Customer Reviews for

Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Bringing Home the Laughs!

Michael Tonello has a rare and special talent: he is able to saunter into a store, throw down the American Express, and buy a purse! Not impressed? This is a purse that even singer/songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, a Tonello customer, cannot purchase from the retailer. Thi...
Michael Tonello has a rare and special talent: he is able to saunter into a store, throw down the American Express, and buy a purse! Not impressed? This is a purse that even singer/songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, a Tonello customer, cannot purchase from the retailer. This is the purse that until recently had a two year waiting-to-buy list and was the subject of a Sex and the City episode. In short, this purse is not just any carryall, but the super exclusive and ultra expensive Hèmes Birkin.

In Bringing Home the Birkin, Tonello finds himself living in Barcelona without a job or a work permit, and a five year apartment lease to pay. Tonello is an entrepreneurial spirit who hocks his designer duds on ebay for spending money. During one auction, Tonello strikes gold when his Hèrmes scarf is the subject of a fierce bidding war. After the auction several frustrated bidders contact him for more Hèrmes. Tonello purchases several dozen Hèrmes scarves and soon acquires powerseller status on ebay.

Thereafter the author is introduced to the holy grail of the House of Hèrmes: the Birkin, the coveted and scarce handbag for the rich and famous. Soon the intrepid Tonello cracks "the code" to purchasing a Birkin and profits handsomely. Tonello's Birkin jaunts require him to traverse far and wide across Europe and Latin America, slumbering in 5 star hotels and dining at Zagat rated restaurants, in hot pursuit of fresh Birkins. He details the stories of his conquests with wit and sarcasm:

If there was a secret Birkin bunker anywhere, this was the store. It was enormous, an imposing limestone building. (I had tried to figure out which floors held what while lurking inconspicuously on the sidewalk on my last trip, feeling like a fifteen-year-old casing a theater that showed X-rated movies. I knew not all the floors were devoted to merchandise (and I assumed there was at least one floor devoted to housing the Oompa-Loompas). Well, I'd soon find out . . . .

In Bringing Home the Birkin Tonello dishes up plenty of snark and sass for the perfect summer read!


Review based on borrowed library copy.

posted by LegalBeagle on June 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Cute Story, Bad Writing, but you'll be Orange with Envy about how this guy made $$ off the Birkin!

I remember hearing about the book when it first came out, and finally had a chance to read it. The author takes you on an adventure across Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and South America as he hunts down and captures the elusive Hermes Birkin bag. While the story itse...
I remember hearing about the book when it first came out, and finally had a chance to read it. The author takes you on an adventure across Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and South America as he hunts down and captures the elusive Hermes Birkin bag. While the story itself is quite entertaining, Tonello probably makes a better E-bay seller than author. His writing is amateurish - where was his editor on this one? Lots of cliché's. Lots of unnecessary "filler" material - I think you get recipes for every meal he ever ate - none of which has anything to do with the story at hand. But then again, you're not reading this book as great literature - you're reading it to be entertained and to learn how he was able to stumble on his chosen, albeit short-lived, career. And using just those 2 measures, it's a success.

posted by reader72 on April 21, 2010

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    Leave your high expectations at the door

    Against my better judgment, I read the book. I should have gone with my first instinct.

    Any reader who is looking to learn how the author cracked a code with Hermes should look elsewhere. He hasn't.

    Despite the issue in the book concerning Hermes, the rest of the book may be interesting to readers as the author weaves a story about his life growing up and the love interest he acquires as he travels the globe in search of excitement and glamour. The writing is light-hearted and at times tongue in cheek.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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