BERGDORF BLONDES by Plum Sykes

BERGDORF BLONDES

KIRKUS REVIEW

Yet another tale of New York girls with more room on their credit cards than thoughts between their ears—but not in a bad way.

There may come a time in the future when a scholar of literature will come across a copy of this debut novel and shudder, thinking it one of those post-millennium Manhattan books that worship Vera Wang and Harry Winston as deities, regard Us Weekly as a holy text, and treat reality like a sexuality transmitted disease. That would be a shame, because if books of this sort must exist—and the publishing powers-that-be seem to have decided that they must—they should all go down as smoothly as this one. Vogue contributing editor Sykes has a frightening insight into the mindset of unemployed, label-addicted blonds. When she’s not working (which appears to be 99% of the time), our fashion journalist narrator/author stand-in is being dragged around Manhattan by Julie, her Upper East Side PAP (Park Avenue Princess, one of the story’s less inspired acronyms, of which there are plenty). They shop, they spa, they obsess over food allergies and hair highlights. The narrator hooks up with a photographer whose Jude Law looks are belied by his Freddy Krueger personality; their engagement goes to pot pretty spectacularly, but it’s nothing that a round of Bellinis and a fake bake (tan) can’t cure. There are more romantic contretemps and even a suicide attempt (with Advil: these girls aren’t too bright), but by the close everything gets wrapped up prettier than a Tiffany’s gift box. Be assured, this is all as ungodly shallow as it sounds, but at least Sykes knows how vain and ridiculous her characters are. She makes no attempt to redeem them and in the end really does want the girls just to have fun, which lets the reader come along for a guilt-free ride that’s akin to being let loose on Fifth Avenue with Donald Trump’s platinum card.

Like a dozen Paris Hiltons bombed on champagne, but funny.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-4013-5196-4
Page count: 272pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2004




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