Camika C. Spencer, Author . St. Martin's $19.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-312-32334-9

"He's a narcissist, and he hates women" is one of the mildest barbs tossed by a group of five black book club members at war with a self-centered, narcissistic bestselling Dallas author in this spicy if somewhat crass modern-day battle of the sexes. Hyperarrogant writer Marcus Brooks, 32, has been the target of protest groups ever since his hateful, misogynistic novel, Bitches , was slated for release. But Brooks knows that his male audience will devour the new book and that's his only concern. In between protests, the book club women have their own dilemmas: Naomi has marriage troubles, single mom Latice is as frustrated as fiercely independent Thelma, television camerawoman Gwena is hiding secrets and Raylene's fairy tale wedding is sabotaged. After a rather hokey back-alley fistfight between Marcus and the five women over a few dollar bills, the women manage to kidnap him, promising freedom only after he completely rewrites his new novel. Then Marcus recognizes Gwena as an old girlfriend from his college days, and their secret past has everyone taking sides. Will the book club's tough love be enough to soften haughty clod Marcus? Will true love conquer all? No one's very likable in this spiky satire, but the backbiting and domestic squabbling are sharp, and Spencer's (Cubicles) clever parody of a successful black male writer should strike a chord. Agent, Matt Bialer at Trident Media Group. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/06/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 212 pages - 978-0-312-32335-6
Hardcover - 344 pages - 978-0-7862-8024-7
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4668-6290-6
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