Death by Leisure - A Cautionary Tale
Publisher: Grove Press
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)