I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory. From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions-or perhaps because of them....more
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
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
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
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
it's almost quaint in its lack of risk-taking. sloane crosley comes across as a sweet, self-depreciating, smart...more
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
What bothers me about creative nonfiction/the personal narrative which we are teaching college freshmen across th...more
I suppose this is essentially livejournal lit - as a blog, Crosley would be...more
"As most New Yorkers have done, I have given serious and generous thought to the state of my apartment should I get killed during the day."
"In 1978, my mother painted an abstract picture of herself holding a red orb in her palm. Tw...more
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
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
The essays are funny, but not hilarious. The essay about being a bridesmaid was something to which I could relate in some ways. But overall, she just seemed like every other middle class suburbanite who moves to NYC after college to work in publishing. They get jaded, they feel superior because they've read a lot of classic literature, they w...more
Turns out, the author. Ok that's probably a little harsh and while I'm sure she's actually perfectly nice girl, the way she's presented in the book was just this side of annoying. There was no connection for me, I didn't pull for her to succeed or have sympathy for the situations she found herself in. Who actually agrees to be in the wedding of someone you haven't so much as spoke...more
Disingenuous cover blurbs aside, while some of the pieces were funny, I was eventually turned off by Crosley's flagrant abuse of the colon and her thoughtless sense of humor. The joke about Mormons in her second essay was not only offensive--it was cliché.