Rich People Behaving Badly: Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

May 31, 2016 Audio Books, Contemporary Fiction 15

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

The day after a Monday holiday is always the most insane of days, particularly for us working stiffs. I can’t say it wasn’t worth it though. I got some flowers planted and books read and lots of delicious grilled things in my belly. I’m still trying to catch up on reviews for books I’ve read. I’m waaaaay behind schedule. Whatever. Today we’re going to be discussing an audio book I listened to a while back called Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford.

everybodyriseI won a copy of this audio book through Armchair BEA last year (I think?) It took me forever to get around to importing the words into my brain, but I blame that on the fact that it was an audio book on CD which isn’t the most convenient format for listening on the go. I ended up listening to it in my car (and totally got the first CD stuck in the player, thank you very much. Eventually the issue resolved itself. I think it may have been the first time the CD player was ever used in my car.)

Evelyn Beegan is the 26 year old product of prep school and a social climbing mother, but she’s determined to create a life for herself in Manhattan on her own terms. That is, until she takes a job with the world’s snobbiest website, People Like Us. Evelyn is put in charge of recruitment, where she’s paid to rub elbows with the ultra privileged elite she once avoided. During the course of her work, Evelyn finds herself summering at the vacation homes of New York’s old money- Newport, the Adirondacks, and the Hamptons become her stomping grounds. She is able to blend in with the people she’s recruiting and finds their world intoxicating. Evelyn soon begins to pass herself off as old money, and sweeps her wealthy-by-normal-standards family history under the rug. I think you can guess where this is heading.

I don’t know how to properly explain this audio book’s narration. The narrator used the most over-the-top fancy East Coast upper crust voice you can imagine. Does anyone anywhere REALLY talk like that? It was like Richard and Emily Gilmore on steroids. My husband came in from moving my car one day and felt told me in his own version of the hoity toity accent just how well Camilla’s croquet game was progressing. While the accent was kind of hilarious, the book was maddening. THESE PEOPLE.

Everybody Rise introduced me to a brand of human beings I didn’t think actually existed. This East Coast old money thing is NUTS. The amount of money casually thrown around in this book is staggering, and just wow. Everyone was so unapologetically snobby! Evelyn and her mother are DESPERATE to be in the club and it’s just SO SAD. Honestly, I can’t tell for sure how I feel about this book. I found this world so gross and upsetting. It’s eye opening, but I’m not sure I really wanted to see the world from this particular perspective. Yikes.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Did any of you attend Ivy League schools? Or Prep schools? Is this whole social scene ACTUALLY a thing? 

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15 Responses to “Rich People Behaving Badly: Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford”

    • Words For Worms

      I love audio books, often for the accents they provide. This one, though. It might very well be accurate, but it seemed kind of farcical to me.

  1. heather

    I can never relate to books like this. I never understand why you would want to hang out with people like that. I mean, I wouldn’t turn down the money but I want nothing to do with the people.

    • Words For Worms

      Right? There was only one character in the book I could stomach, and she’d spent large parts of her life living abroad. Not that it wasn’t still a super cushy upbringing, but at least she seemed to realize that NYC was not the ONLY place on planet earth that could possibly matter.

  2. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I tried this one last year and had to put it down. Maddening is a great word for it.

    • Words For Worms

      I really can’t blame you for the DNF on this one. I was so hoping for a humbling eye opening for Evelyn, which she got to an extent, buuuut I’d have liked her to internalize the lessons more. I dunno. Just. Ugh.

  3. Megan M.

    I cannot with mega-rich people with apparently zero perspective/common sense. I’m sure I would have hated this. I had an ex-boyfriend who insisted that my family was “rich” because he saw the number that my family was “expected to contribute” to my college fees on my FAFSA app and claimed it was the highest number he’d ever seen. I was like… we rent a house, my parents drive cars that are 10+ years old, and my mom is STILL paying off HER college loans. Yes, we are rolling in piles of money on the reg.

    • Words For Worms

      I can’t claim that I haven’t been lucky in the life department, what with my nice stable middle class upbringing and all, but this glimpse into the 1% made me kind of ill. How wealthy I feel varies wildly depending on what I’ve been reading and who I’ve been talking with, but there will never be a day when a 20K contribution to a fundraiser doesn’t seem like a boatload of money to me.

  4. A.M.B.

    Hmmm. This book sounds frustrating, but interesting. I attended ivy league schools, but I’m the product of a public high school and only associated with non-prep school kids in undergrad and in law school (with a couple of exceptions). That wasn’t on purpose (though maybe implicit bias played a role in it). We just gravitated to each other.

    • Words For Worms

      I think this book probably unfairly painted all prep kids with the same brush. Like, I’m sure there are some decent human beings out there who just happen to have lots of money, but… They weren’t really in this book. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that this odd little society actually exists.

      • A.M.B.

        I’m curious to read the book to see how that group is portrayed. I’m wondering if the people in the novel are anything like the people profiled in the Johnson & Johnson heir’s documentary, Born Rich.

  5. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I did not go to fancy schools and have never hung out with the super-rich. However, I will say from my brief time in fundraising that moderately rich people can be the absolute damn worst. I left fundraising for many reasons, a major one being that I wasn’t that good at it, but the idea of having to spend many many of my days with rich folks was at least a factor.

    Did you read Crazy Rich Asians? It contains a lot of conspicuous consumption like this but I still found it fascinating.

    • Words For Worms

      I have not read Crazy Rich Asians. I have heard of it though, and it does sound kind of fascinating. I might take it for a test drive one of these days.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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