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  • Published: New York : Doubleday, c2010.
  • Year Published: 2010
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 224 p. ; 22 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780385525244
  • 0385525249

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Half empty

by Rakoff, David.

There are currently 7 available

Where To Find It

Call number: 817 Ra

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Fl., DISPLAY, Downtown 3rd Floor, Malletts Adult, Traverwood Adult

Additional Details

The bleak shall inherit -- Shrimp -- Isn't it romantic? -- The satisfying crunch of dreams underfoot -- Dark meat -- On juicy -- A capacity for wonder -- I feel dirty -- All the time we have -- Another shoe.

The inimitably witty David Rakoff defends the commonsensical notion that you should always assume the worst, because you'll never be disappointed. In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won't come true. Whether he's lacerating the musical Rent for its cutesy depiction of AIDS or dealing with personal tragedy, his sharp observations and humorist's flair for the absurd will have you positively reveling in the power of negativity.--From publisher description.

Community Reviews

Half Empty-- great read

In his essays-- focused on the topics pessimism at the turn of the 21st century, Rakoff’s unsuccessful attempt at an acting career, the musical RENT’s romanticized view of the lifestyles it presents, and the recurrence of Rakoff’s cancer (among others)-- Rakoff warns of the dangers of positivity. However, he was not too heavy handed with the anti-optimism, rather, it served as a thread to connect all of the book’s essays.

Rakoff is an excellent writer. His prose is somewhat heavy, not allowing for decent skimming, but it is worth it to take the extra time and read Rakoff’s sentences slowly. Rakoff’s humor sneaks up on you—he isn’t broad, but I found myself reading a sentence and laughing aloud on more than one occasion. Though a few of the essays moved a little slowly (the first one was actually the hardest one for me to get through), all are worth reading.

The final essay in the book, “Another Shoe” is absolutely phenomenal, and if you don’t have time to read the entire book, it’s worth buying or borrowing just for the single essay. It takes the reader through Rakoff’s discovery of a tumor in his arm, his fears that the arm will need to be amputated, and his thoughts on the struggle with cancer. And, I don’t want to spoil anything, but the final sentence of the essay made me look at the entire book in a new light.

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