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Hardcover Fraud Book

ISBN: 038550084X

ISBN13: 9780385500845


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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

You've heard him onThis American Life! Now read his book! Wherever he is, David Rakoff is a fish out of water. Whether impersonating Sigmund Freud in a department store window during the holidays,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Pigtails and Horse Love

Oh my gosh! I love this man. I've read many humorists after falling in love with David Sedaris's "Barrel Fever". I've clicked on "If you like David Sedaris you'll love...." links all over the web. Strangely enough someone handed me a copy of "Fraud" at the pool one day and never made the famous comparison. Of course I figured it out soon enough but was overtaken with the difference. Rakoff's essays have much more meat to them. I felt as if I'd learned more at the end of each one, much like a good short story. Alice Munro perhaps...crazy comparison but something about his endings reminded me of her. Oh Canada!I do agree on one thing however. Whether Rakoff is a linguistic genius or a Dictionary-Thumper, I could have done without the impressive display of vocabulary. None of us know people who use these words and if we did we certainly wouldn't invite them over for dinner. Still, it's a small price to pay.

A delight.

Not every day that you come across a book whose every page has you laughing and marveling at the dexterity of the language. The essays go where less sharply-attuned writers fear to tread--the great outdoors and the great within--what a pleasure to be along for the ride.

I laughed, I cried

David Rakoff sees the sham in nearly everything. The success of his book, however, is no fraud. The writing (deft, limber, ambitious)! The settings (Scotland to Iceland; ice cream parlors and cancer wards)! The charming self-pity that makes the reader love him! I'm sure there will be comparisons to David Sedaris, but the two writers have different goals. Rakoff shows us that, despite all the lies, a true (if achingly lonely) heart keeps on thudding.

You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent.

The preface quote says it all: "You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent." This is a collection of about 15 short essays and stories by David Rakoff, known for his essays and interviews in The New York Times Sunday Magazine and from his appearances on WBZ-Public Radio's This American Life with Ira Glass. A New York City-based young, gay, Jewish man who is actually Canadian (yes, he is a fraud like Peter Jennings and Monty Hall), with a degree in Japanese studies, his stories place him in a range of activities. Each story is tender, fresh and funny. My favorites included stories on the time he attended a survival school in which he learns to skin animals and never again to drive down the highway and look at roadkill the same way; an essay on the day he climbed Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire on a cold stormy Christmas in a possible test of ennobling manhood; his recounting of a Toronto adolescence where he and other children of professionals sang the Internationale, commited themselves to Zionist Socialism, and did an instructional stint in a kibbutz chicken coop; and the time he played a form of Jewy McHebrew on a soap opera, and imagined himself in a recurring role. Some of the other stories include the time he sat in Manhattan clothing store's Christmas window as a Christmas Sigmund Freud (he tells people why their wishful desires are unhealthy for them, or wished for in error); a story in which he attends a weekend Buddhist retreat, in which the Aikido-fighting, aubergine and saffron wearing, actor, Steven Seagal is the guest teacher of Tibetan Buddhism; and a story that should be read by every college English major, namely an essay of despair that recounts the time he worked as a low-payed entry level editorial assistant (secretary) at a NYC publisher.
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