• Fraud

  • By: David Rakoff
  • Narrated by: David Rakoff
  • Length: 4 hrs
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-08-01
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (522 ratings)

Regular price: $19.93

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Publisher's Summary

Wherever he is, David Rakoff is a fish out of water. Whether impersonating Sigmund Freud in a department store window during the holidays, climbing an icy mountain in cheap loafers, playing an evil modeling agent on a daytime soap opera, or learning primitive survival skills in the wilds of New Jersey, Rakoff doesn't belong. Nor does he try to. Still, he continually finds himself off in the far-flung hinterlands of our culture, notebook or microphone in hand, hoping to conjure that dyed-in-the-wool New York condescension. And Rakoff tries to be nasty; heaven knows nothing succeeds like the cheap sneer, but he can't quite help noticing that these are actual human beings he's writing about. In his attempts not to pull any punches, the most damaging blows, more often than not, land squarely on his own jaw - hilariously satirizing the writer, not the subject. And therein lies David Rakoff's genius and his burgeoning appeal. The wry and the heartfelt join in his prose to resurrect that most neglected of literary virtues: wit.
©2001 David Rakoff (P)2001 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A talented new humorist...Rakoff has a rapier wit." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Suzn F on 08-16-12

OMG Laugh Out Loud

I am so very glad I downloaded this book, sadly however because we've just lost this great humorist. And now I've just found his books. I've heard him on "This American Life" and loved him. This book had me embarrassing myself laughing loudly while walking in to work. The first half was best but the whole book very worthwhile. Enjoy!!!!

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Mark on 08-16-03

A View Off Skew

"This American Life" has exposed us to so many superb essayists that it's hard to lift one above the crowd, but David Rakoff is one of the best. He presents himself unapologetically and with just enough of a sense of self-absorbtion that any apology would seem, well, fraudulant. Rakoff's tight writing, keen observation, and wry wit combine to produce a work of self & social satire that stands with the best. I wish I could give 4 1/2 stars instead of 4, because a 5 star rating is just too much, implying perfection. The imperfection of the presentation is only that it's abridged.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rhubarb, Rhubarb on 04-13-13

Similar to Sedaris - just slightly sadder

Great discovery - though lay enjoyed - you will love it if you enjoy David Sedaris

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-19-15

Fascinating. Hilarious.Utterly brilliant wordsmith

Would you consider the audio edition of Fraud to be better than the print version?

Rakoff has a delivery that hammers home the nuances of his writing, so this is a great candidate for an audiobook. Also, being a series of short essays, it is more forgiving to listen to in sections than one long novel.

What other book might you compare Fraud to, and why?

Rakoff gets inevitably compared to Sedaris, being another NPR star, and Sedaris being one of the most popular humorous essayists of the past decade. That said, I'd take Rakoff any day of the week if I had to choose. Sedaris is wonderful, but doesn't have the sharply honed and polished prose that Rakoff exudes on every page.

What does David Rakoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His delivery heightens the self-mockery, and mock horror he feels about himself and the world. Conversely, when he makes a really thoughtful and touching point, he can switch to being very sincere without it being a jarring moment.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's a book I would listen to in sections or whole - it's simply that wonderful.

Any additional comments?

If your humor is dark, dry, savagely self-deprecating and cerebral and you don't already have this, buy it now and savor its genius.

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