Half Empty by David Rakoff

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Synopsis

The inimitably witty David Rakoff, New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Get Too Comfortable, 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,  gosh­ 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.

The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experi­ences: the moment when being a tiny child no longer meant adults found him charming but instead meant other children found him a fun target; the perfect late evening in Manhattan when he was young and the city seemed to brim with such pos­sibility that the street shimmered in the moonlight—as he drew closer he realized the streets actually flickered with rats in a feeding frenzy. He also weaves in his usual brand Oscar Wilde–worthy cultural criticism (the tragedy of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, for instance).

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.


This edition includes an excerpt from David Rakoff's Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish.
 

About David Rakoff

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David Rakoff was The New York Times bestselling author of the books Fraud, Don't Get Too Comfortable, and Half Empty. A two-time recipient of the Lambda Literary Award and winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, he was a regular contributor to "This American Life." He died in August 2012 at the age of forty-seven, shortly after finishing this book.







Author Residence: New York, NY







Author Hometown: Quebec, Canada
 
Published September 21, 2010 by Anchor. 242 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Half Empty

Kirkus Reviews

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After being ordered to read 2,000 manuscripts as part of his duties as the low man on the totem pole at a publishing house, he wearily admits, “They asked me to eat shit, and all I did was request a bigger spoon.” While Rakoff seems to revel in his role as a modern-day Thomas Hobbes, it’s evident...

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The New York Times

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The book jacket of “Half Empty,” David Rakoff’s third essay collection, contains not only the warning “No Inspirational Life Lessons Will Be Found in These Pages,” but the guarantee that the author will have you “positively reveling in the power of negativity.” It’s never clear whether the pessim...

Sep 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Half Empty

Bookmarks Magazine



The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experi­ences: the moment when being a tiny child no longer meant adults found him charming but instead meant other children found him a fun target;

Sep 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Half Empty

Lambda Literary

From “The Bleak Shall Inherit the Earth,” with its hilarious take on a precocious young Rakoff deadpanning in short pants, to “Juicy,” with the thrills and trials of receiving privileged information, Rakoff gives rare distillation of everyday topics in ways consistent with the theoretical foundat...

Feb 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Half Empty

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