THE LATE SHOW by Helen Gurley Brown


A Semiwild but Practical Survival Plan for Women Over 50
Email this review


 Thirty years after her Sex and the Single Girl assured women that acting smart and feeling sexy aren't incompatible, Brown (Having It All, 1982, etc.) returns to explain how aging also fits right into the formula. At 69, the Cosmo Girl hasn't lost a step; with outrageous confidence, she's still assuring readers that looks, charm, and sex with a man are what it's all about (``Sex is one of the three best things there is and I'm not sure what the other two are''). In the chirpy, anecdotal style of a women's magazine article, Brown glosses over marriage, sex, clothes, food, and exercise, using as examples her own experiences and those of friends, famous and otherwise. Though dismayed by the fact of aging (``the ideal state for an older woman is younger''), the author recognizes the new exigencies. As one friend sums it up, ``Between fifty and sixty, sex is out there; if you want it, you can connect. After sixty, you have to supply the sled, the snow, and the dog team.'' Brown does mention that health and financial security are key to anyone's game plan, and she includes relevant observations on doctors, the 30-vitamin regimen that helps maintain her greyhound weight, and loneliness--but the emphasis is really elsewhere, and when she approaches the serious health issues of aging women, she can't let up on the casual asides and naughty gossip. Furthermore, Brown is cavalier about cosmetic surgeries, champions estrogen treatments, and still defends the 1988 Cosmo article that downplayed the risks of AIDS to women. For the woman who wasn't born yesterday and won't stop thinking about tomorrow's lover, these lubricated sentiments can offer humorous support--but for many, Brown's lifelong pursuit of happiness will seem no more uplifting than flimsy lingerie.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-10017-1
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993