Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell | Rating: ★★☆☆☆
*To clarify, this is a rewrite of an old review, as my thoughts of the novel have changed through the years.
Ages and ages and ages ago, I loved this book. It is still something I appreciate, on some level, even if my feelings have changed in the years. I certainly loved it all those years ago. Perhaps not as much as the hit HBO television series of the same name, but, it was still up there. Sex and the City was something of a stepping stone for a lot of women through the years and still, I think, holds true even in the years its been off the air. Certainly it's a pop culture phenomenon that still stays highly relevant in popular culture.
I'm always going to appreciate it, and the show, for what they are and how they shaped some aspects of who I became as an adult. I applaud it on many levels but somehow, somewhere along the way, the novel and show have lost their sparkle to me. I don't think I'll feel inclined to reread the book again, in the future, which is strange given I still love the characters from both the novel and show, and have some sense of attachment towards them, but there you have it. It's not that it's a bad novel, it just feels like the older I get the more boring and unappealing it is to me.
This isn't true when it comes to Bushnell's other, flawless, works. But SATC is by far a weak length in her catalog. Maybe it's just dry, maybe it hasn't aged well, maybe the thoughts within it are something that I've simply lost interest in the older I become. I'm more inclined, on one hand, to think of it as the latter but it appears to have mixed reviews from a lot of readers, too.
Regardless of reasoning, there's something about it that lets me down and only barely leaves a hum of interest behind.
I think that it goes without saying that while this is Bushnell's most popular work to date, it is not her best by a long shot. Her writing is somewhat thought provoking and personal in a lot of ways, but her game has improved through the years be it the prequel series targeted at young adults: The Carrie Diaries or something else entirely. Sex and the City is equal parts dull and entertaining, likable and unlikable, and not for everyone. Fans of the series often express their distaste for the novel in comparison to HBO's adaptation which proves to be more developed given the changes in formate.
Still, it's a decent read for any woman at any stage in her life. I may not enjoy it as I once did, but it's still something that remains--and should remain--present in modern literature.