THURSDAY

In the late ’80s, Toby Young fell in love with the Hollywood ideal of New York City journalists. About a decade later, when he was made a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, he got the chance to put his preconceptions to the test. Surely, all of his colleagues at the magazine would be exactly like Clark Gable in It Happened One Night, right? Well, shockingly, no. In How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Young chronicles his disappointment with his former colleagues (the “Conde Nasties”) who again and again failed to live up to his expectations. They were too sober. Too stodgy. Too ambitious. And, worst of all, they were too respectful of the subjects they wrote about. To prove his point—that he is a journalist of a different stripe—Young devotes his new book to further mercilessly eviscerating his favorite target during his time at Vanity Fair: himself. Young regales his readers with painfully candid stories, which mostly involve chasing gossip, stardom, and starlets in Manhattan’s trendy nightclubs. Throughout, Young comes across as repulsively narcissistic, full of chutzpah, and devoid of common sense. At one point, he hires a stripper to perform at the magazine’s offices, only to realize that his prank coincides with “Take Our Daughters to Work Day.” Oops. But in addition to being solipsistic and superficial, Young is also funny. Damn funny. Sure, he’ll make you want to vomit. But, ultimately, Young will keep you laughing often enough to stave off the disgust. He’s here at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133. (Felix Gillette)