Some people can make money. Other people can’t. It’s a thought that makes William Leith wake up in a cold sweat.
He doesn’t know why it makes him feel anxious. After all, money isn’t real. We created it. Humans did. It’s our masterpiece.
But the desire for it is killing us.
It is this dilemma that sets William Leith off on an adventure into the bizarre, morally dubious, yet highly desirable world of the mega-rich.
He spends a day with the real-life Wolf of Wall Street who, not content with his hundreds of millions, devised a fraud so he could make hundreds of millions more. He visits a Baroque mansion where a Russian half-billionaire lives alone with his butler. He tours the estate of Felix Dennis, the maverick tycoon who commissioned an avenue of statues to tell the story of his life. He flies to private islands on private jets, meets private men in private clubs, experiencing the dizzy highs of a life without limits – but all it does is give him crippling anxiety.
Throughout it all he asks himself: what makes these people wealthy? And how come I’m not?
The Trick takes all of Leith's writing habits - his mazy streams of consciousness (few writers are quite so enamoured of, or good at, watching themselves think) and his love of axiom - and, if anything, ups the ante... Hugely enjoyable -- Tim Adams * Observer * Part Hunter S. Thompson, part Montaigne: a blend of gonzo journalism and rambling reflection interspersed with learned references * Spectator * Chummy, funny and genuinely interesting, The Trick has to be one of the best books about money around * Tatler * Spectacular ... The Trick takes us on a fevered thrill ride through the heads of the richest people in the world, plus some of the most accomplished risk-takers, to answer the eternal question, why does money stick to thee, and not to me? -- Aaron Brown, author of 'The Poker Face of Wall Street' Most books about the uber-wealthy portray them either as superheroes to be unquestioningly admired or as obsessive psychopathic idiots. The joy of this book is how beautifully it walks the narrow line between the two -- Rory Sutherland, author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense A superb book ... Leith has always been one of our best non-fiction writers and this is his crowning achievement -- Praise for 'The Hungry Years', Jon Ronson As a memoir and as comedy, it succeeds beautifully ... As a confessional, it is pretty much a masterclass - frank, tough-minded, funny, generous -- praise for 'The Hungry Years' * New Statesman * Resembles an expertly-paced stand-up routine ... Positively Izzard-esque -- Praise for 'Bits of Me Are Falling Apart' * Time Out * Leith offers a tour of his own frantic inner world, reflecting on a dizzying array of subjects ... These range from cowboys and gangsters to the feeding habits of chimpanzees. His metastasising anecdotes and revelations are deeply personal, often wilfully tangential and always thought-provoking * Economist * [Leith's] passages about his multiple overlapping neuroses are touched by comic genius ... Leith offers sharply comical observations about both the lure and absurdity of great wealth * Mail on Sunday *
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