Cover image for Bad boy : a novel
Bad boy : a novel
Goldsmith, Olivia.
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Publication Information:
New York : Dutton, [2001]

Physical Description:
324 pages ; 24 cm
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The queen of modern comedy of manners serves up her sharpest novel yet, Bad Boy. Best friends Tracie and Jonny meet for coffee each Sunday night to discuss their forlorn love lives: Tracie loves boys with an affinity for leather jackets and poetry-classic bad boys who seem too good to be true (and usually are); Jonny foolishly falls for girls who never like him "in that way ...until Jonny convinces Tracie to teach him some tricks of the trade. After a wardrobe makeover, learning to return from a dinner date with another phone number scrawled on his hand, scope for women at the airport baggage claim, and always carry a motorcycle helmet (even though he doesn't ride a motorcycle), Jonny quickly becomes a successful heartbreaker. And Tracie discovers that she just might be head-over-heels in love with her best friend. But there are more than a few loose ends: Tracie's current bad boy has at last decided he wants to settle down, her girlfriend has the hots for Jonny, and Jonny can't understand why Tracie never liked him for who he was before the leather. With her inimitable wit, Olivia Goldsmith, bestselling author of The First Wives Club, delivers a smart, laugh-out-loud tale of modern romance sure to keep readers everywhere in stitches.

Author Notes

Author Olivia Goldsmith was born Randy Goldfield in Dumont, New Jersey in 1949. She attended New York University and became one of the first partners at the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton in New York. After she divorced her husband, she moved to London, changed her legal name to Justine Rendal, and became a writer.

Her 1992 debut novel, "The First Wives Club" became a best-seller and was made into a movie in 1996. In her stories, there's a transformation of the main character and, according to Goldsmith, "In the Olivian universe, everybody gets what they deserve." Besides novels, she wrote articles for The New York Times and Cosmopolitan and wrote children's books under the name Justine Rendal. She received the Woman of Vision Award in 1997. She died from complications related to anesthesia on January 15, 2004 at the age of 54

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Goldsmith delivers another pleasurable read. This time she uses the standard Pygmalion story line, but this isn\qt your usual My Fair Lady. A woman, Tracie Higgins, is the teacher, while the pupil is her best male friend, Jon Della. Jon's problem is that he is too nice, too sweet, and too much of a "computer geek," making his romantic life nonexistent. Wanting to change his kindly ways, he enlists Tracie to transform him into the type of guy that women fall head over heels for--a "bad boy." Tracie can\qt help but fall for bad boys herself--her current boyfriend, Phil, is consistently unavailable and commitment-shy. Goldsmith's timing is right on: as Jon progresses from nerdy to knockout, the story becomes clever and more engaging. Although the plotline is familiar--the dynamics of the platonic teacher-student relationship change as the tutor, unprepared for the pupil's successful evolution, becomes jealous--Goldsmith fashions a fresh and amusing story. Tracie must change as well; the bad boys are beginning to bore her, and she's tired of picking up the bill. Readers who do not think of light romantic comedy as "their cup of tea" should take a sip, relax, and enjoy--realistic yet entertaining characters and witty dialogue are Goldsmith's top priority. --Michelle Kaske

Publisher's Weekly Review

For all its hip talk and flaunting of high-tech accessories, Goldsmith's (The First Wives Club) cream-puff new read is an old-fashioned tale of love and friendship. In the new SeattleDa town suddenly stinking rich, "famous for its bad boys, good coffee, and Micro Millionaires"DTracie Higgins is a young reporter for the Seattle Times. Though she has a musician-poet-lout boyfriend, every Sunday Tracie meets platonic chum Jonathan Delano for brunch. Jonathan is a techno-wizard for Micro/Con; he is responsible, dedicated, environmentally correct; good to his mother and stepmothers; and alas, an ugly duckling dweeb who hasn't had sex in a year. Tracie agrees to give him a "make over": the clothes, the moves, the haircut, the linesDin short, attitude. "Women don't want nice guys," she says. She should know. In fact, every man in the book (except Jon) is a selfish leech, abusive or indifferent. Every woman seems clueless. But the dialogue is crisp and funny, and though the characters are shallow, they're lively, comradely and comic. The makeover itself is wonderfully funny, especially as poor Jon remains pretty hapless on the pickup. Soon, however, his spiffy clothes, spiked hair, stale lines and casual cruelty turn his love life around. Has the loyal friend, the true lover, the decent, smart, stock-optioned man vanished into chic-ether? Read on. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Goldsmith (The First Wives Club) here offers a gender twist on an old clich. Instead of a female ugly duckling indulging in a makeover to snag a rich and handsome guy, she features a nerdy nice guy who wants a transformation. Jon is a successful Seattle computer executive who just can't seem to hold the romantic attentions of the girl he loves. Sure, he and Tracie have been good friends for many years, but Jon is interested in developing that relationship, while Tracie seems destined for a succession of handsome, irresponsible bad boys who ultimately break her heart. Figuring that a character metamorphosis is the way to win her, Jon begs Tracie for advice on changing his image. Tracie makes a bet with her current stud that she can turn Jon into a man the women will drool over. The book is kind of silly and sappy, but it works because Goldsmith infuses her story with much humor, general good cheer, a compulsively readable plot, and a hapless happy ending. Readers who have enjoyed her previous titles won't be a bit disappointed. Essential for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/00.]DMargaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.