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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 $l,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: 0-553-09027-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992


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