NIELSEN'S CHILDREN by James Brady

NIELSEN'S CHILDREN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Paris One, the first novel by glossy-magazine man Brady, wasn't very good; but it wasn't the mindless, vulgar, name-dropping roman à clef that he might have been expected to write. This is the mindless, vulgar, name-dropping roman à clef that he might have been expected to write--all about Kate Sinclair (Barbara Walters) and her million-dollar contract to be the first network anchor-woman, ""a Farrah Fawcett-Majors with brains."" There's friction, of course, between glamor-girl Kate and her real-news co-anchor, growly Chester Albany (Harry Reasoner), even though it's Kate's interview scoops with world leaders that boost the ratings. . . for a while. But slipping ratings and growly Chester aren't Kate's only complications. There's her on-and-off affair with handsome TV-manipulating Senator Nick Blanchflower; he philanders--she goes to L.A., drinks, snorts cocaine, and copulates with anything that moves (""The faces became one face. The bodies one body. The penises, thrust into her in various places, one penis""). There's her ruthless enemy in network sports. And, most idiotically, there's her escalating fracas with the feminists, who are out to destroy her with nasty picketing and other viciousness. Of course, when there's no one else to turn to, stunningly shallow Kate can pal around with Harvey Podesta (Truman Capote) and his inventive homosexual coterie. By the end, Kate (Barbara) and Chester (Harry)--both victims of the ratings-are-everything system (so what else is new?)--are actually getting to be good buddies. Even TV Guide gives a better sense of behind-the-scenes network biz; and Brady's gossip is already very dated. But the dullness here--the sort that comes with the arrogant absence of character, plot, or style-is timeless.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam