The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of a Life Without Reservations
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The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of a Life Without Reservations

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Bored, broke, and struggling to survive in one of the most expensive cities on earth, Paul Carr comes to the surprising realization that it would actually be cheaper to live in a luxury hotel in Manhattan than in his tiny one-bedroom London apartment. Inspired by that possibility, he sells his possessions, abandons his old life, and starts living entirely without commitmen...more
ebook, 337 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Disinformation Company (first published January 1st 2011)
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Allan Beaufour
It's less a book about how he manages to live in hotels year-round, and more a tale of his drunken adventures. It kept me entertained though :) It gets a bit more serious in the end of the book.
3.5 stars - I was intrigued by this book as I love to read about hotel and restaurant experiences and thought Paul Carr's saga of giving up his London apartment to live in hotels for a year (citing would actually be cheaper) would be interesting. For the most part it was when he related his experiences but the constant drinking and carousing got a little tiresome and I can't imagine how he came out of it alive.

All in all it was a quick and fun read and he's actually a fairly good writer. Now I'm...more
Another guy who drinks too much and talks a lot about it. Mildly entertaining, but honestly I was more interested in a bunch of cool hotel info than more crap about drinking with little girls.
A tedious, bragging, self-indulgent book. Can't believe I actually finished it, but only because I hate not finishing books.
I really didn't find the author as amusing as he finds himself.
I might be slightly partial to the author, since I found his month-long blog series about staying in a different hotel in Las Vegas every day to be quite fascinating and brutally funny. I was expecting a lot of the same out of this book, to be honest, just...longer, and that's indeed what I got, though with much more depth and a surprisingly moving turn in the last quarter or so of the book.

The whole idea of living exclusively in hotels and relinquishing nearly all material possessions seems imp...more
Simon Howard
The Upgrade is the follow up to Paul Carr’s Bringing Nothing to the Party, compared to which I found it to be a hard slog. The book essentially continues Carr’s autobiographical tale, picking up where the previous volume left off. Carr reaches the realisation that rental prices in London are exceptionally high, and that he could likely live in hotels for less. And so, he commits himself to a nomadic lifestyle in which he travels the world living in hotels. This book is advertised as his guide to...more
Ankur Banerjee
Paul Carr was a fuckup. He left a career as a journalist with The Guardian to start his own multimillion dollar publishing company, abandoned it to launch a web startup under the delusion of becoming “the next Mark Zuckerberg”, got arrested and failed in many relationships because of an alcohol problem. With mounting bills and his life going off the rails, Carr started a journey that has made him a legend in tech journalism.

The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of Life Without Reservations is Paul Carr...more
Another quick read. This is a book I picked up because it was in the same section as No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late (which I didn't just put on hold). I thought I would like a story about living in luxury hotels after the backpacker book.

That's not exactly what this book was, though. I mean, there was that. There was about how to get free stuff if you're a rich, white, middle-class English guy with a law degree. But if, partway through the book, you start to get unc...more
Matthew Bradley
I'm not sure what I expected from this book. I think I expected inspiration and perhaps some perspective on myself, both of which I got. The book was a strong reminder to optimize life for happiness, and perhaps even ridiculousness, with a few hints and tips as to how to get a better hotel rate, some honest, some not.

The author came across as candid -- despite the book being so replete with confessions of lying, or "blagging" -- for which I am grateful. This level of candor is rare, especially w...more
This book was suggested to me by a good friend and I am so glad I picked it up. Paul gives you a window into his life of the beginning years of his nomad-living experience. Cover-to-cover wit keeps you hooked. The whole story is hilarious, informative, TMI, and absolutely brilliant. It's of course entertaining to see what he is capable of doing to keep things interesting (especially with an alcohol problem) but I learned so much about traveling smart... this book will pay for itself with the mon...more
Paul Carr has a ridiculous plan to abandon his pricy digs in London and save money by living as an expatriate in hotels around the world. A plan so just might work.

The story is less about the mechanics of day to day living in hotels and more about how Paul's friends enable him in his bad habits and eventually save him from himself.
I loved Bringing Nothing to the Party, and loved this book as well. It is both the style of writing and the topics that I like in these books. Even though this is the last book I started reading, it is also the first I finished in a long time.

I am happy that Paul will release a third book Bringing Something to the Party (hopefully soon)
Starts off really strong. Picked it up to just read a few pages, and before I knew it, I was half-way done. But eventually, reading about him blacking out and waking up in unfortunate scenarios starts to get sad and a tad boring. Glad he figured that out for himself.
Marc Brandeberry
Whatever the male version of Chick Lit is, this is it. A good casual summer read, that about 2/3rd of the way takes a twist I did not expect. The various anecdotes were interesting and funny to me, although I think it could have been edited down a smidge.
Bryan Allison
This book started out with promise, but devolved into self-important navel gazing. It's hard to say what would happen if I met Paul Carr in person, but I'm leaning toward punching him in the back of the head.
It's not very deep book and yet it's fascinating enough to swallow in one evening. A little bit of "4-hour work week" (or maybe "Up in the Air"), a little bit of Tucker Max's books.
Entertaining, it was a nice book to read on holiday.
It reminded me of 'Twitchhiker' by Paul Smith, so if you enjoyed that book then you should give this a read.
Mike Ward
enjoyable if a bit self absorbed - full review here
Entertaining diary about a man who drinks too much, doesn't know what he wants in life, yet manages to somehow hold on and find himself.
Not amazing but a fun read that made me want to travel (though not Carr style). If you liked The Hangover you'll probably enjoy this.
Stefan Vds
A great read. Well written. Interesting story. The fact it's all fact, no fiction makes it the great story it is.
Rob Shoesmith
Not a bad read. Could be better.
Kristin Chong
Kristin Chong marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2014
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Paul Carr was born in the UK but currently lives in hotels around the world. In addition to books about himself, Carr writes a weekly column for Techcrunch. He has previously written for The Guardian newspaper.
More about Paul Carr...
Bringing Nothing to The Party: True Confessions of a New Media Whore Sober Is My New Drunk The Black Palmetto The Unofficial Tourists' Guide to Second Life We'll Always Have The Flamingo: 33 Dry Nights Along The Las Vegas Strip

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