• Affluenza

  • By: Oliver James
  • Narrated by: Oliver James
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-12-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (26 ratings)

Regular price: $12.78

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Publisher's Summary

There is currently an epidemic of 'affluenza' throughout the world - an obsessive, envious, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses - that has resulted in huge increases in depression and anxiety among millions. Over a nine-month period, best-selling author Oliver James travelled around the world to try and find out why. He discovered how, despite very different cultures and levels of wealth, affluenza is spreading. Cities he visited include Sydney, Singapore, Moscow, Copenhagen, New York, and Shanghai, and in each place he interviewed several groups of people in the hope of finding out not only why this is happening, but also how one can increase the strength of one's emotional immune system. He asks: why do so many more people want what they haven't got and want to be someone they're not, despite being richer and freer from traditional restraints?
And, in so doing, uncovers the answer to how to reconnect with what really matters and learn to value what you've already got. In other words, how to be successful and stay sane.
©2007 Oliver James (P)2009 Random House Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"A wonderfully clear and cogent thesis." ( Guardian)
"Should be mandatory reading for everyone." (Will Self)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-16-12

We Were Poor, But We Were Happy

Would you try another book from Oliver James and/or Oliver James?

Probably not. I was intrigued by the thesis for this book and was hoping this book would be well-researched and accurately supported. Instead, the thesis (that the quest for ever more riches and keeping up with the Jones) was something I could have come up with along with several friends drinking coffee on a Saturday morning. (We probably could have argued it better than the author). It seems like the author just relied upon the "studies" that supported his arguments. I didn't think the book was very well researched in any case, but possibly that is becaues I listened to it as an audiobook (which didn't have any footnotes or references to any studies).Some of the authors statements, arguments, and conclusions are ridiculous:1. Apparently, everything in Denmark is wonderful and great and no one suffers from Afluenza. Never mind that it is mind-numbingly expensive. If Danes could just afford to buy stuff, they would be just like everyone else.2. Going to school and college to get a job is, apparently, just so wrong. Who knew? Imagine all this time I've just been actually unhappy because I did that.3. George W. Bush's problems are all due to an overbearing mother? Really. (The author doesn't provide the psyc. report on that one). 4. The author's two examples in America: Affluenza afflicted: 20 something, single, former drug-addicted, Wall Street male who inherited a ton of money and who makes a lot of money and lives a sad, unfufilled life. Non-Affluenza afflicted: 30-something African-born undocumented married taxi driver. Did this author even talk to anyone else? Only conclusion that can be drawn from these examples: "We were poor, but we were happy."

Would you listen to another book narrated by Oliver James?

Probalby not. His voice drips with contempt and superiority.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Charles Olivier de Vezin on 05-26-17

Narrator is truly grating

Book is interesting if not a little elitist, but the author narrating his own book is understandable, but the worst experience.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Glenn on 09-29-13

Inspiring, puzzling, obvious, paradoxical

Oliver James examines the relationship between affluence, self-esteem and happiness. He does this principally by recounting stories of people who he's met who represent one or other end of the spectrum of happiness/affluence.
My principal difficulty is that he reaches extraordinarily certain opinions based, seemingly on these cases alone. He makes a lot of assumptions about the people he talks about. I actually think he is correct about most things, but there's precious little evidence included (much like this review...) I have however changed some aspects of my life based on this, so I must have been happy enough with his conclusions.
I like books narrated by the author, but Oliver James' voice can become rather wearing after a while - not so bad that I couldn't listen, but not my favourite narration

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By miss joanne a stevens on 06-12-18

Spoiled by the narration

Yet again I come across a really fascinating subject spoiled by the narration
It seems that some authors arrogantly think that only THEY can do their work justice and insist on doing the audio version themselves. In some cases this is fabulous and adds significantly to the text (most autobiographies, I find). In this case, it’s just bloody ruined it. Oliver James’ misplaced verbal gymnastics make it very hard to concentrate on what is being said and, I think, undermines the message

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