How Did You Get This Number

( 52 )

Overview

The hilarious New York Times bestselling literary essay collection from Sloane Crosley, the author of I Was Told There'd Be Cake.

Sloane Crosley, the brilliantly funny "fountain of observations" (Boston Globe), now takes readers from a bear-infested wedding in Alaska to a run-in with clowns in Portugal in a new collection of essays about the messiest and most unexpected dilemmas life has to offer.

"How sure-footed and observant Sloane Crosley ...

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Overview

The hilarious New York Times bestselling literary essay collection from Sloane Crosley, the author of I Was Told There'd Be Cake.

Sloane Crosley, the brilliantly funny "fountain of observations" (Boston Globe), now takes readers from a bear-infested wedding in Alaska to a run-in with clowns in Portugal in a new collection of essays about the messiest and most unexpected dilemmas life has to offer.

"How sure-footed and observant Sloane Crosley is. How perfectly, relentlessly funny." — David Sedaris

 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

People magazine described Sloane Crosley's writing as "so conversationally intimate that you'll feel as though you're sitting with her at a café, breathlessly waiting to hear what she's going to tell you next." That sense of intimacy and excitement helped make her I Was Told There'd Be Cake an authentic word-of-mouth discovery. How Did You Get This Number puts this "modern diarist with attitude" on the road, accentuating her talent for witty observation and hilarious social commentary. Now in a paperback and NOOKbook. One to recommend for Mother's Day, Father's Day, you name it.

Maria Russo
[Crosley] mostly succeeds in How Did You Get This Number, her second collection of essays about making it, zanily, in the big city. Crosley is like a tap-dancer, lighthearted and showman­like, occasionally trite, but capable of surprising you with the reserves of emotion and keen social observation that motivate the performance.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Nine thoughtful, unfussy essays by the author of the collection I Was Told There'd Be Cake navigate around illusions of youth in the hope that by young adulthood they'll “all add up to happiness.” The account of Crosley's footloose adventure to Lisbon on the eve of her 30th birthday starts things off in rollicking fashion in “Show Me on the Doll”: without proficient language skills, getting hopelessly lost in the labyrinth of Bairro Alto, and panicking in front of the myriad QVC channels offered by her hotel, Crosley recognizes that Lisbon “was a place with a painfully disproportionate self-reflection-to-experience ratio.” There is the requisite essay about moving to New York and replacing her anorexic-kleptomaniac roommate with a more acceptable living arrangement: in Crosley's case, delineated in “Take a Stab at It,” she is interviewed by the creepily disembodied current occupier of a famous former brothel on the Bowery, McGurk's Suicide Hall. As well, Crosley delivers witty, syncopated takes on visiting Alaska and Paris, and finding much consolation from a two-timing heartbreak in New York by buying stolen items from her “upholstery guy,” Daryl, who found them fallen “Off the Back of a Truck,” as the delightful last selection is titled. These essays are fresh, funny, and eager to be loved. (June)
Library Journal
Sometimes you read a book that rings so true to your own life that you can hardly put it down. This is the case with Crosley's second collection, after her best-selling I Was Told There'd Be Cake. With wit, humor, and a sophistication that more experienced authors would envy, this compilation focuses on Crosley's late twenties. As Crosley writes about an impromptu trip to Lisbon that may (or may not) have been a freak-out response to turning 30 and explores the various trappings of being a grown-up—relationships, apartments of one's own, and well-upholstered furniture that just happened to fall off the back of a truck—readers will recognize their own life experiences, with Crosley's insights and excellent storytelling skills to guide them. VERDICT Reading like the diary entries of a thirtysomething, Crosley's essays are brutally honest about her flaws as well as the flaws of others and, as a result, paint a realistic and hilarious portrait of what it's like to be an adult in today's world. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/10.]—Deborah Hicks, Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton
Kirkus Reviews
A worthy successor to Crosley's well-received debut, I Was Told There'd Be Cake (2008). Where her first collection focused on a young professional's life in Manhattan, this follow-up finds the author-whose day job as a book publicist is rarely mentioned-taking her show on the road. She gets lost in Lisbon (actually, she gets lost pretty much everywhere), threatened by a bear in Alaska and all but deported from France-or at least discouraged from ever again visiting Notre Dame. Most of the book is funny, some of it even laugh-out-loud, but her literary gifts go well beyond easy laughs. The humor flows naturally and subtly from characters and situations, as if these were real-life short stories. "An Abbreviated Catalog of Tongues," which initially seems to be a perfunctory pet essay, yet turns revelatory in a number of directions, addressing everything from sibling relationships to her parents' religion. "[M]y parents are not big believers in God," she writes. "Or, rather, they believe in him partially. Which is tricky. It's like being kind of pregnant or only mostly dead. You're either in or you're out." Perhaps the finest essay is the final one, "Off the Back of a Truck," a clever, challenging piece from which the book takes its title. Initially about wanting what you can't afford, it transforms into an exploration of receiving what you want that you can't afford, through means that you're only partially willing to admit are pretty shady. Ultimately, though, it becomes a meditation on a romance that forces Crosley to come to terms with a truth she'd suspected and the lie she was living. It's the least humorous of the collection, but the most unflinchingly true. Confirmation of the promise shown in the author's bestselling debut.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594485190
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 489,378
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sloane Crosley

Sloane Crosley is the author of the New York Times bestseller I Was Told There'd Be Cake. essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, New York Observer, the Village Voice, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Salon, Black Book, Radar, Maxim, and The Believer. She lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2010

    I really wanted to like this book...

    I really enjoyed 'I was told there'd be cake' and had some high hopes for Crosley's second book, but it seemed like she was trying too hard. Gone were the funny and interesting stories that you wanted to read, replaced instead with ones that had you waiting to the end to catch that humor, but ending on a flat note that makes you think, 'Why did I just read this?' I finished Cake in a matter of days, this one I had to force myself to keep reading. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Pass this up

    I really liked I Was Told There Would Be Cake. This book doesn't compare. The chapters are long and rambling. I found myself skipping ahead and asking myself, "when is she going to make a point?" Not entertaining at all. A real disappointment.

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    Posted September 8, 2010

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