This pretender to The Official Preppy Handbook throne has been making the reviewer’s rounds and I have secretly hoped to be among the chosen few to peer critically though this (satirical?) homage to the world of the super-rich and super-vain.
It’s a hilarious and very well written book. It also looks like a handbook and is quite at home next to my dog eared copy of The Official Preppy Handbook. One of the enduring charms of the OPH is the fine line it treads between satire and real-world guide. If you so chose, you could very well live your life according to the OPH. The same can be said of The Official Filthy Rich Handbook – assuming you have several hundred million dollars. Make that a billion.
The book is romp through the many aspects of living the life of the super rich; from where to live to the nuances of owning your own Boeing 767. Where to vacation (Ibiza and Formentera), how many polo ponies should you own (at least eight), and which hangers-on are most important to have in your retinue (therapist and life coach top that list). The insightful commentary is clever and witty as it is biting.
While not a realistic guide, per se, it offers a wonderful primer on living well and what, exactly, constitutes “well.” To wit, the chapter “Buying a Better You” covers both the ridiculous, like a clip-and-save Non Disclosure Agreement for your staff, and the interesting, such as which once Blue Chip luxury names are now considered a bit too pedestrian (think Burberry and Tiffany & Co.).
A la Preppy Handbook, there is a tongue-in-cheek schematic of the typical billionaire closet on which one might wish to model their own. From the rack of Kiton “K-50” custom suits which start at about $50,000 each, to the custom stingray John Lobb lace ups, it is a tour de force in over the top branding. Caring for one’s clothing is also touched upon: drop everything on the floor. Your domestic help will eventually pick it up and put it where it needs to be.
The sections on heirs and child-rearing are a hoot. And it is here that the book is closest to its Official Preppy Handbook muse; updating readers on the proper prep schools and which colleges are acceptable back-ups for your less than brilliant offspring.
All in all, The Filthy Rich Handbook is a worthy and guffaw-inducing successor to that paragon of parody, The Official Preppy Handbook. Buy up some extras and give them to your household staff for Christmas.