Summary and book reviews of Another City, Not My Own by Dominick Dunne

Another City, Not My Own

A novel in the form of a memoir

by Dominick Dunne

Another City, Not My Own
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  • First Published:
    Oct 1997, 360 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 1999, 406 pages

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Book Summary

This book illuminates the meaning of guilt and innocence in America today. A vivid, revealing achievement.

This is the story of the Trial of the Century as only Dominick Dunne can write it. Told from the point of view of one of Dunne's most familiar fictional characters - Gus Bailey - Another City, Not My Own tells how Gus, the movers and shakers of Los Angeles, and the city itself are drawn into the vortex of the O.J. Simpson trial.

We have met Gus Bailey in previous novels by Dominick Dunne. He is a writer and journalist, father of a murdered child, and chronicler of justice-served or denied-as it relates to the rich and famous. Now back in Los Angeles, a city that once adored him and later shunned him, Gus is caught up in what soon becomes a national obsession. Using real names and places, Dunne interweaves the story of the trial with the personal trials Gus endures as he faces his own mortality.

By day, Gus is at the courthouse, the confidant of the Goldman and Simpson families, the lawyers, the journalists, the hangers-on, even the judge; at night he is the honored guest at the most dazzling gatherings in town as everyone-from Kirk Douglas to Heidi Fleiss, from Elizabeth Taylor to Nancy Reagan-delights in the latest news from the corridors of the courthouse.

Another City, Not My Own does what no other book on this sensational case has been able to do because of Dominick Dunne's unique ability to probe the sensibilities of participants and observers. This book illuminates the meaning of guilt and innocence in America today. A vivid, revealing achievement, Another City, Not My Own is Dominick Dunne at his best.

Yes, yes, it's true. The conscientious reporter sets aside his personal views when reporting events and tries to emulate the detachment of a camera lens, all opinions held in harness, but the man with whom this narrative deals did not adhere to this dictum, at least when it came to the subject of murder, a subject with which he had had a personal involvement in the past. Consequently, his reportage was rebuked in certain quarters of both the journalistic and the legal professions, which was a matter of indifference to him. He never hesitated to speak up and point out, in print or on television, that his reportage on matters of murder was cheered by much larger numbers in other quarters. "Walk down Madison Avenue with me and see for yourself how often I am stopped by total strangers," he said in reply to a hate letter he received from an enraged man who wrote that he had vilified O.J. Simpson "through the pages of your pretentious magazine for two and a half years."

His name, as ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Entertainment Weekly

By dubbing it "a novel in the form of a memoir" (it's obviously the converse) and telling it through his familiar alter ego, Gus Bailey, (An Inconvenient Woman), this high-society chronicler and inveterate name-dropper gets away with reporting all those toothsome, off-the-record bits of gossip that he couldn't sneak into his Vanity Fair trial bulletins. No one dined out more lavishly on Simpson than Dunne, the recipient of endless hushed and conspiratorial confidences at the Palm and the Bel-Air and a nonstop whirl of parties.... Guiltily mouthwatering stuff.

The New York Times - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

What keeps you devouring Dunne's pages like potato chips is the fascination of a superlative social gadfly brought to a peak of popularity by everyone's obsession with the Simpson case. But Dunne appears to have a more serious objective in mind than amusing us with Gus's charms....The suspicion remains overwhelming that in this mischievously gossipy book, he is trying to have it both ways: on the one hand, telling a certain form of truth and, on the other, shrugging off all responsibility for that truth.

The New Yorker - Tina Brown

He is one of those writers who seems effortlessly to collide with copy. Movie stars confide to his answering machine. Wanted men hail the same taxi. Heiresses unload their life stories in elevators. Except, of course, Dunne's luck is not luck. People love to talk to him because he has a gift for intimacy that is real and generous.

Library Journal

....This blend of fact and fiction has the feel of a tabloid TV show and should be purchased only where the demand for O.J. material remains high.

Reader Reviews

Shannon

As a long-time journalist who has covered many a homicide trial, I was fascinated by Mr. Dunne's work. He continues to be one of my favorite writers. The subtle nuances that are a part of a murder trial were deftly covered in his descriptions. I felt...   Read More

Mel Martello

I loved the book! Pure entertainment. I totally agree with Mr. Dunne that O.J. killed Nicole and Ron and that the story was compelling to most of America. I always love it when people tell it like it is!

Phyllis McKay

This is "THE" Dominick Dunne book - absolutely fabulous. I've never read a book of his that I've been disappointed in.

George Bohmfalk

I thought this book was a shameful waste of time. Had I known it was merely a somewhat fictionalized acount of the OJ trial, I would never have even begun it. Having done so, I hoped that this would at least and at last offer some "truth" ...   Read More

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