I love all this author's stories, which I must hear, rather than read, because his voice is so important to the personal quality of his work. I highly recommend all David Rakoff's print and audio books, but if you need to make a choice between this and his audio collection before this one, choose this one; it's a bit more full of the good stuff. He gets better all the time.
I first heard David Rakoff on NPR's weekly radio show, This American Life, as I'm sure many of his fans have. Once I had heard him tell several of his stories, I knew I had to have them on audio, not just as books in text.
Many other writers I've come to love are also people I first heard on This American Life, like David Sadaris.
I love David Rakoff's voice. It's soft,carefully articulated, and has a wry quality bordering on "droll" which he uses to great and sometimes very humorous effect. Some people might first think this man who "prefers the indoors" is an artist and intellectual that could be inaccessable, perhaps asuming he's a cynic, or a wild eccentric; hyper critical of all everyday experience or emotion.
Soon enough, you realize this storyteller is both uniquely himself, which is a gift, and sweet and compassionate and like anyone else you'd want to learn more about living a thoughtful life from. He's not afraid to let you in on what he thinks about the world, North America, our society and its leaders. Nor does he keep secret his direct observations about people, how they sometimes confirm his worst expectations, or his own mistakes, disappointments and self-doubts; but it's his immediate honesty inside the experience of all this that I find so resonant and redeeming.
Experience, observation, what is learned. Or at least he makes it seem like what he gives you is this simple. But this brilliant author knows the secret to all good works of art: the personal becomes the universal.
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