I'll Take Manhattan Essay - Critical Essays

Judith Krantz

I’ll Take Manhattan

At twenty-nine, Maxime (Maxi) Amberville is an extremely rich, extremely spoiled young woman. Married and divorced three times and the mother of a precocious eleven-year-old daughter, Maxi believes in self-indulgence. She is passionate, impulsive, and thoroughly likable.

Her comfortable world is shaken to its foundation when she learns that her mother has turned control of the family’s magazine-publishing empire over to her new husband, Maxi’s own uncle, Cutter. Always envious of his brother’s success, Cutter plots to dismantle his brother’s company bit by bit. One of his first moves is to stop publication of four magazines, one of which is the failing trade weekly that was Maxi’s father’s first venture.

Horrified at Cutter’s actions, Maxi enlists the aid of her brothers and friends to save the magazine. As she transforms it into the brightest new publication on the national scene, she learns a great deal about publishing, hard work, and personal relationships. With a definite goal in her life, she finally grows up. Her achievements are sweetened when her mother discovers the full extent of Cutter’s scheming and rejects him and his attempts to destroy the Amberville empire.

I’LL TAKE MANHATTAN is Krantz’s fourth novel, and like the others, it is a surefire winner. Vivid descriptions of glittering life-styles, likeable characters, and snappy dialogue combine for an absorbing story. Maxi is a first-class heroine: alive, feisty, courageous, and captivating. She wants it all and manages to get it. Other characters, including the smoothly villainous Cutter, are equally memorable. Overt and underlying sexual tensions add spice to the story.