Death by Leisure: A Cautionary Tale

Death by Leisure: A Cautionary Tale

by Chris Ayres

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Overview

A British journalist’s “fast and funny” account of hedonism and conspicuous consumption in Los Angeles—and his attempt to get in on the fun (The New York Times).

From the author of War Reporting for Cowards, Death by Leisure is the incisive, irreverent, and savagely funny story of British journalist Chris Ayres’s attempt to infiltrate the American leisure class (and find true love) in the credit-fueled years before the 2008 economic collapse. When the bubble bursts, however, Ayres must learn to live without the billionaire balls, supermodel girlfriends, foie gras pina coladas, and caviar facials to which he’s grown accustomed. Just like the rest of us, alas.

“With dry British wit, [Ayres] skewers American greed, L.A. life, and his own endless romantic foibles…Somehow, Ayres knew the fall was coming and kept going anyway. So did we.” —Time

“Were this merely a tale of a stranger in a strange land, Ayres’s hilariously self-effacing manner would make this worth reading. But what makes it more than merely clever is the way Ayres turns his own romantic insecurity and material aspiration into a stinging, if sympathetic, indictment of mindless consumption. Yes, we’re destroying the planet, he seems to say, but can we help it, given how pathetic we are? And anyone who can make us laugh at that must be a genius.” —Booklist (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555849153
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/19/2010
Series: Books That Changed the World
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 321
Sales rank: 1,131,349
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Chris Ayres was born in 1975. He joined The Times (London) in 1997 and was media business correspondent before moving to Los Angeles. He is currently the LA correspondent for The Times.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

With dry British wit, [Ayres] skewers American greed, L.A. life, and his own endless romantic foibles. . . . Somehow, Ayres knew the fall was coming and kept going anyway. So did we.” —Time

“Ayres was born to write this book . . . [He is] the perfect chronicler of this imperfect age.” —Los Angeles Times

“Fast and funny . . . Global climate change and the collapse of the American home market should not be conflated as easily as they are here, in a gonzo-style book with topics skittering from $1-per-blackhead California facials to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. But Mr. Ayres somehow manages to cram all these elements into his wild-eyed American adventure.” —The New York Times

“Hilarious . . . What makes it more than merely clever is the way Ayres turns his own romantic insecurity and material aspiration into a stinging, if sympathetic, indictment of mindless consumption. Yes, we’re destroying the planet, he seems to say, but can we help it, given how pathetic we are? And anyone who can make us laugh at that must be a genius.” —Booklist

“A topsy-turvy carnival ride of a book . . . Ayres knows how to find the laughs and fantasy in this accomplished satire.” —Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews