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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not Cake, but Good Nontheless

posted by on September 30 at 17:00 PM

Sloane Crosley is the author of the collection of humorous first person essays I Was Told There Would Be Cake. I loved the book. Both Bethany Jean Clement and Slog commenter PopTart hated the bookómaybe it’s a boy/girl thing?óbut I at least have confirmation, with her list of 6 favorite books, that Sloane Crosley is a great reader.

Five of the booksóBirds of America by Lorrie Moore, The Chosen by Chaim Potok, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didionóare wonderful. I haven’t read the sixth, On the Edge of Reason by Miroslav Krleza. But the way Crosley describes it, “A droll philosophical novel about a Croatian man who, one day, decides to speak his mind during a dinner party and conversational and social chaos ensue,” pretty much guarantees that I’ll read it soon.

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I didn't like the book, but then again, I was expecting it to be the novelization of the video game Portal.

Posted by Ziggity | September 30, 2008 5:32 PM

Paul, you just think she's pretty and want to give her a pony.

Posted by PopTart | September 30, 2008 5:43 PM

There should be some kind of engraved certificate, saying like, "Paul Constant has judged you, and you were not found wanting." You could hand them out after the Genius Awards.

Posted by elenchos | September 30, 2008 5:49 PM

I think Bethany and PopTart are correct on this one, Paul, although in truth I only got through 1/3rd of it before I put it down for good.

Her writing is phony, not funny.

For a funny read, see _My Custom Van_ by Ian Michael Black. Highlights include the foreward by Abraham Lincoln, his rebuttal to Lewis Black's rant against candy corn, and the essay about his custom van.

Posted by Sean | September 30, 2008 5:59 PM

Her writing reminds me of a funny friend, which is why I really like her periodical essays, but have a hard time plunking down cash for her book.

Posted by Dougsf | September 30, 2008 6:00 PM

Yeah, I was underwhelmed. There were some funny parts, but it wasn't that great. The chapter on bridesmaids was the best part.

Posted by Okay book | September 30, 2008 7:05 PM

Another lady in the 'ney' category. Too superficial and contrived. I cry when I watch gymnastics, but even her story about getting repeatedly locked out of her apartment didn't evoke sympathy or a cackle from me.

Posted by Dahlia | September 30, 2008 7:56 PM

She is a very mediocre writer. From the interviews I've seen and read she is also a very mediocre person. A vapid and self-righteous publicist with more influence and ambition then talent. It is a decent book list though...just completely unsurprising and market-tested to be of interest to hipster bibliophiles.

Posted by DENVEROPOLIS | September 30, 2008 8:01 PM

I liked it in the beginning, but it wore thing pretty quickly. And i actually stopped reading Michael Ian Black's book. Possibly because the bar for him is much higher in my opinion. And he never even approached it.

Posted by c | September 30, 2008 8:02 PM

is "nontheless" a word?

Posted by jameyb | September 30, 2008 8:15 PM

I read the whole thing, but only to fall asleep at night, and only because my spouse had gotten it from the library.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | October 1, 2008 8:11 AM

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