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My Misspent Youth: Essays

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Now back in print, author of The Unspeakable Meghan Daum's acclaimed cult classic that revitalized the personal essay for a new generation of writers Meghan Daum is one of the most celebrated...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

you must buy this book

meghan daum is scarily perceptive, outrageously talented, and ridiculously funny. I read the essays in one afternoon and haven't stopped thinking about them since. Though other reviewers found her arrogant, i think they are mistaking her honesty for snobbery, and her obvious intelligence for disdain. Yes, she makes fun of other people (carpet owners, sci-fi geeks, and high school musicians in particular) but gets away with it because she allows us glimpses into her own carpet-owning, sci-fi-reading, oboe-playing geeky soul. If you think personal essays have to either be truncated memoirs or shrill polemics, read this book and enjoy the form at its finest.

Hilarious and insightful

Being a New Yorker searching for my next apartment, I really loved this book. Anyone that is struggling with starting a career while managing a huge debt will be able to relate. I couldn't put this book down, and was wanting more when it ended. She has a great sense of humor and a great writing style. And while I could relate to her woes, I took them with a grain of salt. She is pretty, talented, and from a secure financial background. Not all of us start out with any of that. But don't get me wrong, I still loved every word in that book. Well worth buying IMHO.

A cross between Alain de Botton and Helen Fielding

Meghan Daum's essays are honest, spot-on and filled with insight into the angst and anxieties and humor that riddle the lives of thirty-somethings in the major NYC area---or any major metro area for that matter. At times she is a little too bitter, jaded, judgmental and angry (like some my friends pre-therapy!) but ultimately the humor always shines through...I cant wait for more, she is spot-on, a real find.... Brava!

She is a goddess

Picked this up randomly and by the end, I could safely declare myself a rabid fan.These essays are scenes from a life not unlike mine, told with wit and insight that are both startling and unsettling. Daum writes with an honesty that manages to be enchanting and embarassing all at once. MY MISSPENT YOUTH is wonderful.

A Rising Star

After reading just one essay by Meghan Daum when it first appeared in The New Yorker, coincidentally the title piece of MY MISSPENT YOUTH, I wanted more, more, more of her prose. So I was understandably thrilled when a recent web search turned up this first collection of her work and, having read it, I am even more thrilled. She is really, really good. She's so good, she's scary. Daum's pieces share in common what she calls a point, which someone else bent on stuffy superlatives might call an overarching theme. Either way, she's not imposing some pat formula on life but has pulled out a bona fide truth about the human condition in its many different circumstances, that we simultaneously operate in two worlds, one a concoction of dreams, prejudices and cultural conditioning, the other, reality. Each of her essays is a moment of reckoning, of understanding how the imagined world has tipped the real one, of having to bow to the real one. In unflinching prose that just sweeps along, she pursues truth as a player, occasionally as a witness. The quality of her work reminds me of what Carol Burnett said about having no choice but to become the star because she was a misfit in the chorus: Daum, incapable of following through on requests that she submit to puppy mill essaying on Gen-X preoccupations (she's about 31), has positioned herself in the territory of Joan Didion and our finest cultural commentators.
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