10 Quintessential Books That Reflect the Awesomeness of Orange County

Dazzle by Judith Krantz (1990)

t the top of her game as a chronicler of delirious ’80s consumerism, the author of “Scruples” set this novel in an Blank bookcover with clipping pathidealized Orange County of cowboys and endless grasslands. Its heroine, Jazz Kulkillen, is a world-famous photographer and Spanish land-grant heiress to a 100-square-mile cattle ranch in South County that her scheming stepsisters want to sell off to Hong Kong developers. Sure, it’s escapist fare, but Krantz was inspired by real-life events. “I knew, having visited the mission in San Juan Capistrano and the backcountry, how beautiful Orange County had been, and I knew how fast progress was coming,” she told the Los Angeles Times.


POSTSCRIPT   Krantz is ripe for a revival. “Recently, I read ‘Scruples’ again, and I feel quite confident in saying it is amazing,” opined a reviewer on the feminist website Jezebel a few years back. “It’s not only sexy, smart, and funny, it’s a snapshot of a certain era in American history.”