I Was Told There’d Be Cake

Sloane Crosley, Author . Riverhead $14 (230p) ISBN 978-1-59448-306-6

This debut essay collection is full of sardonic wit and charm, and Crosley effortlessly transforms what could have been stereotypical tales of mid-20s life into a breezy series of vignettes with uproariously unpredictable outcomes. From the opening “The Pony Problem” to the hilarious “Bring-Your-Machete-to-Work Day” (which will ring true for any child of the early 1990s who played the first Oregon Trail computer game), Crosley is equal parts self-deprecating and endearing as she recounts her secret obsession with plastic ponies and the joys of exacting revenge via a pixilated wagon ride. In less capable hands, the subjects tackled—from unpleasant weddings of long-forgotten friends to horrendous first jobs—could have been a litany of complaints from yet another rich girl from the suburbs. But Crosley, who grew up in Westchester and currently lives in Manhattan, makes the experiences her own with a plethora of amusing twists: a volunteer job at the American Museum of Natural History leads to a moral quandary, and a simple Upper West Side move becomes anything but. Fans of Sarah Vowell’s razor-sharp tongue will love this original new voice. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 11/26/2007
Release date: 04/01/2008
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