karen's Reviews > How Did You Get This Number

How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
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Jun 16, 11

bookshelves: nonfictions
Read in June, 2011

sloane crossley offends me on a number of levels.

as a new yorker.*
as a woman.
as an american.
as a taxpayer.

and there are essays in this collection to back up each of these personal twinges of disgust.

but mostly, she offends me as a bookseller. and it may not be her fault, entirely. part of the blame must rest with whatever higher-than-me part of the bn machine it is that classifies books in our system.

sloane crossley is categorized as "humor".

now, she is a girl with a background in publishing, so you know she knows some people in the biz. and she probably had some sort of claw in the pudding to get her book where she wanted it, but lemme just tell you emphatically- she is not funny.if i am reading a "humor" book, my expectations are that i will laugh at least one time. but no. not even a giggle.

this is my second sloane crossley book,and i'm sorry, this isn't a matter of personal taste: the woman is not funny.i loved the title of her first collection, but the book did nothing for me, and this one does even less.

i think david sedaris is funny. i think david rakoff is funny. barnes and noble thinks that they should be in "essays" with emerson and montaigne, while sloane "look at my perky...smile" crossley should go in humor. it makes me feel like a liar when i have to direct people toward this book in that section. it complicates my day.

i don't mind if people want to write self-indulgent memoirs. that is everyone's right as a human. but i don't have as much of the voyeur spirit as a lot of people of my generation, and i don't read a lot of memoirs. but i'll read humorous essays, no problem. so to try to trick me into reading about your european jet-setting and failed relationships?? you are elizabeth gilbert with a sexier name, nothing more.

this is just a book of whining.

this review is excellent. and i totally agree with her about the "three star pity fuck." i have given my share of those before, but this time, she gets a two.and if i read another one, it will probably get a one.

why would i read another one??
i like to know my enemy.


sara barron, please write another book, pleeeeease!




*sigh, no i wasn't born here, but i been here 16 years, and i have more respect for the new york that was than this new new york full of bicycles and smoking regulations and double-wide baby strollers. westchester imports like sloane crossly have ruined this city.


because, okay, here is one of my problems. she started out one essay in a way which showed promise: she discussed the different levels of tolerance new yorkers have for certain day-to-day things we have to endure. she says that some new yorkers hate the subway musicians but slow tourist street walkers don't bother them or vice versa etc. and listed a bunch of different obstacles and annoyances, and i was totally on board with that, because i have my own internal list of things that bug me daily, and i thought me and sloane were finally gonna connect. but then she lists the number one universal thing that allll new yorkers hate the most. and it is.... cab smell. now here's the problem. no one i know takes cabs every day. because they are unnecessary. even if i was rolling in money, i wouldn't take a cab ever day. because i am not a princess and i am capable of walking or riding the subway. so it's not as though i am assaulted by cab smell every day, like whiny sloane crossley who gets out of a cab a block away from where she was picked up because she can't handle the odor and refuses to give the cabbie any money. because it's his problem she's so weak.and then to turn her personal discomfort into a universal truth "this is what alll new yorkers hate the most." it's arrogant, and did i mention unfunny??

i wish a hundred smelly cabs upon her.
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Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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message 1: by Flannery (new)

Flannery I read the first story in this one and then returned it to the library. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


karen she's just not funny! i don't get it!!


message 3: by Greg (new)

Greg I like that she is in humor so I don't have to deal with her books.


message 4: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate I wasn't impressed with her first book, so I've been in no hurry to read this one either.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Totally agree. Nice review.


karen i was so afraid i was going to be assaulted by sloane-trolls telling me i was mean. this feels good.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I read her cake one and it dull, dull, dull!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I read her cake one and found it okay. I didn't feel that it was as good as the publicity surrounding it made it sound. WAYYYYY over-publicized!!! And, honestly, after reading it, I felt as if I could write down some weird crap that's happened to me over the years, not even write it WELL, and then hit up some hipster publishing people to sell it to the public as "art." So, I do have to give Sloane credit for one thing: it mobilized my procrastinated, dull brain into thinking it could be a millionaire someday.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

By the way, thanks for the invite Karen.


karen i hope it proves useful for you!!


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I'm not planning on reading this one because I disliked the first one. Agreed, she isn't funny. She hasn't had enough life experience to be funny, and she has this strange habit of thinking certain things about her limited experience can be applied universally. There were several examples in the first book, and the cab smell sounds like more of the same.


karen yes exactly!! she has no "thinking about others" button. like a small child, she is the whole universe. in her head.


message 13: by Nate D (new)

Nate D I only am aware of Sloane Crosley from trying to google the origins of the phrase "I was told there'd be cake" and getting only her first book. I still want to know the origins of this phrase, because it definitely pre-dates her.


message 14: by Flannery (new)

Flannery "We were led to believe there'd be punch and pie here" is definitely a line from the South Park movie circa 1999, which is definitely before her book. There's no way she invented that phrase.


karen did she invent self-absorption??


karen oh, most definitely.

"elizabeth" is like the rustling of sexy bed-curtains"


message 17: by Nick (new)

Nick Black lol, who is this woman? i've never heard of her.


karen exactly.

and i just realized i spelled her name wrong every single time in this review AND I AM NOT GOING TO CHANGE IT!!!

she's a girl who used to work in publishing and probably heard coworkers say "you're so funny, you should write a book" and took them up on it...


message 19: by Will (new)

Will Byrnes Having driven smelly cabs, I have a smidgen of sympathy but that is quickly crushed by a passing bike messenger who just ran a light.


karen i have total sympathy for cabbies who have to ride in the smell their whole shift. i have less sympathy for sloane crosley who is a princess.


message 21: by Will (new)

Will Byrnes Agreed, none at all. I do, however, resent the scent of presumption that so often accompanies privilege.


message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen Hmm...I don't think this person should have to be punished with smelly cabs. Maybe she should be given cake, endless plates of cake. While riding the subway.


karen aw, but that sounds nice!


message 24: by Jen (new)

Jen It sounds strangely sinister to me. Forced cake eating like bruce bogtrotter while riding the subway non-stop. "Oh yes, dear, we have cake. There's always cake to be had. Just try the subway. They give every rider cake. All. the. time."




message 25: by Greg (new)

Greg It should be that cake they have at buffets that looks really good but then tastes like reconstituted cardboard.


karen yeah, okay - that is sinister....


message 27: by Jen (new)

Jen It might just be that I am just more than a little scared of the subway. Anything added to subway riding, chocolate perhaps, could turn into an uncontrollable situation.


message 28: by Will (last edited Jun 21, 2011 02:01PM) (new)

Will Byrnes Perhaps it could be yellowcake. Yummm!

Is it ready yet, Mom?


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I so agree and I've only made my way through 26 minutes of the audiobook version. I don't think I'll finish. Way, way too annoying...especially since I just finished reading a David Rakoff book of essays that had me laughing out loud.


karen yeah! hooray for rakoff!


Oliver Bateman the "iconic and irresistible" sloane presley? lawlz.


Oliver Bateman Ah, auto-correct. "Crosley" to "Presley." Appropriate, I suppose.


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