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214 Reviews
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I had always chalked up my feelings of isolation as a child to being a child"
If you have American kids -- or may have them someday -- did you ever think of raising them in an interesting foreign country so they could come back as teens with a high coolness quotient? No? Would you send a Jewish ten-year-old to a Christian summer camp? and if you did, would you be surprised to hear that she played Mary in the "Christmas in July" pageant after the...
Published on September 17, 2008 by Linda Bulger

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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A writer worth watching
I was drawn to this book because the pull quote on the cover said it was in the tradition of Sederis and Vowell. While I am glad I read it, it is not a must read. Crosley is talented but can be predictable and cliché. She lacks self-awareness. At the same time, she's terribly funny (she even pulls off mean funny), gutsy and admirably self-confident. She's best...
Published on May 7, 2008 by M. Hood


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to be funny, August 17, 2008
By 
Monk24 "monk24" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
It is hard to pinpoint what the writer does wrong - she follows all the standard ways of creating funny prose: unusual situations or embarrassing hobbies or behaviours (the first chapter is about collecting toy ponies), using unexpected adjectives (it is not just a pony, it is a chronically dehydrated pony) and everyday situations described in a hilarious way. Except that the result is not funny and the descriptions are not hilarious- they are boring. It is sad - you can feel that she so much wanted to be the new David Sedaris, but alas, this book is a waste of time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Finish a thought already!!, December 15, 2008
By 
Victoria (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
I so wanted to like this book. I am an obsessive fan of David Sedaris and when I read in one of the critics' comments that she is comparable to his writing style I thought for sure I had a winner. Furthermore, one of my dearest friends told me that when she read this book, it was my voice she had pictured in her head. Perfect! Let the laughing begin.
Wrong.
With the exception of a few snigger-worthy moments, this book is just a compilation of endless brain tangents. She'll start the telling of one story and just as you think it's going to amount to something, she completely digresses into some random musing. What you end up with is a series of diluted, and truthfully, very boring self deprecating yarns.
Very disappointing.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Suggested With: A Long Island Ice Tea (it's in line with the constant references to New York and it'll help you find humor in the mundane)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars some are better than others, August 16, 2008
This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
I kind of love this book. Crosley is not quite funny enough, and not quite neurotic enough, but there's a happy balance in there somewhere and this was a comfortable, entertaining, quick read. The first few stories almost put me off, the first one being particularly ridiculous and a serious stretch of patience, but halfway into the book and I couldn't put it down. She has a long way to go if she's aspiring to be David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs, because her book is definitely mapped out in an identical way - it's a collection of short, humorous 'autobiographical' stories, but there wasn't anything that absolutely made me laugh out loud, even though I know the attempt was plainly there. Regardless, Crosley definitely has a handle on the clever metaphor, and there are a lot of quotable lines in this book, and in the end I think she and I are a lot alike. Maybe that's why I kind of love it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I was told it would be funny, April 29, 2009
By 
OU Fan (Dallas, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
and it wasn't as "hilarious and witty" as the reviews I read raved about this book. I took this book on vacation, expecting to laugh hysterically as I lounged and drank by the pool. Several margaritas later, still no laughs. This book had it's moments that made me smile, like Oregon Trail Day (which was quite funny) but overall, lacked the bite that I expected. The concepts behind the stories were fun and quirky, but they fizzled out after a couple of pages. It seemed like the author took one thought and created a giant run-on sentence with it that wasn't all that funny. I really wanted to like this book because I do like sarcasm and wit, but was pretty disappointed. That being said, I do see potential with this author and hope she'll develop more over time.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I was told this book was funny..., July 3, 2008
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This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
Someone lied. It took me 4 months to get through this book. I kept waiting for the sparkling wit and sardonic charm, I didn't laugh once while reading it. Not a giggle or chuckle not even a tiny, muffled cackle. Someone had the nerve to compare her to a modern day Dorothy Parker? That man should be slapped. Without mercy. Continuously. For eternity. That's just sacrilege. I want my money back and I want all those wasted hours back too! And Sloane, I know you're going to read this (what first time author doesn't read their reviews), it's nothing personal you're just not funny. At least I have my new David Sedaris to read, I can count on that to be clever and to make me laugh.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Browsing, October 9, 2008
This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
I was just browsing in one of the airport book shops with no plans to purchase a book. I am in recovery from an eating disorder and when I saw this title it immediately drew me to the book. I started reading it and from the very first paragraph I could relate, not in a recovered eating disorder way but in a life way. I remembered when I myself lived in New York, it brought back so many of those teenaged memories. I had to buy it. I read the book by the time my trip was over. I loved it and would reccomend it to any female who is looking for those fun reminders of growing up and becomming a young adult.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fails to be interesting or funny, August 13, 2009
This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
Like many others that got this book, I'm a huge fan of Sedaris and Burroughs. This book is nothing like their work. For example, Sedaris gets asked to undress or watch pornography while cleaning a confused man's apartment. Crosley locks herself out of her apartment. This is the difference. His stories are wild and humorous, hers are average and only funny if it's being told by your friend at a bar. In fact, my friends have better stories to tell and funnier ways to tell them. It became a task to finish the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, but badly in need of editing, June 30, 2010
This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
There are some really funny moments in the book and a few memorable turns of phrase--I liked the observation on the masturbatory nature of the Oregon Trail, for example. However, in that same essay, I also noticed a pretty big editing error--while throughout she describes "fording the river" (using the well-known phrasing of the computer game), by the essay's punchline she is "forging" the river. Editing throughout is quite sloppy--numerous other errors like this, but a lot of work still remained to be done in terms of pacing and paring down wordiness.

The voice in this book is inconsistent--at times, it tries too hard to be self-consciously funny, and at others, it descends into narcissism or self-deprecation and then really has to work to become likable. There is, as I think others have noted, little self-awareness.

All that said, I did want to like this book, and I found enough to like that I read through until the end. Claiming that she is in the same league as Parker or Sedaris is setting readers up for disappointment and doing those authors a disservice. Instead, I think if Crosley continues to work at her craft and finds a good editor to work with her promising material, her essays could be great.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time, September 15, 2009
By 
Laura D. Franco (Ferndale, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
I decided to give this book a shot since it got some pretty good reviews. I was disappointed. This book is not funny and I kept waiting for something/anything funny to happen and nothing. I got to about page 100 and decided Sloane's time was up, she needed to get the boot and quick.

Her essays have nothing to them. No sarcasm, no humor, nothing. I don't get where she was trying to be funny??
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one - not worth the time, June 28, 2009
This review is from: I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (Paperback)
Skip this - seriously, it's not worth it and it's really not funny. The writing itself just seemed arduous - what you'd expect from college level english students. Metaphors were stretched beyond limits to try and get a laugh. It didn't work.
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I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays
I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays by Sloane Crosley (Paperback - April 1, 2008)
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