Rating: 3.5 out of 5
In these hard economic times, many people are cutting back on their spending and making sacrifices. What better time to read an essay collection about the extravagance of American life?
In “Don’t Get Too Comfortable”, Rakoff takes a satirical look at consumerism in America. These essays are his observations of the excesses of American society. It’s a humorous look at the way we live and not an intellectual dissection on the topic. I found some of the essays to be stronger than others. The essays were laced with snarkiness, and I like snark. There were moments where I laughed but some of the content seemed like things I’ve read before.
The foodie in me enjoyed the essay where Rakoff describes his experiences dinner at Chez Panisse. His skewering of foodies is funny because it’s true. He pokes fun at folks more excited about the restaurant they are eating in than the food they are eating.
I also enjoyed the first essay in the book: Love it or Leave It, which was about Rakoff’s experiences becoming an American citizen. He’s originally from Canada and had lived for years as a permanent US resident without any real desire to become a US citizen…until 9/11 and its aftermath, when as he says ” George W. Bush made me want to be an American.” He didn’t want to be an American because he liked Bush’s leadership…rather because he was afraid of what the Patriot Act might lead to in his life if he was NOT an American citizen.
Overall the book was a quick read with lots of sarcasm and snarkiness about the excesses of upper class American life. If you enjoy books by David Sedaris or Dan Savage, you may like this essay collection as well. I didn’t laugh quite as much as I did when I read books by Sedaris or Savage but I’m glad that I read “Don’t Get Too Comfortable.”