Don't Get Too Comfortable
The Indignities of Coach Class, the Torments of Low Thread Count, the Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems
David Rakoff’s collection of autobiographical essays, Fraud, established him as one of our funniest, most insightful writers. In Don’t Get Too Comfortable, Rakoff journeys into the land of plenty that is contemporary North America. Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily portrayed.
Whether contrasting the elegance of one of the last flights of the supersonic Concorde with the good times and chicken wings of Hooters Air, portraying the rarified universe of Paris fashion shows where an evening dress can cost as much as four years of college, or traveling to a private island off the coast of Belize to watch a soft-core Playboy TV shoot, where he is provided with his very own personal manservant, David Rakoff takes us on a bitingly funny grand tour of our culture of excess, delving into the manic getting and spending that defines the North American way of life.
Somewhere along the line, our healthy self-regard has exploded into obliterating narcissism, and Rakoff is there to map that frontier. He sits through the grotesqueries of “avant garde” vaudeville in Times Square immediately following 9/11. Twenty days without food allows him to experience firsthand the wonders of “detoxification,” and the frozen world of cryonics, whose promise of eternal life is the ultimate status symbol, leaves him very cold indeed (much to our good fortune).
At once a Wildean satire of our ridiculous culture of overconsumption and a plea for a little human decency, Don’t Get Too Comfortable is a bitingly funny grand tour of our special circle of gilded-age hell.
From the Hardcover edition.
A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year
“If you’ve ever thought that the world makes no sense, there is one author who will help you laugh along…. Whether Rakoff is detailing one of the last flights on the Concorde, touring the craft department of Martha Stewart’s Living magazine, or visiting a private island near Belize to witness a Playboy video shoot, Rakoff’s humorous cultural critique balances his distain with a sharp wit that has one chuckling along for the ride.” — The Calgary Herald
“He’s funny, he’s smart, and not merely does he not suffer fools gladly, he doesn’t suffer them at all. The pleasure of reading what results when an exceedly sharp pen encounters an exceedingly inviting target are not to be denied, and Rakoff offers many such delights in these pages. …bloated wallets and bloated egos are his subjects here, and he deflates them with precision and self-evident satisfaction.” — Miami Herald
“David Rakoff is at his cynical best in Don’t Get Too Comfortable… [He] takes no prisoners in this book… There’s something to amuse and offend everyone.… Rakoff is a master wordsmith whose rapier wit and shrewd story manipulation are matched only by his ability to find poignant humanity in the most unexpected places… [A] thoroughly entertaining book.” – The Edmonton Journal
Praise for Fraud:
“Fraud marks the debut of a significant new voice . . . Rakoff is something special.”
—The Globe and Mail
Praise for David Rakoff:
“With Fraud, David Rakoff manages to successfully pass himself off as the wittiest and most perceptive man in the world.”
“Rakoff likes to paint himself as urbane to a fault, an outsider anywhere unpaved. But then, in the woods or on a mountaintop, he reveals himself, despite his searing and hilarious observations, to be a completely unrelenting romantic.”
“Possessing a wicked wit and a sharp, elegant writing style, [David Rakoff] has become known as one of our most potent humourists.”
—The Oakland Tribune
From the Hardcover edition.