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I went to the bookstore looking for a Sedaris book because I needed to laugh I was distraught to learn that I d read everything he d written David Rakoff, like his peer David Sedaris, has occasionally been featured on Public Radio s This American Life His writer s voice is not as dark as Sedaris but he is quite hilarous I bought this book in hopes of laughing, and was not disappointed The man knows how to turn a phrase May I please quote a passage where he describes the experience I went to the bookstore looking for a Sedaris book because I needed to laugh I was distraught to learn that I d read everything he d written David Rakoff, like his peer David Sedaris, has occasionally been featured on Public Radio s This American Life His writer s voice is not as dark as Sedaris but he is quite hilarous I bought this book in hopes of laughing, and was not disappointed The man knows how to turn a phrase May I please quote a passage where he describes the experience of meeting a snotty designer while reporting at a fashion show It s evendelightful if you know what Rakoff s speaking voice sounds like can hear it in your head All of the designers I have met up to this point have been very nice, although upon being introduced to Karl Lagerfeld, he looks me up and down and dismisses me with the not super kind, What can you write that hasn t been written already He s absolutely right, I have no idea I can but try The only thing I can come up with at that moment is that Lagerfeld s powdered white ponytail has dusted the shoulders of his suit with what looks like dandruff but isn t Also, not yet having undergone his alarming weight loss, and seated on a tiny velvet chair, with his large doughy rump dominating the miniature piece of furniture like a loose, flabby, ass flavored muffin overrisen from its pan, he resembles a Daumier caricature of some corpulent, inhumane oligarch drawn sitting on a commode, stuffing his greedy throat with the corpses of dead children, while from his other end he shits out huge, malodorous piles of tainted money How s that for new and groundbreaking, Mr L When I read the first chapter, sipping my coffee in the coffee shop adjacent to the bookstore, I was socially inappropriate with my riotous laughter Pretty much the highest praise I can give to a book, I don t know about you The author does a fabulous job of narrating it himself Very entertaining as well as intelligent So sad that he died so young. Ironically, as a secular humanist who shows no patience for groups like the Christian Right, Rakoff actually practies what those groups preach He hates the sin, but loves the sinners Or rather, he hates the stupid, shallow practices of modern American life, but shows a certain empathetic tolerance for the people who practice them Rakoff s criticisms of the absurd and narcisstic aspects of modern american life are intelligently snarky and, even better, consistently ring true He s especially e Ironically, as a secular humanist who shows no patience for groups like the Christian Right, Rakoff actually practies what those groups preach He hates the sin, but loves the sinners Or rather, he hates the stupid, shallow practices of modern American life, but shows a certain empathetic tolerance for the people who practice them Rakoff s criticisms of the absurd and narcisstic aspects of modern american life are intelligently snarky and, even better, consistently ring true He s especially effective when he goes after the thin veneers of depth or transcendentalism behind which so much hides today But at the same time, he often betrays a certain kindness toward the people involved, seeking to understand what drives people down such misguided paths even as he doesn t shy away from his convictions But the most impressive part is the writing Almost every word means and evokes exactly what Rakoff wants it to and is placed in just the right spot A complete grab bag of essays, loosely themed about privilege, hubris, and narcissism, as observed and told by David Rakoff The book was largely compiled in 2003, so there is a lot of interesting post 9 11 and Bush era synthesis, which honestly seems like a million miles ago In that way, the book is a time capsule of the early mid aughts Rakoff is at his best as outisder social observer This made for some great stories on his trip to Paris for Fashion Week, rubbing elbows with the designer A complete grab bag of essays, loosely themed about privilege, hubris, and narcissism, as observed and told by David Rakoff The book was largely compiled in 2003, so there is a lot of interesting post 9 11 and Bush era synthesis, which honestly seems like a million miles ago In that way, the book is a time capsule of the early mid aughts Rakoff is at his best as outisder social observer This made for some great stories on his trip to Paris for Fashion Week, rubbing elbows with the designers, models, and celebrities, and his investigation of the Log Cabin Republicans what ever happened to them are they really still around in this political environment This skill also served him well on a trip to tropical Belize as a writer on a soft core porn photoshoot I also liked his experimentation essays on urban foraging, his 20 day juice fast, and his short stint as a 40 cabana boy in South Beach His style of humor hits my funny bone directly I actually laughed out loud HA several times while listening to this one, made all the better by Rakoff s own narration A bitingly funny grand tour of our culture of excess from an award winning humorist Whether David Rakoff s contrasting the elegance of one of the last flights of the supersonic Concorde with the good times and chicken wings populism of Hooters Air working as a cabana boy at a South Beach hotel or traveling to a private island off the coast of Belize to watch a soft core video shoot where he is provided with his very own personal manservant rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly skewered Somewhere along the line, our healthy self regard has exploded into obliterating narcissism our manic getting and spending have now become celebrated as moral virtues Simultaneously a Wildean satire and a plea for a little human decency, Don t Get Too Comfortable shows that far from being bobos in paradise, we are in a special circle of gilded age hell We have become an army of multiply chemically sensitive, high maintenance princesses trying to make our way through a world full of irksome peas.All of the nice things I have to say about listening to David Rakoff narrating one of his audiobooks was said in my review of Half Empty and I would reiterate that it is a very enjoyable experience The writing here in If I could give a negative number of stars for a book this one would merit it I am just SO grateful that Mr Rakoff wrote this book Without it I would never have known how much better and smarter andintelligent the author is than the rest of us Perhaps this book should be required reading in schools so thatpeople will be aware of what a pompous ass the author truly is There was no way to win me back after he all but mocked the happiness of the new citizens as they took the oath If I could give a negative number of stars for a book this one would merit it I am just SO grateful that Mr Rakoff wrote this book Without it I would never have known how much better and smarter andintelligent the author is than the rest of us Perhaps this book should be required reading in schools so thatpeople will be aware of what a pompous ass the author truly is There was no way to win me back after he all but mocked the happiness of the new citizens as they took the oath and received their citizenship papers Yes, by all means, that is the perfect moment to point out how foolish all of those peasants are for actually showing joy to be a citizen of the US I wanted to read this book based on the title I think we have a tendency toward excess and from this title I thought it might be a book about focusingon things that matter most and being content with what we already have, etc.Wrong I fully read the first few chapters, but had to resort to skipping to random pages further on looking for something that wouldn t just annoy me Never found it Right from the start, I should have known I would never finish Rakoff begins with the story of his I wanted to read this book based on the title I think we have a tendency toward excess and from this title I thought it might be a book about focusingon things that matter most and being content with what we already have, etc.Wrong I fully read the first few chapters, but had to resort to skipping to random pages further on looking for something that wouldn t just annoy me Never found it Right from the start, I should have known I would never finish Rakoff begins with the story of his becoming a US citizen He does so with such reluctance and seems to have such buyer s remorse that I have to wonder why he did it to begin with Of course, I know why he did it To vote After living in the US for 20 years or so, the need to vote against George W Bush was the impetus behind becoming a US citizen This bugs me This book isabout politics than anything else, and I am so, so very sick of politics The author is as left leaning as you can get and hits all the items on that checklist This mindset is so off putting to me, and it is equally off putting when worn by the right leaning These divisive political agendas have served no one and gotten us no where in the years that we have suffered through them It s as though we are no longer expected, by others or by ourselves, to use our minds and hearts to make electoral decisions on an individual basis, considering individual issues and individual candidates any I almost wish these elections were blind in a way No political parties mentioned at all.But I digress This book was irritating, whiny, and self indulgent Rakoff does write quite well and, with the exception of his fondness for the word f in all it s variations, could possibly write a book I might like Provided it was void of the same tired political crap I am so sick of Like Sedaris, Rakoff writes in a dry, self deprecating voice that makes him immediately endearing unless you have a problem with left wing gay men These relaxed essays don t rely on family anecdotes as much as Sedaris, nor are they as sentimental Rakoff is a humorist first and the satirical observations on Americanism and a culture of excess make for great light reading that s guilt free, so long as you don t pay 50 lb for imported sea salt from France David Rakoff makes me chuckle and cho Like Sedaris, Rakoff writes in a dry, self deprecating voice that makes him immediately endearing unless you have a problem with left wing gay men These relaxed essays don t rely on family anecdotes as much as Sedaris, nor are they as sentimental Rakoff is a humorist first and the satirical observations on Americanism and a culture of excess make for great light reading that s guilt free, so long as you don t pay 50 lb for imported sea salt from France David Rakoff makes me chuckle and chortle oh so heartily I imagine myself to be laughing at the things smart people laugh at when they read the NEW YORKER Why ve I waited so long to read Rakoff He s the perfect combination of two of my favorites David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs I know, I know, I hate author comparisons, too, but I mean this as the highest compliment Published in 2006, some of these essays are a bit dated, but that didn t hinder my enjoyment Rakoff left this world far too soon I ll honor him by reading his backlist.