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I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays by Sloane…
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I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Sloane Crosley

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1,987884,925 (3.32)73
Member:annie-b
Title:I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays
Authors:Sloane Crosley
Info:Riverhead Trade (2008), Paperback, 230 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:adult, humor, essays, overdrive ebook

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I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley (2008)

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Let’s face it. When it comes to personal essays there are some real heavy hitters in the world that other writers must be willing to be compared to. It may well be unfair to hold anyone to the standards of, say, David Sedaris or Sarah Vowel. But, unfair or not, the comparisons will happen.

And, it is with that same expectation that I approach any collection of essays. I am looking for entertainment, absorption, humor, skilled weaving of a story, and a desire to read more and more.

This collection comes close…oh, so close. And yet, sorry, not quite there. Or, another way of putting it – this is a nice collection, but nothing more. It didn’t live up to the perhaps-too-lofty expectations I brought with me.

Ms. Crosley’s writing is good. She tells a good story, she blends various thoughts and plot lines together, and she has just enough of a sideways look at what is occurring in her life to shine a different light on things. But through all of it, I just couldn’t bring myself to be entertained or (perhaps worse) feel invested in what was happening. The result was (and this will come out meaner than I mean it to be, but it’s all I can think of right now) it felt like someone moaning about first-world problems.

Now, a quick warning, that is just my take on it. (After all, that is what reviews are all about.) I have the feeling I was bringing something else to the party with which others will not be burdened. I feel like I should have liked these better than I did.

And, actually, I can’t say I disliked these. However, I never felt the reading to be compelling or for the material to draw me in with anything but a disinterested bystander’s interest.

And when it was done, there was a slight distaste. Like I had made a visit that just wasn’t a great as I had hoped it would be. To the point where I didn’t want to make that trip again.

Note that, after reading this book, I took a look back and realized that I had read one of Ms. Sloane’s other books as a part of the early reviewer program. And, while the review is different than this one, I was saying much the same thing back then. I can’t tell you what I didn’t like; I just can’t find any reason to rave. ( )
  figre | Aug 6, 2018 |
I finished it. That's about the best I can say for I Was Told There'd Be Cake. Based on the awards and acclaim (and the cover which compared her to David Sedaris and Dorothy Parker), maybe my expectations were too high? But even with high expectations, this fell well below even a rating of okay. I laughed maybe three times, but really, it was more of a chuckle than a real laugh.

Advertised as essays, the chapters read like well-edited blog entries. To me, an essay is something you read that's insightful and gives you a take away or at least something to consider. These chapters read as self-indulgent egotism. I got nothing out of them other than the author thinks her life is somehow weirder, funnier, better, more special than the rest of us. I respectfully disagree.

If you want a funny (as in side-splitting, tears rolling down your face) and insightful biography, I suggest Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened. ( )
  wanderinglynn | Mar 22, 2018 |
An easy light read that took me out of myself. It's refreshing to read a voice so unlike my own. I'll pass this one on to my 20ish niece. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
I'm officially giving this book a 2.5 stars rating. It is a book of short stories about Sloane Crosley's life, but I just wasn't crazy about it. I listened to the audio book read by her, and I really liked her voice and reading style. But the stories kind of tended to run on and tell things that really didn't pertain to the story. I really wanted to like it, but just didn't :( ( )
  TerriS | Dec 7, 2016 |
Eh. ( )
  sionnac | Jul 26, 2016 |
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As most New Yorkers have done, I have given serious and generous thought to the state of my apartment should I get killed during the day.
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Book description
A collection of essays by best-selling author Sloane Crosley, that recounts many of her personal adventures.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159448306X, Paperback)

Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory. From 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 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

From 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 that's aiming for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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