Note to public-radio trainspotters: Rakoff's passing account of Disney World overlaps with friend and fellow This American Life correspondent Sarah Vowell's own account, as included in her book Take The Cannoli.
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Reviews Book Review. Joshua Klein. Filed to: Books. David Rakoff. From This American Life alum David Rakoff comes a hilarious collection that single-handedly raises self-deprecation to an art form. Whether impersonating Sigmund Freud in a department store window during the holidays, climbing an icy mountain in cheap loafers, or learning primitive survival skills in the wilds of New Jersey, Rakoff clearly demonstrates how he doesn't belong—nor does he try to.
I think if I wanted to read what a guy actually said, i'd open a history book or something. Fraud is extremely average. You certainly get tired of it as you move along, though it is the final essays that strike you as the most memorable.
Would I ask a person to buy it, I guess it all has to do with that person's ability to completey waste his time or whether the've got deep pockets to actually afford a hardcover edition of this literary flea of a book. New York this wasn't You're magnificent. The preface quote says it all: "You're maudlin and full of self-pity. 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.
Fraud: David Rakoff: Books - chlorinwacomde.gq
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.
One person found this helpful. Format: Paperback.
Reading the reviews below I was struck over and over by the fact that people are comparing Rakoff to David Sedaris. Besides the facts that they are both young, gay and urban, what's to compare? He quietly, politely refused, "Gee, Stuart, I'm kinda frightened of places without sidewalks. Rakoff's urbanity makes Woody Allen seem like a suburbanite. Rakoff is not afraid to make fun of himself, knowing that there are lots of Canadian-fearing, antisemitic homophobes out there who are waiting with baited breath to put him down.
And that's not paranoia. That's wonderful, funny, charming, clever, intelligent, witty, weird writing. I made the mistake of taking my newly purchased copy of FRAUD to a hamburger joint where I laughed out loud until I made a total fool of myself. It was the three kids at the table next to mine, pointing and staring, who made me close the book and leave the restaurant.
If you have ever lived in New York or know someone who has or if you would simply like to laugh til you hurt, read Rakoff. You won't be far into the book when you'll be shaking your head, sighing, "Oh, God, it's me!
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