One Fifth Avenue
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"ONE FIFTH AVENUE is a modern comedy of manners -- a landmark novel, if you like. Its observations about money, the Internet, the function of art in society as wellas sex romps, social climbing and snobbery enhance Bushnell's reputation as an astute observer of modern life....Carrie Bradshaw wannabes as well as women (and men) near Bushnell's age -- she turns 50 this year -- will be pulled into this refreshing and highly entertaining novel about the power of money, sex and celebrity."

"Bushnell...broadens her scope in her latest ode to New York strivers and sophisticates...The fun lies in the author's acute observations about everything from real estate envy to midlife crises."

"Where [Bushnell] goes, her army of stilletoed fans follow. You gotta love it: the conflict, the secrets-telling, the peek into the world of the rich and valueless. It all adds up to a juicy summer read."
--New York Post

"One Fifth Avenue is all things an escapist read she be: quick and wicked and wry. There's a blown-out bitch to root against, a star-crossed couple to root for, and a Tim Gunn-style best friend who deserves his own book. Great, guiltless fun."
--Entertainment Weekly

From one of the most consistently astute and engaging social commentators of our day comes another look at the tough and tender women of New York City--this time, through the lens of where they live.

One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over one of Manhattan's oldest and most historically hip neighborhoods, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into--one way or another. For the women in Candace Bushnell's new novel, One Fifth Avenue, this edifice is essential to the lives they've carefully established--or hope to establish. From the hedge fund king's wife to the aging gossip columnist to the free-spirited actress (a recent refugee from L.A.), each person's game plan for a rich life comes together under the soaring roof of this landmark building.

Acutely observed and mercilessly witty, One Fifth Avenue is a modern-day story of old and new money, that same combustible mix that Edith Wharton mastered in her novels about New York's Gilded Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminated in his Jazz Age tales. Many decades later, Bushnell's New Yorkers suffer the same passions as those fictional Manhattanites from eras past: They thirst for power, for social prominence, and for marriages that are successful--at least to the public eye. But Bushnell is an original, and One Fifth Avenue is so fresh that it reads as if sexual politics, real estate theft, and fortunes lost in a day have never happened before.

From Sex and the City through four successive novels, Bushnell has revealed a gift for tapping into the zeitgeist of any New York minute and, as one critic put it, staying uncannily "just the slightest bit ahead of the curve." And with each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. Her stories progress so nimbly and ring so true that it can seem as if anyone might write them--when, in fact, no one writes novels quite like Candace Bushnell. Fortunately for us, with One Fifth Avenue, she has done it again.

Customer Reviews:

  • God Awful
    Saw this in the bookstore and after so many years of watching Sex and The City, I thought I would give this a shot. That was a very bad decision. It was awful. Bushnell was way out of her depths. She should stick to the strictly funny and stay away from the melodrama. Don't waste your time on this book....more info
  • Wonderful read about social status
    Having not been too impressed with the book Sex and the City, but being a HUGE fan of the show and also of Lipstick Jungle, I decided to pick this one up. All I have to say that I am really glad that I did.
    Yes, there are alot of characters and several different stories built into the plot, but it all truly fits together. Candace Bushnell's writing style also leaves nothing to complain about. She really drew me into a story that could have been quite complicated with all the different characters, but like I said it fits together beautifully.
    The story is basically about life in an apartment building on Fifth Avenue as the title states. This is a very coveted building to live on this posh street. It seems there is someone ready to move in or dreaming of the day they can move in when an apartment becomes availabe, and this is exactly what happens when an older lady in penthouse apartment dies. Turns out a nouveau rich by hedge fund couple moves into the wanted apartment, and there are a few residents not happy about it. This is the main story, but within this are several little stories that tie together about a handful of the residents in the building.
    The main theme of the book, I believe is looking at the lives of the upper crust of New York society. Those who are a part such as the aunt, those who would like to be included such as Mindy Gooch and Lola, and those who are new to the society such as the hedge fund couple. And there is also the fridge of the society, namely, Billy, who is part of the society but only for what he can do for others.
    I get this feeling there is still somewhat of a bias of the nouveau rich from the old money in this society. If you have money you will be accepted, but sometimes at arms length.
    Candace Bushnell gives great insight into the lives of the posh and the wanna be's of the posh side of New York City. If you enjoy her other works or shows based on her works give this one a try....more info
  • A Thoroughly Enjoyable Read
    I loved Candace Bushnell's talk show on Sirius Radio so I decided to pick this up, even though I did not care for Four Blondes, which is the only other book of hers that I have read.

    I really enjoyed this book. I think it is best described as a voyeuristic account of New York society as contained in an upper class building. I thought that the characters were all interesting as were their connections to each other. This is actually a very character driven book, with a nice little plot thrown in. I looked forward to reading it before bed every day and even found myself toting it around with me to see if I could sneak in a couple of pages here and there.

    Not too heavy, not too light. This was just the right read. Enjoy!...more info
  • Entertaining
    My first Candace Bushnell book, won't be my last. Has great characters, a love story, and a mystery. Can't ask for more....more info
  • Not worth it
    I have loved most of her books but was very disappointed at this one. I could not get past the first chapter for a week (and mind you, I'm an avid reader). I recommend it's checked out of a library for free. Not worth any money, heck not worth your time unless stranded on an island with nothing else to read....more info
  • One never knows when their very own "million-dollar" lover will jet them away to Fifth Avenue for life's greatest indulgences
    The pursuit of money and the extravagances it can buy, and what it is like to live when money is no object, is the fascinating social commentary written by one of New York's premier 21st-century novelists, Candace Bushnell. Those who possess old money and new money are striving for status, art, publicity and New York real estate.

    The reader is seduced by New York City and the fantasy that if you can make it in the Big Apple, you can make it anywhere. Money, odd couple relationships and age are recurring themes with Carrie Bradshaw-style commentary by Bushnell: "Perhaps too much money was like too much sex. It crossed the line and became pornographic."

    Bushnell's fifth novel shines the spotlight on an eclectic group of people who currently live at or who are scheming to live at One Fifth Avenue. Bushnell's characters are socialites, writers, gossip columnists, actresses and hedge-fund managers, and for contrast she has thrown in Mindy Gooch, who writes a blog titled "The Joys of Not Having It All." She is the outsider looking in, even though she resides at One Fifth.

    When the "queen of society" Louise Houghton dies leaving her "legendary collection of jewelry," including the mysteriously stolen Cross of Bloody Mary and her historical penthouse at One Fifth with a domed ballroom and a 360-degree view of Manhattan, the race to see who can acquire the coveted real estate first begins.

    The idea that money seduces us and creates aspiring social-climbing whores and that "Forty million isn't real money. A hundred million is getting there" paints a picture of our society that is alarming but possibly true. Bushnell concludes that the young are afraid to grow up to be the "establishment" --- that is, until money talks. There is power in having limitless amounts of money, but she also writes characters like Annalisa Rice who are unhappy, despite their billions and Chopard watches.

    Philip Oakland grew up at One Fifth. He has won a Pulitzer Prize and an Oscar, and is writing screenplays for Hollywood, yet he is restless, out of touch and easily seduced by the much younger Lola, who is seeking to marry into money. Lola's character is the energy in this novel. She has the "unbridled confidence of youth," a keen sense of status and the power to use sexual temptation to elevate her social status. Each of her conquests is a writer, and her sexcapades are the only sex here. Romance is absent in ONE FIFTH AVENUE, but surprisingly the older women are ultimately winners over the younger ones. Age, wisdom and money still have clout, but sex without romance is like marriage, and Bushnell's readers are used to fantasy and lovers who excite us.

    If you are looking for another SEX AND THE CITY with rich relationships between female friends, lovers and sexy shoes, or another LIPSTICK JUNGLE, with women working and sleeping their way to the top, you will not find that in this latest Bushnell effort. The author has matured, and in many places I felt she was writing her own experiences about million-dollar book advances, two-week book tours, fleeting fame and growing older in a city that requires mega money to surpass your peers in the "playground of New York society."

    ONE FIFTH characters all share a love for New York and lead glamorous lives full of photo shoots, private dinners, ad campaigns, red carpet events, society photos, fashion and gossip. Enid Merle is a gossip columnist living at One Fifth who harbors the secrets of the bastion of the wealthy. Actress Schiffer Diamond returns to New York after a Hollywood divorce and pursues former lover Philip Oakland.

    To put the characters' silver-lined lives into perspective, one of the most memorable conversations in this book is between Schiffer Diamond and society escort Billy Litchfield: "He keeps turning up like a bad penny, doesn't he?" "More like a million-dollar bill," Billy said. Now this is the Bushnell we have come to know and love. One never knows when their very own "million-dollar" lover will jet them away to Fifth Avenue for life's greatest indulgences. Don't forget --- Champagne, Chopard and Chanel are a girl's best friends!

    --- Reviewed by Hillary Wagy...more info
  • Bushnell brings characters to life
    Bushnell does a fabulous job in bringing the characters in One Fifth to life. One Fifth is a fun, candy for the eyes read about the upper crust in Manhattan. ...more info
  • One Fifth Avenue - don't expect Sex and the City
    Do not expect One Fifth Avenue to be Sex and the City. It is more in the style of 740 Park or High Rise Low Down, except that it is in the fiction genre. There are many characters, but even the problems that I normally have in keeping characters separated weren't too difficult. , however I wish that they could have been more `fleshed out' in their motives and inner thoughts - most are only implied. It's an interesting read, but there are many other non fiction books out there on the same subject.. Life in an exclusive New York apartment that are a much more interesting read because they are non fiction and therefore the characters and their motives are more fully developed - just do not expect the `normal' Candace Bushnell novel...more info
  • Very well Done!!!
    "One Fifth Avenue"m the latest novel by "Sex and the City"'s writer, Candace Bushnell is the first book I've read of hers. So I have nothing to compare it to nor did I go into it with any expectations, aside from hearing it was on the NY Best Sellers list. I think the reason she is on the best seller's list isn't so much about the story but for her writing. She is a very descriptive writer, and well, she has done a lot of writing now and seems like a truly good writer. The dialogue was great. There was some snappy bits about life in NYC strewn throughout the entire book. It is basically about One Fifth Avenue, a building/co-op where the rich, new rich, and not so rich but on the co-op board reside. Many of them have been there for years, and one of the oldest residents, Mrs. Houghton, passes away. When her 'apartment', which is described more like a house or small castle, is up for sale, there is a lot of banter back and forth from Mindy Gooch, the co-op president, and the other residents. Philip Oakland, a writer, that also lives in the building thanks to his Aunt Enid, gets involved with Lola, a young, mindless, sex starved girl that will stop at nothing to keep her new lifestyle up. But does she survive in NYC? And she does she win Philip's heart over movie star, Schiffer Diamond?
    Paul and Annalisa Rice buy Mrs. Houghton's place and change it drastically, to which Mrs. Gooch is none to pleased with. There a lot of characters in this book, and they all add to the mix like a great spice that makes a dish worth savoring. There is a rather myriad assortment of characters, too.
    Reading this was like looking into the building to see how these people live and how the react to each other. There is quite a bit of sex in this as well. But what else would any reader expect from the writer of Sex and the City?
    It was a good idea for a book. There were subplots due to the various characters storylines. I bought it and it was worth the price. I will definitely be reading more of her Candace's books. ...more info
  • Disappointing Ending...
    Starts out kind of all over the place...too much plot, too many characters. A few chapters in, it gets really good and you're hooked. But when I read the last page of "One Fifth Avenue," I said to myself, "That's it?!?" I will admit that Bushnell does a good job with some twists and surprises and her characters are well thought out(Annalisa Rice is my favorite character), but I felt that in the end, more could have been done for each of the characters....more info
  • The Best One by Candace Bushnell
    I will admit that I am a big fan of Sex and the City, but not such a big fan of all Bushnell's books since. As a matter of fact, I didn't like them very much. This one changed my point-of-view of Bushnell. I loved it! The twists and turns I did not see coming. The characters were so much fun. You really never knew what they would do next. Every character had an agenda, and their priorities in life. I like that the building was very much a character, as well, and how ruthless all the characters were to get into the building and stay in the building. I listened to this one on CD and would highly recommend. This one is perfect for someone who wants an enjoyable read that actually has a bit more depth than one would expect and lots and lots of fun!!! I would personally love to see this one made into a movie....more info
  • It's the One.
    Actually, it's the one I was able to read all the way through. CB owes her career as a book author to television and the producers and screenwriters that can make her look better than she is. SATC the book was dreadful, yet it was spun into gold by people who took her stories and characters and turned them into something. I made it to Chapter 3 of Lipstick Jungle before I asked myself why I was torturing myself, yet the show is a hit. In One Fifth, the characters are pretty good and their stories are fun to read, if not cliched. The writing is pedantic, but I envision the TV show that's sure to follow, a star studded success due to the aforementioned producers and screenwriters who will turn it into the next Hotel/Love Boat....more info
  • A great read
    An exciting look into the lives of the residents in a Manhattan building with a storied past. Read as the lives of the "haves" and the "want to haves" clash in unexpected twists and turns....more info
  • Highly entertaining
    Candace Bushnell's "One Fifth Avenue" revolved around a historic Manhattan building where residents were artsy and somewhat rich. Things became complicated when one of its resident died and there was a vacancy in the building. Soon, Annalisa and her hedge-funder husband, Paul Rice moved in and began to change the way things were done in the building, especially since they were a lot richer than the rest of the residents. The other residents included Philip Oakland, a famous writer with his young girlfriend, his aunt, a columnist who also owned a unit there, and Mindy Gooch, the annoying and also the head of the resident board.

    This was an extremely fun read for me, as Bushnell wrote about the gossips and the social happenings involving the residents. I was surprised that the book was quite engaging as I was lost at the beginning with the introduction of so many characters. All the characters in the book were not necessary unique but were definitely captivating and I can see the book being made into a movie or a TV series. Highly recommended! ...more info
  • From S. Krishna's Books
    I used to dislike Candace Bushnell quite a bit. Not as a person (I don't know her, of course), but as an author; I could never find real enjoyment in her books. Instead, I'd always become frustrated with her vapid characters and find myself utterly disliking her novels. I admit, I have not read Sex and the City, the book that has defined Bushnell's career. But I have read Trading Up and 4 Blondes (I can't remember much of anything about either, which means that I found them completely forgettable), but I do remember Lipstick Jungle. For some reason, I couldn't stand it - I'm not sure if it was the characters or the plot, or maybe my own prejudices, but I found myself hating the book every step of the way. After that experience, I decided to simply stop reading Bushnell's works...but then came One Fifth Avenue.

    In the end, I decided to read One Fifth Avenue because of the reviews I had read. I heard it was a bit more grown up than Bushnell's other novels, and that she had developed as a writer. I heard that it might be her best work to date. So I decided to go ahead and give it a try. And I'm glad I did.

    One Fifth Avenue is, in essence, a book about people. Though the title is the address of a prestigious apartment building in Manhattan, the book is about the people living within the structure.

    There are too many characters in the book to be able to address each individually, but each really is worthy of mention. There is Mindy, the woman who the reader is supposed to hate at the beginning of the book, but she slowly becomes more palatable, to the point where she is a very sympathetic character. And the there is Lola, the character that every reader will love to hate because she is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the "reality TV" generation. Then there is Paul, who morphs from a relatively likeable guy to something else entirely, Annalisa, who is dear from the beginning of the book to the end, and James, who the reader ends up just feeling sorry for through the course of the book. Like him or hate him, Phillip is simply weak, and Schiffer is not your typical Hollywood starlet. And there are more characters that I haven't mentioned.

    That brief description might give you a picture of what the novel is like. However, it is not difficult keeping the characters straight; Bushnell does a wonderful job giving each of them a distinct personality. It really is an ensemble drama that is a treat to witness. I really did enjoy this book, and it has given me new respect for Candace Bushnell. Though I never doubted her ability to write, I did question her character-writing skills. I am glad to say that I was completely and utterly wrong. Give One Fifth Avenue a chance; you will be drawn into a world of obscene wealth and desperation, but also of love and forgiveness. If you enjoy reading about socialites or chick lit in general, this book is not to be missed. ...more info
  • Page turner
    I've never read a book by this author nor have I seen Sex and the City. I enjoyed this tale of a high-end apartment building and the people who lived there. I was surprised by how much I got into the story and didn't want it to end.

    I have one complaint, though, about the character of Lola, who is a self-entitled 22-year old who sleeps with several male characters in the book to wangle her way into what she thinks is the life she deserves, after her moderately affluent parents go bankrupt. This character is written more like 15 or 16 than 22, and I found her less than believable; she was more a sterotype of the self-entitled 'snowflake' generation. ...more info
  • when's the move in date?
    Knowing when to poke fun at her own craft, Candace Bushnell springs forth yet another tale of elite New York womanhood and their Amazonian destruction on modern society. Their tongues wag, their credit cards fly, and their lipsticks smirk in this fun farce revolving around a New York apartment building set smack at the beginning of Fifth Avenue.

    It is clear before the prologue concludes that one never really emotes to any of these people and the sycophants that cling to them for the publicity they could potentially offer. It's in this apathetic nature that their story unfolds before you on the page, playing out in five brilliant acts of campy glee. These women are truly wretched and you can't help but feel a bit like two of the characters in the novel: Lola Fabrikant and Thayer Core. Both are lurking around the perimeter of this expansive co-op, longing to be a part of the glitz and glamour despite the unfortunate incidents that occur inside. A dried up mogul, a magazine empress, a recovering author, an actress returning from Los Angeles failure, a hedge-fund tycoon with his endearingly na?ve wife, and a best-selling author are all splayed out for these ripe young characters to leach on with us, siphoning out every last drop of what's left!

    Ms. Bushnell is methodical with "One Fifth Avenue" and delivers the goods, with such an aloof air, you can't help but feel guilty for not caring an ounce for anyone involved. The fact that she shares in your glee and understands New York's own humoristic absurdity only keeps you coming back for more.

    I finished this novel with the need to live inside this fictitious fabrication she had made! Here's to hoping someone else will move in and give us a sequel to latch onto!...more info
    Gather round all you Sex and the City and Lipstick Jungle fans and don't miss a word of Candace Bushnell's latest take on the merry/wary-go-round that is her New York City. Bushnell is one author with her finger on the pulse, ear to the ground, and a stiletto heeled step ahead of the pack when it comes to fictional residents of this city of 8 million. Yes, they are fictional folks but Bushnell's painterly pen brings them to crying, laughing, plotting life. How many of us considered Carrie a dear friend?

    This time out we go through the exclusive doors of an upscale Art Deco apartment building to meet Schiffer Diamond, Lola Fabrikant, Mindy Gooch, Annalisa Rice and Enid Merle. A keen observer Bushnell details each one's foibles, frailties, and fantasies with insight and humor. Her metier is often satire, and it is put to good use with this group. Most wouldn't want to have them as neighbors but One Fifth Avenue is a great place to visit, and you won't want to miss a detail.

    Poor insecure Mindy frets because she lives in the building's smallest apartment (after all, this is where address and floor space = social acceptance), and Enid is an over-the-hill gossip columnist. Schiffer is an actress, and Annalisa with pots of new money is eager to buy her way into high society. Money talks - hers screams. Lola is young, lovely, used to getting her own way, and isn't about to be ignored.

    Award winning actress Donna Murphy delivers a can't stop-listening-to narration of this tale of the rich and fatuous. A highly acclaimed musical actress Murphy's reading is enhanced not only by her acting prowess but also by her naturally melodious voice.

    - Gail Cooke
    ...more info
  • Best Candace Bushnell Book Yet!
    I have read all of Candace Bushnell's books and have loved them, but this is by far her best! The characters are captivating and the plot is full of excitement and surprises....more info
  • wait for paperback
    I really enjoyed her previous book and had good expectations for this one. However, it did not meet them. No characters who were likable, issues that would never have happened to real people in NY, and the story never guite developed...for chick lit this is like taking a vacation but never quite arriving. ...more info
  • bushnell - wharton
    i won't say bushnell's writing is as witty or stylish as wharton but this story really, really felt like a modern day version of wharton's world.

    yes, almost all the characters are in some way selfish, greedy, shallow, stupid, but people are! i found myself understanding and sympathizing at some point with most of them. maybe that's because i too am middle aged, in a life that didn't turn out quite as i hoped. i read the whole thing in 2 days. it could be a good movie.

    the reviewers who are complaining about too many characters? you sound just like lola fabrikant in the book!...more info
  • Shallow, Shallow, and More Shallowness
    Well where should we start? The soap opera plot, the shallow characters, or the lack of emotion. The book is almost like a catalog of how to be mean, conniving, and shallow. The book is like a bad soap that you are stuck watching and hoping at one point becomes interesting, but "NO" not here! The Characters are bunch of rich and emotionless people (bithces might be a better word), but wait you learn something important in the book and that is to, *stay away from One Fifth Avenue building*!
    ...more info
  • Yuck!
    I don't usually review things,BUT... this book is horrible. I keep hoping a tornado will kill all the characters so it will be over. I hate to leave a book unread, but at page 292 I am finally giving up. This is my third attempt at reading it. OK, about the book. There are about 8 main characters (too many) and sadly none of them are likeable enough to even care about. Lola - self centered, spoiled and manipulative - and not in an interesting way. Phillip- shallow & juvenille with not enough personality to care about him. Actually there is minimal personality for any of them, and the ones that do have something to them are totally unlikeable. I have lost hours of my life reading this. Don't waste yours. Oh, if I could give 0 stars or negative stars, I would. ...more info
  • Simply dreadful!
    It is really unfortunate that one must give at least one star in order to leave a review. At best, One Fifth Avenue is a half-star book.

    Too many dull characters, with some of the most ridiculous names ever. I lost interest in them long before there was any evidence of plot development. The sex was more graphic than it needed to be, but that wasn't really surprising. Lola had

    A couple of characters suffered needlessly, a couple more got just what they deserved, but in the end, I just didn't care....more info
  • The Lust for Power and Social Position...
    In an Art Deco building in one of Manhattan's oldest and most hip neighborhoods, a conclave of fictional Manhattanites reside; they are a mix of old and new money, a power-hungry and socially eager group that will do almost anything to maintain their residences - and hence, their social positions - in this piece of real estate that represents so much more to each of them. Thus begins the tale of One Fifth Avenue.

    First, we meet some of the elder residents - those who have the respect of the others. We meet Louise Houghton, who has been in the building for more than thirty years - and is nearly 100 years old - who occupies the penthouse apartment that hovers like three tiers on a wedding cake, above all the others. Then we see Enid Merle, whose apartment on the thirteenth floor is the best (after the penthouse, of course) and is next to her nephew Philip Oakland, a writer. She, too, is elderly.

    Louise and Enid are the historians for the place, and know "where all the bodies are buried".

    Schiffer Diamond, an actress, has primarily lived in LA for the past several years, but after obtaining a part in a TV series, she returns to her small unit at One Fifth Avenue.

    Billy Litchfield resides on lower Fifth Avenue and has little money. However, he acts as a kind of concierge to the very rich, and thus has entr¨¦e into the soirees and special events attended by the very rich. He is in and out of One Fifth Avenue, mixing with the residents as if he belongs.

    On the very bottom floor, Mindy and James Gooch reside, with their 13-year-old computer-whiz of a son. Theirs is a cramped unit with a series of box-like rooms - they were formerly luggage space - but Mindy Gooch is the head of the board for the cooperative apartment building. She wields some power in enforcing the rules and keeping out the unsavory potential residents.

    But the residents shun her and exclude her from the social events.

    When Louise Houghton dies unexpectedly - strangely put, since she is so old, but everyone expected her to live forever - her prime penthouse apartment is "up for grabs".

    Enter Paul and Annalisa Rich, the new rich - he is a hedge fund billionaire and she, a former attorney - and more drama begins.

    When the Rices buy the penthouse for 20 million, they are welcomed - at first. Then a series of events, coupled with Paul Rice's arrogant and paranoid behavior, lead to a warring of various factions, until in the end, everyone wants Paul out. He, on the other hand, with his money, greed and power, hopes to eliminate the others.

    Mixed with various romances and the sexually-charged liaisons of the characters, we have a dramatic tale of power and lust gone mad.

    What will happen to ultimately tip the balance of power and who will end up reigning? What sabotage will finally lead to tragedy, and who will end up paying the highest price?

    These characters, richly drawn and compelling, remind us of Bushnell's other works - Sex and the City and Lipstick Jungle - and their antics kept me turning the pages eagerly until the final act.

    Laurel-Rain Snow
    Author of:
    Embrace the Whirlwind, etc.

    ...more info