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I Was Told There'd Be Cake

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  23,771 ratings  ·  3,209 reviews
From getting locked out of her flat twice on the same day and being fired for baking a giant cookie in the shape of her boss's head, to playing bridesmaid for a friend she'd long forgotten, Sloane Crosley can do no right, despite the best of intentions. With sharp, original and irresistible storytelling that confounds expectations at every turn, Crosley recounts her victor ...more
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published (first published April 2008)
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RandomAnthony
HOW TO WRITE A MEMOIR/PERSONAL COLLECTION OF ESSAYS LIKE SEDARIS, BURROUGHS, VOWELL, KLOSTERMAN, AND NOW SLOANE CROSBY:

So you want to be a successful memoirist/personal essayist? Follow these ten steps and wait for the book deals to roll into your mailbox!

1. Write about your upbringing in ways that make it sound charming in its quirkiness (e.g. the Vowell/Klosterman strategy), charming in its weirdness (the Sedaris strategy) or terrifying (the Burroughs strategy). Under no circumstances should y
...more
Jen
I started writing a review 1/2 way through the book because I had a lot to say about Ms. Crossley. I'm posting the 1/2 way point review because I just couldn't finish the book.
*****

I’m more then 1/2 way through “I Was Told There’d Be Cake”, a book of essays by Sloane Crosley. I started it Sunday, by this morning’s bus ride I’ve plowed through this book relatively easily. She’s a good writer. She manages to keep my ever wandering attention as I over stimulate myself on Muni with a coffee, my ipod
...more
kira
What can I say?

I never intended to read this book. I probably never would have, had I not received it in a publicity mailing at work. The day it arrived, I was between books and just wanted something to read on the subway. So I did. And then I kept reading.

I tend to not like to read books by "successful" people around my age. If the books suck, I'm angry for wasting my time. Worse, if they're actually good, I'm angry that this person, who might as well be me, actually had the motivation and ene
...more
Sean
First, I have to be fair-I only read about 3/4 of this book because it was all I could stand. Maybe the last 1/4 was amazing.

I found it rambling, uninspired, boring and not very funny. It sounded like the stories you tell your friends-your friends think the stories are funny because they know you. Maybe they even tell you that you're really funny and you should write all these stories down and publish them because you are so funny and your stories are so unique. But you know better. You know tha
...more
christa
this book isn't bad, but it isn't good either. it just is. most of the essays are about as quirky as your mom after two glasses of wine, putting her hand over her mouth and gasping about the 'sh-' word. sloane crosley is scared she will suffer an untimely death and whoever cleans out her apartment will find her stash of toy ponies. ... this is not really the stuff of shocking hilarity.

it's almost quaint in its lack of risk-taking. sloane crosley comes across as a sweet, self-depreciating, smart
...more
Caris
I don't know your name. Not really. Your name on this site is at least as likely to be fictitious as it is to be true. My name is Caris. This is my real name.

More often than not, when people see my name independent from my person, they think I am female. I cannot tell you how many times I've been referred to as Miss O'Malley during role call on the first day of high school. And I probably don't have to tell you how mortifying that was. As an adult, I've come to appreciate it. I feel that I've go
...more
A
Sloane Crosley is similar to me and my friends in education, background, life experience, career trajectory, and the like. The big difference is she has a book deal, and we do not. As such, I tried to read this with an open mind and not hate her off the bat.

Turned out that was all an unnecessary gesture on my part, as even someone completely remote from her experience would realize she is one of the most talentless hacks to come along in ages. This book was unbearable! These "essays" (more accu
...more
R.
I found that each essay had, hovering in the background, an exquisite sadness. An aching. To belong, to have belonged. A desire to not fuck up despite a penchant for fucking up.

This book may be, on the surface, a collection of humorous essays; but a ghost, called Lost Opportunities, hovers beneath that glassy surface, knocking.

Longing to breathe.

Longing to breathe the air of a wider, gentler world and to drop the burden of the "Lost".

To be found.

Frannie Fretnot
I gave this book a snarky review a few years ago that several GoodReads readers liked, but since reading the whole book (and maturing maybe just a tiny bit), I feel much more generous toward Crosley and her brand of innocently naughty humor.
Tea Jovanović
Dosadniju i pretenciozniju knjigu davno nisam držala u rukama... Ali sam zbog posla bila prinuđena da je pročitam... Jel' je čitao još neko?
Felicity
Jul 09, 2008 Felicity rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one (not even my worst enemy!)
This book is so awful, so awful I couldn't bring myself to finish it. Maybe I just missed the punch lines (I think these essays were meant to be humorous), but my overwhelming response to these essays was "So what?" Apparently, they are based upon Ms. Crosley's life--I hate to break it to her, but I just don't think her life has been that interesting. The final affront was an apparent joke in her less-than-humorous essay about a possible move to Australia (thank goodness for us Australians she n ...more
Aaron
May 31, 2008 Aaron rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those wanting to learn to become more effectively self-referential
Recommended to Aaron by: salon.com
It's hard not to blame David Sedaris for Sloane Crosley. I mean to use "blame" lightly - I don't think Sloane Crosley is a thing anyone should necessary be sorry for, but by popularizing the whole "my family is weird in a way that is eccentric but essentially without serious conflict" genre of self-data mining, he's opened the door for people like Crosley to tell very similar stories about their OWN harmless strangeness.

I suppose this is essentially livejournal lit - as a blog, Crosley would be
...more
Michele
Apr 15, 2008 Michele rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 20-somethings
Essays for Twenty-Somethings
Always on the lookout for a new, fresh voice, and one touted as a "mercurial wit" on a par with David Sedaris and Dorothy Parker, had to be good, right? Well . . . I'm sorry to report these front and back cover comparisons are just good copywriting. I'm not saying this author isn't talented. She is. She's funny, smart, quirky, writes well, and has a few 20-something stories to relate to, perhaps, essay-readers of her generation and fellow Manhattan-ites who may never
...more
Katie
This was our May 2008 book club read...can't say I was thrilled with it. The point was often missing from many of the essays, and while I laughed and happily flipped through the pages, the content seemed better suited for a blog than a book. Crosley has a good voice, but I just didn't see the magic that other essayists - like the ubiquitous but amazing David Sedaris - bring to their books. You won't be bored reading this, but it's more like you're listening to your friend tell you some funny thi ...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
“I was told there’d be cake”

Sloane Crosley.. we had such high hopes for you.

reading your pony story in radar, it seemed that reading your book was an awesome idea. if something makes you smile that much and it is only a single chapter from a book.. the rest MUST be excellent… right?

no. couldn’t have been more wrong.

when this book was first purchased, i was very pleased to read the pony story again. i imagined with horror the looks your family would give, when stumbling across your plastic pony c
...more
oriana
Mar 24, 2010 oriana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to oriana by: kira
Shelves: read-2010
Oh man, this book was so much fun. These essays are light without being inconsequential, funny without trying too hard, snarky without being cruel (mostly), and smart without being pedantic. Great, great little rants on the hell of being a bridesmaid, the shame of locking yourself out of your apartment (in your pajamas! before you've even had a cup of coffee!), the dirty secrets we keep in our apartments (first line of the first essay: "As most New Yorkers have done, I have given serious thought ...more
Ryan
The jacket of this book simultaneously sold and ruined the book for me. I bought it based on the blurb on the cover (from Jonathan Lethem no less!) comparing her to David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell, and the back where another author calls her the twenty-first century Dorothy Parker. I was intrigued. The power of the blurb: I probably wouldn't have even picked up the book in the store without them, but those are some pretty big shoes to fill, and I think my expectations were a little high.

I enjoye
...more
Whitney
The nice thing about a collection of essays is that you can read one, put the book down, and come back to it later, and not really have to remember what you read before.

Even if I hadn't been stuck on a plane for 6 hours, I probably would have read most of Sloan Crosley's essays in one sitting. They're funny and a little sad, and easy to relate to. I couldn't put the book down, and frankly, I didn't want to.

Thanks Sloan Crosley, for making my six hour flight to Boston (in the middle seat, no le
...more
Tim Lepczyk
Sloane Crosley isn't the reason I dislike most creative nonfiction, but she writes from the same sense of smallness that leaves me as a reader thinking, so what? So, you collect plastic ponies, so you've lost your wallet and had it returned a bunch of times, so you were a maid of honor and a jerk to your friend, so you almost were sick but just ate too much spinach instead, who cares?

What bothers me about creative nonfiction/the personal narrative which we are teaching college freshmen across th
...more
Jaclyn
It's true that to enjoy "I Was Told There'd Be Cake," you have to be in Sloane Crosley's target audience, and it's true that her target audience is a fairly small group. Sloane writes for people just like herself... young professionals with a suburbanite upbringing, trying to make it in [insert industry here] in [insert big city here].

Sloane is a young publishing professional trying to make it in New York City.

Replace "publishing professional" with "lawyer" and replace "New York City" with "Wash
...more
Christina
Jul 25, 2008 Christina rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: social anthropologists in the year 2200
I learned nothing from this book. Except, had I thought to compile my blog posts and everyday suburban thoughts into a book of essays, I could have been published by age 30.

Sloane would be the spokeswoman of my generation if she had anything moderately interesting to say about us. However, after reading her book about our shared lives of relative privilege I feel as though I was raised in Wonder Bread world with not so much as a dash of Arby's sauce. I have no idea why any of the stories about h
...more
George
If someone wants to read this book, I am willing to swap.

Sloane Crosley writes essays about herself. She has a smooth, polished writing style. Her titles are great – standouts include “The Pony Problem,” “Bring-Your-Machete-to-Work-Day” and of course “I Was Told There’d Be Cake.” Some of her essays are funny and insightful. I particularly liked “The Ursula Cookie” and “Sign Language for Infidels.”

Memoir writing is popular now, but there are pitfalls. The first has to do with staging. Basically,
...more
jess
I used to love the Sedaris/Burroughs/Rackoff/Vowell genre of dry, hilariously NPR-ready personal essays that walk a delicate line between hometown main street and midtown manhattan. I've spent weeks of my life listening to David, David & Sarah's audio books. I've poured over Augusten's childhood memories and discussed them at cocktail parties. In this genre it is best if you are gay (male) or have gay friends (female), grew up in a suburb, still speak to your parents, and majored in somethin ...more
Jenny
Sloane Crosley might make an interesting blogger and you'd read her stuff every once in a while when you're super bored at work but essay after essay in a book was too much. None of the stories were particularly funny or interesting. Reading the book was very much like meeting someone that all of your friends like and you've heard about this person non-stop and then you meet them and they're not particularly funny or interesting. At first you try to like them as much as everyoen else does but th ...more
Trin
Exhibit A in the case for why every single vaguely snarky person who gets good laughs when telling stories at parties should not be encouraged to publish a memoir/collection of personal essays. Don’t get me wrong: Crosley is a perfectly decent writer, but her experiences are just so everyday that reading this collection, I found myself puzzled as to why I was encountering it in book form as opposed to on someone’s LJ or something. So she had a bad boss! She went to camp! She has a funny name! Sh ...more
TK421
I kind of feel as if Crosley had a few good ideas for some essays and then was told to make it a book, which forced her to add some really stupid shit. There's no doubt that Crosley has some serious potential as a writer...we'll just have to wait and see.

WASTE OF TIME (but there are some nuggets in there)
Nicky
The blurb on the cover compares her to David Sedaris. The blurb on the back compares her to Dorothy Parker. These people are out of their fucking minds. Sloane Crosley has a lot of interesting anecdotes in her arsenal, but she doesn't know how to tell them without boring the shit out of you.
Katie
I purchased this book because it was prominently displayed at Borders and the review on the cover insisted "Crosley is another mordant and mercurial wit from the realm of Sedaris and Vowell." If by realm the reviewer meant same planet, then yes, Crosley is from the realm of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell. Otherwise, Jonathan Lethem either takes drugs, is a pathological liar, or received sexual favors from Crosley to write that for the cover.

None of the essays even made me chuckle. Not one. In f
...more
Katherine
I really liked this book. More than I expected and more than is justified by the quality of the writing or the stories. The bottom line is that this is a book about twenty-something girls who grew up in the suburbs and live in New York - and I like that (much as I like myself). It also probably marks the first time I've read a book that described someone's childhood and realized, by the shock of recognition, that it occurred during the same time as my own (Crosley is five years older than me). O ...more
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Sloane Crosley (born August 3, 1978) is a writer living in New York. She graduated from Connecticut College in 2000 with a degree in creative writing. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, BlackBook magazine, The New York Observer, The Village Voice, Playboy Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Mirabella, and numerous other literary journals and websites. Her collection of essays, I W ...more
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“Life starts out with everyone clapping when you take a poo and goes downhill from there. ” 111 likes
“I do want to get married. It's a nice idea. Though I think husbands are like tattoos--you should wait until you come across something you want on your body for the rest of your life instead of just wandering into a tattoo parlor on some idle Sunday and saying, 'I feel like I should have one of these suckers by now. I'll take a thorny rose and a "MOM" anchor, please. No, not that one--the big one.” 71 likes
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