Book Review – Affluenza by Oliver James


Sadly this didn’t end up being what I had wanted it to be.

The initial premise is one I’m all about (that the human race has become obsessed with stuff, things, money and the like hugely to the overall detriment of our mental health). However while it starts by laying out the thesis well (the section on the birth of advertising is particularly good) it gets bogged down.

After a while and quickly descends into chapters of complexity even my brain wasn’t equipped to handle interspersed with what seems to be the blindingly obvious (the billionaire in New York who has everything but is addicted to heroin, the miserable trophy wife).

To be fair, the book is 8 years old at this stage and I’ve read much better in the interim on the same subject (Alain DeBotton’s Status Anxiety for instance).

Worth your time for some of the ride, but I ended up skimming by the end.