"FASHION SHOW: or, The Adventures of Bingo Marsh" by James Brady

"FASHION SHOW: or, The Adventures of Bingo Marsh"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another mildly entertaining haute-fashion farce by Brady (The Coldest War, 1990; Designs, 1986, etc.)--this one featuring the chatty Mr. Bingo Marsh, fashion-magazine publishing phenomenon and social butterfly extraordinaire, and the respectful Ohio journalist who falls into his clutches. As a Pulitzer-winning journalist in his early 20s, Paris-based New York Times reporter John Sharkey's path would probably never have crossed that of giddy Bingo Marsh if Sharkey hadn't written a biography of Coco Chanel. When Coco happens to die the week that Sharkey's book goes on sale, the author attains instant celebrity status--whereupon fashion-obsessed Bingo descends upon him. Wacky heir to an American publishing dynasty, Bingo (who loathes confrontations and tends to skip about when excited) is titillated by rumors of a May-December dalliance between Sharkey and the elderly Chanel. He decides he must add the self-made Ohioan to his New York-based magazine, Fashion, where clothing styles take a backseat to celebrity gossip and where the ability to make or break a designer's career is routinely used to solicit ads. Luring Sharkey with Faustian assurances of cash, women, fun, and his own weekly column, Marsh succeeds in taking Sharkey on as this year's protÉgÉ, and the Mutt-and-Jeff pair proceed to blaze a trail through a garment-industry glitter-land of gossip, innuendo, and intrigue. Though entertained by Marsh's peeping-Tom expeditions through the villas of the rich and famous, Sharkey soon tires of hiding his humbler private life (which features a passion for a certain female Army officer) beneath a veneer of sophistication. He needn't worry, though--Fashion is soon taken over by a Rupert Murdoch stand-in, Bingo resigns in a huff, and Sharkey, at sea in a world he never really understood, bails out in pursuit of a more satisfying destiny. Silly fiction--for those who prefer their Coco, Ivana, and Calvin hot and spicy.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"