The whole “anthology of the Upper East Side” thing struck me as a little tired, and having no interest in revisiting The Nanny Diaries, I avoided Primates for several months. When I finally picked it up, it was as a guilty pleasure read. By page two my outlook had changed.
I highly recommend taking an anthropology class if you’ve ever got the chance because it’s one of those things that feels impressive even at the most novice level. That’s why this book is good. It’s silly; these people’s lives are silly, but that silliness is presented in a satisfyingly erudite fashion.
Ultimately I think Martin tried to get somewhere grander than one really can with such a vapid subject, but the journey there was thoroughly enjoyable.
Jules & Wilde Rating: ★★★
Similar suggestions and related readings: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, The Astor Orphan: A Memoir by Alexandra Aldrich