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3.3 out of 5 stars
American Sucker
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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
on February 2, 2004
To hear this author go on countless talk shows hawking this shallow bubble of a book is depressing. "American Sucker" is about an extremely accomplished and educated man who surrounds himself with Manhattan sycophants and billionaires, and thinks that if he hangs out with them, he can become one of them. It is hard to muster any pity over his extreme immaturity (at age 59) in pouring his savings into the Gen X internet bubble. Despite his divorce, Denby.... has always been and is still... married to an empty pursuit of celebrity, Wall Street, Hollywood, and surface glitz. Like Janet Jackson baring her breast for record sales, Denby pulls out "depression" and name dropping in an attempt to create a best seller.
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on April 1, 2004
I didn't find the book involving on any level. I expected a gripping read. After all, the memoir covers a period of Denby's life when he lost his wife to divorce and $800,000 to the stock market bubble. Denby hints at the personal devastation he experiences, but is far too guarded to allow the reader to feel the true depth of his turmoil. At least this reader. The book also lacks focus. Included are portions of movie reviews, re-worked New Yorker interviews with Henry Blodgett and descriptions of 'fabulous' parties held by Sam Waksal, the founder of ImClone. I found it hard to have empathy for Denby, who comes off as a name-dropping wanna-be rich guy who still hasn't learned his lesson.
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on January 26, 2004
Oh, because he's a film critic, for the New Yorker no less, which means he's important and MUST have something insightful to say. (At least Joel Siegel knows his place...) Denby doesn't, which is sad, because a real artist would have fashioned great material out of all this. Unfortunately, D.'s just a schmuck, this book is a bad PR campaign, and when Denby's not trying to be funny (like a very pale Woody Allen), he's being maudlin in a pompous, self-denigrating way that reminds me of Nietzsche's aphorism: "He who despises himself nevertheless respects himself as one who despises." This is highbrow junk for jetsetters and dandies.
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As a title, "American Schmuck" may have been more apt. Rarely has there been a more incisive portrait of the effete, weak, narcissistic and self-indulgent New Yorker than this book.
Denby is unwilling to recognize the American disease of conspicuous consumption that has left this culture morally bankrupt and spiritually empty.
Only an American in the 21st century would think accumulating wealth and possessions could justify his existence.
If you must read this, get a library copy. It's not worth the purchase price.
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on March 10, 2004
I guess you don't have to be intelligent to work for the New Yorker. Denby proves this as he is stupid beyond belief. I refuse to subsidize his stupidity. If you HAVE to read it, do yourself a favor and simply check it out from your local library. Wait for inter-library loan if you have to.
Nuff said.
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on March 25, 2004
This book goes no where fast. The author does not make the reader feel any pity or even identify with himself. The book is similar to the Cather in the Rye's writing style, where you simply get a stream of thoughts from the author. The problem here is, the thoughts are real and you won't care.
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on February 22, 2004
The title of this book should be "An American sucker if you buy this book". This book is about nothing, a failed marriage without explanation and fail trades not explained. If you need to spend money to learn that Enron was full of crooks, then you are a sucker. Save your money people.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2004
David Denby is a selfish man. He refers to his wife of nearly two decades as the "novelist Cathleen Schine" and hardly ever mentions his kids except as nuisances. His greeds leads him to the diabolical duo of Henry Blodget and Sam Waksal who then fleece Denby out of much of his life savings.
American Sucker is the work of a selfish, greedy self-obsessed man. The book is similarly awful. It is a waste of both your money and your reading time.
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