October 7, 2008

A Quest for Literary Fluff

As I try and decide whether it's worth slogging through the remainder of On Beauty, I started I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley, as a brief intermission of literary fluff.  

Said fluff requires minimal mental commitment, and provides sufficient entertainment while working up to bigger and more thought-provoking literary endeavors.  

Unfortunately, my capacity for literary fluff has substantially diminished post Bachelors Degree in English Literature.  No longer can I wile away my time with frothy chick lit, because really, it makes me want to vomit.  This is the effect of too much Jane Austen, John Donne, and Company.  You become a literary snob, and turn your nose up at any reading option that doesn't require you to have a dictionary on hand.  

Oh well.

The challenge then becomes finding a happy medium - sometimes you just don't feel up to tackling a true literary gem, and have to find something that is fluff enough to entertain you, but not stupid enough to make you want to poke yourself in the eye with your bookmark.    

I thought Crosley's book of essays might do the trick.  

(I was also intrigued because I remember when the book first came out there was some interesting chatter due to the fact that Crosley happens to be a publicity director at a major publishing house, which one can only assume makes publishing/promoting one's own manuscript a teensy bit easier.)

Crosley is definitely funny in a sarcastic, self-mocking kind of way, and her 20-something vernacular is spunky enough.  However, there tends to be some organizational confusion going on in a very big way.  Her sentences sometimes get a bit jumbled up and don't always seem to refer back to the previous train of thought, leaving the reader backtracking and trying to follow the chain of events.  As you've noticed, I'm all about stream-of-consciousness-ADD-esque writing techniques and randomness, but you still have to be able to digest it enough to move on to the next page.  Crosley seems to have some issues with that, especially in the first two essays.

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