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The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of a Life Without Reservations
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The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of a Life Without Reservations [Kindle Edition]

Paul Carr
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Bored, broke and struggling to survive in one of the most expensive cities on earth, Paul Carr comes to the surprising realization that it would actually be cheaper to live in a luxury hotel in Manhattan than in his tiny one-bedroom apartment. Inspired by that possibility, he decides to sell most of his possessions, abandon his old life and spend a year living entirely without commitments, as a modern-day nomad.

Thanks to Paul's ability to talk his way into increasingly ridiculous situations, what begins as a one-year experiment soon becomes a permanent lifestyle - a life lived in luxury hotels and mountain-top villas. A life of fast cars, Hollywood actresses and Icelandic rock stars. Of 6,000-mile booty calls, of partying with 800 female hairdressers dressed only in bedsheets, and of nearly dying at the hands of Spanish drug dealers. And, most bizarrely of all, a life that still costs less than his surviving on cold pizza in his old apartment.

Yet, as word of Paul's exploits starts to spread - first online, then through a national newspaper column and eventually a book deal - he finds himself forced constantly to up the stakes in order to keep things interesting. With his behavior spiraling to dangerous - and sometimes criminal - levels, he is forced to ask the question: is there such a thing as too much freedom?

Editorial Reviews


"For a cautionary tale, everybody cites Paul Carr" - The Sunday Times (London)

"A testament to the virtues of debauchery... An uproarious and brilliant story of friendship, alcoholism and itinerancy, penned by an adorably self-obsessed attention-seeker." - Wired UK

About the Author

Paul Bradley Carr is author of The Upgrade, Bringing Nothing To The Party, Sober Is My New Drunk. He lives in San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Product Details

  • File Size: 818 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Disinformation Books (April 10, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 10, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CI2IUA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obnoxious Brits shows inside of the world November 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Paul Carr (at least from a distance). He seems like a massive jerk able to get into wondrous situations with great people, act like an complete bozo and both live to tell the tale and repeat his endeavors. I laugh a lot, but at the same time a learn things about the REAL world - ladies and gents - this is not pure fiction. What could be better?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful nostalgia for unanchored life July 17, 2011
By MattG
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For someone branded as a self-absorbant, pompous party animal, Paul Carr exhibits a surprising amount of humility and self awareness that strengthens throughout his journey. THE UPGRADE is an extremely well written hybrid of a diary/travelogue that includes drunken stories, spontaneous adventures, relationship bonding, but most importantly, a self awareness that over-indulgence is not consequence free. A powerful nostalgia for unanchored life. Travel tips included.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get to know Paul Carr July 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't read a lot of books like this. Authors that do what most people would consider idiotic and then write about it in a self deprecating manner. It always seems pretty self serving.

But this one is different (although still self serving). I read it for a couple reasons. #1) Because I'm in an industry that Paul writes about (tech) and I know the work of several of the people in the book. It's always fun to read about people that you only "know" professionally and see how these anecdotes mesh with the impressions that you can't help but form about them. and #2) Because Paul is so approachable. I've traded Twitter messages with him during his month in Vegas and followed his antics. Rarely is an author as accessible as he is in his every day life. It makes you want to get to know him and root for him.

And you really do get to know him in this book. To me, it's a book that all at once makes you wish you were Paul Call and at the same time makes you incredibly grateful that your anyone but.

Paul is a great writer and I'm glad he can be as introspective as he is here. He's definitely someone I'd love to have a drink (coffee) with.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summer read with practical tips July 17, 2011
By Emily
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book much more than <em>Bringing Nothing to the Party</em>, in part because in between the tales of drunken excess, there's several pretty practical tips for how to actually afford to live in hotels full-time on a writer's salary. Though perhaps not the point of the book, it was an interesting insight.

If you follow Carr's work online at all (particularly on TechCrunch), several of the names in the book--including Sarah Lacy's--will be familiar. If you're not aware of the circumstances under which they met (I wasn't), it's sort of a fascinating relationship to watch unfold.

The book's a quick read, and good for summer. I recommend it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Writing for Contemporary Readers October 5, 2011
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If Tucker Max could write I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell (movie tie-in): with 16 page photo insert )and was honest...and had a soul...this might be the book that he would intend to write. Paul Carr has an excellent voice for personal narrative. This book was nothing that I expected it would be, but ended up being a tremendous read whilst on couple long flights.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is really a life? July 18, 2011
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Short but sweet...when I first heard of the concept that Mr Carr lives his life with (it's just as cheap to live out of hotels than to live in downtown London), I was skeptical. Putting that concern aside as I got into the book, I quickly traded my skepticism for envy. Although there are a number of circumstances that I do not have the urban survival skills to easily navigate, there are more that I wish I could have. If only I wasn't so tied down to a job requiring me to be in one place and all too tied to my earthly possessions< i could see doing this.

A final it the modern day Thoreau or ascetic monk to live a life with no true anchor? A thought raised by this great book.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's inappropriate. Thank God! July 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was actually the first of Paul Carr's books that I've read, though I had read several of his Guardian columns and TechCrunch pieces over the years. To say I enjoyed it would be a grave understatement...I think I'd finished reading within 6 hours of the download, basically ignoring my kids & other responsibilities for the entirety of that time. The story takes you on a journey from London to New York, Vegas, San Francisco, Spain, Iceland and other locales, but much more importantly it takes you along on the author's personal journey. As the book progressed, I found myself wishing I had met him when I was single, then flooded with relief that in fact I had not, and then feeling worried for and sightly horrified by him, only to have the worry replaced by pride at what he had learned and accomplished at the end. You really do come to know Paul Carr in this book. He's hilarious, self-deprecating, clever, and a real jackass plenty of the time. Exactly the sort of person with whom I'd like to be friends. I loved the book, is what I'm saying here.
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