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S. R. Schwankert (Beijing, China)

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Bonfire Of The Brands: How I Learnt to Live Without Labels: How I Learned to Live Without Labels
Bonfire Of The Brands: How I Learnt to Live Without Labels: How I Learned to Live Without Labels
by Neil Boorman
Edition: Paperback

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Burn this book, 31 Oct. 2007
I love brands. I hate myself. Buy my book. That's "Bonfire of the Brands" in a nutshell.

There, you just saved £7.79 and 256 pages. If you'd like to read something genuinely informative and entertaining about consumer behavior, try Paco Underhill's "Why We Buy." Instead of talking about himself for the entire book, as Boorman does, Underhill actually explains what influences consumers, especially in a retail environment.

Hotel Babylon
Hotel Babylon
by Imogen Edwards-Jones
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wishes it were Kitchen Confidential, 25 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Hotel Babylon (Hardcover)
I read Hotel Babylon quite quickly, after a mention in The Economist, I believe. Despite saying that "The hotel business is a licence for guests to behave badly," and titillating the prospective buyer with tales of sex, drugs, and wild parties, little of the behavior described in the book is truly shocking. Only the ridiculous amounts of money the guests mentioned spend approaches the incredible.
Unlike Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential," which works because it is imbued as much with the personality of the author as the sights and smells of New York kitchens, Hotel Babylon's author remains anonymous, leaving the book mostly stripped of personality. The anonymous member of the writing duo "is currently the manager of a five-star central London hotel," according to the jacket, but portrays him or herself as a member of the hotel's reception staff.
Lastly, although the book points out where hotels make ridiculous money from their guests, there are no helpful hints about being a better guest, how to get better service (except for liberally distributing 50-pound notes), or getting a better room. Overall, it's a decent read, but one that won't likely remain on personal or store shelves too long into the future.

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