MONARCH by Babette Rosmond


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Unless you're absolutely riveted by hirings and firings and policy arguments in magazine-land, this could well be a contender for dullest book of the year. It's the history of Butterfly, a fashion/advice journal like Seventeen, the gift of millionaire bootlegger Jake Gold to his son Edison and his daughter Francesca. Edison gets involved in politics, leaving chic loner Francesca to take over with a vengeance (""I am its inner core, its soul""), and together with Edison's upper-crust pal Alistair (as ad manager), she makes it a whopping success. And so it goes--as Francesca hires strangers at parties, infuriates her loyal staff, and is finally forced out by the family (along with loyal staff) when she resists putting the new fashion and the sexual revolution into Butterfly: now-ambassador Edison gets her named Special Emissary to the Tuareg Tribes of west Africa. Probably aware of how tedious all that conference room chitchat is, author Rosmond tosses in slivers of seamy soap along the way: Edison's into sadism; his tripping, diary-writing niece Griselda is into everything--including amateur abortions; mag superworker Phyllis has a hopeless affair with a homosexual; and sundry adulterers do their thing. For a few old-timers in the trade, some roman-a-clefing here may make this hot stuff; otherwise--dried-out and faded as a 20-year-old issue of Seventeen.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1978
Publisher: Richard Marek--dist. by Putnam