All Is Vanity

  • by Christina Schwarz
  • Narrated by Blair Brown
  • 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Margaret and Letty, best friends since childhood and now living on opposite coasts, reach their mid-30s and begin to chafe at their sense that they are not where they ought to be in life. Margaret, driven and overconfident, decides the best way to rectify this is to quit her job and whip out a literary tour de force. Frustrated almost immediately and humiliated at every turn, Margaret turns to Letty for support. But as Letty, a stay-at-home mother of four, begins to feel pressured to make a good showing in the upper-middle-class Los Angeles society into which her husband's new job has thrust her, Margaret sees a plot unfolding that's better than anything she could make up. Desperate to finish her book and against her better nature, she pushes Letty to take greater and greater risks, and secretly steals her friend's stories as fast as she can live them. Hungry for the world's regard, Margaret rashly sacrifices one of the things most precious to her, until the novel's suspenseful conclusion shows her the terrible consequences of her betrayal.Widely celebrated for her debut novel, Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz once again proves herself to be a writer of remarkable depth and range. All Is Vanity probes into the mysteries of the human heart and uncovers the passions that drive ordinary people to break the rules in pursuit of their own desires.

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What the Critics Say

"The hilariously disastrous story...is both a page-turner and a cautionary tale of consumerism run amok." (The New York Times)
"Schwarz has a wicked eye for human foibles...As funny as it is cruel, the novel sweeps you along on its fast-track slide to hell." (Publishers Weekly)
"A wickedly funny satire filled with spot-on details." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Strange Bedfellows

Why are these two people friends? This book is expertly written and humoursly woven around a tragic situation. The writing of this book must have been quit hard to write. The things Margaret does to her friend are unforgiveable. I loved it and cried at the end - Life is a cruel taskmaster - it is important for all of us to discover our talent and not copy from someone's life - it can come to the crumbling of oneself and friendship - As usual Blair reads it so good!
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- DH

These people are too stupid!

I loved Christina Schwarz's earlier Drwoning Ruth. This book was totally disappointing. While the writing was ok and the narrator did her best I could not stand the silly self absorbed characters. The point of view switched which was refreshing but not enough time spent with Letty to relieve the drivel of Margaret's life. Buy Drowning Ruth instead and listen to it twice!
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- Sara Gallinger

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2002
  • Publisher: Random House Audio