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Death by Leisure

After a brief and undignified stint as a war correspondent, Chris Ayres is exiled by his newspaper to Hollywood, where he lives in a building called The Leisureplex and sends celebrity tittle-tattle back home. Seduced by the apparently infinite wealth of LA, Ayres embarks on an ill-advised odyssey of self-gratification (in the name of research) and breaks first rule of foreign reporting: he goes native. Before long, he is an SUV-driving narcissist with a flat-screen TV in every room, eight pairs of designer flip-flops, a seven-digit overdraft, and a wife he met on the internet. As always, however, disaster looms. After a fire the size of Luxembourg, a Biblical flood, and the apocalypse of Katrina, Ayres realises he is living on a precipice. Like a gonzo Great Gatsby, Death by Leisure is a savage and hilarious takedown of our times, and a wake-up call to aspiring Leisuretocrats everywhere.
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Caviar facials, air-conditioned convertibles, desert lawn-sprinklers. Welcome to the Leisuretocracy.

About the Author

Chris Ayres, 29, is the west coast correspondent for The Times. He was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, grew up in the Scottish borders and was educated at the University of Hull and City University, London, before joining The Times in 1997. Ayres held the positions of media business correspondent and Wall Street correspondent, based in New York, before taking up his current position in L.A. He was an embedded reporter with the United States Marines during the 2003 Iraq War, his coverage earning him a nomination for the British Press Awards 'foreign correspondent of the year'.


'Ayres is beautifully self-deprecating, very funny and he's clearly a brilliant blagger, all of which makes for a diverting read' -- Daily Mail 'Part anthropological study of LA, part self-deprecating comic misadventure' -- Independent on Sunday 'Death by Leisure" presents a delicious vicarious thrill for the reader' -- Herald '(Ayres) carries it off with wit, panache and wry social observation ... this may be death for leisure but its reading for pleasure' -- Tatler 'Ayres second (book) chronicles his life as an LA show-bix hack. Highlights include when he takes a date to Michael Jackson's Neverland and slams a door in Mike Tyson's face' -- GQ 'A very funny book with nice comic timing' -- Guardian 'A frank, gonzo-esque account of his life among the glittering stars of Hollywood' -- Gay Times 'Ayres, a Times" journalist, not only has a gift for comedy ... but nails the complicated character of the world's maddest, saddest city' -- thelondonpaper '(Ayres) is disarmingly honest and his many gaffes make hilarious reading' -- Sunday Business Post

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