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She's Come Undone

From the July 4 / July 11, 2005 issue: Entrepreneur makes good in the nation's capital.

Jul 4, 2005, Vol. 10, No. 40 • By JUDY BACHRACH
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Like, duh, of course I was immature. I was half his age! That's why he was f--ing me instead of his wife, remember?

Yes, that's part of the joy of this novel. The rest stems from figuring out who in this novel is actually Who. Here the author displays a bracing lack of imagination. "I found him chatting up some drunk woman who looked like a goblin up close," Cutler writes of an aging lover who runs into a female network correspondent. "She had a beak of a nose, funny lips, and bad skin. The thick layer of makeup she was wearing did nothing to cover the horrible craters all over her cheeks."

Hmmm . . . Ever sleep with this gal? the heroine wonders. "Noo!" her boyfriend assures her. "Do you know who she's married to?"

Well, yes. I suspect I do. And apparently a former boyfriend named Robert Steinbuch, who works for Senator DeWine, experienced a similar sense of déjà vu when he read Cutler's blog, and launched an invasion of privacy lawsuit against Cutler just last month, in which he pretty much repeats all the steamy stuff we already read about him. Spanking. Hair pulling. Is he boasting or what?

Personally, I don't know what to make of our nation's capital any more. On the one hand, I agree with the author: It is a pretty dull town. It is crammed with a lot of badly dressed people who don't wear NARS lipstick or carry Kate Spade bags. On the other hand, it has Cutler, our own Françoise Sagan, and say what you will, she seems to have made the most of her time here.

Judy Bachrach is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair.