• by Oliver James
  • Narrated by Oliver James
  • 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

There is currently an epidemic of 'affluenza' throughout the world - an obsessive, envious, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses - that has resulted in huge increases in depression and anxiety among millions. Over a nine-month period, best-selling author Oliver James travelled around the world to try and find out why. He discovered how, despite very different cultures and levels of wealth, affluenza is spreading. Cities he visited include Sydney, Singapore, Moscow, Copenhagen, New York, and Shanghai, and in each place he interviewed several groups of people in the hope of finding out not only why this is happening, but also how one can increase the strength of one's emotional immune system. He asks: why do so many more people want what they haven't got and want to be someone they're not, despite being richer and freer from traditional restraints?
And, in so doing, uncovers the answer to how to reconnect with what really matters and learn to value what you've already got. In other words, how to be successful and stay sane.


What the Critics Say

"A wonderfully clear and cogent thesis." ( Guardian)"Should be mandatory reading for everyone." (Will Self)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Inspiring, puzzling, obvious, paradoxical

Oliver James examines the relationship between affluence, self-esteem and happiness. He does this principally by recounting stories of people who he's met who represent one or other end of the spectrum of happiness/affluence.
My principal difficulty is that he reaches extraordinarily certain opinions based, seemingly on these cases alone. He makes a lot of assumptions about the people he talks about. I actually think he is correct about most things, but there's precious little evidence included (much like this review...) I have however changed some aspects of my life based on this, so I must have been happy enough with his conclusions.
I like books narrated by the author, but Oliver James' voice can become rather wearing after a while - not so bad that I couldn't listen, but not my favourite narration
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- Glenn

Irritating Narration

Would you try another book written by Oliver James or narrated by Oliver James?

It's an interesting idea, supported by some serious legwork on the part of the author.

Would you be willing to try another book from Oliver James? Why or why not?

I'd definitely listen to another book by the same author.

What didn’t you like about Oliver James’s performance?

The narration is okay, not fantastic. When the book quotes other people the narration attempts to mimic their speech to grating effect.

Was Affluenza worth the listening time?

Worth listening to for the ideas, probably better enjoyed in print than listened to in its present form.

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- monkey-puzzle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-05-2009
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks