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Half Empty, David Rakoff

Winner of the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor

One of Amazon’s Top 100 books of 2010 

National Bestseller

Starred PW for audio

The inimitably witty David Rakoff, New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Get Too Comfortable, defends the commonsensical notion that you should always assume the worst, because you’ll never be disappointed. In Half Empty, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, gosh-everyone–can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much, as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and all of your dreams will not come true.  The book combines stories from Rakoff’s reporting and from accounts of his own personal life. Whether he’s lacerating the musical Rent for its cutesy depiction of AIDS, or dealing with personal tragedy, his sharp observations and humorist’s flair for the absurd will have you positively reveling in the power of negativity.

Praise for Half Empty:

“Rakoff has a self-¬awareness that could be recreated only by a team of geneticists working in a lab. The conviction with which he writes is . . . uplifting.” – Bill Scheft, New York Times Book Review

“Rakoff manages to make pessimism sexy, whittling optimism into little more than an irresponsible fad, a modern opiate of the masses . . . as a modern-day Thomas Hobbes, it's evident that he remains responsible in his critique . . . while simultaneously opening the reader's eyes to everyday lunacy.” -- Kirkus

“Rakoff is so keenly observant and dead-on with his criticism, you get the impression most of our eyes would cross and cartoon birds fly above our heads before we could make it halfway to the elegant, smart conclusions he draws.” – Booklist

Copyright Irene Skolnick Literary Agency 2016