People Like Us Author:Dominick Dunne Gus Bailey, journalist, divorce, refugee from Hollywood, and perennial extra man, is the confidant of the New York elite. Gus is perfectly situated to observe the intimate cataclysms that shape and shake Manhattan's ruling class--some ascend, some resist others' ascension, and some succumb to scandal or relative poverty. Gus, however, has his ... more »own tragic secret--and his own violent plan.
At the top of the social pyramid sits the Altemus family: Lil Altemus, the proper but disingenuous matriarch; her brother, powerful businessman and philanthropist Laurance Van Degan; Lil's ne'er-do-well son, Hubie; and her slightly rebellious daughter, Justine. Justine's wedding to a handsome, philandering newscaster named Bernie Slatkin--whose name is definitely not in the Social Register--is one of the events that allows social entree to a new class of people: people like Elias and Ruby Renthal.
Elias Renthal has made billions in airplane wheels and other more mysterious dealings; Ruby is beautiful and sexual. Together they have their hearts set on reaching the top echelons of society: from galas at the opera to the Altemus wedding to their own ball, the most spectacular party of the decade. Even as she learns the rules of the privileged society she aspires to enter, Ruby keeps her own secret, one she shares only with Gus Bailey, and one that will change them both.
With the drama of the Altemus clan and the Renthals' rise, People Like Us chronicles an entire caste. From lunches at Clarence's (their house restaurant) to weekends in the country, from stock market boom to stock market bust, the people of People Like Us live by their own intricate rules. But when those rules are violated--and when Gus Bailey moves from observation into action--the world of people like us will never be the same.« less