Friday, May 14, 2004

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Anita Loos
4/5 stars

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes has long been one of my favorite movies, so I was tickled to discover that it was a magazine serial first. Until I stumbled across the book, I had just assumed that Loos wrote it for the screen.

Lorelei is a beautiful blonde with a conflicting amount of predatory logic, downright dumbness and a deep conviction of her own intelligence. The book is the journal she kept during the few months she was traveling abroad (Mr. Eisman is "educating" her) with her friend Dorothy, who "really does not care about her mind and I always scold her because she does nothing but waste her time by going around with gentlemen who do not have anything".

Mr. Eisman (never called Gus, because "when a gentleman who is as important as Mr. Eisman, spends quite a lot of money educating a girl, it really does not show reverence to call a gentleman by his first name") makes the mistake of not going with Lorelei, and so with just Dorothy to chaperone, she makes conquests of kind rich men all across Europe.

Loos has written an amusing story, and though at times I got tired of the purposeful misspellings and grammatical errors, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The few not-as-interesting parts were completely forgotten as soon as I read another one of Loos' little gems such as "Well, it's been three days since my debut party started but I finally got tired and left the party last night and went to bed because I always seem to lose all of my interest in a party after a few days" or "So, she found a box of liqueur candies that are full of liqueurs and she was really very delighted. So I finally got dressed and she threw the empty box away and I helped her down stairs to the Dining room."

If you've seen the movie, you should definitely read this as it gives a little more depth to Lorelei. If you've not, the book will still be a fun trip back to the 20's where bootleggers, gold diggers and millionaires party side by side.