Summary and book reviews of Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley

Look Alive Out There

Essays

by Sloane Crosley

Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley X
Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2018, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2, 2019, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

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.

Fans of I Was Told There'd Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number know Sloane Crosley's life as a series of relatable but madcap misadventures. In Look Alive Out There, whether it's scaling active volcanoes, crashing shivas, playing herself on Gossip Girl, befriending swingers, or squinting down the barrel of the fertility gun, Crosley continues to rise to the occasion with unmatchable nerve and electric one-liners. And as her subjects become more serious, her essays deliver not just laughs but lasting emotional heft and insight. Crosley has taken up the gauntlets thrown by her predecessors - Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron, David Sedaris - and crafted something rare, affecting, and true.

Look Alive Out There arrives on the tenth anniversary of I Was Told There'd be Cake, and Crosley's essays have managed to grow simultaneously more sophisticated and even funnier. And yet she's still very much herself, and it's great to have her back - and not a moment too soon (or late, for that matter).

Wheels Up

I am running late for the airport, trying to catch a cab on my street corner. A woman in a wheelchair and her date, a man, arrive at the corner seconds after me. They pretend not to see me and I pretend not to see them, which is the kind of cutthroat strategy New Yorkers employ when embarking on otherwise benign activities. It's partially to avoid conflict and partially to claim innocence in the event of the finger. As the minutes pass and no cabs come, the tension grows. I make a big show of checking the time and rotating my suitcase back and forth. At long last, a cab drifts in our direction. Under normal circumstances the cab would be mine. I have the clear lead. But this particular vehicle is the model with the sliding doors, designated for handicapped access. Seeing as how my plane will definitely crash if I steal a cab from a woman in a wheelchair, I step aside.

"Here," I say, "you guys take it."

"Thanks so much," says the man.

And for a whole three seconds, everyone...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Some of the pieces here are mere vignettes, tiny moments of observation or connection that span only a page or two, while others resemble longer journalistic pieces in which, inevitably, Crosley herself is the hapless protagonist even as she investigates the capriciousness of modern life. Look Alive Out There is sure to satisfy the long-time fans of her witty, sardonic personal essays while her new maturity will also gain her new ones.   (Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

Full Review Members Only (519 words).

Media Reviews

Library Journal
Crosley's growth and maturity as a writer shines in this collection, and it's fair to say: she is the millennial's Nora Ephron.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. [Crosley] continues her tradition of hilarious insight into the human condition ... [she] is exceedingly clever and has a witticism for all occasions, but it is her willingness to confront some of life's darker corners with honesty and vulnerability that elevates the collection.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. A marvel ... All [the essays] work on multiple levels and all are sharply written, as Crosley continues to extend her impressive range.

Booklist
Laugh-out-loud funny seems too trite a phrase for a writer whose takes are so addictively original and unexpected, but it’s also true: dear readers, you will laugh. Whether 2 or 20 pages in length, Crosley’s essays are complete and stop-you-in-your-tracks clever.

Author Blurb Steve Martin
Sloane Crosley does the impossible. She stays consistently funny and delivers a book that is alive and jumping.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Cotopaxi - Ecuadorian Volcano

CotopaxiAmong other things, Crosley is a travel writer, and one of the most enjoyable essays in her new collection Look Alive Out There recounts her near-disastrous attempt to summit Cotopaxi, a volcano in Ecuador, more or less on a whim.

Cotopaxi, part of the Andes mountain chain, is the second-highest mountain in Ecuador (at 19,347 feet), and one of the world's tallest active volcanoes. It has erupted more than fifty times in the last three hundred years, most recently in 2015 and 2016. Hundreds of thousands of people live in relatively close proximity to Cotopaxi, close enough to be significantly affected if (and when) it erupts again.

Cotopaxi EruptingThe most recent eruption put a temporary halt to climbing activities on the volcano, which reopened...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Sloane Crosley

If you liked Look Alive Out There, try these:

  • I See You Made an Effort jacket

    I See You Made an Effort

    by Annabelle Gurwitch

    Published 2015

    About this book

    Scorchingly honest, surreally and riotously funny, I See You Made an Effort is the ultimate coming-of-middle-age story and a must-read for women of all ages. Reading glasses not included.

  • Birds of a Lesser Paradise jacket

    Birds of a Lesser Paradise

    by Megan Mayhew Bergman

    Published 2012

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A heartwarming and hugely appealing debut collection that explores the way our choices and relationships are shaped by the menace and beauty of the natural world.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...
  • Book Jacket: Waiting for Eden
    Waiting for Eden
    by Elliot Ackerman
    Elliot Ackerman's latest novel, Waiting for Eden, follows Marine Eden Malcom as his death ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.