From the author of the sensational bestseller I Was Told There'd Be Cake comes a new book of personal essays brimming with all the charm and wit that have earned Sloane Crosley widespread acclaim, award nominations, and an ever-growing cadre of loyal fans. In Cake readers were introduced to the foibles of Crosley's life in New York City-always teetering between the glamour of Manhattan parties, the indignity of entry-level work, and the special joy of suburban nostalgia-and to a literary voice that mixed Dorothy Parker with David Sedaris and became something all its own.
Crosley still lives and works in New York City, but she's no longer the newcomer for whom a trip beyond the Upper West Side is a big adventure. She can pack up her sensibility and takes us with her to Paris, to Portugal (having picked it by spinning a globe and putting down her finger, and finally falling in with a group of Portuguese clowns), and even to Alaska, where the "bear bells" on her fellow bridesmaids' ponytails seemed silly until a grizzly cub dramatically intrudes. Meanwhile, back in New York, where new apartments beckon and taxi rides go awry, her sense of the city has become more layered, her relationships with friends and family more complicated.
As always, Crosley's voice is fueled by the perfect witticism, buoyant optimism, flair for drama, and easy charm in the face of minor suffering or potential drudgery. But in How Did You Get This Number it has also become increasingly sophisticated, quicker and sharper to the point, more complex and lasting in the emotions it explores. And yet, Crosley remains the unfailingly hilarious young Everywoman, healthily equipped with intelligence and poise to fend off any potential mundanity in maturity.
Nine thoughtful, unfussy essays by the author of the collection I Was Told There'd Be Cake navigate around illusions of youth in the hope that by young adulthood they'll all add up to happiness. The account of Crosley's footloose adventure to Lisbon on the eve of her 30th birthday starts things off in rollicking fashion in Show Me on the Doll : without proficient language skills, getting hopelessly lost in the labyrinth of Bairro Alto, and panicking in front of the myriad QVC channels offered by her hotel, Crosley recognizes that Lisbon was a place with a painfully disproportionate self-reflection-to-experience ratio. There is the requisite essay about moving to New York and replacing her anorexic-kleptomaniac roommate with a more acceptable living arrangement: in Crosley's case, delineated in Take a Stab at It, she is interviewed by the creepily disembodied current occupier of a famous former brothel on the Bowery, McGurk's Suicide Hall. As well, Crosley delivers witty, syncopated takes on visiting Alaska and Paris, and finding much consolation from a two-timing heartbreak in New York by buying stolen items from her upholstery guy, Daryl, who found them fallen Off the Back of a Truck, as the delightful last selection is titled. These essays are fresh, funny, and eager to be loved.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A great summer read
Funny, well-written, engaging, insightful. Reminds me a little of Sedaris.
Very good writing
Not as funny as Sedaris, but very good.
How Did YTou Get This Number
Sloan Crosley is wickedly funny! I laughed out loud! Books never make me laugh out loud! This one did! I have to reread it before I write a sensible review…..but if you know me, you know I love books and that I never laugh outloud at books! Okay, so I will reread and try this again when I finish! Meanwhile, I recommend this book. If you are depressed postpone all decisions until you read this book!