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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2001 David Rakoff; (P)2001 Random House, Inc.; Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, a Division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A talented new humorist...Rakoff has a rapier wit." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Kristin
  • Worthington, OH, USA
  • 12-28-06

So Funny

David Rakoff is alway witty and hysterical. This book is no different.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Barely amusing

Would you try another book from David Rakoff and/or David Rakoff?


Has Fraud turned you off from other books in this genre?


Did David Rakoff do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes. They all characters were different and there was no mistaking one from another.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was amusing. The book was not what I had hoped for.

Any additional comments?


1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Donna
  • Shamong, NJ, USA
  • 12-12-07


Like Rakoff's short essays on TAL, but hours of his story telling seemed like HOURS. I'm about 3/4 thru and having a hard time wanting to listen to more.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Laura
  • SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States
  • 10-02-12

Thoughtful, intelligent and captivating.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this funny, poignant collection of observations of lives many little challenges and joys. We miss David and his fabulous talents.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Suzan
  • Daly City, CA, USA
  • 05-19-03

Whinny gay Jew surprisingly funny.

Overprivileged whinny gay Jew Ivy League graduate and son-of-psychologist David Rakoff relates tales of life in the big city. He overcomes being Jewish and gay, and goes on to beat cancer and donate sperm. He goes to a lot of weekend retreats too. His story about Steven Segal leading a seminar at a New Age seminar is pretty funny.

6 of 33 people found this review helpful