Reviews of I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

I Was Told There'd Be Cake

by Sloane Crosley

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley X
I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Apr 2008, 240 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lisa A. Goldstein
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A funny and revealing collection of essays which reveal 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.

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 Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.

BASTARD OUT OF WESTCHESTER

If I ever have kids, this is what I’m going to do with them: I am going to give birth to them on foreign soil—preferably the soil of someplace like Oostende or Antwerp—destinations that have the allure of being obscure, freezing, and impossibly cultured. These are places in which people are casually trilingual and everyone knows how to make good coffee and gourmet dinners at home without having to shop for specific ingredients. Everyone has hip European sneakers that effortlessly look like the exact pair you’ve been searching for your whole life. Everything is sweetened with honey and even the generic-brand Q-tips are aesthetically packaged. People die from old age or crimes of passion or because they fall off glaciers. All the women are either thin, thin and happy, fat and happy, or thin and miserable in a glamorous way. Somehow none of their Italian heels get caught in the fifteenth-century cobblestone. Ever.

This is where I want to ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Some essays are mere snapshots, with endings that leave one wondering what happened after the last line. Others start off being about one thing and cover a lot of ground before ending on an entirely different topic, but somehow it all seems to flow. Sometimes she ends with a zinger, yet it's not always successful, or for that matter, consistent. The essays are of varying lengths, which makes for unpredictable reading, and not necessarily in a good way .... Crosley may be young, but her talent is obvious, making it safe to predict that this book will be the first of many...continued

Full Review (424 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Lisa A. Goldstein).

Media Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Bethany Scheider
Chick lit teaches us either to hate the skinny, pretty, Upper West Side girl or to wish fruitlessly that we were her - or some combination of the two. But Crosley is not, thank God, a chick litter, and it turns out - who knew? - that being that girl can be magical in its absurdity. Sloane's is a generous, sparkling hilarity, and if the show is in Technicolor, the laughs are never cheap

Los Angeles Times
The essays in this exquisite collection, Crosley’s first, spin around a young woman's growing up and her first experiences in a big city, New York, as it happens. The voice feels a little like Nora Ephron's, a little like Dorothy Parker’s and David Sedaris’, although Crosley has a spry wistfulness that's very much her own. We envy the lucky guy who found the right words to ask her for a date while she was hanging from a strap in the subway, and applaud the arrival of a very funny writer.

Vogue
Sloane Crosley channels David Sedaris—and Carrie Bradshaw—in a slightly cracked and often charming collection of essays recounting a suburban girl's adventures in the big city.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This debut essay collection is full of sardonic wit and charm.

Kirkus Reviews
Witty and entertaining.

School Library Journal
A refreshing, original reflection on modern life.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Did you know?

In addition to being a writer, Sloane Crosley (30 years old this August) holds a full-time job as a publicist for Vintage Books, a division of Random House, in New York where she has worked with Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, Jonathan Lethem and Dave Eggers, among others.

In the winter of 2004, Crosley emailed a group of friends about the story that later became "Fuck You, Columbus." One of the recipients of this email was an editor at The Village Voice. He told her that if she made it a little tighter and wrote an introduction, he would publish it. That was the start of her essay career. Prior to this, she had only written longer fiction (unpublished), but fell in love with essay writing.

I Was Told There'd...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Sloane Crosley

If you liked I Was Told There'd Be Cake, try these:

  • Look Alive Out There jacket

    Look Alive Out There

    by Sloane Crosley

    Published 2019

    About this book

    More by this author

    A brand-new collection of essays filled with hilarity, wit, and charm. The characteristic heart and punch-packing observations are back, but with a newfound coat of maturity. A thin coat. More of a blazer, really.

  • November Storm jacket

    November Storm

    by Robert Oldshue

    Published 2016

    About this book

    In upstate New York, a November storm is one that comes early in the season. If it catches people off-guard, it can change them in the ways Oldshue's characters are changed by different but equally surprising storms.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...
  • Book Jacket: Moth
    Moth
    by Melody Razak
    On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom, and on that same day the ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.