Money Changes Everything: Twenty-two Writers Break the Final Taboo--How Money Transforms Families, Tests Marriages, Destroys Friendships, and Sometimes Manages to Make People Happy
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Money Changes Everything: Twenty-two Writers Break the Final Taboo--How Money Transforms Families, Tests Marriages, Destroys Friendships, and Sometimes Manages to Make People Happy

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The editors of The Friend Who Got Away are back with a new anthology that will do for money what they did for women’s friendships.

Ours is a culture of confession, yet money remains a distinctly taboo subject for most Americans. In this riveting anthology, a host of celebrated writers explore the complicated role money has played in their lives, whether they’re hiding from...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 15th 2008 by Broadway Books (first published 2007)
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This book really isn't about money, but more the "everything" that it references in the title. "Everything" encompassing social class, feelings, experiences, things that have to do with money but aren't really money and could be interesting or boring but end up just being there at the end. I guess it wasn't what I expected, but re-reading the title and emphasizing "everything" rather than "money", I can see how I may have been sold on a different perception of this book.

But really, if you were...more
I requested this book from the library because I’m on the wait list for a book of short stories by Elissa Schappell that came highly recommended. Money Changes Everything is edited, not written by Schappell, which I failed to notice when I looked at the catalog record. Don't tell my librarian friends, okay?

Each essay covers some aspect of money -- how much the writer has, how much they’ve spent, how little they had growing up -- you get the idea. Basically, money = problems. The better essays we...more
I really liked most of these. Sometimes I have trouble rating collections, whether by one or several authors; invariably some stories are good and some are less good. So this time I made a point of rating each one of the 22 (true) stories here 1-5. The resulting average was 3.68, lower than I would have expected because overall, I would rate the collection at least 4, and probably 4.5 if we had half stars in this thing.

Anyway, as long as I've already bothered to do them (and the WorldCat record...more
This was interesting because each writer had a different angle on the same broad topic: money. My complaint is that the writers have a bit too much in common for the perspectives to be as varied as the collection has the potential to be. Just the fact that they are all or almost all writers by trade means they have certain things in common, personality-wise & in how they make & view money. (Like, they tend to have unpredictable income, expensive urban lifestyles, etc) I got the definite...more
Feb 11, 2008 Beth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: other nonfiction devotees
Another anthology by the authors who wrote "The Friend who Got Away." Thought it was really cheap to have the husband and wife team each write an article, and not have them be located back to back. They were way too similar to belong in the same compilation. Most of the stories, however, were fairly riveting-although Daniel Handler's about the $1200 bottle of wine just came across as though he was pretensious and defensive, a bad combination.
Essays of varying interest on money, by writers. A 9/11 widow ends up with millions sent to her by total strangers and struggles with how to use it. Indian women are bilked from their family's wealth by the men in the family. Daniel Handler spends thee $1200 he gets for his essay on a bottle of wine.

Talking about one's own money is taboo, so it was interesting in a way to read many case studies of different people's situations.
Mar 03, 2008 Jill rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not really anyone
Eh.... Could have been much more interesting, but was only mildly so. I was at the least expecting some really entertaining tales of being broke and doing crazy things to make it, but no such luck. In the book, authors write essays about their relationship to money, some rich, some poor, most somewhere in between. I think my reading time could be better spent.
Sep 19, 2008 Suzanne rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: CPL Website
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought I was pretty well read but only recognized 2 of the authors who contributed essays. I can't articulate exactly what I was expecting from this book, but I didn't get it. Some stories were definitely better than others, but overall this book was just okay.
Feb 19, 2008 Ivy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: rubberneckers, curtain-twitchers
Hm. I guess I expected something else from this book -- I thought it'd be more about writers and how money affected their writing lives. While the writing quality was okay, it was difficult for me to get around my disappointment. Ah, well.
The quality of the essays in this collection is uneven. Some of them are great, and some of them were terrible. A good book for subway reading, although it did leave me feeling an acute sense of anxiety about my finances.
Interesting essays about money--the book is refreshing because so few people talk openly and honestly about money. Unfortunately, the quality and interest level of the essays was too uneven to give this book more than 3 stars.
Lee Harrington
Oh, the stories I could tell about my journey as a financially struggling author. I loved this book. It was so open and honest and true. Thanks Elissa and Jenny for compiling this excellent collection.
The book was certainly very culture-bound (lots of stories about new yorkers with more money than most people). But that said, I found the stories genuinely revealing and enjoyable.
J Simpson
funny, interesting, sometimes poignant essays on that dirtiest of dirty subjects... money.
Melissa Cavanaugh
Didn't seem to break many taboos, or much raise my interest either.
Uneven editing with only a couple of solid essays. Most stories fail to impact, or in some cases, to decide exactly they want to say.
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Meera Nair was raised in India and moved to the US in 1997. She has an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University and an M.A from Temple University. Her debut collection Video won the Asian-American Literary Award and was chosen a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post. Her stories, articles and essays have appeared in various publications including the anthologies Delhi Noir, Charli...more
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