“A topsy-turvy carnival ride of a book . . . Ayres knows how to find the laughs and fantasy in this accomplished satire.”
— Publishers Weekly on Death By Leisure
The hilariously intrepid young author of War Reporting for Cowards returns from Iraq only to dive head-first into another absurd, terrifying world: the American leisure class. Like Hunter Thompson crossed with one of David Brooks’s bobos in paradise, Ayres embeds himself in LA’s “liesuretocracy”: an over-the-top world of caviar facials, billionaire charity balls, souped-up SUVs, and monster home loans . . . not to mention $1,000-a-night brothels and million-dollar poker tournaments. Ayres’s highly leveraged lifestyle lands him a surreal night with a supermodel, a date at Michael Jackson’s birthday party in Neverland Ranch (Ayres bribes the organizers five grand to get in), and a wife courtesy of Craigslist. But disaster is never far away.
In the book’s brutal final section, Ayres is forced to confront the excesses of his generation at a scene of apocalyptic destruction: the Katrina-ravaged South. Told with a blend of offbeat irreverence, genuine pathos, and incisive social commentary, Death by Leisure is a savage and darkly humorous odyssey that taps directly into the contemporary psyche.