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Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping Addict Hardcover – May 14, 2010
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"Cardella, now in her late 40s, has an elegant, serious voice in Spent; a bauble-decked shopaholic straight out of a frothy chick lit novel, she's not. Clothes...are described earnestly, and she casts the fashion industry...in an occasionally deeply unflattering light. But Spent is less an indictment of an industry as a whole and more an examination of Cardella's own vulnerability to its particular pitfalls: insecurities placated by dressing well and buying luxe, as well as an exhausting run with a fast crowd."―Sarah Haight, Women's Wear Daily
"In this intimate and revealing portrait, Avis Cardella unapologetically invites us to bear witness to the devastating effect that her mother's sudden death had on her life, and the ensuing serious shopping addiction that temporarily took away her fragility and numbness and bolstered her shaky sense of self. It came with a very high price, however. Spent is a cautionary tale for the millions of women who try to build a sense of themselves based on fashion or images presented in the media--and don't realize that 'in the process of trying to create a new self, another self that is more central may be annihilated'."―April Lane Benson, Ph.D., author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop
"For anyone who has felt the thrill of snapping up a bargain or buying something extravagant, this glimpse of the far side of shopping's emotional kicks can be fascinating."―Malcolm Ritter, San Francisco Chronicle
"bracing... Avis Cardella's "Spent" relates how the author's "compulsive shopping habit" pushed her to the brink of financial and existential bankruptcy. This riveting, painfully candid memoir exposes the dark side of the belief that we are what we wear."―Caroline Weber, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
I could not put this book down!
But (and of course this is one of the book's main themes), a life of privilege-- the house in the Hamptons, the parties, the glowing skin, the eighty Cosabella thongs--happiness does not make, and her honest attempts to portray that deserves mention. And at least she doesn't fabricate situations for dramatic purposes. She simply tells her story, unusual in an age when memoirists all too often present fiction as fact. She also deserves praise for writing about shopping addiction in the first place, especially as the disorder is given little credence as a subject worthy of exploration. Is it because women are primarily the ones afflicted? Except for the occasional feature on Oprah, the culture marginalizes what it deems this and other "women's issues." By the end I did feel more sympathy than I was able to muster at the beginning; I just wish the writing itself had been more compelling. I was left feeling like I'd read a conversational magazine article more interested in presenting information than captivating readers with an original voice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've never been addicted to anything so nothing in the book hit on any nerves for me, although I...Read more