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The Official Filthy Rich Handbook Paperback – June 19, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (June 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761147039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761147039
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Those top-drawer trendies from the 1980 Official Preppy Handbook have grown older and richer; it's time now to tweak the lifestyles of the über-rich, people Tennant, one-time columnist for the New York Post's Page Six gossip column and cofounder of Radar magazine, knows well. Tennant opens with a plutocrat primer, a sketchbook detailing various Filthy Rich types, from hedgers to heirheads. Chapters follow on where to buy homes and how to hire staff, especially that jewelry handler who carries illicit substances for high-echelon rappers. Vacations are another big issue, involving whole new wardrobes and leisure activities. Sports are great for conspicuous consumption of time and money; the most desirable sports, like fly fishing, big-game hunting or polo, can involve special vacations of their own. Even simple sports like golf require joining the right club; Tennant's matter-of-fact listing of the clubs' discriminatory barriers speaks for itself. Then, since to heir is divine, there's a chapter on having children—which boils down to buying the most exclusive baby buggy, hiring the least marriage-threatening nanny and picking the most ego-satisfying boarding school. Jazzy page layouts and endless name-dropping make for a great tongue-in-cheek humor book. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"[A] decadent road map to help you navigate through private-school admissions, choppy regatta waters, and the global social circuit." — Vanity Fair


"Reading this handbook is like eating 12 baked Alaskas in a row, but Christopher Tennant seems to know la dolce vita Americana billionara, every sweet morsel of it."
—Tom Wolfe


"There are three kinds of humor. Parody, where you make fun of people who are smarter than you. Satire, where you make fun of people who are richer than you. And burlesque, where you do both while taking off your clothes. The Official Filthy Rich Handbook is a paragon of naked wit."
—P.J. O'Rourke


"I had a wonderful time reading The Official Filthy Rich Handbook. I learned a lot of things I didn't know, and chuckled at Christopher Tennant's extraordinary upper-class information."
—Dominick Dunne

More About the Author

Christopher Tennant has previously chronicled the foibles of the rich and infamous as an editor and writer at New York magazine, Talk, the New York Post's Page Six column, and Radaronline.com, the pop culture website he cofounded. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he lives beyond his means in New York City.

Customer Reviews

This book is so funny.
Doctor Jean ND
If you believe that the 1% really are "filthy", eh...this book may just ruin your day.
A.K.
A good coffee table book.
J. Gonzales

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Julie Neal TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this silly handbook about the über rich. Reading it, I never laughed out loud but did smile. I also learned some interesting trivia, such as the fact that actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus' father has an estimated $3.4 billion fortune. Get out!

The book opens with the Plutocrat Primer, a welcome to the newly wealthy. A field guide to the filthy rich diagrams some common types, such as The Wastrel, The Nerdling, The Impresario and The Heirhead, whose patron saint is Paris Hilton.

Some sections seem like an actual handbook, though, and aren't funny. A five-page Members Only segment lists and describes actual country clubs by such categories as how long the wait list is to join, and who some of the famous members are. Each chapter has a directory with contact information on actual businesses that cater to wealthy customers. Did you know you can buy Almas caviar that comes from a 100-year-old beluga sturgeon for $25,000 a tin from the Caviar House in London? I didn't, and didn't care.

Far better are the acidly cynical segments that skewer the shallow rich, such as the piece about plastic surgery called "Daddy, I Hate My Nose!" Another piece teaches you what to say for your cover story after liposuction makes it appear you've lost a ton of post-childbirth weight: "It's so true what they say. Breast-feeding torches the calories!"

Here's the chapter list:

1. The Plutocrat Primer: Meet your new friends
2. Where to Live: Homing patterns
3. It Takes a Village: The art of staffing up
4. Buying a Better You: Looking the part
5. The Social Whirl: Out & about
6. Travel & Leisure: Summer is a verb
7. Float Some & Jet Some: Tycoons on the move
8. Playgrounds & Pastimes: Get a hobby
9. To Heir is Divine: Billionaire breeding habits
10. Afflictions & Pretensions: Surviving at the top
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bachelier on December 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mostly a journalist's catalogue of actual things billionaires have done and a diary of their haunts. Structure is straight out of "The Preppy Handbook" and "The MBA Handbook" so it is a familiar page-turner. Nice reference for aspiring novelists who need detail for the billionaire lifestyle, although G--gle Maps is probably the next best reference after this. Not exactly "har-har" funny, more droll. The index is great, although it lists "Peter Luger Steaks" under "Peter." Tennant cleverly avoids "the Russians" for most of the book, probably in a nice life-saving mode, so there is a bit of tiptoeing around and you need to read between the lines some.
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66 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Dale Hrabi on July 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
If, like me, you find the immoderately rich kinda fascinating in their loathsomeness--think Goldie Hawn in the guilty-pleasure movie, Overboard--this book will totally feed that fascination. It's also quite impressive as a tour de force of McSweeney's-esque chartiness.

It reminds me of the time I visited a college friend in Ohio and quickly realized she'd failed to warn me she was filthy rich. Her grandmother's "cottage" turned out to be a sprawling turn-of-the-century home with a vast formal English Rose Garden and a daunting assortment of cutlery (each piece intended for some insanely specific purpose...I remember they had a fork specifically for duck.) The whole trip was a nightmare and I ruined an entire set of "heirloom sheets" with ink from a cheap, crappy Bic pen while documenting the family's alien qualities in my journal.

Had I been equipped with this comprehensive book, things might have gone a lot better.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By honorable k-hole on July 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
First, let me start by saying, based solely upon Tennant's book jacket author photo, he is probably one of the best looking straight dude authors I have seen in ages. This alone, would normally make me a little skeptical but the book is just so damn thorough that it makes it impossible to hate the guy.

Not only does he have an encyclopedic understanding of the lifestyles of the rich and fabulous but he actually conveys knowledge about stuff most people (including myself, and I happen to have impeccable taste) don't already know, and in a way that is informative, witty, impassioned and borderline satirical.

Also, following up the Preppy Handbook is no small feat but Tennant really gets an ace in the hole on this one. Doesn't disappoint!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Abe on March 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a great start. However, some necessary information keeps changing regularly, and for that reason, we all know that the real handbook for the filthy rich is not a book at all. In fact it's Robb Report magazine.

The best thing a newly minted millionaire could do is marry an unfortunate blue blood who has lost his/her family fortune. It's as fair a trade as any.

This wonderful primer should be handed out to anyone who wins a lottery jackpot. Although they will surely lose it all in a short period of time; this book might help to keep their middle-class ways to a minimum or at least until they go back to their proper place. I look forward to an updated version of this in the future. 4 stars!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bill Baehr on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I wish I would have had this book after winning my first Powerball. It would have saved me a lot of stupid mistakes like buying a new bowling ball and getting season tickets for NASCAR.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rick Johnson on January 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the most enjoyable reads.....tells all about what the filthy rich drive, buy, where they eat and what they wear as well as everything else to allow you to duplicate them if you want...great reference guide....
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