First, I have to be fair I only read about 3 4 of this book because it was all I could stand Maybe the last 1 4 was amazing.I found it rambling, uninspired, boring and not very funny It sounded like the stories you tell your friends your friends think the stories are funny because they know you Maybe they even tell you that you re really funny and you should write all these stories down and publish them because you are so funny and your stories are so unique But you know better You know that only your friends will think your stories are funny and that they re not really all that different from any other creative type s silly family antics This lady doesn t seem to catch on to that and she s not my friend so I just don t care about what happens in her fairly tepid life.I don t know her personally She s probably fun to hang out with Or not But the long winded, self centered rambling is just too much in this writing She wants the reader to know her, but I find there wasn t much to know or care about Stick with Laurie Notaro. What can I say I never intended to read this book I probably never would have, had I not received it in a publicity mailing at work The day it arrived, I was between books and just wanted something to read on the subway So I did And then I kept reading.I tend to not like to read books by successful people around my age If the books suck, I m angry for wasting my time Worse, if they re actually good, I m angry that this person, who might as well be me, actually had the motivation and energy to write enough material for a book, get a book deal, and as a result be critically praised and read by thousands The nerve It completely invalidates my excuses of being too busy, too lazy, too scared, etc Anyway, Crosley s writing is not the most elegant I ve ever read, but it s far, far from the worst see my review of Smashed by Koren Zailckas In the end, all that really needs to be said is yes, this book had me laughing out loud several times And yes, I finished it in two days I wanted to hate this book and this author But how can I hate someone who is so much like me I am Sloane Crosley s ideal audience We are about the same age and have similar backgrounds I too moved to the city after college to work in book publishing I get what she s saying I empathize There are SO MANY young women exactly like Sloan, and me, in NYC Don t believe me Hang out in the lobby of a publishing company building for ten minutes or sign up for one volunteer project through any city organization I try not to think about it, because it makes me feel entirely unoriginal It s almost enough to make me want to pack up my things and move to rural Montana But really, what would that solve I digress.The line that really sold me is at the very end of the very last essay She writes, I was just like everyone else I knew almost positive that there was something profoundly and undiagnosably wrong with me Maybe she just threw that in for dramatic effect, or maybe she really means it Either way, I bought it And that s ME too, as well as just about every single one of my friends So, in conclusion, make me laugh, through in a few little nuggets of truth like the above, and I won t regret the time I spent reading your book And really, that says a lot these days. I started writing a review 1 2 way through the book because I had a lot to say about Ms Crossley I m posting the 1 2 way point review because I just couldn t finish the book I m then 1 2 way through I Was Told There d Be Cake , a book of essays by Sloane Crosley I started it Sunday, by this morning s bus ride I ve plowed through this book relatively easily She s a good writer She manages to keep my ever wandering attention as I over stimulate myself on Muni with a coffee, my ipod and the pressing need to scan the bus for possible pick pockets That, in itself, is impressive, as I m never one of those people who can read on public transportation I m either caught up in the pod or I m completely passed out and droolingI ve felt the need to mention this book to both my sees ter and to my boyfriend on the phone about how I m almost done the book, but there is something about her, about this author, that feels unauthentic There is this weird distrust I have for her I read these stories, these essays about her life in New York City post graduation and I have flat out, after the first 8 page essay, decided that I do not like her.I do not like her.I read the first essay about her need to collect plastic ponies and how each one represented a failed relationship and then turned to the back cover of the book, took one look at her picture and noted her startling resemblance to my dear friend Miranda who just got married in Mexico.Miranda is pretty in a very universal way Gay, Straight, Man, Woman, Cat, Dog, everyone is attracted to Miranda A myriad number of my gay friends have noted that they would date her if they were straight Couple the pretty with a crass sense of humor and a penchant for drinking beer for 8 hours straight and she s the most sought after woman I know, well, until most recently now that she is married to Greg, who is also pretty in a very universal way They are an attractive couple They re the kind of couple you see having brunch on a Sunday morning, in their pajamas, their dark skin dewy and glowing with pretty They re the couple, when you are single, that you wished you were a part of.Back to Cake Sloane Sloane looks like Miranda I read her quirky piece about ponies and relationships and all I can see is Miranda Miranda is skinny, dark skinned, long haired and quirky She is weird in a very real way One that doesn t make sense, but sorta does Sloane and the pony collecting Doesn t make sense It feels forced I don t buy it for a second.It is after this revelation on Sunday that I realize I am now caught in a situation where I see the movie before reading the book and now all I see are the actors playing their roles and not any real composite of ideas of these people that the author meant to portray.Strike one Against me I did this to myself I can t blame the author It s not her fault she s a doppelganger for one of my best friends.After several essays, one about the horrible boss ala Devil Wears Prada or the less fluffy version Swimming with Sharks , I started to get annoyed While she s not perpetuating the Carrie Bradshaw syndrome, I really don t need to know what it s like to be young, single, living in New York City If I wanted to, I could have done that It would have been easy enough to move from Boston to NYC after college, get an office job and spend my time wondering if the purpose of my life is to look good, date the wrong men and steal office supplies from work I feel like everyone knows what it s like to be single in New York City now You don t even have to have done it, all you have to do is watch television or read books like this one, and you feel a familiar camaraderie with the author, yeah, I feel your pain sister.But I don t I don t feel your pain I never wanted to live in New York and I still don t and for some reason when I see or read something that is supposed to make me think that living in New York is the shit, the absolute end all, be all, my toes get all weird and curl under, my hands come to my head and scratch and I feel my brain ache Stop talking to me Stop talking to me people who think NYC is where all the coolness comes from It s not me It s never been me.I think this reaction comes from living in Los Angeles, the dreaded West Coast red headed step child LA is supposed to be where the pretty is supposed to live And people are pretty in LA Totally But those aren t people Those are Fembots But back to Sloane and Cake Strike Two Against New York I can t handle.Now faced with the bottom half of the book, the 150 pages ahead of me where the author can either make me feel better about all of this and I can walk away with a better understanding of why she had to do this to me in the beginning to get to a better place in the end I do not feel like this will happen I don t trust it to happen, but I know I will ride out the remainder of Cake and tuck it away in a bookshelf somewhere or give it to a friend so I don t have to see it again Not because of my complete hatred for it, as I do not hate this book, really, but because of the unsettling feeling it gives me.I used to write personal essays None of them include collecting ponies that signified relationships None of them took place in New York City.I was on the phone with my mother on Friday where she asked about the boyfriend and where he came from and what s going on and I answered her questions honestly and succinct She sounded pleased with my responses and her tone of voice came through showing her approval Until she busted out with Just make sure you re making the right decisions The conversation veered right off the Yellow Brick Road and into something right out of Nightmare on Elm Street What was that I asked Make sure you re making the right decisions, she said firmly with no humor whatsoever in her voice.It was later on that it hit me that I seemed to have stopped writing because I ve started making the right decisions.At least ones that I believe are leading me in the right direction.This has left me with very little to say as I live my quaint little life, work, sleep, eat, yoga I m not going to be writing personal essays about receiving a phone call at 3AM and heading out of my apartment in my pajamas to meet someone I know who is poison for me I m no longer going to have stories to tell about calling in sick to work because I still smell like tequila I will no longer be peeing in the unisex bathroom at a gay bar looking at everyone s penis because I can I have not eaten questionable meat found in the fridge since I lived with Carleen and if that does not mark the beginning of the straight and narrow, I don t know what does.I m all the glad for it though I m relieved that all of that is pretty much over I m tired I can t do it any It s too much work to be in a shitty relationship It s a Herculean effort to stomach a tequila hangover these days I d rather sip my whiskey to stave off the winter chill that is July in San Francisco or consume enough beer to do the drunk foot shuffle straight to my bed to sleep off the crazy Strike three Against time And life And changes It s not Sloane s fault that I am old and she is not I m left not liking her anecdotes because I m no longer in my 20s making bad decisions I m no longer searching for some sort of identity, because I have one already I know who I am I know what I m doing I m making a conscience effort to make the right choices because it makes life that much easier If I do not eat this ice cream bar I will be one step further from Type II Diabetes If I do not consume this liter of Jameson in one night I will not throw up tomorrow morning If I go to yoga, I feel better If I eat at Burger King it will be Shitcapades 2000 If I talk to the ex, I m asking for trouble and it s too emotionally draining to deal with I d rather pour that emotion into things I love, like Jake, like my friends, like baking I freaking love baking It s insane.It only makes sense that I m turning 32 this weekend. Occasionally humorous, but the humor of the spoiled of upper middle class woes such as forgetting your keys, leaving your wallet behind, spending hundreds on a locksmith after locking yourself out of your Manhattan apartment, getting lice at summer camp, enduring an annoyed boss because you re a kid just out of an expensive college who has no real marketable skills.Credit where credit s due, Sloane Crosley is a decent writer and a decent humorist She can turn a good phrase now and then, enough to garner spot laughs through out The problem is a lack of material worth writing about A whole chapter on the old computer game The Oregon Trail seems excessive This book feels like the author is just too young, lacks the meaningful life experiences needed to flesh out a book, and is stretching the hell out of what little has happened to her Perhaps the book s title is the author s way of saying she s aware of this book s let them eat cake laissez faire attitude And to be fair and honest, I did get some laughs out of Crosley s essays I m sure there is an audience for them I m clearly not it. From The Author Of The Novel, The Clasp, Hailed By Michael Chabon, Heidi Julavits, And J Courtney Sullivan Wry, Hilarious, And Profoundly Genuine, This Debut Collection Of Literary Essays From Sloane Crosley Is A Celebration Of Fallibility And Haplessness In All Their GloryFrom Despoiling An Exhibit At The Natural History Museum To Provoking The Ire Of Her First Boss To Siccing The Cops On Her Mysterious Neighbor, Crosley Can Do No Right Despite The Best Of Intentions Or Perhaps Because Of Them Together, These Essays Create A Startlingly Funny And Revealing Portrait Of A Complex And Utterly Recognizable Character Who Aims 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 Dosadniju i pretenciozniju knjigu davno nisam dr ala u rukama Ali sam zbog posla bila prinu ena da je pro itam Jel je itao jo neko this book isn t bad, but it isn t good either it just is most of the essays are about as quirky as your mom after two glasses of wine, putting her hand over her mouth and gasping about the sh word sloane crosley is scared she will suffer an untimely death and whoever cleans out her apartment will find her stash of toy ponies this is not really the stuff of shocking hilarity it s almost quaint in its lack of risk taking sloane crosley comes across as a sweet, self depreciating, smart and witty but a far cry from david sedaris or sarah vowell, two writers her style was linked to in blurbs i should know better than to be fooled by blurbs i know how they happen yet meghan daum s seal of approval did prompt me to buy this it is heavy handed in the PR direction this is a woman who is not going to make enemies with this book of essays and honestly, she comes across as very likeable i d read her blog.some essays are better the story of her first job how she is a sushi loving vegetarian this one is filled with the sort of punny humor i enjoy being a bridesmaid for a woman she no longer knows also a good story that falls flat in the end.i m going to stop reading books shelved in the humor section and go back to memoirs addiction memoirs, even. This book is so awful, so awful I couldn t bring myself to finish it Maybe I just missed the punch lines I think these essays were meant to be humorous , but my overwhelming response to these essays was So what Apparently, they are based upon Ms Crosley s life I hate to break it to her, but I just don t think her life has been that interesting The final affront was an apparent joke in her less than humorous essay about a possible move to Australia thank goodness for us Australians she never made it there after the teenage Ms Crosley s plans for moving to Australia are dashed, she observes that My Australian dreams had disappeared into the night like a baby in a dingo s jaw 72 I m sorry She can make offensive comments about Australians all she likes we probably deserve it But offensive comments about Lindy Chamberlain and her daughter Azaria is another thing hasn t Lindy Chamberlain already suffered enough Just give it a rest people Give the woman the peace she deserves Wasn t it enough that the Australian media, the Australian public, and the so called justice system destroyed her life No, apparently some dim witted twenty something year old in New York City still thinks it s funny to make jokes about the case. Sloane Crosley is similar to me and my friends in education, background, life experience, career trajectory, and the like The big difference is she has a book deal, and we do not As such, I tried to read this with an open mind and not hate her off the bat Turned out that was all an unnecessary gesture on my part, as even someone completely remote from her experience would realize she is one of the most talentless hacks to come along in ages This book was unbearable These essays accurate definition 8th grade reading level diary entries were not interesting, not insightful, and almost unbearably badly written Every minute I wasted reading them read skimming page after page hoping for some word that was worth stopping on made me want to throw up Truly one of the worst debuts of the year which is saying a lot considering this is the same year that has already seen the premiere of Keith Gessen s execrable first novel. Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestWe re all in the midst of our own existential dilemmas and hearing someone write quirky little diatribes about their Devil Wears Prada esque boss or the friend who left poop on their carpet can sometimes make us feel as though we aren t alone.I WAS TOLD THERE D BE CAKE isn t that different from the hundreds of other autobiographical essays out there, but Sloane Crosley does have a style that is all her own Some of her analogies are creative and on point Not rip roaringly hilarious, mind, but clever and unusual and amusing Sometimes she reminded me of me Other times she reminded me of the me I wish I was The me who says that clever punchline when it s needed, and not five minutes later, after I ve already walked away.As pithy as Ms Crosley is, the problem with collections like these is that there are always going to be some stories that just aren t as good as others, and bring down the collective quality of the book as a result Apart from a few choice stories that really stood out to me, I found them blurring in my head almost as soon as I had read them, and it was difficult to suss out which story was which.That s really the keystone of this problem she just isn t memorable Her stories lack that extra panache that makes them stand out Jenny Lawson, with her funny sadness, sad funnyness, and taxidermied raccoons, is what Sloane Crosley dreams of being, but she just isn t quite there yet.Soon, perhaps But not now.Honestly, though If you re looking for a light, fun read written by a snarky and intelligent lady, I would recommend I WAS TOLD THERE D BE CAKE It accompanied me to work and various other appointments, and since the essays are only a few pages long, it made it easy to read them in quick, short bursts without having to stop in the middle of a segment I hate that.3 stars.
Sloane Crosley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers I Was Told There d Be Cake a Thurber Prize finalist and How Did You Get This Number The Clasp is her first novel A frequent contributor to The New York Times, she lives in Manhattan.
- 230 pages
- I Was Told There'd Be Cake
- Sloane Crosley
- 13 June 2019 Sloane Crosley