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Paperback All Is Vanity Book

ISBN: 0345439112

ISBN13: 9780345439116

All Is Vanity

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

At once darkly comedic and moving, this witty exploration of female friendship, envy, and misguided ambition by the author of the number-one bestseller Drowning Ruth , deliciously satirizes the desire to shine in the world. In All is Vanity , Margaret and Letty, best friends since childhood and now living on opposite coasts, reach their mid-thirties and begin to chafe at their sense that they are not where they ought to be in life. Margaret, driven...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Grandiose Fantasies

If you are either an aspiring novelist or a chronic overspender, this book may leave you distinctly uncomfortable. Since approximately 50% of the reading public is writing a novel, and 98% of the population spends too much money, you may recognize yourself. Many readers will instinctively cringe at Schwarz's mercilessly photographic rendering of Margaret and Letty, ever-hopeful novelist and overachieving spendthrift, respectively. I can vouch that this novel will linger in your conscience long after you finish it, like heartburn after a too good meal. Perhaps you are not as wildly grandiose as Margaret or as financially haphazard as Letty. Perhaps you are as self effacing and realistic as I am, since I relished every moment of this book. And the after-effects have been lasting. I have only a few minor grandiose fantasies left.

Followed me everyhere

Into the tub, in the car. I found the characters compelling and the themes disturbingly familiar. If you've ever once compared yourself to others at cocktail parties, wondering how you measure up, you'll enjoy this read. The novel addresses the the worm of envy and competiveness that lives within us all. I was surprised to see some many critical reviews because I was hooked to this book like an I.V. The first two hundred pages addresses the struggles of someone trying to be a writer and if you don't identify with that process I suppose you'd become bored, but I was fascinated. I relished every page and was sorry to see it end.

Schwarz makes a strong follow up

I have a positive review for this book, though I understand it can often be hard to follow up for a book like Drowning Ruth- with so much acclaim. I felt this was a strong second book for Schwarz. I enjoyed reading this book, but let me say that I do understand where a reader can wonder in the first 100 pages or so where this story is going...I mean, if you read the jacket of the book, you know where it's going, takes a bit to get there. After I got further into the book, I understood the strong back ground was to show the reader what it was like to BE Margaret, a writer-want-to-be (at that point). After that brief intro to her & her friend, the book really picks up, and I begin to groan for Letty & her situation, finally taking note where it is headed. I really enjoyed reading this book, thought the ending was worthy as well, and whether I liked the ending or not makes a big difference to me. The only thing I would change is that on the jacket of the book, to not mention where Margaret gets her story idea from. I think more & more things for movies & books aren't left to the reader or viewer to discover, we're given the whole plot in a preview or review. This jacket doesn't give it all away, however, I think it would have been an excellent surprise in reading, if one didn't know where Margaret's big inspiration was going to come from. Other than that, I'm definitely recommend reading this book. It will give you an appreciation for writers.

A Scintillating and Thoughtful Black Comedy

In some ways this book is similar to "I Don't Know How She Doest It"--both are contemporary urban comedies. But "All is Vanity" is a deeper and richer character study, and, while Schwarz writes with a scalpel--the book is a most dead-on and hilarious depiction of envy and ambition--she is making a number of important and unplaesant points about modern, upper-middleclass life and mores. This is a wholly satisfying--and sophisticatedly written--novel.

A Sparkling Satire And A Nuanced Exploration of Friendship

Schwarz has written a witty, biting, and page-turning satire on ambition, envy, and success. She's also penned a deft and touching portrait of a friendship and the forces that corrode it. Funny yet sad, sharp yet heartfelt, the book is distinguished by rich exploration of character, surgically accurate observation, and great style. It's enormously entertaining and moving--and thought provoking.
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