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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  8,362 Ratings  ·  367 Reviews
A frequent contributor to the New York Times magazine, Outside, Salon, and GQ, and a regular on Public Radio International's "This American Life,"David Rakoff's debut collection of essays is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and take-your-breath-away poignant.

David Rakoff is a fish out of water. Whether he finds himself on assignment climbing Mount Monadnock in New Hamps
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 23rd 2002 by Anchor Canada (first published 2001)
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Jul 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's unfortunate that my first impulse, one common to many readers, is to compare David Rakoff to David Sedaris. Because compared to Sedaris's winning alchemy of wit and absurdity, Rakoff's stories at first seem a little wan. To the hearty comedy that is "Me Talk Pretty One Day," "Fraud" might be a bitter, hemophiliac sibling. But I think I might prefer Rakoff for exactly this reason. Rakoff is less interested in mining a situation for its inherent inanity than he is in investigating his own cyn ...more
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. Honestly, I really did. I love Rakoff's work on NPR's This American Llife, so I was really surprised as to how unlikeable this book was. At this point, the author had as of yet to cement his persona as a loveable curmudgeon, and instead comes off as cranky and self righteous. He also seems to be pre-occupied with the task of impressing the audience with his vast vocabulary, instead of drawing the reader into his work. Long story short, the subtext of this book ...more
Oct 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Snarky Mc Snarkington, Fudgy McPacker, & Jewy McHebrew
I was lucky enough to meet David Rakoff when I hosted him for a bookstore reading. Along with David Sedaris & Sarah Vowell, he was on an NPR speaking tour. He is definitely as entertaining as the aforementioned authors; seeing the 3 of them in a group reading was a highlight of my literary life.
His essays could best be characterized as lefty whining, but with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Hard to pick just one favorite in this collection, but the Steven Segal/Buddhist workshop piece is pre
Justin Hudnall
Dec 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The patient
One thing needs to happen before I can say I like David Rakof without wincing:

Some kind hearted thief needs to steal the man's thesaurus. I'm all for the three dollar words, but this man's vocabulary earns the adjective "audacious." To hear him read his work, when he trips over one of these little jewels, his voice slows to purr over it like a deer on a salt lick, and the effect is sickening. It's a shame, considering he is really funny and a true wit, when not mining his own prose with the lite
Andrew Breslin
I pity David Rakoff. It must be tough to go through life as a witty and urbane gay writer of amusingly embellished autobiographical essays frequently featured on This American Life named David, unless you are the other one. I'm not even going to say the other one's name, because I'm sure 90% of the reviews on here already mention it, and I want to stand out from the crowd.

(Hint: it ryhmes with "Ted, wear this.")

Yes, it's very well written and quite funny, but it's not fall-off-your-chair-laughi
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I secretly like to pride myself on a well-endowed disinclination toward celebrity reverence and any urge to wed, I realized at some point along these (or maybe it was that other book's) delightfully self-deprecating, melodramatic pages that, nope, I only misunderstood. Actually, I simply want to be—or, failing that, marry—a very specific, gay, deceased man.

He runs around a makeshift Colosseum (it looks a lot like a bathroom because it's his bathroom) shouting to himself, "ARE YOU NOT ENTE
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
This is the late essayist and NPR (This American Life) contributor’s first book. Two more followed in his too short life-span—he died in 2012 at 47. The cause was his second battle with cancer. A recounting of the first, when he was in his young 20s, closes this collection. A posthumous verse-novel has since been published to strong praise. The buzz for the novel and my own optimistic compulsion to begin at the beginning, assuming a good thing would only get better, led me to start with this vol ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A collection of humorous essays, both autobiographical and based on journalistic assignments. A homosexual and a Jew, Rakoff plays up his neuroses and fears as he discusses his early career in publishing as the bottom rung of the assistant ladder; the cancer that forced him to leave Japan where he worked as a translator; his work as a bit actor in television. He’s self-effacing and funny, but also startlingly perspicacious; his insight on how teachers think (in his piece on Austrian cultural-exc ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I wanted to say something about how reading David Rakoff's work expands my brain and my emotions, but after finishing the last essay in which he talks about searching for 3 sperm samples he gave before going through the chemotherapy in 1987 that would eventually lead to the cancer that killed him just a few days ago...I find myself expanded by the experience of him and his writing, but at a loss at the blindness we each suffer from in our lives. Of course, Rakoff couldn't have known that ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of David Rakoff after his death. An interview he had with Terry Gross was played in his memory on Fresh Air. It was an intriguing interview where he talked about the loss of his arm and at that time was hopeful that his cancer was not progressing. His way of speaking made me want to read his books and I'm so glad to have started with Fraud.

Fraud is a collection of Essays David wrote. Each one is fun and tells a story from a looking back perspective. You will laugh frequently while
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David Rakoff (November 27, 1964 – August 9, 2012) was an essayist, journalist, and actor. Originally from Canada, Rakoff was a graduate of Columbia University, he obtained dual Canadian-American citizenship in 2003, and resided for much of his life in New York City. His brother Simon is a stand-up comedian.

Rakoff wrote for the New York Times Magazine, Outside, GQ, Vogue and Salon. He was a frequen
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“What remains of your past if you didn't allow yourself to feel it when it happened? If you don't have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories.” 25 likes
“Not being funny doesn’t make you a bad person. Not having a sense of humor does.” 15 likes
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