Mara Goodman-Davies, Author . Sourcebooks $14 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-0332-9

Goodman-Davies skewers the misbehaving Hamptons elite in her first novel, a guilty pleasure beach read. When Harry Raider, prince of the L.A. party scene, lands in the hospital after a particularly wild night, his billionaire daddy puts his foot down: Harry will go to the Hamptons to dry out or be disowned. Couldn't Mr. Raider's $3.4 billion buy him a celebrity magazine? The poor fool still thinks of the Hamptons as a sleepy cluster of beach shacks. As soon as the news makes it to Harry's childhood friend, "preppy haute-couture homosexual" stylist Chas Greer, he makes plans to marry the 38-year-old man-child off to the highest bidder. Goodman-Davies's author bio makes much of her own Hamptons youth, but thanks to gossip columnists, America's voracious appetite for scandalous tales of the rich and famous and the one-woman show that is Paris Hilton, there's barely such a thing as East Hampton insider info. Coke-snorting, bulimic socialites and calculating mama's boys act badly enough for a pretty good farce, and while Goodman-Davies's writing can be snappy, mostly it has the panache of a Sweet Valley Twins installment. Scenes of outlandish excess and its attendant misery are diverting, but, as with junk food, a little goes a long way. Agent, Carol Mann . (May)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
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