Thursday, August 28, 2008

Leave the Building Quickly by Cynthia Kaplan

Rating - 2: not worth reading (skip it)

The back cover twice compares the author to David Sedaris. That is unfair, as it sets a standard that she cannot meet.

This is a book of personal essays. I abandoned this two essays into it. There is probably a gem or two hidden within, but it is a bad sign when the first two essays are this poor.

The first could be summarized as "I vacation badly." Of course, the point of this kind of essay is not to summarize it but rather to dwell on the journey, to explore emotions and digressions, and so on. In this case, you will want the summary. It is not silly and irreverant, nor deeply personal and touching. It is mostly tired complaining, with better diction but the same content and emotion as you will find around any Sunday brunch table.

If you want a funny version of "I vacation badly," here is Maureen Johnson.

The second essay segues to its conclusion with, "Look, I don't know how to tie this up neatly." This is a rather damning admission for an essayist, but true.

Amazon link

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