Synopses & Reviews
You've heard him on This American Life
! Now read his book!
Wherever he is, David Rakoff is a fish out of water. Whether impersonating Sigmund Freud in a department store window during the holidays, climbing an icy mountain in cheap loafers, playing an evil modeling agent on a daytime soap opera, or learning primitive survival skills in the wilds of New Jersey, Rakoff doesn't belong. Nor does he try to. Still, he continually finds himself off in the far-flung hinterlands of our culture, notebook or microphone in hand, hoping to conjure that dyed-in-the-wool New York condescension.
And Rakoff tries to be nasty; heaven knows nothing succeeds like the cheap sneer, but he can't quite help noticing that these are actual human beings he's writing about. In his attempts not to pull any punches, the most damaging blows, more often than not, land squarely on his own jaw hilariously satirizing the writer, not the subject.
And therein lies David Rakoff's genius and his burgeoning appeal. The wry and the heartfelt join in his prose to resurrect that most neglected of literary virtues: wit.
Read the blurbs below. They signal the arrival of a brilliant new American essayist. (Okay, Canadian.)
"To be sure, Rakoff can issue a withering snark with the best of them. But once his rapier wit has sliced the buttons off its target's clothing, revealing the quivering, vulnerable mass within, his fundamental sense of decency gets the best of him and he can't resist reaching out and helping the poor unfortunate soul get back on its feet, straighten its duds and sally forth with a heartfelt 'Don't worry, it's not you. It's me.'" Amy Reiter, Salon.com
(read the entire Salon.com review here
In his first collection of essays, Rakoff single-handedly raises self-depreciation to an art form as he presents an object lesson in not taking life too seriously.
About the Author
David Rakoff is a regular contributor to Salon, Outside magazine, and PRI's This American Life, and has written for the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, New York Observer, and many other publications. He lives in New York City.