Nikki's Reviews > Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic

Affluenza by John De Graaf
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Nov 09, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction, sustainability, saw-the-movie
Read in November, 2011

I checked this book out because it was on a list that appeared, I think, in the Food and Drink issue of the New York Times Magazine. (You'll see many others in my current or recent reading list.) I saw the television documentary on which it was based several years ago, and I have to say that this is one case where the film made its point much better than the book did. This is quite often the case with PBS-type documentaries, but usually the books based on such films at least have a number of nice photographs that the reader can gaze on at leisure. Affluenza is illustrated largely with cartoons, and not very good ones at that.

To be fair, since the film was made and the book published, the same ground has been gone over and over in countless articles and books, so that it's all rather old hat even though the problems described persist. The fact that the boom times during which the book was written have ended brings some 20-20 hindsight, but I must confess that I skimmed the last several chapters extremely quickly. Perhaps one good thing to come out of the recession will be that books like this will become curiosities of a bygone age, describing a condition that no longer exists. In the meantime, most people can skip this book.
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