Read How To Lose Friends And Alienate People by Toby Young Free Online
Book Title: How To Lose Friends And Alienate People|
The author of the book: Toby Young
Edition: Little, Brown Book Group
Date of issue: September 18th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780349121406
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 25.78 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.5
Read full description of the books:
In 1995, British journalist Toby Young got the phone call every Fleet Street hack dreams of — an offer from Graydon Carter, the renowned editor of Vanity Fair, to fly to New York and work on the magazine. Toby then proceeded to stuff up every opportunity that came his way, starting with his interpretation of the “casual” dress code as a pair of vintage 501s and a T-shirt “featuring a bare-chested Keanu Reeves and the strapline: ‘Young, Dumb and Full of Come’”.
I first read How To Lose Friends & Alienate People in 2002 as I commuted to my new job in an organisation I came to refer to as The Ministry of Truth. It was all I could do not to burst into horrified laughter right there on the bus. Over a decade later, Toby Young’s ghastly faux pas, complete lack of judgement, and drunken antics continue to appal.
I re-read How To Lose Friends & Alienate People shortly after My Salinger Year, another memoir set in the New York publishing industry. While the latter could be a career guide for young hopefuls (do what you’re asked but be prepared to take on more challenging work, be discreet at all times, and be aware of the impression you’re making), Toby Young’s book is a how-not-to guide (don’t smuggle a strippergram into the office on Take Our Daughters to Work Day, don’t slide smart-arse remarks under your boss’s door, and try to avoid being photographed doing lines of coke at work).
Between his truly outrageous tales, Toby Young offers up interesting digressions on celebrity culture and academia in the late 1980s, and the importance of the New York media in determining the zeitgeist:“If Vanity Fair announces that London is on fire, then, to all intents and purposes, it’s on fire. On the other hand, if London’s so-called cultural renaissance goes completely unnoticed by anyone outside the city, then the whole thing is a bit of a non-event… In the global kingdom, New York is the home of international court society.”
He also muses on exactly what it takes to be successful at a magazine like Vanity Fair:“I often wondered how it was that a group of such apparently sophisticated people were able to devote so much energy to producing an upscale supermarket tabloid. How did they preserve their sanity while thinking up cover lines like ‘Jemima and Imran: The High-Stakes Marriage of Pakistan’s Camelot Couple’? Were they all on Prozac?”
Toby answers this question in a footnote: “The answer is probably yes.”
How To Lose Friends & Alienate People is much more than gossipy recollections of Toby’s time among the glitterati. He shows enough insight, self-awareness and wit to keep the reader on his side, despite his unspeakable behaviour. In the last chapter, he recounts some of the “spectacularly idiotic” things he did, then ponders:“Up to a point, these episodes were simply the result of blind ignorance; of not knowing, and not bothering to find out, the appropriate way to behave. But some of my more destructive acts seemed to be the result of the anarchic side of my character tripping the other side up, doing whatever it could to ensure I’d never end up achieving the things I’d set my heart on…
I can’t help feeling that the terrorist inside of me was the British part sabotaging the American part. The longer I spent in the States, the more British I felt. Like so many others, I thought that by moving to New York, I could re-invent myself; I could become an American. It seemed entirely possible, too — for about six months. Then my Britishness started to reassert itself. It was if I took a flight across the Atlantic and my nationality came by boat.”
But perhaps the last word should go to the Director of Public Relations at Vanity Fair, quoted in the reviews at the front of the book:“We’ve been looking through our files, and we can’t seem to find any record of a Toby Young ever having worked here.”
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Read information about the authorToby Daniel Moorsom Young (born 1963) is a British journalist and the author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, the tale of his failed five-year attempt to make it in the U.S. as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine, as well as The Sound of No Hands Clapping, a follow-up about his failure to make it as a Hollywood screenwriter. His obnoxious wit has earned him almost as many enemies as admirers and the title of "England's heterosexual Truman Capote". As the son of a baron, he is entitled to use the title the Honourable, but declines to style himself as such.
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