Living Large and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$2.11
  • List Price: $32.99
  • Save: $30.88 (94%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Living Large: From SUVs to Double Ds---Why Going Bigger Isn't Going Better Hardcover – October 26, 2010


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$2.11
$0.49 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312540256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312540258
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,554,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wexler, a staff writer for Allure magazine, spent three years on the road, investigating America's worship at "the Church of Stuff." Wexler dives into America's new normal where bigger is better and our landscape is dominated by starter castles, Barbie boobs, megachurches and megamalls, jumbo engagement rings, mammoth cars, and landfills visible from space. By turns horrified, tempted, incredulous, guilt-ridden, mystified, and captivated by these excesses, Wexler approaches her subject with a compassion born of her own complicity (she's an SUV driver and enjoys her shopping). Though the book covers increasingly familiar postrecession "the party's over" territory with the depth of an extended magazine piece, Wexler brings a friendly first-person perspective to her study of surfeit and of the psychology behind our compulsion to consume and squander, why "living large" is defended by some as our "God-given right as Americans" and in other cases, might be downright unavoidable.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“[Wexler’s] witty narrative makes her supersize warning easy to swallow and hard to ignore.” People Magazine, 3 ½ stars (of 4)

“Wexler reminds us that Americans have completely lost perspective, both literally and figuratively… Amusing and timely.” —Kirkus Reviews

“By turns horrified, tempted, incredulous, guilt-ridden, mystified, and captivated by these excesses, Wexler approaches her subject with a compassion born of her own complicity (she's an SUV driver and enjoys her shopping)… Wexler brings a friendly first-person perspective to her study of surfeit and of the psychology behind our compulsion to consume and squander.” —Publishers Weekly

“Wexler takes us on the most insightful couch-potato tour of American excess out there.… Filled with the comic irony of a Stewart or Colbert.” —John de Graaf, coauthor of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic

"I'll just say it, since someone has to: This is a hugely entertaining book." —A.J. Jacobs, author of The Guinea Pig Diaries and The Year of Living Biblically

“Perfectly timed. This is a gorgeous romp of sharp cultural criticism by one of America's big new voices.” —Jeanne Marie Laskas, award-winning author of Growing Girls


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
2
3 star
2
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
There are eleven stand alone chapters in this amazing book.
Dominion
Here's not a pointless endeavor by any stretch, but the work definitely could stand a longer, more serious, more in-depth touch.
Ink & Penner
Very well written: entertaining, interesting, insightful and informative.
A.B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Erie on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The author's bright, refreshing insights made for a delightful afternoon of reading. Wexler's straightforward, though nuanced, descriptions had me sitting alongside her in places I never imagined - like the driver's seat of a Hummer or the examining table of a plastic surgeon who does boob jobs. Analyzing and balancing her own modern day wants and shoulds with wit and wisdom led me to question my own values in a comfortable, nonthreatening way. What was said and how it was said made me smile - a lot.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Frankly, I could never quite understand the mentality. When I was growing up it was every parents dream that their children would simply have a bit better life than the one that they experienced. For those of us who grew up in double-deckers in working-class neighborhoods that step up might be a small single family home in a suburban neighborhood. But for many baby boomers and those in subsequent generations this was simply not good enough. Good economic times spawn inflated expectations and all of a sudden people were demanding much bigger houses, larger vehicles and well, super-sized everything. Author Sarah Z. Wexler grew up in a household where many of the values touted by the hippies of the 1960's were espoused. But soon enough her parents changed their tune and so did she. She still can't believe she "sold out". In her new book "Living Large: From SUVs to Double Ds, Why Going Bigger Isn't Going Better" Sarah Wexler explores why Americans became so fascinated with gigantic homes, big-box retailers, and ever-larger and incredibly inefficient vehicles. It seems that the demand for "bigger and better" infiltrated all facets of our lives and today our nation is reaping the consequences of so many foolish decisions.

In "Living Large" Sarah Wexler devotes a chapter each to 11 different subjects. In the chapter entitled "The McMansion Expansion" she points out that "the average American home ballooned from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2349 square feet in 2004, a 140 percent increase in size." What makes this so disturbing is that due to our declining birth rate there is on average one fewer person residing in these houses than there were 50 years ago. Furthermore, many of these homes are poorly built and the cost to heat and cool them is astronomical.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E Reader on August 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well-written, provocative, insightful, and entertaining.
The author offers a wealth of information without making the task of reading it arduous. I'd even go so far as to call it a 'light read' because reading it was fully enjoyable. It gave me lots of fun facts to share with people, too.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. P. Anderson on March 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When did Americans succumb to gigantism? You've got to admit, it's everywhere - our houses, our cars, ourselves ... This book takes a look at this gigantic world we have created, with separate chapters on McMansions, megachurches, breast implants, the Mall of America, big box stores, Hummers, and more.

The author has a great style - funny, engaging, and very easy to process. There were a few things, though, that I didn't care for. For one, she jumps around quite a bit. I also found some of these connections rather forced. The chapter on debt, which features a visit to the World's Largest Ball of Twine, was a particularly good example of that.

My biggest issue with the book, though, was how lightly all this is treated. I know she writes for a fashion magazine, Allure. In their unoffending manner, the chapters in this book could easily have stood in as articles in that magazine.

What's odd is that she admits to having something of a radical past. She also devotes her last chapter to Freegans, people who basically squat in deserted buildings and pick through garbage for their food - and all of their own volition.

For such a gigantic problem, I guess I figured there'd be a little bit more outrage. Instead, we get a lot of mixed signals. Yes, Hummers waste gas, but they are kind of fun to drive. She talks about how big and costly engagement rings are getting, but never about the idea of blood diamonds. She seems to bend over backwards trying to show herself as guilty of doing all the things she writes about (I can't say "excoriates," as she never really does so).

A fun, easy-to-read book, but rather bland and definitely not fitting its more serious subject matter.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A.B. on December 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Really enjoyable read. Very well written: entertaining, interesting, insightful and informative. Skilled command of language. Really unique combination of ideas. The juxtaposition of the make-a-wish shopping trip with Wal-mart is particularly clever. The trip to Harold's NY Deli in Edison, NJ is another enlightening escapade. Ms. Wexler really has a let-it-all-hang-out writing style. The book is very informative in a very entertaining way and must have involved a tremendous amount of research.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search