Four CDs, 4 hrs.read by the authorDavid Rakoff has a gift for exposing the humor and the pathos behind both cherished cultural traditions and hot social trends and obsessions. FRAUD brings together Rakoff's peerless commentaries for "This American Life," clever parodies and other pieces created for Salon, (all rewritten and updated for the book), and new essays inspired by Rakoff's most recent adventures as a peripatetic reporter.The deep-seated belief that he is a fraud lends both a hilarious edge and a whimsical poignancy to Rakoff's writing. In "In New England Everyone Calls You Dave," an account of an assignment that requires him to don Timberlands for a trek up Mount Manadock, Rakoff is struck by the ironic realization that "the shoes I wouldn't be caught dead in might actually turn out to be the shoes I am caught dead in." In "Including One Called Hell," Rakoff recreates the bizarre experience of attending a weekend retreat at which action star Steven Segal imparts his wisdom on "Cultivating Compassion and Clarity." "The Best Medicine" takes listeners to the Sixth Annual U.S. Comedy Art Festival in Aspen, an event Rakoff concludes is intended to "ratchet up comedy to the status of moral virtue." Ever willing to expose his own quirks and fantasies, Rakoff also offers a delightfully revealing diary of his stint as an ersatz Freud in the windows of Barney's department store one Christmas and a candid assessment of his success as a student at a wilderness survival school.Like David Sedaris, Rakoff explores the odd and the ordinary events of life and brings them to life in essays that are funny, sad, piercing, and wise.
Humor-Entertainment, Humor, Essays,