Working the Aisles: A Life in Consumption Paperback – 30 May 2014
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
This exploration of our desires, commercial and otherwise, and how we are manipulated by them and how we manipulate, reaches far beyond the shopping mall critique: Mr Appelbaum ranges from the highly intellectual social psychology and literary deconstruction to a highly personal narrative, with dramatic scenes of arrest and odd love encounters and vivid details from the United States, England, and France. Covering roughly 50 years, from 1960 till a few years ago, Working the Aisles paints a telling picture of the astounding economic and social changes of the half century. This is a very entertaining and at the same time melancholy and thoughtful novel-like trip into our ever-growing appetites. It should satisfy reading appetites of nearly everybody: rigorous scholars and those looking for a good and fresh story. Mr Appelbaum will keep you lively company for a couple of nights. You might even want to light a pipe. --Josip Novakovich, finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, author of April Fool's Day and Shopping for a Better Country
About the Author
Robert Appelbaum received his PhD from the University of Calfornia, Berkeley, and is currently Professor English Literature, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Frances Corner has opined that "It was at the end of the nineteenth century when Marx dubbed religion 'the opium of the people'. In our increasingly secular world, I would now replace 'religion' with 'shopping'." All of “Working the Aisles: A Life in Consumption” can be seen as an object lesson demonstrating the validity of this statement.
Coincidentally, right before reading Appelbaum’s book, I had gotten through memoirs by Joseph Brodsky, Geoff Dyer, and Sonali Deraniyagala, plus another two by Edmund White. Appelbaum’s prose is more evocative than all of the aforementioned: he presents complex ideas more lucidly, his writing flows better, and he tells better stories. For example, don’t miss the college road-trip episode that reads like a zany Hollywood comedy take on Jack Kerouac; or, likewise, the quite definitive account of what it’s like to be kept up all night by an alcoholic who is determined to drag you along into their current party-cum-binge and all the hoops they make you jump through along the way. And Appelbaum's descriptions of the San Francisco Bay Area are as trenchant as any I’ve read anywhere.
It takes a special writing talent to turn philosophy into fun, and commodity fetishism into comic material: Prof. Appelbaum has succeeded admirably.
Look for similar items by category