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Sex and the City

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Enter a world where the sometimes shocking and often hilarious mating habits of the privileged are exposed by a true insider. In essays drawn from her witty and sometimes brutally candid column in the New York Observer, Candace Bushnell introduces us to the young and beautiful who travel in packs from parties to bars to clubs. Meet "Carrie," the quintessential young writer looking for love in all the wrong places..."Mr. Big," the business tycoon who drifts from one relationship to another..."Samantha Jones," the fortyish, successful, "testosterone woman" who uses sex like a man...not to mention "Psycho Moms," "Bicycle Boys," "International Crazy Girls," and the rest of the New Yorkers who have inspired one of the most watched TV series of our time. You've seen them on HBO, now read the book that started it all...

304 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1996

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About the author

Candace Bushnell

73 books3,096 followers
Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed, international best-selling author of Killing Monica, Sex and the City, Summer and the City, The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Lipstick Jungle, Trading Up, and Four Blondes. Sex and the City, published in 1996, was the basis for the HBO hit series and two subsequent blockbuster movies. Lipstick Jungle became a popular television series on NBC, as did The Carrie Diaries on the CW.

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5 stars
14,851 (26%)
4 stars
11,786 (21%)
3 stars
14,610 (26%)
2 stars
8,799 (15%)
1 star
5,164 (9%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,202 reviews
Profile Image for Allison Floyd.
496 reviews57 followers
May 9, 2008
Ouch, ouch, my soul.

Please don't misunderstand. I like vanilla cupcakes top heavy with fluffy pink frosting as much as the next guy. That's why the show is a longstanding guilty pleasure of mine. The difference between the show and the book is that while acquisitive, status-obsessed party monsters with less depth than a paper cut comprise the bulk of the characters on the show as in the book, the show manages to flesh them out into comically fallible, three-dimensional human beings who, even if you find them repugnant, you can find weirdly fascinating and feel empathy toward.

The book: not so much. I had to read several passages multiple times because it was difficult to stay sufficiently engaged to pay attention.

"'It's cute. It's light. You know. It's not Tolstoy.'

'I'm not trying to be Tolstoy,' Carrie said. But of course, she was."

If Carrie Bradshaw really is the author's alter ego, you have to wonder. I would have settled for Fitzgerald. But these portraits of the power-hungry, the socially climbing, and the upwardly mobile aren't Gatsbyesque. They're ghastly.

Upon finishing this book, I felt like I'd consumed a dozen pink-frosted cupcakes. I apologized to my system for inundating it with crap and promised myself that I would eat more vegetables. And read Tolstoy.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
Author 1 book89 followers
October 3, 2007
There are very few books I quit reading, even if I don't like them, because I am compelled with book guilt most of the time.

I did not make it through this. All I can say is the writers for the HBO series REALLY had some vision, because the show was about 4000 times better than the book : )
Profile Image for Peter Topside.
Author 4 books803 followers
August 26, 2022
Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of the HBO series. So I was always curious about the original book, which was, I'm sorry to say, very disappointing. Sure there are similarities, ranging from characters, lines, and situations that were mirror images of the TV series, but the charm was almost totally lost. The story follows Carrie and some of her acquaintances, but focuses more so on a countless number of other characters. Each chapter starts off like an essay about another couple or person, but then goes to Carrie, and back and forth and on and on. This format made it really hard to focus on any specific person or portion of the book, and things just became jumbled and uninteresting. The ending also just kind of fell flat, and you just got some a bunch of quick synopses of the more prominent characters. Beyond the content, the writing is sharp, witty and funny, and kept my interest enough to keep reading. I really did want to enjoy this book, but it is probably one of the few times that I'll say the live action version was far superior than the original story.

I know that I’m a little late, but just realized that I forgot to add this into the original review. The biggest shock moment in this book was that Stanford had hair?!?!
Profile Image for Jill.
1,156 reviews76 followers
July 9, 2007
This was ridiculous. It was incredibly self-indulgent and trite. It's incredible that someone read this collection of articles and said, "Hey! Let's turn this into a wildly funny, intelligent, and timely series that will win Emmys and Jill's Heart!" Avoid the book, rent the series.
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
673 reviews6,093 followers
February 12, 2021
Check out my reading vlog for this book (including a SATC skit): https://youtu.be/Jarg6RMOotk

Ah, I love the series and movies so much that this hurts. I went into reading this knowing this was going to be nothing like the show, but that still didn't stop this book from disappointing me. Not because it's not like the show, but because of how badly this book has aged.

This is essentially a bunch of columns and interviews the author did for a magazine back in the 90s, and boy does it show. The people that are featured in this book are shallow and so unlikeable. It makes it worse that these people are real people, just with their names changed. Chapter 8 in particular, the one about threesomes, made my skin crawl. It was essentially a group of straight men talking about what they look for in threesomes and what women should do. Again, I get this is just a documentation on real people, but I was highly uncomfortable with the misogyny and lowkey homophobia depicted in this book.

Sometimes the narrator would slip into using the D word when referencing lesbians. Sometimes I was confused whether the narrator was the narrator or Carrie Bradshaw. There was no redeemable 'character' or anyone to personally like in this book. Even Samantha, who I love in the show but was also introduced as a powerful woman in this, slipped into the girl-on-girl hate that is so apparent from every female character. Even from the males. Ah, I just couldn't handle all the judgment. Even though I'm not a young female in New York, I still felt judged. This book really did make me feel worse about myself as a person.

There's plenty of things I took issue with this book which I highlight in my Sex and the City reading vlog if you would like to check it out - I also parody Carrie and Samantha from the show (even though my acting is terrible, I'd still say I was a little bit better than the book haha). The only reason this is a 2 star is because of CAWPILE and the fact I had to rate logic a 10, since this is somewhat non-fiction.
Profile Image for Katie.
230 reviews116 followers
May 3, 2008
I think I read this right after the show first started on HBO. The book is nowhere near as entertaining as the show...it doesn't have the 4-girlfriends-on-the-town approach that the show takes; instead, it just focuses on some caricature of a stupid New York-type that I hate: the ones who live here like it's LA with bad weather.

If I had read this before I watched any of the episodes, I never would have turned on the show.
Profile Image for Christy.
91 reviews
December 12, 2007
This book is nothing like the show (which I adore!). I couldn't make it past 50 pages of this book: I was so bored. Candace Bushnell is so impressed with herself and that's pretty much what her books are about. There was no plot or substance to hold my interest.
Profile Image for Nicole.
247 reviews21 followers
July 28, 2008
This is certainly different from the series - and it's not just the mounds of cocaine and pounds of marijuana consumed by the main characters.

The selling point of the series has always been the friendships between the four characters. In this book, on the other hand, it's every girl for herself. The women are never supportive, and are usually backstabbing. Carrie is even more of a mess than she ever was in the TV show. Everyone seems utterly miserable.

Also? Allegedly this is uproariously funny, but I didn't laugh once while reading it.

Not sure how they got the TV series out of this book. The two seem very tangentially related.
Author 18 books129 followers
August 9, 2014
I don't know what was more interesting: reading this book or reading the reviews for this book. They break into roughly two camps:

- This book is bad because I picked it up expecting it to be exactly the same as the TV series which I am completely obsessed with beyond all reason
- This book is bad because it conflicts with my fantasy of what being rich, being single, and living in New York must be like. I will refer to these people as "stereotypes" even though I've never actually been to New York during the period in question.

That's not to say this book is GOOD. This book is ... okay. It's a good subway read. Most of the good stories are spoiled by the TV series, which may take something out of it.

At the same time, I liked this book because it felt more raw and real than it's adaptation. Carrie in the TV show is whiney, codependent, obsessive and insecure. Her narrative constantly tries to pass off her narcissism as empowerment (oh sure, breaking up with your boyfriend on the way to the St. Barts was about "having faith in yourself" not at all about trying to emotionally blackmail him. Keep telling yourself that). Every time someone in the cult of Sex and the City describes themselves as a "Carrie" I want to hunt them down with a shotgun. It's appalling to me that people seem to think this character is some kind of role model.

But... not really surprising, because in the TV series Carrie's bad behavior is consequence free. She's always shown as the wronged party, living a life of relative leisure and successful in all her endeavors. If she does fail it's only in the most charming way with everyone dropping everything to fawn over her. The only time I ever liked Charlotte as a character was when she finally called Carrie on her bullshit and straight up told her "It's not my job to fix your finances" ... of course the show ruins that moment by having Charlotte recant everything in the name of friendship by the end of the episode.

It also really bothered me that the show didn't make more of an effort to explore the relationship of Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda with each other. We're supposed to believe that these four people are all good friends, and yet they only really exist as an extension of Carrie's needs. No wonder Carrie is a narcissist.

Imagine my surprise when I start reading this book and find a Carrie who is real, compelling and kind of badass.

You know Candace Bushnell is not really a great writer. I don't think that will surprise anyone. There were times, especially towards the end, where I felt like I was reading bad fanfic: no description, no narrative, just an endless list of actions. Carrie cries, Mr Big smokes his cigar, Skipper runs over a Serbian hooker.... blah blah blah.

Some will find this book too light on character development, but I always thought that was a pretty insane thing to expect from NONFICTION. How would you feel if your friend was not only publishing stories about your sexual liaisons but also ascribing motives to your action which millions of readers would treat as fact? If you want the trappings of fiction, read fiction. There are thousands of struggling novelists hoping you will.


Unlike TV Carrie, Book Carrie is never portrayed as anything other than a complete disaster of a human being. The first time we meet her she's described point blank as an alcoholic and a bitch. She smokes an ungodly amount of pot. She has a flock of twenty-something girls who worship her but who she publicly despises. She is snarky and cynical.

But most importantly the book doesn't pretend that everything is going to turn out all right for her in the end. The exact opposite actually. Plenty of designer brands are name dropped, Big and Carrie have a house in the Hamptons, vacation in St Barts, get all adorable skiing in Aspen. All the trappings of the rich fantasy the TV series perfected are there, but this version of it is like TV-Carrie's New York Magazine "Thirty and Fabulous?" cover. It's ugly. It has consequences. Money and self-centeredness do not make people happy.

In the last chapter of the book Carrie goes off to visit her friend Amalita Amalfi. Fans of the show will remember her as the international playgirl who introduces Carrie to the idea of being a kept woman. The book starts off with more or less the same storyline, but doesn't white wash it the way the TV show does. In the show Amalita effortlessly glides from man to man, traveling the world, being spoiled with expensive presents. In the book Amalita travels the world, get spoiled with expensive presents but ends up alone, living in a disgusting $500/mo apartment, with a young daughter she is unable to take care of.

That to me is a whole lot more interesting than the pink sparkly special snowflake bullshit the show tries to push down our throats.
Profile Image for Bex.
385 reviews58 followers
May 15, 2010
I seem to be one of the rare ones here, but I am a fan of the show who actually enjoyed this book. I decided to read it not because I thought there would be something new and exciting to behold, or because I was expecting a riveting, entrancing novel. Rather, because I was curious about the origins of the characters and plotlines in one of my favorite television series. Most of the stories from the first season of the tv show are lifted from this book. However, some of the characters are different (in the book Charlotte is not the preppy friend of Carrie but rather the love-jaded English woman we only see in the pilot episode of the show). The book doesn't focus on Carrie and her friends from Carrie's perspective, rather it is told by an outside narrator and focuses on several different people. I also liked seeing a new dimension to Carrie; she is still as neurotic as ever, but also a little sarcastic, and we learn of her childhood in Connecticut, humble beginnings in New York (not able to afford furniture, so she sleeps on a foam sheet covered by her only possession-- a mink coat) and even get to meet her parents. Overall, an entertaining read for fans of the Sex and the City television show.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,596 reviews287 followers
February 9, 2020
“As long as you're neurotic and crazy, he's great. But once he solves all your problems, he becomes the problem.”
― Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City

Believe it or not this is not a bad book. It is even funny in some parts.

The book is nothing at all like the show in case you don't know. the book is strictly about Carrie.

Well..there are other characters including Mr. Big but none of the other three women.

There are all different stories in here mostly about the dating scene. So these are my honest thoughts:

Want to stop WANTING to date? Read this book. Honestly I never wanted to have another date again after reading this. That does not mean it is not presented realistically..it (kind of) is. But so clinically! Man, it just made me want to eat a quart of ice cream and curl up with my cats.

There is a very clinical almost emotionless aspect to the whole book. But for whatever reason..I kept reading. And some chapters were entertaining as anything. I loved Peter screaming about how all women really want is Alec Baldwin. This is worth a read just for that.

Sadly I read another book by same author after this and disliked it. But this is a light and fun read..perfect beach reading and will even amuse you at times.
Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur.
1,052 reviews155 followers
March 27, 2021
Sex and the City show is one of my favorite shows ever. When I learnt that the show was based on a book, I immediately read the book and the book did not compare to the show in any way.

This book read like a narcissist's day to day diary. The main character was so annoying that I straight-out hated her. I wanted to quit mid way but I thought may be it will get better but it didn't. If I had read this book first, I might not have bothered with the show. But then again I love SJP so I may have watched it anyway.

If you love the show, please avoid this disaster of a book.

1 star
Profile Image for Scherry Siganporia.
37 reviews13 followers
August 1, 2011
"Readers! If you pick this book to read...then treat it as a book to read. It is not a serial. Nor is this Chic Lit material. What it is is a very mature and advanced version of relationships, people, women, sexuality...what I enjoyed about this book was the way it was disconnected from emotions...but revealed emotions ultimately. Candace Bushnell has put in a lot of thought in developing a variety of characters from Mr Big to Mr Marvelous...her style is unique, imaginative yet with all the elements of reality. I wouldn't rate this as a favorite, but would rate it as a book to be read...if you want to understand the politics of men and women, sexuality and more importantly life in a busy city...the book does not have the famous 'Carrie' as we would like it to be when you watch the serial. The serial I feel is for the masses....the book for those who are interested in life...READ IT for sure...Ignore the comparisons between the serial and the book...if you are looking for a descriptive of the serial..then read the script of the serial.....not the book!!

Atta girl Candace Bushnell....rare is a work of art like your's appreciated in today's world..."
Profile Image for Allegra S.
627 reviews9 followers
July 26, 2014
Oh my god, if you buy this book because you love the show and you want to read about a group of friends navigating the struggles of friendship and dating in New York City - STOP. PUT THE BOOK DOWN. BACK AWAY SLOWLY. This book is nothing like the tv show and will only make you regret the money and time you spent on it. Go read the 'Something Borrowed' series and thank me later.
Profile Image for Kylie🐾.
72 reviews47 followers
March 28, 2018
I would have actually given it 1 star but i happen to like it in the beginning.

All i can say is i despised this book and i practically rush read it just to get it over with.I mean the way the men and women are portrayed in this book makes me physically ill. I had to force myself to finish it, all the while i was reading this i kept wishing that i could read something i actually wanted to read.What a waste of time.I am glad it's the libraries book and i didn't waste precious money on this.
Profile Image for Carmen de la Rosa.
499 reviews374 followers
April 5, 2020
Todo lo que puedo decir es que despreciaba este libro y prácticamente me apresure a leerlo solo para terminar con esto. Me refiero a la forma en que los hombres y las mujeres son retratados en este libro me enferman físicamente. Tuve que obligarme a terminarlo, todo el tiempo que leía esto seguía deseando poder leer algo que realmente quería leer. Qué pérdida de tiempo.

No logré superar esto. Todo lo que puedo decir es que los escritores de la serie de HBO realmente tuvieron cierta visión, porque el programa (y las películas) fueron aproximadamente 4000 veces mejores que el libro.
Profile Image for Filip Markovic.
Author 4 books8 followers
October 24, 2022
The show is way much better then this enormously confusing book. Usually I do not quite, but I just couldn't with this... I'm gonna stick with the show.
Profile Image for Anelis.
281 reviews36 followers
December 12, 2022
Didn’t hate it and actually am baffled as to why so many people did, especially so vehemently.

Let me back up a bit. I have a lukewarm fascination with the show. It’s bubble-gum sweet and draws you in, but at the same time I always found it difficult to relate to such a glorification of capitalism, egotism and selfishness. It was always this weird, nuanced, emotional rollercoaster for me, because it was great to have women be sexually liberated and daring to be free and unlikable and selfish and not sacrificing their everything for the conventional things women are supposed to like and want. But as all feminist-ish friendly shows of the era, and as bubblegum and celebrity feminism itself, the social structures this kind of narrative enforces and glorifies are as harmful as the ones we laud it for subverting. So you know, my general feelings remain as “meh” and the show always stays in the realm of “guilty pleasure” and “hate watch” for me. So this is where I come from, unable to actually call myself a fan of the show, despite having watched it more than twice. Both movies included.

When I found this book I thought it would be perfect for the little bad-book-club we have with a friend, where we try to read exclusively bad, and mostly popular, books, so we can vent about them later and bond and have fun and not be petty at all. I thought going to the source of Sex and the City, the fountain of vain, privileged, thin, white, women, would actually fit our book-club vibe perfectly. The myriad one-star reviews, and did-not-finish shelvings promised me so.
Alas,’ twas not meant to be.

The book reads more as a sociological narration of how mating worked in 90s NY than anything else. The narrator doesn’t take sides, nor tries to glorify the women’s lifestyles or sympathize with them. It felt more like she was describing the modern conundrums these women find themselves in, living in a faux-liberated era and being caught between changing gender roles and expectations. They have money, beauty and want to experience everything promised, freedom, good sex, and romance. But they still are chased by old phantoms, most desperately wanting a husband, maybe children, and fidelity. All while men and social conventions judge them with both old and new standards thus rendering them unable to succeed in all they want.

The characters are not made to be likeable. They are presented as people molded by the fast rhythms of the city, by absurd situations, vile men, exceedingly strict beauty standards. They are hardened, cynical, egotistic, opportunistic women, who can’t connect with their true feelings and wants. The glorification of this lifestyle is also absent, a fact that elevates this book so much more from the movie. Absent are the fashion shows, the fawning over manolos, the infatuation with the posh and glam sparkles the tv show thrived on. We don’t have all that jazz to blind us from what is really going on, from the story this book has to say. Instead we get to be a cold observer of their lives, each with its ups and downs, and the most prevalent feeling in all of this, is a kind of sadness. It’s the same kind of sadness I have when I think about my mother’s life, caught between housework and career, being swallowed, tired and overworked by both, because as fast as the economy changed to accommodate women entering the workforce, domestic life remained stuck in the conventions of the previous century. So while these women are not likeable, it’s very hard to be overly critical and judge them harshly. It’s the kind of nuance and complexity real life has, and the book presents that wonderfully. They’re not idols, nor villains; they are what they had to become to survive.

Sure enough, with the cultural obsession and glorification of fashion and its commerce, the tv adaptation strayed from this portrayal, transforming these characters into role models. Women making it, navigating this life and thriving. It was written as most American tv is, with optimism, likeable characters, and a purpose to promote a certain type of lifestyle while attaching positive feelings to it. Maybe this is why so many people hated the book. In comparison it’s gloomy and full of people you really wouldn’t want hanging around you. Gone are the tales of talented Carrie and fearless Samantha. Gone is the girly vibe of sisterhood, good food and shoes. Instead we get something very close to real life, and real people and our sweet escapism comes crashing down.
Profile Image for xelsoi.
245 reviews586 followers
February 28, 2022
Creo entender porqué a los televidentes de Sex & The City no les gusta este libro. A diferencia de la serie, que se enfoca en las cuatro protagonistas con énfasis en Carrie y a través de ellas y sus experiencias nos pasean por Nueva York, el libro es un compilado de eventos azarosos que son suministrados por personajes incidentales - salvo Carrie, Samantha y Stanford, que son recurrentes. En ese sentido, imagínense este libro como el compilado de las columnas que Bradshaw escribía durante las primeras temporadas.
Pese a esta sorpresa, me entretuve, especialmente al principio de la lectura. La mayor parte de los temas en la primera temporada están calcados del texto, sin enfocarse directamente en quien más adelante se convierte en la protagonista: Carrie, que por lo demás no es quien narra el relato, sino que una personaje más en el Nueva York de Bushnell. Quiero agregar que todos los personajes que son posteriormente referenciados en la adaptación son muy, muy distintos en el libro.
El texto va perdiendo estructura mientras avanza, eso sí. Al principio un compilado de crónicas panorámicas sobre la ciudad, eventualmente se enfoca en Carrie y su relación con Mr. Big. Creo que Bushnell no supo desarrollar esa transición de foco, ni tampoco construir esa trama. Por lo mismo, creo que es difícil enganchar con el texto, ya que nunca te acostumbras al mundo que te está contando sino que este cambia la mayor parte del tiempo. La verdad, lo consideré más bien un libro sin mucho asunto pero decentemente escrito y entretenido a veces.
Profile Image for Dawn.
384 reviews4 followers
June 11, 2008
This book was highly disappointing. I watch and love the show (and I'm looking forward to the movie) so I thought the book would be a sure bet. Turns out, the writers for the show are so much more smart, clever, and interesting that Bushnell could ever be. The Sex and the City book was just full of ridiculous characters in their thirties trying to be young again by going out every night to the "hottest" bar, doing ridiculous amounts of drugs like that's the only way to be cool, and it was terrible writing. I have no idea why they thought it would be a good television show. Even though I'm glad they made the transition. This book is awful. Never read it. Even if you're hooked on the show.
Profile Image for Ian D.
533 reviews60 followers
August 25, 2018
Αν μισήσατε τη σειρά, φανταστείτε ότι ο σεναριογράφος έκανε καταπληκτική δουλειά μεταφέροντας το απόλυτο τίποτα στη μικρή οθόνη. Του αξίζουν πραγματικά συγχαρητήρια.
Εγώ, απ' την άλλη, σκέφτομαι πόσα αθώα δέντρα θυσιάζονται για να τυπωθούν σκουπίδια σαν κι αυτό και με πιάνει μια μελαγχολία...
Profile Image for Saumya.
70 reviews230 followers
December 22, 2019
The movie was such a blockbuster that one would expect the book to be at least a little good but it is just full of little anecdotes from trashy lifestyle magazines for women. It is so sad that sex sells so much that people ignore any nonsense in the form of falsity and artificiality for it.
Profile Image for Ivana Books Are Magic.
523 reviews201 followers
May 31, 2016
Let's get straight to the point. This is one of the worst books that I have ever read (as far as I can remember). The series is so much better than the book. I mean I'm not exactly a fan of the series, but I can say i like it...this feels a world apart from the series...and not in a good way.

The TV series was often witty, intelligent, funny, well scripted and acted. The book doesn't have anything in common with it. Everything that would sometimes annoy me about the series ( I said I'm not exactly a fan of it) paled away in comparison with this mess. That's it, the word I was looking for. A mess. This novel feels like a mess to me. It feels like walking in an apartmant inhabited by a bounch of teenage boys who had been living on pizza and past food for a month and have forgotten to take out the garbage, wash the dishes or do any cleaning whatsoever.

This book feels like a very very bad hangover. Like all those awkard moments from when you were a teenager that you just want to forget about and pray God nobody reminds you of them. Like a bitter end of some meaningless fight that left you feel exhausted. Like being forced to watch a soap opera you hate. Like pigeon poo on your new pair of shoes. That is what this book felt like to me.

What did I think of it? Well, in my personal view, it is unbelievably shallow, messy, badly constructed, lacking imagination and writing skill of even the most basic kind..it was a torture to read this one, I tell you. Hadn't I been a lot younger, I would have probably given up...but in my early tweenties I was a very patient reader and I would finish every book. These days I can't be bothered, if I absolutely hate some book I just leave it be and move to a new one. To whom I would recommend this book? I don't know. You might read it and end up liking it, I didn't. I quite strongly dislike it. If you're a big fan of the show and you want to read it for that purpuse, who am I to stop you?

I will say one thing. After reading this book, I respect the screen writers and crew of the TV series The Sex and the City. I don't know how they managed to turn this terrible book and into something pretty good. I was always sure that script writing takes a special effort and those guys have it!

Profile Image for Elizabeth.
702 reviews29.1k followers
January 16, 2009
After reading this book I've come to the following conclusion: When people say that they only have time for movies, not books, they need to read a different type of book.

Sex in the City (the book) took me about 2.5 hours to read, the same time as a longish movie and I learned about as much as I do from a chick flick. It's rather obvious when you think about it. A cheesy chick movie like How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days is neither deep nor revelatory, complicated or precise. Bushnell's work reminds me of a watered-down Edith Warton novel filled with caricatures of people that seem like they were modeled after a real-world version. But then again, what author doesn't fashion their characters after real people?

Bushnell's journalistic talent is obvious. She throws out turns of phrase that any newspaper editor would salivate for and the story whips and turns at the pace of a race horse. However, I would argue that the book lacks some focus and seems to sprawl from one character to the next (but then again, that may be because I started to skim at some point.)

I respect her work as a writer and pioneer of chick-lit, but at the same time I'm always left a little bit disatistifed. Good thing I didn't see the movie--yet.
Profile Image for Trin.
1,840 reviews564 followers
March 28, 2023
Well, after successfully avoiding this for over twenty years, believe it or not I had to read it for work.

This reads to me like dispatches from another universe. I am a professional woman in my 30s. I live in New York City. I barely intersect with the Bushnell dimension. This is not a judgment. I just don't understand it -- why is everyone so bitchy? How do they have the time and energy for all these parties? WHERE DO THEY GET THE MONEY? Even as an anthropological guide, this fails me. It provides no insight. It's just Carrie and Mr. Big getting in lots of tedious fights while on private planes to Aspen. Okay? Is this fun? Is this sexy?

I have somehow known without knowing for almost three decades that this was not my kind of book. I was right.
487 reviews17 followers
March 18, 2022
Maybe I waited too long to read this, but I just thought it was depressing. The only thing I got out of this story is the elaborate effort involved in landing a corporate millionare. This is desperate snobbery abounding.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for PurplyCookie.
942 reviews206 followers
January 2, 2011
I have been an avid "Sex in the City" series fan. It is one of my favorite shows, and one reason why I bought dvd boxed sets of each season. The TV show is so well written, with great characters and story lines which are very funny that it made me want to read the original book. What a terrible disapointment reading this has been to me.

The book is very hard to follow. I don't know how these vignettes ever became newspaper columns--they don't even hold up as short stories. The characters are nothing like those on the show. While I do appreciate the candid discussion of singleness, relationships, and sex, I found the ideas put forth by Bushnell weren't as developed or comprehensive as they could have been.

I would advise those of you who like the show to forget about reading the book. It will not help you one bit to gain more insight to the show's characters, nor is it a very amusing book. Those who like to read Bushnell as an author, might find the book entertaining on a disjointed, superficial level. Full of snippets of neurotic relationships and desperate sex, the book is one tale of failure after another. Whether or not the tales are true, the book highlights a bizarre kind of pathos in human relationships.

But I absolutely think the majority of fans of the show will be disapointed. The show is ripe with raunch and wit, along with characters we truly care about. This book is grim and dark, poorly written, and ripe with people I would never want to meet. What we have here is a rare example of the show being far better than the book. I never thought I would advocate TV over the written word, but in this case, turn on HBO.

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Book Details:

Title Sex and the City
Author Candace Bushnell
Reviewed By Purplycookie
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247 reviews69 followers
July 11, 2022
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ four stars -

This was a must read chick lit book during the time of its original publication (1997), and especially during the time when the SATC was a weekly HBO ritual. Now that there’s buzz of a new movie coming out, I felt that it was time to revisit this one…

I read this originally back around 1999 when the HBO show was in full swing. I really enjoyed the TV/HBO version so much, and I wanted to delve into the characters more. Well, as I’m sure most everyone knows already, the book is not at all like the show. While you do get a better glimpse of the characters from the book, you’re not really getting a positive view of their innermost thoughts here…

Candice Bushnell is known more as a satirical writer who loves to poke the edges of high-brow NYC society. She excels at this, and is a skilled commentator on the social norms of the high flyer Manhattanite types. This novel is no exception, but readers will find that as a story, it’s choppy and reads more like excerpts from a column imo.

Lovers of the show will be disappointed, but taken as a novel alone, while it’s entertaining, it’s views are overall harsh and have undertones that will leave you sadly shaking your head.

I would still classify this as a 20th century must read, though. It’s a glimpse of what first class society was like when Manhattan was in the throes of its second roaring twenties time period, as the backdrop depicted here will immerse you into NYC at one of its most decadent times of excess.

Don’t expect to find the TV characters here, but instead a true well written satire. I would recommend this read for those enjoy who this genre (social satire), and who would enjoy a step back in time to the 1990s.

Four solid stars for a modern classic.
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