Title: I Was Told There’d be Cake
Author: Sloane Crosley
Genre: Non-fiction, Essays
Publication Date: 2010
On my list of Future Reads from way back in October is I Was Told There’d be Cake, a collection of essays by Sloane Crosley, who has written for Salon, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and Playboy.
I don’t have a history of loving essays, but I really enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw, and I thought that maybe that Crosley’s book would be a continuation of that enjoyment.
A resounding “meh”
I really wanted to enjoy this collection, and there were portions that I liked. But I didn’t love it completely, and I couldn’t figure out why until I read a small portion of a review from the San Francisco Chronicle that declared Crosley to be “not…very, well, nice.”
And it’s true. Although funny and occasionally meaningful, at least half of Crosley’s essays highlight her rudeness and/or laziness: she’s mean to people, doesn’t follow through on her commitments, and is obnoxious more often than not.
Aside from one essay in which she got me all nostalgic over “Oregon Trail” the video game, and a couple of good quotes, there wasn’t a whole lot I liked about I Was Told There’d be Cake. Overall, pretty disappointing.
“Unless you are a professional, you will find the tart to be a high-maintenance, unforgiving whistle-blower of a pastry. If they could sprout sexual organs and mate, they’d go extinct on the jungle floor. Chocolate chip cookies, impossible to fuck up, would breed like deer.” (p. 189)
“They say there is no such thing as gay or straight and that we all fall somewhere on the sexuality spectrum, as connected as kindergartners holding the same rope.” (p. 194)
What do you think of essay collections? Has anyone read anything else by Crosley?