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My Misspent Youth: Essays by Meghan Daum

My Misspent Youth: Essays (edition 2001)

by Meghan Daum

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255364,430 (3.45)2
Title:My Misspent Youth: Essays
Authors:Meghan Daum
Info:Grove Press, Open City Books (2001), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 180 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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My Misspent Youth: Essays by Meghan Daum


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There are moments of great insight and attentiveness throughout, and some wonderful turns of phrase, but the voice is young and a bit angry and a bit muddled. I can't decide whether "American Shiksa" is brilliant or a bit offensive. But her later collection of essays, the Unthinkable, is sublime, which actually makes this kind of heartening to read -- see the difference that thirteen years makes. ( )
  benjaminsiegel | Jul 30, 2016 |
I listened this book of essays on recommendation of Slate magazine's best audiobooks of 2015 article (although the essays were largely published more than 15 years ago leading to a time warp sensation hearing them). The first few essays are largely autobiographical and detail Daum's personal experiences with online romance, working in the publishing industry, running up debt to follow her dreams of living New York City, and her hatred of carpets and love of wood floors. In these essays she comes across as a rather shallow and negative person. Later essays have more of a literary journalism feel including a documentation of the everyday lives of flight attendants and interviews with the polyamorous Ravenheart family. While I like these essays better, Daum remains overly sarcastic and dismissive of her subjects in a manner I suppose is intended to be "edgy." So I didn't like this book much, but it was a quick read and Xe Sands' narration skills are excellent. ( )
  Othemts | Jan 14, 2016 |
When I finished the first essay in this book I thought I'd never make it through the rest. I felt it lacked emotion, but then I remembered that these were essays, not memoirs, and I enjoyed the rest of the book. The essay that really turned my opinion was on flight attendants. I don't the book was as edgy or biting as some reviewers have, but that may be because I'm fairly cynical myself. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read good magazine articles and doesn't mind reading someone else's opinion on life instead of clinging to their own like a life preserver on a sinking ship. ( )
  tuff517 | Aug 10, 2007 |
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An essayist in the tradition of Joan Didion, Meghan Daum is one of the most celebrated nonfiction writers of her generation, widely recognized for her fresh, provocative approach with which she unearths the hidden fault lines in the American landscape. From her well remembered New Yorker essays about the financial demands of big-city ambition and the ethereal, strangely old-fashioned allure of cyber-relationships to her dazzlingly hilarious riff in Harper's about musical passions that give way to middle-brow paraphernalia, Daum delves into the center of things while closely examining the detritus that spills out along the way. With precision and well-balanced irony, Daum implicates herself as readily as she does the targets that fascinate and horrify her.… (more)

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