentional, hint, hint.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book started off kinda boring for me but it quickly picked up. I enjoyed seeing how a high class girl found her way when her world got turned upside down. I would recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
FUN, FUNNY AND GREAT TWIST AT THE END.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My guy friend gave me this book for my birthday as a joke. My nickname to him is 'the maneater'. ha! It took me a couple of chapters to warm up to the book, but after that I couldn't put it down! Gigi kept me wondering what was going to happen next throughout the entire book. Her writing style is fun and most of the stories were hilarious! I learned a lot... especially about Chineese herbs. ha! I know you'll enjoy the book! I've sent it to some of my close friends for a read and they have loved it as well. Buy it!! It's a must girly girl read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a little confusing - at first all the characters seemed like vapid, money-hungry back-stabbers, but as the book went on, the reader finds out no one is really who they appeared to be at first. What started out seeming like a waste of my time turned out to be an almost heart-warming story. Sure, it could have been written a little better, but I feel that it was a good (not great) book.