In 1995 high-flying British journalist Toby Young left London for New York to become a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Other Brits had taken Manhattan - Alistair Cooke then, Anna Wintour now - so why couldn't he?
But things didn't go quite according to plan. Within the space of two years, he was fired from Vanity Fair, banned from the most fashionable bar in the city, and couldn't get a date for love or money. Even the local AA group wanted nothing to do with him.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is Toby Young's hilarious account of the five years he spent looking for love in all the wrong places and steadily working his way down the New York food chain, from glossy-magazine editor to crash-test dummy for interactive sex toys.
But it's more than "the longest self-deprecating joke since the complete works of Woody Allen" (Sunday Times); it's also a seditious attack on the culture of celebrity from inside the belly of the beast. And there's even a happy ending as Toby Young marries - "for proper non-cynical reasons," as he puts it - the woman of his dreams. "Some people are lucky enough to stumble across the right path straight away; most of us only discover what the right one is by going down the wrong one first."
©2006 Toby Young; (P)2006 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"[A] hilarious and scathing insider's view of the world in which Young wishes so badly to fit....Young's crisp reading of this memoir is highly entertaining and bitter, yet guileless and funny." (Publishers Weekly)
I love it when I have no idea what's going to happen next.
This is an interesting memoir about a fairly unlikeable guy (as the name suggests). The author seems to see himself fairly clearly, and doesn't shy away from being honest about what a jerk he's been. There are some fun situations here, but nothing that will warm your heart. The problem is that the author is reading it himself. Most of the time it's ok, but anytime he's doing someone else's voice, it's annoying. It almost sounds cartoony. Towards the end, it made it difficult to finish.
I thought I liked this book at first, but then it started to bore me, and then it started to annoy the hell out of me. There's nothing new here, and the attempts at satirical insights become tiresome.
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