Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Social Climber's Handbook-Molly Jong-Fast

The Social Climber's Handbook
Molly Jong-Fast
Villard, Apr 26 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345501899

By 2008, trader Dick Greenbaum and his wife Daisy sit on the top rung of the Upper East Side social status. The elite power couple resides in a million dollar Park Avenue apartment while their daughters attend the best private schools. However, the recession leaves Wall St. in jeopardy and the upper crust like the Greenbaum family in jeopardy of a rapid descent down the ladder.

Daisy refuses to allow their position to drop one iota. She needs to remove obstacles like her husband’s boss and his former mistress by any reasonable means that will take them out of the picture permanently. However, she is more concerned with two bloggers investigating the company's shady financial dealings. Neither expected Daisy to stalk them for a fitting demise to their blog. As the stock market collapses so do enemies of the Greenbaum family.

This is an engaging satire that lampoons the upper crust’s penchant at all costs (to others) to retain status. The story line is fast-paced once Daisy becomes a serial killer; though her victims simplify her choosing them as they are all amorally corrupt. Although much of the sting of the tale is abated by the victims’ moral bankruptcy and the not so deep focus into the exorbitance of the Let them eat cake crowd (overwhelmed by the murders), fans will enjoy the amusing Social Climber’s Handbook.

Harriet Klausner

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