THE BETTER CLASS by Alice Colombo


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Colombo's first book in English comes in a glitzy package--48 pages published tabloid size (16(apple)"" x 11"") and interspersed with quarter- and half-page photos of the beautiful, bored, chic Italians who reside more often within the pages of Vogue and Women's Wear Daily than any one geographical place. And what does this shiny wrapping actually contain? Just some satirical eavesdropping on the stunning international fatuity of those sorts of Beautiful People, seen and heard at five parties (hence five chapters). Amidst the trappings of Bulgari watches, Fendi furs, YSL peasant dresses, Missoni designs, and Sonia Rykiel shawls, the inane observations roll on and on. For instance: ""Cellulite is like a guerrilla with a camouflaged tank, lying in wait on the mountains. You never know when it will descend on the city. Cellulite fills former gardens and patios. What man wants to sightsee among the rubble."" Or there's the countess who, watching a TV documentary on the Palestinians, avers: ""My God. . . . That man needs a good tailor much more than a homeland!"" Or the guest who, when Aldo Moro in captivity flashes upon the screen, sympathizes: ""Poor Moro. It's hideous having great gobs of free time."" Colombo's I-am-a-tape-recorder protocol is very limited, of course; this is hardly Waugh. But it does have lots of laughs (and could be seen, with perverse mischief, as the other side of the coin from Moravia's recent Time of Desecration). A boutique put-on--appropriately presented in a format intended for quick perusal and speedy throwaway.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Dial