How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young
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 – so why couldn’t he? How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is his hilarious account of the five years he spent steadily working his way down the New York food chain, and an insider view of modern celebrity culture.
How to buy it: QBD the Bookshop, $16.99, audiobook
When can I get my hands on it: Now!
What am I in for: memoir, low brow humour, NYC setting, drugs, alcohol, sex and supermodels.
Another case of the movie being better than the book. I didn’t like this, I didn’t think it was funny and I feel like I’ve wasted 10 hours of my life listening to it. But then I suppose that’s the point of a book that details the stories of a person who made every idiotic decision under the sun to spoil his own life and career.
It’s a collection of misogynist stories, followed by a collection of star-fuckery stories, followed by a collection of stories championing out-dated and offensive stereotypes and finally finished up with a collection of stories in which he tries to redeem himself after messing everything else up. But his form of redemption is blaming everyone else for being the way they are and making him look like an idiot because he couldn’t adapt himself for any form of lifestyle that didn’t include being unfunny and drunk all the time.
I listened to the audiobook by Clipper Audio and it was fairly well narrated apart from a severe inability to do remotely accurate Australian accents.
Normally I’m a fan of memoirs like this, but this was just horrendous on so many levels that I ended up supremely glad that A) it is finally over, B) I didn’t pay for it and C) Toby Young has all but faded from public consciousness.
No more, maybe I’ll go watch the movie. Simon Pegg is a much more interesting Toby Young than Toby Young ever was.
Final rating: 2/5