Excerpt from Affluenza by   Wann, de Graaf, Naylor, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


The All-Consuming Epidemic

by   Wann, de Graaf, Naylor

Affluenza by   Wann, de Graaf, Naylor X
Affluenza by   Wann, de Graaf, Naylor
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2001, 275 pages
    Aug 2002, 288 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Table of Contents

Part I: Symptoms

  1. Shopping Fever
  2. A Rash of Bankruptcies
  3. Swollen Expectations
  4. Chronic Congestion
  5. The Stress of Excess
  6. Family Convulsions
  7. Dilated Pupils
  8. Community Chills
  9. An Ache for Meaning
  10. Social Scars
  11. Resource Exhaustion
  12. Industrial Diarrhea
  13. The Addictive Virus
  14. Dissatisfaction Guaranteed

Part Two: History

  1. Original Sin
  2. An Ounce of Prevention
  3. The Road Not Taken
  4. An Emerging Epidemic
  5. The Age of Affluenza
  6. Is There a (Real) Doctor in the House?

Part III: Treatment

  1. The Road to Recovery
  2. Bed Rest
  3. Aspirin and Chicken Soup
  4. Fresh Air
  5. The Right Medicine
  6. Back to Work
  7. Vaccinations and Vitamins
  8. Political Prescriptions
  9. Annual Check-Ups
  10. Healthy Again

Chapter 1 : Shopping Fever

Gotta listen to me honey
Gotta get all your money
Gotta know just where I stand
If you want to be my date
Well you better get it straight
I'm a big time shopping man.. . . .
Baby come on, there's a whole lotta shoppin' going on.. . . .
Get that money out of your savings account
There's a whole lotta shoppin' going on. . . .

– folksinger Alan Atkisson

It's Thanksgiving Day and eight-year-old Jason Jones has just finished stuffing himself with turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie a la mode. He sits at his PC, frantically typing a list of presents he hopes to receive from Santa Claus for Christmas. He plans to deliver the list to Santa the next day, opening day of the Christmas shopping season, and, incidentally, of affluenza season. Jason's list contains ten items, including a trip to Disney World, a mountain bike, a cell phone, a DVD player, and several compact disks.

Jason is no dummy; he doesn't really believe in Santa Claus, but he knows his parents usually give him what he asks Santa for, so he gets up bright and early on Friday to play the game. Jason and his mother, Janet, set out in their Lincoln Navigator and, half an hour later, arrive at the All-Star Bazaar, where thousands of people are already fighting for the remaining parking spots nearest the entrance.

The mall is jam-packed with frantic holiday shoppers, unwitting and at-risk in an affluenza hot zone, armed only with credit cards and checkbooks. In one store, a crowd gathers to watch two parents duke it out over the last remaining Dino-Man, the latest hot kids' toy, a doll with the body of a weightlifter and the head of a Tyrannosaurus (and selling faster than Beanie Babies). In a corner, a mother sobs, knowing she got there too late to get a Dino-Man for her son. "I knew I should have camped out here last night," she wails. Other customers, already exhausted, sit on benches by the bottom of an escalator, beside mountains of merchandise, looking both tense and bored.

It takes Jason nearly an hour to get through the line to Santa's lap and deliver his list. His mom leaves him in the video arcade with a roll of quarters while she makes the rounds of the dozens of shops in the mall. Hours later, on the way home, they stop at Blockbuster's to rent a couple of movies so Jason won't complain of boredom that night. Though the day is sunny and warm, unusually so for late fall, even the park in Jason's upper-middle class subdivision is devoid of kids. There are plenty of children in this neighborhood of young professionals. But if they're not shopping, they're indoors communing with Nintendo Play Stations or The Cartoon Network. It's a tough choice for Jason, but he's tired of the games he has so he turns on the TV.

From Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, by John De Graaf, et al. © June 9, 2001, Berrett-Koehler used by permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Anatomy of a Miracle
    by Jonathan Miles

    A stunning novel that offers an exploration of faith, science and the meaning of life.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.