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Buzz Book Club: Four Blondes, Section One

Welcome back Buzz Book Club readers! Before we start, I want to say that I know many of you have already read Four Blondes and were either turned off or maybe even appalled by the main characters. You should know I'm right there with you.

However, just like with movies, I think there is something interesting and valuable about examining what makes a book fail in comparison to others in its genre. Moreover, Four Blondes gives us a lot to talk about in terms of the portrayal of the women in Candace Bushnell's universe on the eve of the Sex and the City movie, like Bushnell's use of sex as a means of power, the unadulterated materialism of her characters, etc.

So with that said, here's a recap of how the Book Club goes If you're new: every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in May). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.

Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.

The next assignment: Read the entire second story titled, "Highlights (For Adults)." We'll chat about this second section a week from today, Friday, May 16.

To discuss the first section of Four Blondes (in which we read to the end of the story titled "Nice N'Easy"),


  1. In this first story, the character Janey seems woefully underdeveloped and it's hard to care for her either way. That said, is there anything about Janey that you can relate to?
  2. To me, the ending was frustrating, because it seemed like Bushnell gave Janey an easy out with a modeling job that basically fell from the sky. Would you have felt more satisfied if Janey had become a real estate agent? Is there another possible ending that would have satisfied you?
  3. Janey's certainly not a great woman, but all of the men in this section are abhorrent as well. Are there any differences you see between the way Bushnell talks about women and the way she talks about men?
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vanessasworld vanessasworld 9 years
Don't read this. lol. Sorry ladies, I just decided I wanted to subscribe to this story...
vanessasworld vanessasworld 9 years
If I take myself back to age 21-22(not that long ago time-wise but it seems like AGES ago developmentally. I'm practically a different person now...), I find I can relate to Janey a bit. Having some silly, inflexible shining idea of the "PERFECT LIFE" [she refers to 3-bedroom beach houses in the Hamptons as shacks...], being misguided about how to go about getting who/what you want in life [sex as a weapon, anyone?] and missing out on good opportunities because your priorities aren't correct [if she would have taken Harold's advice, things could have happened for her much sooner] are things that I think EVERYONE can relate to somehow if not in the way Janey's story shows. However it drives me nuts that she's in her early 30s and still acting like a girl in a bar on her 21st birthday. She's incredibly shallow & stupid for someone of her age group. The ending did sort of bug me, but ultimately it's just a story and it's always cool for stories to have happy endings. I think it sucks that all she had to do to get what she wanted was ride out 5 or so summers of lame hook-ups and being treated "poorly". Not too hard to do if you're enjoying other people's money all summer long. I've read a lot of Candace Bushnell and I honestly DON'T think she talks about men and women much differently. I also don't see where people think she's making Janey out to be "better" than her male counterparts because all I could think about Janey and some of the things she did were "ugh, what a shallow, narcissitic biotch..." I think Bushnell has a warts and all approach to describing her characters, regardless of their gender. But also, she's a woman and I imagine that when writing stories about other women there's probably always some small bit of sensitivity in approaching character descriptions of them, no matter how sad or sick of a person you might be trying to portray them as.
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 9 years
I really don't like Janey at all, she gives women a bad name. And these men that she finds are just as deplorable as she is. I really hope the rest of the blonds have something to offer in the next chapters. And it did bother me the way she just gets this modeling job. I would have liked to see her become something, redeem herself if you will in some sort of way.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
adw - I definitely agree with your point about Janey not taking any blame for her actions. It's the basic "you made your bed" situation. If you act like a giant bimbo who's only after a good summer in a great house, what kind of a person are you going to attract?
baticharmed baticharmed 9 years
1. I don't think I can relate in someway with Janey, maybe I still haven't defined exactly what I want in life like her, but I do know that whatever it is I have to work to get it, it won't just come from heaven... 2. And yup, the ending was disappointing, was way to easy for Janey, I would prefer her to learn how to be a real woman, who respects her self and works hard for what she wants... 3. I think those were the kind of men Janey was looking for, but I do think that their defects were magnified just to make Janey not look that bad... P.D: I didn't like Janey at all ^^
adw7984 adw7984 9 years
1. I honestly cannot relate much with Janey. The only thing I can relate to is the fact that she can't believe she ended up (in life) where she did. In high school and even college we have grand plans and shortly after, when you look back, you just realize you aren't where you thought. Other than that I cannot relate. at all! 2. I agree! All of a sudden Janey gets a modeling job and a lot of money and everything she ever wanted. Oooh what a struggle Janey had up to that point! All the rich men, all the nice houses, nice clothes! Maybe if she struggled more before the job the ending would have been better. To me, it was too rushed. I would have been more satisfied if Janey would have realized how to really respect herself more and gain from that understanding. 3. Bushnell isn't really placing any blame on Janey. The men may be awful, but she takes it. What does she gain? A fabulous summer? She obviously needs to grow up. Bushnell makes me want to ditch men altogether the way she talks about them! I am curious to see what the next story brings.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Wait no, what I meant to say was I completely agree with your take on the ending.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I can relate to the fear of aging looks and how that will redefine your interactions with people. I completely agree with the ending, and I really wanted her to be a fabulous real estate agent instead. I think Bushnell created god awful characters of both sexes in this book, but I felt her portrayals were really sexist especially in this first section. The women came across either as victims or as evil jealous crazies. The men had their own creepy flaws, but they tended to be portrayed as more strong and in control - predator like, hunting down the poor defenseless girls. Blech. Give me a Carrie or Miranda instead!
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