Click here to read reviewer Amanda Cuda's take on Don't Get Too Comfortable.
David Rakoff has a talent for getting to the heart of today's over-indulgent excessive culture. In this collection of essays, he explores "The indignities of Coach Class, the Torments of Low Thread Count, the Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems."
From page one, Rakoff cuts through the self-indulgent hype and the political correctness that pervade our society. He explores his personal experience with becoming a naturalized American citizen, from the horribly complicated application to the test at the end. Other essays include a contrast between travel on the Concorde and flying on Hooters Air, his experience as a "pool ambassador," and my favorite, a midnight scavenger/treasure hunt with clues in New York City. The author finds humor in the mundane and the bizarre--such as a twenty-day fast and detox diet.
This is a blazing commentary on the way we view our lives. Things that, ten years ago, would have shocked people are commonplace and acceptable today
- such as extreme plastic surgery and cryogenics. But Rakoff goes beyond what normal humor writers discuss in that he adds poignant comments that get to the true heart of the matter. Whereas others might just go for the laughs, he goes the extra mile in finding the meaning behind things.
A few of the essays show Rakoff's liberal side, such as his diatribe about same-sex marriage. More conservative readers may be offended, so either skip those stories or take them with a grain of salt. If you're looking for deep belly laughs along with a realistic look at society as a whole, Don't Get Too Comfortable is an excellent choice.