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Book - 2010
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The inimitably witty David Rakoff, This American Life stalwart and bestselling author, looks at the modern world and his own life in defense of the commonsensical notion that you should always assume the worst.

In this deeply funny memoir, David Rakoff examines his own life and the realities of our sunny, gosh-everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture. He finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won't come true. Although David has a long-nurtured abhorrence of "inspirational" memoirs, much of the book recounts his own personal experiences: the moment when being a tiny child no longer meant adults found him charming but instead meant other children found him a fun target; the late evening in Manhattan when he was young and the city seemed to brim with such possibility that the street shimmered in the moonlight -- as he drew closer he realized the streets actually shimmered with rats in a feeding frenzy. He also weaves in his brand of acute and Oscar Wilde-worthy cultural criticism (the sad state of the outdated "House of Tomorrow" at Disneyland, for one). It all adds up to proof of the proposition: Always be a pessimist, and you'll never be disappointed.
Publisher: [Toronto, ON] : Doubleday Canada, c2010
ISBN: 9780385670302
Branch Call Number: 819.7 RAK
Characteristics: 224 p. ; 22 cm

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j
jblane
Dec 26, 2015

Intellectual masturbation.

multcolib Feb 27, 2014

Highly recommended in both book and audio form - From our Embarrassment of Riches blog: "Boarding the plane with earbuds in place, I smiled politely at my neighbor and escaped into Mr. Rakoff's soothing voice."

JCLBeckyC Jul 06, 2013

If you liked Rakoff's "Fraud" you'll like this book of essays too. Intelligent and witty. I'm sad Rakoff passed away before he got to write more.

t
TumTumMcPuff
Aug 08, 2012

Sharp, hilarious, and cynical with a perfect touch of sweetness. If Davids Rakoff and Sedaris were to star in a remake of "Beaches" and Sedaris was (obviously) Bette Midler, Rakoff would be a deliciously darker Barbara Hershey.

m
MikeEe
Aug 12, 2011

Any body who can see the glass half full with this much self deprecating humour and intelligence is all right in my books.

Michael Colford Jun 27, 2011

David Rakoff tackles pessimism in his usual sardonic and funny way. This collection of essays does involve a sobering twist that makes it one his most personal efforts.

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