I was late to the "SATC" party, not watching an episode of "Sex and the City" until January 0f 2008. But I immediately fell in love with it, identifying with all the characters, the love of all things NYC and the fashion. But lately I have come to realize what an unobtainable fantasy that show can present about life. What made me really realize this was the reading of the book that started it all, Candance Bushnell's novel "Sex and the City", the 2001 edition, with two added chapters.
I expected a warm, funny book told in Carrie's voice. Instead it is cold, mean, dark, and not funny at all. And Carrie is just one of the characters. Whereas Sarah Jessica Parker's take on Carrie was more soft, hinting that Carrie had some major issues, such as drinking too much at times, the Carrie is the book is a full on alcoholic mean girl who is so unhappy. The four girls we knew on the show/movie may appear in name but not in a tight-knit loving group.
This book is so soulless and heartless that I disliked reading it and do not plan on reading anything else by Bushnell.
There are some interesting insights that talk of how rough single life in a big city can be, espeically for those trying to make it. Page 30 talks about of modern Mary Tyler Moore's who may be middle aged and successful but still live in a studio in a fold-out bed. In talking about first dating someone, the advice on page 185 is "Do not be working it, working the room. Men want to feel comfort. You must elicit coziness. Talk about the person they are, because most men's self-image is them at fourteen."
By 219 we get to fully understand from what little Carrie came from and what she gave up to be who she was/presented herself to be. Page 219 "It was just three years ago Christmas that Carrie had been living in a studio apartment where an old lady had died two months before. Carrie had no money. A friend lent her a piece if foam for a bed. All she had was a mink coat and a Louis Vuitton suitcase, both of which were stolen when her apartment was inevitably robbed. But until then, she slept on the piece if foam with the fur coat over her, and she still went out every night." Later in the book she talks of eating nothing but hot dogs for a whole month because that was all she could afford.
By book's end she has a nervous breakdown and totally pushes Mr. Big away.