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Customer reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 7 January 2009
i'm not sure what these other reviewers were expecting, as they seem to be very disappointed - but i found it to be very very funny and had to stop reading it on the bus as i was laughing too much. she's over-dramatic and pokes fun at things (including herself), and describes things very well. the picture she draws of her parents is priceless. i'm pretty sure her parallels between 9/11 and her miserable job is not supposed to be taken seriously... it's fluff, people! but as far as fluff goes - it's among the best i've read. she makes a very clever and insightful contribution to the "young woman in the city" genre. great stuff.
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on 20 August 2008
I bought this following Nicholas Lezard's rave review in the Guardian and have to admit to being underwhelmed. She has a nice voice and can write well, but the stories are too often boring and inconsequential and she isn't funny enough. David Sedaris does this sort of thing a billion times better.
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on 21 September 2015
This collection of essays is an enjoyable read. Like many other collections before this one, there are some that are better than others but it's a good mix of funny, enlightening and heart warming.
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"... if a soup kitchen is set up in a forest and no news crews are around to see it because they all saw THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and they'll be damned if they're setting one foot in the woods for some stinkin' homeless people, does it count? Somehow I don't think so." - Author Sloane Crosley

I've been considering the title of Sloane Crosley's book, I WAS TOLD THERE'D BE CAKE, trying to perceive the message it sends to the potential reader. I can't quite put my finger on it. It's catchy, though; I like it.

The volume itself is a series of essays on the author's reactions to the minor injustices, unmet expectations, petty annoyances, imponderables, absurdities, and anxieties of her young life. As of today, she's still in her late twenties.

Perhaps the best chapter is the one entitled "You on a Stick", wherein she describes the experience of being chosen as the maid-of-honor by an engaged, former high school "friend" that she barely remembers. A deer caught in headlights is less inconvenienced, apparently.

Perhaps my favorite essayist that ruminates on life and the human condition is Barbara Holland (Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences,When All the World Was Young: A Memoir,Wasn't the Grass Greener). Her view of the world incorporates a certain wisdom and common sense that have evolved from several decades of living beyond what Crosley has experienced. The point I'm trying to make is that Sloane's musings, while certainly diverting and engaging, might perhaps only be taken seriously and thought profound by someone no more than thirty. She has a flair for expression, however, that, seasoned by the years to come, should result in a perception and literary talent that rivals Holland's. Thus, and perhaps unfairly, I'm awarding I WAS TOLD THERE'S BE CAKE only three stars not for what it is now but rather in comparison to the book it could become in 30-40 years.

Of course, somebody age 90, or thirty years older than I am now, may comment that this review is nonsense and I should give credit where credit is due. As a matter of fact, you're welcome to say that no matter what your age.

Returning to the mood conveyed by the title. Petulance, perhaps, or a growing sense of disappointment? I really do like it for its cleverness.
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on 29 April 2016
A collection of laugh out loud stories, perfect for the public transport.
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on 23 August 2012
I have to say I was slightly disappointed. I bought this following a rave review and it just didn't meet my expectations. I found the stories slightly mediocre and almost as if the writer was forcing humor where there was none to be had. Bit to try hard for me.
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on 4 September 2010
Absolutely loved this book - hilariously funny and such an easy read. Perfect holiday/commuting quickie. Recently finished reading How Did You Get This Number by the same author - equally brilliant. My girl-friends are queuing up to borrow both!
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on 19 April 2013
I so desperately wanted to like this one, but four chapters in and I was struggling to read another word. Sloane Crosley comes across as an incredibly privileged young woman who has had no real struggles in life - which is fair enough - but she then attempts to create huge dramas unnecessarily. I forced myself to read through to the end but it just got worse.
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on 26 November 2010
I bought this book because I am a big fan of Chelsea Handler, in particular 'My Horizontal Life' My Horizontal Life and Sloane is mentioned in the book a few times. I thought I would see if this book was any good and it is good but just not as fall-off-your-chair funny as Handler.

The stories have more of a sentimental feel to them and funny lines are dotted around. Still enjoying reading it but I would prefer it to be a bit more outrageously witty, as this was what I was hoping for from a peer of Handler.

So in short -read Chelsea Handler and this either as a warm-up or for when you have read all of her books and are looking for something to fill the void!
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on 28 December 2015
funny and heartfelt
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