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Consumer catalogue of the world's finest luxuries, entries first published in GQ and Esquire, by Mayle (Toujours Provence, 1991, etc.). Mayle decided to write a monthly column for GQ on luxuries and the most refined ways to spend money, with GQ's financial support of his investigations--rough work, alas. He delivers in a velvety style, telling: how to buy and eat caviar (skip chopped onion and crumbled egg yolk, don't spread it on toast like peanut butter--just get in bed with a plastic spoon and lift the black pearls to your mouth, then burst them on your palate); how to distinguish a true cigar or a great single-malt scotch; how to hire a black stretch-limo; how to maximize the joys of a supremely exclusive hotel; where to buy a shirt or $1300 hand-stitched custom-made shoes; where to have a suit made, and so on. He is especially keen about the foie gras of Provence (best in the world). He takes us on a money trip through the upkeep of a mistress and all the ""daily jolts of intrigue and adrenaline [that] are meat and drink to the mistress addict""--and talks over the odd gift to the wife to soothe one's remorse. Then there's the indulgence of hiring lawyers (""In practice, it consists of handing over large sums of money to the kind of people you wouldn't want to meet in your neighborhood bar""). And how about hiring a private jet to get you from Avignon to Paris? ""The cost would be substantial--around 48,000 French francs, or $9,000, for fuel and landing fees."" Or a genuine $1,000 folding hat--a Panama worth its weight in dollar bills? Hmm...well, we deserve it. Much, much fun--and best read with a magnum of Dom Perignon and a four-pound tin of Beluga caviar.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1992
ISBN: 0553371835
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Bantam