Jafar's Reviews > Affluenza

Affluenza by Oliver James
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Feb 15, 08

it was ok

Halfway through this book I thought: Why does this guy remind me of the guy who wrote They F*** You Up? I checked the names, and both books have the same author. I don’t have a good memory for authors’ names; otherwise, I wouldn’t have picked up this book given how much I didn’t like the other one.

“The Affluenza Virus is a set of values which increase our vulnerability to emotional distress. It entails placing a high value on acquiring money and possessions, looking good in the eyes of others and wanting to be famous.” The Virus and its vaccines are the essence of this book, which – mind you – is over 500 pages. While I personally don’t have much problem with his description of the Virus and the problems that it can cause, I though this book was totally lame.

James promises “scientific research” in the outset, but he’s already reached his conclusion right from the start. He’s moralizing, judgmental, and pontificating all through the book. What he presents as “research” is mostly long and boring interviews with subjects whom he often (and not so subtly) pities and despises. His politics is grotesquely tainting his “research.” His anti-Americanism is hysterical (it’s amusing to see him treat the number of Starbucks in a country as a measure of mental distress), and his romanticizing of Denmark and all thing Danish is near-comical.
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Marianovsky Exactly what I thought when I was done reading it. There were a few very lucid passages, which a lot of people would benefit from, but they're buried under a ton of bullshit...

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