DAVID RAKOFF is the author of the "New York Times "bestselling "Don't Get Too Comfortable "and "Fraud." He is a writer at large for "GQ," regular contributor to the "New York Times Magazine," and frequent guest on "This American Life."
As Rakoff begins reading his charmingly curmudgeonly essay collection, he seems like an odd fit-his voice, slightly breathy and fragile, seems like it's about to give out. But he relaxes, and it quickly becomes apparent that he's the perfect narrator-with his muttered asides, his sighs of self-deprecation-for these sharp, smart pieces. His conversations ramify magnificently, and this champion of contrarianism has smart things to say about money, media, certainty, growing up short, Jewish, and Canadian. Think Sedaris, but smarter, darker, and funnier. He may be, as he says in one essay, "prone to making bad calls," but he seems to know exactly what listeners need. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 9). (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Winner of the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor "[F]rom the mordant mind of one of our funniest writers"--"People Magazine," 4/4 Stars"Rakoff has a self-awareness that could be recreated only by a team of geneticists working in a lab. The conviction with which he writes is, at the risk of blowing his jacket, uplifting....Writing like this can only be a positive experience for all concerned.....To file Rakoff under 'essayist, brilliant' would be to overlook his formidable gifts as a reporter"--"New York Times Book Review" "Write[s] beyond irony and ridicule to the solemnity of wisdom and meaning....Brilliant.....writes movingly....astute observations of the American scene, funny, clever....often wise.....For the sake of the future, come back soon, David Rakoff. Be scathing, biting, outrageous, savage. Be brave. America needs you."--"San Francisco Chronicle""An anthropologist's eye for the irrational.....finely sharpened sarcasm that makes our collective stupidity seem so comically pathetic.....powerful prose.....As Rakoff tenderly probes his fears, he makes clear....he is part of our tribe. He's just funnier"--"The Miami Herald" "Dry, sardonic wit"--"The Daily Beast""Some people believe in the power of positive thinking. The rest of us believe in David Rakoff....sharp-tongued, self aware....you won't be disappointed"--"Daily Candy" "A collection of humorous--albeit pessimistic--essays on humankind's incalculable foibles......Throughout the book, the author hones in on this disconnect, debunking the myth of the power of positive thinking while arguing that 'the bleak' (not the meek) will most likely inherit the earth. Rakoff manages to make pessimism sexy, whittling optimism into little more than an irresponsible fad, a modern opiate of the masses. .....The author regularly employs non-sequiturs as a literary technique, casting his arguments to the fringes of possibility before reeling them back in. His droll humor prov