Title: I Was Told There’d Be Cake
Author: Sloane Crosley
Release Date: April 1, 2008
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays
Rating: 3 out of 5
Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory. From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions-or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character that’s aiming for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There’d Be CakeI Was Told There’d Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.
I’d heard good things about I Was Told There’d Be Cake and to be honest, I had high expectations simply based on the incredibly amusing title. Often, essays like this are best read one at a time, so I decided to tackle this book during the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. I read individual essays between each of the books I read; by the time I turned in, I had finished the entire book.
Sloane Crosley is very witty and her stories definitely have a sense of humor contained within them. Generally speaking, the stories are creatively told, even if the subject matter isn’t 100% unique.
However, these stories didn’t really sit well with me. My biggest issue with them is that they weren’t well told. A lot of these stories didn’t really have a point; they would meander along and end at a completely different place than they began. More than once, I wondered where an essay was going because I couldn’t understand the logic behind the thought processes.
Additionally, I really felt like Crosley was complaining about nothing, or was telling a story that had already been told multiple times. For example, she discussed the ridiculous responsibilities of being in someone else’s wedding – how many chick lit books have been written on this? She didn’t really have anything new to contribute on the topic. Also, her sense of humor is somewhat immature at times and can leave the reader a bit embarrassed for her.
I think that Sloane Crosley definitely has promise, and with some time she might develop into a really talented and humorous writer. In the meantime, though, I would pass on I Was Told There’d Be Cake and wait until her next offering.