Half Empty by David RakoffThe 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.
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Rakoff described himself as a "New York writer" who also happened to be a "Canadian writer", a "mega Jewish writer", a "gay writer", and an "East Asian Studies major who has forgotten most of his Japanese" writer. David Rakoff was born in Montreal , Quebec, Canada, the youngest of three children. His brother, the comedian Simon Rakoff , is four years older than David. Rakoff attended high school at the Forest Hill Collegiate Institute , and graduated in He worked in Japan as a translator with a fine arts publisher. His work was interrupted after four months when, at age 22, he contracted Hodgkin's disease , a form of lymphatic cancer he referred to as "a touch of cancer". He returned to Toronto for 18 months of treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
We were so happy. It was miserable. Although it was briefly marvelous and strange to see a car parked outside an office, the wide hallway used like a street, many stories above the city. The millennium had turned. The planes had not fallen from the sky, the trains had not careened off the tracks.