Books: Bookends People Like Us

by Dominick Dunne Crown; 403 pages; $19.95

The good Lord must love the nouveaux riches, because he made so many of them. He also seems to have provided a surfeit of writers to turn their freshly gilded lives into trashy novels. Among recent scribes who specialize in pressing readers' noses against the glass that separates them from the best of everything is Dominick Dunne (The Two Mrs. Grenvilles). His latest is sodden with the sort of unimaginative stock characters that have tumbled out of all the rich-and-famous pseudo fiction of the 1980s. The setting is Manhattan's Upper East Side, the pricey arena where old-moneyed families quietly count their...

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