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The Blondes
by Emily Schultz


Overview -

"The Blondes" is a hilarious and whipsmart novel where an epidemic of a rabies-like disease is carried only by blonde women, all of whom must go to great lengths to conceal their blondness.

Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City.  Read more...


 
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More About The Blondes by Emily Schultz
 
 
 
Overview

"The Blondes" is a hilarious and whipsmart novel where an epidemic of a rabies-like disease is carried only by blonde women, all of whom must go to great lengths to conceal their blondness.

Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes whether CEOs, flight attendants, students or accountants into rabid killers.

Emily Schultz's beautifully realized novel is a mix of satire, thriller, and serious literary work. With biting satiric wit, The Blondes is at once an examination of the complex relationships between women, and a merciless but giddily enjoyable portrait of what happens in a world where beauty is literally deadly."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250043351
  • ISBN-10: 1250043352
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense
Books > Fiction > Satire

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-02-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

A pandemic of a rabies-like virus is turning blonde women, both natural and bottled, into maniacal killers in this satirical novel from Schultz (Heaven Is Small). In New York City, an eager grad student from Toronto named Hazel Hayes becomes pregnant after a fling with her middle-aged married professor, Karl Mann. Now stuck in a remote Canadian cabin with Grace, Karl’s drunken, possibly deranged mind-game-playing wife, Hazel relates the fragmented stages of her “ugly affair” to the unborn child she initially wanted to terminate. Schultz spares no raunchy, noisome detail about the blonde rampages, the government’s ineptitude in handling the crisis, or Hazel’s maternal angst in this protracted meditation on women who think they’re the only ones who can save someone else’s husband. Not every reader will buy the solution—that women only matter when they’re dangerous. Like dry, brittle, over-peroxided hair, Hazel’s story might look attractive at a casual glance, but up close, those nasty dark roots destroy all the comfortable illusions. Agent: Shaun Bradley, Transatlantic Agency. (Apr.)

 
BookPage Reviews

When beauty turns deadly

BookPage Fiction Top Pick, May 2015

It’s a regular day in New York City. The subways are running, people are getting coffee and listening to headphones and going about their business. Then, in one seemingly isolated incident, a woman with blonde hair lashes out and kills without reason. As it turns out, the incident is not isolated at all.

In Emily Schultz’s third novel, The Blondes, the world succumbs to a mysterious, rabies-like pandemic that causes people to attack and kill at random. But it’s not everyone who is affected by the disease: It’s women. And not all women, but blonde women—both those who’ve colored their hair and those who were born blonde. Suddenly, the preferred hair hue for starlets, beach babes and Barbie dolls is dangerous and nearly forbidden. Women shave, color and cover their hair to try to stem the disease’s spread.

In the midst of these events, our main character, Hazel Hayes, tries to cope with a breakup and a pregnancy. She wants to get out of New York and go home to Canada, but the world is suspicious of women, and she faces literal attacks (from “Blonde Fury” victims), plus discrimination and paranoia.

Clearly, The Blondes touches on themes of gender identity and politics, broaching topics of adultery, pregnancy, abortion, gender studies, myths about female hysteria, menstruation prejudices and female portrayal in media. But the book delves deeper than hot-button issues and talking points to explore what happens when women turn against other women, what we do when we feel out of control and the choice of whether to stand aside when someone needs help or to hold out a hand.

Schultz handles all these themes masterfully, and that alone is impressive, but what really makes the novel great isn’t the gender politics—it’s the story. Hazel’s journey is outwardly terrifying and inwardly harrowing at the same time, creating a narrative we want to follow and a character we truly care about.
The Blondes is the book you can’t put down; it’s also the book you can’t stop thinking about after you do.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews