Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character that's aiming for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is.
I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.
©2008 Sloane Crosley; (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks
I am a big This American Life fan, and ended up finding this audiobook because Sloane Crosley and David Rakoff (whose work I love) did a Thalia Book Club event together. Crosley is much younger that Rakoff and it really shows. The tone of this book aims for self-deprecating but ends up at self-involved. I grew up in the suburbs and have spent some time living in New York, so you would think I would relate to Sloane, but I can't. The character she builds in this book is so shallow it's kind of hard to listen to. That being said, they are some extremely funny passages.
I too had heard that this was a fun read with a lot of laughs. Well I won't be taking recommendations from those sources again! Did not finish listening after too many that did not deliver.
While Sloane Crosley has some moments of bright, shiny humor throughout I was Told There'd Be Cake, mostly the whole book falls flat. I kept waiting for the zinger around the corner but was regularly disappointed. Sloane describing her family's deep av ersion to open flame gave me hope that the rest of the book would be weird and silly. She is a good and capable reader of her own work and i suspect this is what saved much of the book. Overall i found it to be a bit whiny and predictable to listen to a woman of some privilege try and make her story unusual.
The essay seems to be enjoying a resurgence these days with such luminaries as David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell and (the now late) David Rakoff. These authors are trend-setters in their own right, mixing personal revelation with the ability to turn a brilliant phrase and a keen sense of social perception. Enter Sloane Crosley to that growing congress of writers. She is a genuinely funny writer of the dysfunctional and unapologetically self-deprecating variety. While she never goes too far and always remains apropos, no subject seems too private or sacred for her to share it with us. And there is always a point, even in the longest of the essays, and the thrilling part of encountering her writing was discovering how she eventually manages to tie everything together in a way that never feels forced or artificial. These are the kinds of stories you might hear from a friend over coffee or drinks, because there are some writers who have a writer's voice. Sloane falls into the conversational category, which is what makes her voice so engaging and approachable, from the first essay to the last. The most mundane detail may end up being the pinnacle of the story, and she makes you want to hear it through to the end to see how she's going to resolve it. This is the mark of a great writer: who wins you over with her ability to communicate honestly and movingly.
I can read... good.
This book started as very interesting with the ponies essay. I thought the perspective was good, and had a good amount of clever insights... but the majority are real bombs that bored at work i can't sit through.
What a dud! I thought I was going to be crying from laughing. I don't think I laughed once. She is so monotonous and the passages aren't that great. I can't finish this; I'm so bored. wish I could get a refund.
Kinda funny, but really not all that thoughtful. Sloane Crosley has a really similar style to Chelsea handler, but isn't nearly as funny.
This book was exactly what I expected and needed it to be. Entertaining, fun, and made a day of chores much less mundane. Some stories were more relatable than others; I found myself skipping one that I just couldn't get in to, but also laughed out loud several times.
A good listen for a slow day.
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