Book Review: Living Large by Sarah Z Wexler

The MGM Grand hotel,  a Hummer, a 3 carat diamond engagement ring,  The Mall of America,  a local Walmart, size DDD  breast implants.    Apart from being Large (and in the case of the hotel and the mall,  the largest in the United States),   I honestly haven’t any idea what any of these things really have in common.   Sadly neither it seems does author Sarah Wexler.   Her book Living Large purports to delve into America’s penchant for over-doing most everything.     At least that is the impression she gives in the introduction.

Sadly,  Wexler never does seem to answer the questions she proposes going in.   The book is mostly a memoir– of time spent wandering around the MGM Grand,  searching for her room only to keep coming back to the casinos instead of the proper elevators,   of wandering through a local Walmart with a terminally ill teenager on a $3,000 shopping spree courtesy of the Make A Wish foundation,   of test driving a Hummer and visiting a plastic surgeon as a prospective patient for breast implant surgery.    To be fair,   Ms. Wexler writes well and managed to keep me reasonably involved and somewhat entertained over the course of  220 pages.

Even after reading the final chapters on shopaholics and Freegans– the latter dumpster diving revolutionaries who consume almost nothing–  I was left wondering about the American penchant for Living Large,  and felt disappointed to feel no closer to an answer for having read Ms. Wexler’s book.    Living Large— Not Recommended.

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