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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Rag Dolls

Simon Cooper
The Rag Dolls
New York: World Publishing Company, 1969 (first American edition)
“A novel about London’s swinging world of fashion. . . . When Youth Power causes a fashion revolution in Britain, the kids trample each other underfoot in their rush to make it to the top as fashion designers, models and boutique owners. It is a ferocious scramble that turns twenty-one year olds into has-beens, but Caroline and Rupert Walker are two who have made it. Along with Caroline’s too-pretty brother, Julian they are The Rag Dolls. . . . Thrust into a superficial haze of wild partying, drug taking, promiscuity (often of the boy-meets-boy variety), and ruthless exploitation among the members of the fashion industry, The Rag Dolls find that life at the top isn’t as kicky as it looked from the bottom. What happens to them, and to Julian’s boy friend--a homosexual rock singer named Corry--makes Simon Cooper’s The Rag Dolls an electrifying and moving book about today’s youth. Set in London’s Chelsea district and in New York, The Rag Dolls is a powerful portrait of the men-women and women-men who cater to the kicky tastes of the boutique set. With compelling insight and honesty, Mr. Cooper takes the lid off the “Youth Power” and “Swinging London” myths to reveal real people caught up in an unreal world.”
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