About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

#80 - Queen Takes King

Likewise for Gigi Levangie Grazer's Queen Takes King (Simon & Schuster, 2009), a fairly stupid and somewhat disappointing beach read about a nasty divorce among Manhattan's rich and famous. I managed to finish it, but Olivia Goldsmith Grazer ain't.

The principals: Jackson "Jacks" Power, a Manhattan real estate mogul, tabloid darling, and all-around legend in his own mind, and his wife Cynthia, former prima ballerina and Missouri gal turned social X-ray and NY Ballet Theater board member. The morning after the couple's perfectly-executed 25th anniversary gala, the New York Post runs a photo of him with his mistress, beautiful young news anchor Lara Sizemore, and Cynthia immediately files for divorce. All sorts of nasty, underhanded hijinks (changing the locks, sending one another crude gifts and prescriptions, and setting Barry Manilow on auto-repeat) ensue, and are compounded by the fact that, on their lawyers' advice, neither is willing to move out of their Park Avenue home. Along the way, we also meet Goldie, Cynthia's unorthodox long-time therapist; the couple's dilettante guerilla daughter, Vivienne; and Adrian, a writer/ bartender Jacks hires to seduce Cynthia in hopes that she'll agree to a speedier divorce. No, they don't get back together, and yes, there are a handful of reasonably chuckle-worthy scenes in here; Jacks is such an ass that you really do want to see him get his, and feel a flicker of satisfaction when your wish is granted. But frankly, The First Wives' Club did it all way earlier, and way better.

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