I really enjoyed listening to this. This is my first Rakoff experience, I I liked it. Healso has a a good narration style, so I think it added to the book quite a bit to have been narrated by him. What a treat!
I grow weary of Rakoff's tireless self-analysis and intent to experience the costliest of lifestyles in as much misery as possible. His work on This American Life was entertaining, but I will not be buying another of his books.
Though the views of the publisher and selected Newspaper reviews term this book and author, "one of the funniest and insightful writers," of "crackling wit," who has created a "story well told," allow me to differ.
Within the first ten minutes we learn that the author has decided to immigrate to America, and that he seems to hate everything about America. Who would take the time and effort he describes to migrate to a country whose leaders and politics he can't stand? The writer definitely is not insightful.
As for "witty"? Perhaps one listens to a description of Barbara Bush, W's daughter, '.. liquor-swilling, girl-gone-wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair; I've no idea if she smokes." and thinks it witty. Quite simply it is adolescent and immature.
One certainly will not hear anything as witty and insightful as Mr. O'Rourke's riff on Congress - far from it. Not worth the electrons to hold it in your computer, the CD on which to burn it or the window to throw it out of.
This is biased political commentary and I suppose the author has the right to say whatever he wants - but I wanted wit, observation and insight without being beat over the head with his point of view. Very disappointing....I deleted it after about 30 minutes of listening.
I had a hard time getting past the purple prose and the arch reading style.
Possibly the book may be better in print, but there is still the flood of adverbs, adjectives and insipid similes to content with...
This book should be subtitled, 'Yes I am a homosexual, and Yes I do hate George Bush". The book is humorous but with a sharp biting edge that you will find irritating unless you also hate George Bush. If you are at the far left edge of the American political spectrum or you hate America for any other reason, you will love this book.
Say something about yourself!
I guess if I were to boil down my review it would read: DO NOT BUY THIS TRASH. So, having said that...why? Well essentially, as other reviewers have said, this book really is a diatribe on people the other seems
1. Never to have actally met
2. Seems to hate
Sound good to you? Didn't think so....
I bought this because of his hilarious interview with Jon Stewart about the Log Cabin Republicans. It's very disappointing though, mostly shallow self-absorbed comments about fashion shows and fasting. The only political riff is about the Log Cabin Republicans, and he never even mentions that they may have a small problem with self-hatred. Too bad, he is funny, just not interesting or observant or thoughtful about anyone but himself.
Rakoff is a Neurotic Gay, Canadian exile and also a totally self adsorbed, navel gazing intellectual New York Jew. If you don't share all of these exotic personality determinants you will rapidly become annoyed rather than charmed by his seeming hopeless existential predicament. Long ago, Woody Allen did much, but not all, of this kind of complex shtick. He did much better and with much greater charm. Here, it starts to grate on your nerves long before it mericifully ends.
Who needs this.....
I was amused by some parts: the satires of bureaucracy and politics. But anyone can do that! Might be an enjoyable read, but not an enjoyable listen. If I want to listen to someone point out the ridiculousness that pervades our culture, I'll take it from someone like George Carlin. Maybe if George Carlin had read this book, I might have enjoyed it, but the tone of David Rakoff's voice annoyed me to no end. It has a sarcastic, whiny, tone. In fact, he sounds just like Mr. Hat from South Park! I think he's the wrong type of guy to be doing this type of comedy. He tries to make his satires eloquently poetic by unneccessarily utilizing grandiose phrases that are out of place, as I have just demonstrated. David Rakoff should stick to reading things like Peter Pan, or Diary of a Fairy Godmother.