Publisher's Comments (cont.)
The inimitably witty David Rakoff, 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 sneakily poignant) book, David Rakoff views through a dark lens 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.
Through stories both reportorial and personal Rakoff follows several of the paths we are told will lead to bliss only to discover that his real subject is the variety of human disappointment. Sex, fame, money, religious devotion, therapy, art, the innocence of childhood, atomic-age technology, ruminating on the failures of our enemies---these all promise a form of happiness. Among other sojourns and contemplations Rakoff searches for the pinnacle of desire at an erotica convention, savors the "glamour" of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and reminisces about that perfect late evening in Manhattan when he was a young romantic and the big city brimmed with such endless possibility that the street shimmered in the moonlight---and then he came to realize that the street actually flickered with rats in a feeding frenzy.
While making good sport out of cultural phenomena like the tortured Jewish love affair with pork or the positive psychology movement, Rakoff has more on his mind than satirizing the mindless optimism of our benighted age. He has crafted a manifesto of sorts, one that praises all the scorned emotions---dread, anxiety, misgiving, to name a few---that offer different, more fruitful forms of human satisfaction, like appreciation for what is, or beauty, even.
By turns funny, serious, and seriously funny, Rakoff's signature combination of deadly wit and human sympathy will have you positively reveling in the power of negativity.