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The Misadventures of Oliver Booth: Life in the Lap of Luxury

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Oliver Booth dreams of becoming one of the beautiful people of Palm Beach, but with his arrogant personality, his garish wardrobe, and his incompetent stewardship of an antique shop stuffed with gilded Mexican reproductions of classic French designs, there is nothing beautiful about him. Thus it is luck rather than merit that leads Oliver to hire Bernard Dauphin, a young F Oliver Booth dreams of becoming one of the beautiful people of Palm Beach, but with his arrogant personality, his garish wardrobe, and his incompetent stewardship of an antique shop stuffed with gilded Mexican reproductions of classic French designs, there is nothing beautiful about him. Thus it is luck rather than merit that leads Oliver to hire Bernard Dauphin, a young French waiter at a tony Palm Beach club, to serve as his clerk, and Margaret Van Buren, a wealthy society doyenne, to recognize Bernard's skills and send them both to Paris to shop for furniture for her estate. Follow Oliver as he travels with Bernard from Palm Beach to Paris and back again, crossing paths with wealthy layabouts, trophy wives, arrogant interior decorators, and many other bizarre yet all too real members of Palm Beach and Parisian society and experiencing a series of humiliating yet comical misadventures along the way.


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Oliver Booth dreams of becoming one of the beautiful people of Palm Beach, but with his arrogant personality, his garish wardrobe, and his incompetent stewardship of an antique shop stuffed with gilded Mexican reproductions of classic French designs, there is nothing beautiful about him. Thus it is luck rather than merit that leads Oliver to hire Bernard Dauphin, a young F Oliver Booth dreams of becoming one of the beautiful people of Palm Beach, but with his arrogant personality, his garish wardrobe, and his incompetent stewardship of an antique shop stuffed with gilded Mexican reproductions of classic French designs, there is nothing beautiful about him. Thus it is luck rather than merit that leads Oliver to hire Bernard Dauphin, a young French waiter at a tony Palm Beach club, to serve as his clerk, and Margaret Van Buren, a wealthy society doyenne, to recognize Bernard's skills and send them both to Paris to shop for furniture for her estate. Follow Oliver as he travels with Bernard from Palm Beach to Paris and back again, crossing paths with wealthy layabouts, trophy wives, arrogant interior decorators, and many other bizarre yet all too real members of Palm Beach and Parisian society and experiencing a series of humiliating yet comical misadventures along the way.

41 review for The Misadventures of Oliver Booth: Life in the Lap of Luxury

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dina Roberts

    This is a book about a selfish, self-centered buffoon who tries to take advantage of others. The author is the nephew of Donald Trump. I'd like to think it's not a coincidence that the main character reminded me of Trump. I found it quite easy and enjoyable to read. It's not overly deep...just kind of fun.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carey

    Poor Oliver Booth. He's big. He's sweaty. He's the proprietor of an antique shop in Palm Beach but his taste is questionable and his antiques are...well... not. He desperately wants to be part of high society but they know an outsider when they see one and he has no hope of breaking in. He can't keep an assistant, either, because his basic nature tends toward grumpy, lazy and greedy. The big New Year's Eve party at the Morningwood Club is a big night for Oliver. He plans to recoup the steep ticke Poor Oliver Booth. He's big. He's sweaty. He's the proprietor of an antique shop in Palm Beach but his taste is questionable and his antiques are...well... not. He desperately wants to be part of high society but they know an outsider when they see one and he has no hope of breaking in. He can't keep an assistant, either, because his basic nature tends toward grumpy, lazy and greedy. The big New Year's Eve party at the Morningwood Club is a big night for Oliver. He plans to recoup the steep ticket price by being first in line at the buffet table. Unfortunately, the evening is a complete disaster for him. But he does meet a smart young waiter, Bernard, who agrees to be the replacement for Oliver's recently fired assistant. When Margaret Van Buren, the doyenne of Palm Beach society, pays a visit to Oliver's shop, he is eager to sell her a large quantity of his inventory. She picks out the only nice piece in the place, which turns out to have been selected by Bernard. It seems he has quite an eye. She offers Bernard, and Oliver by default, a trip to Paris to buy furnishings for her guesthouse. Bernard & Oliver have vastly different ideas of what they are going to buy. Bernard wants to buy quality pieces at thrifty prices. Oliver wants to make the biggest possible profit off of Mrs. Van Buren. The trip to Paris is a contest of wills that is hilarious, Oliver doesn't have a prayer. I loved the following paragraph. If you have traveled to Europe and arrived early in the morning, you will appreciate the wry humor: "It was 9:15 in the morning, the hour at which most American travelers are dropped at the doorsteps of European hotels like so many exhausted babies, hoping desperately that their accommodations would be ready only to find that the departing guests had not yet vacated their rooms and would not do so for hours. Most of these unfortunate travelers are forced to wander the streets aimlessly, with intermittent stops to refuel with double espressos that become decreasingly potent as the effects of jet lag begin to sink in. This journey ends when they return to the registration desk of the hotel exhausted, disheveled, and halitotic, to be presented--in most but not all cases--with that most satisfying of rewards, a key to a room." This book is a fun, light read that pokes fun at the pretentious, at the rich, at the self-important. Common sense and honesty are rewarded, deviousness and greed are bested in the wittiest possible way. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the further misadventures of Oliver and Bernard.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Edwards

    Ohh, this book. I've never met a character like Oliver Booth - there is no one I can compare him to, to help you get to know him. In Oliver Booth we find a fellow trying his hardest to break into the elite circle that is high society in Palm Beach. He truly believes that he has good things coming to him - despite his lack of ability or charm. His rather corpulent physique and knock-off filled antique shop place him firmly on the fringes until luck drops an amazing opportunity into his lap: a cha Ohh, this book. I've never met a character like Oliver Booth - there is no one I can compare him to, to help you get to know him. In Oliver Booth we find a fellow trying his hardest to break into the elite circle that is high society in Palm Beach. He truly believes that he has good things coming to him - despite his lack of ability or charm. His rather corpulent physique and knock-off filled antique shop place him firmly on the fringes until luck drops an amazing opportunity into his lap: a chance to fly to Paris to help furnish the guesthouse of THE socialite in Palm Beach. His thrill is somewhat dampered when he is forced to take along the delightful Bernard as his assistant, and his "misadventures" in Paris had me actually laughing outloud. While I cannot give this book the five stars I save for literature that changes my life in some way, I WILL say that this satirical look at the creme de la creme kept my attention throughout and though I had to cringe along with Booth and his inept antics, other chracters had me cheering for them. I was interested in the way the author showed how little purpose there was in the lives of these rich folk and while some of the society life portrayed seemed far-fetched to me, I am still inclined to believe that there really are people who behave that way and if so, I am glad that David Desmond has taken a stab at them. I found the writing to be witty, occassionally obvious, but always entertaining. I don't think I'll be forgetting Oliver Booth any time soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathy (Bermudaonion)

    Oliver Booth imagines himself to be much more sophisticated than he actually is. He owns an “antique” shop off of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. He hires Bernard Dauphin to be his assistant in the shop. One day, Palm Beach’s wealthiest society matron, Margaret Van Buren, comes in with her grandson who needs to use the restroom. She purchases the one good piece of furniture in the shop, which had been purchased by Bernard at an estate sale. Pleased with her purchase, Mrs. Van Buren sends Oliver and B Oliver Booth imagines himself to be much more sophisticated than he actually is. He owns an “antique” shop off of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. He hires Bernard Dauphin to be his assistant in the shop. One day, Palm Beach’s wealthiest society matron, Margaret Van Buren, comes in with her grandson who needs to use the restroom. She purchases the one good piece of furniture in the shop, which had been purchased by Bernard at an estate sale. Pleased with her purchase, Mrs. Van Buren sends Oliver and Bernard to the Marché aux Puces in Paris to purchase furnishings for her guest house. Everything Oliver does on the trip backfires on him and he ends up in court, so Bernard does the shopping on his own. Things become more complicated when they return to Palm Beach and Mrs. Van Buren discovers that Oliver is trying to swindle her and other members of the community. She comes up with a plan to put Oliver in his place. The Misadventures of Oliver Booth by David Desmond satires high society. I think this sentence says a lot - “It’s all about image and status and trying too hard to impress people who have so much money that they really can’t be impressed.” I found the book to be a good (not great), light read. It was enjoyable, even though it is predictable and somewhat silly at times. It was a good book to read during the holidays since there weren’t many characters - it was easy to keep up with what was going on even though I was only able to read it in short spurts. David Desmond is Donald Trump’s nephew and is currently working on another Oliver Booth book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is probably the stupidest book I have ever read. If I could have given it negative stars, I would have. The plot is stupid, it is developed stupidly, the characters are stupid, the situations stupid, the writing is stupid..... So did I finish it? Yes. Why? I wanted to see how much m0re stupid it could get. It met my "expectations." Desmond is a clinical psychologist who lives in Palm Beach and, unfortunately, has decided to write, as was described in the description I read of the book, a "wi This is probably the stupidest book I have ever read. If I could have given it negative stars, I would have. The plot is stupid, it is developed stupidly, the characters are stupid, the situations stupid, the writing is stupid..... So did I finish it? Yes. Why? I wanted to see how much m0re stupid it could get. It met my "expectations." Desmond is a clinical psychologist who lives in Palm Beach and, unfortunately, has decided to write, as was described in the description I read of the book, a "witty expose" of life at the top of the food chain. He just happens to be Donald Trump's nephew. The main character is an obese, obnoxious (with NO redeeming features) antiquities dealer. The plot basically consists of him trying to trick people into buying fake antiques (on the bottom of all his merchandise is Hecho en Mexico), wringing as much money as he can out of customers and not paying his bills. He's not funny, the story isn't funny, nothing is funny here, let alone witty. Although my scathing review may pique the interest of some readers - can a book really be THAT bad? Maybe I should find out - resist, RESIST!!!!!! Don't waste your time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ti

    This book is highly entertaining. Oliver Booth is basically a "wannabe", for lack of a better term. His opinion of himself does not match that of others and it's a constant source of entertainment for the reader. The book takes us through numerous misadventures...most of which take place in Paris as he and his assistant Bernard, attempt to select antiques for a wealthy Palm Beach resident. At 202 pages, this was a very quick read. My only criticism really is that as obnoxious as Oliver was, I wan This book is highly entertaining. Oliver Booth is basically a "wannabe", for lack of a better term. His opinion of himself does not match that of others and it's a constant source of entertainment for the reader. The book takes us through numerous misadventures...most of which take place in Paris as he and his assistant Bernard, attempt to select antiques for a wealthy Palm Beach resident. At 202 pages, this was a very quick read. My only criticism really is that as obnoxious as Oliver was, I wanted to read more about him! At one point the story began to focus more on Bernard, his assistant and I was anxious for it to get back to Oliver, which of course it did. Desmond did an excellent job of creating a character that you can laugh at, yet not dislike so horribly that you cannot stand to read about him. Overall it was light and fun and there were several moments that I found quite humorous.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    This book is about a disgusting, overbearing man, Oliver, who is a wannabe antique dealer. The problem is that he has no ambitions in life except to be wealthy. He sells cheap furniture from Mexico and calls them French antiques. This story is supposed to be funny and amusing, but I found myself barely chuckling. I so wanted to laugh and either love or hate the characters, but I just found the characters to be predictable and lacking depth. The plot also seemed a bit obvious and I just wished th This book is about a disgusting, overbearing man, Oliver, who is a wannabe antique dealer. The problem is that he has no ambitions in life except to be wealthy. He sells cheap furniture from Mexico and calls them French antiques. This story is supposed to be funny and amusing, but I found myself barely chuckling. I so wanted to laugh and either love or hate the characters, but I just found the characters to be predictable and lacking depth. The plot also seemed a bit obvious and I just wished that I could empathize with or feel something for the characters. I just couldn't. I hear that there is a second book in the workds, hopefully the characters are more multi-faceted.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tee-by-the-Sea

    This was the May selection for our bookclub. A member chose it because of "glowing" reviews about this supposedly funny book. We thought a humourous book would be a nice change of pace after some heavier novels. Well, this was not funny at all(in fact, the characters were truly hateable), the writing was sophmoric(a "club" member described the written humor as Three Stooges-like), and I, for one, have zero interest in "Palm Beach society". Perhaps a better book would have made me interested, but This was the May selection for our bookclub. A member chose it because of "glowing" reviews about this supposedly funny book. We thought a humourous book would be a nice change of pace after some heavier novels. Well, this was not funny at all(in fact, the characters were truly hateable), the writing was sophmoric(a "club" member described the written humor as Three Stooges-like), and I, for one, have zero interest in "Palm Beach society". Perhaps a better book would have made me interested, but this one wasn't it. I have to confess that I couldn't even finish this one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Darcie Rowan

    The Misadventures of Oliver Booth by David Desmond is a satire about the wealthy and high society of Palm Beach. Written by an society insider, David Desmond - who is also a newspaper columnist - creates an enjoyable fast read that's perfect for a lazy afternoon. Silly and laugh out loud funny, it's a great book for young adults too. Just so you know, David Desmond is Donald Trump’s nephew and has published another book in the Oliver Booth series. I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    my review is posted on my blog here. my review is posted on my blog here.

  11. 4 out of 5

    A.M. Barrett

  12. 5 out of 5

    rinabeana

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dee

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janis Ian

  16. 5 out of 5

    SANDY HOLLY

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Nerdin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Bonia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sreemoyee Acharya

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    reading for August book club...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Debra Hamel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  26. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Mendoza

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

  31. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  32. 4 out of 5

    Alea

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Ferguson

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ali

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  36. 5 out of 5

    Deena

  37. 5 out of 5

    Davy

  38. 4 out of 5

    Christine Frank

  39. 4 out of 5

    Julie Harabedian

  40. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

  41. 5 out of 5

    Becky

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