Book Review: ‘Look Alive Out There: Essays’ |

Book Review: ‘Look Alive Out There: Essays’

Lincee Ray
The Associated Press
This book cover image released by MCD/FSG shows "Look Alive Out There," by Sloane Crosley. (MCD/FSG via AP)

Established writer and best-selling author Sloane Crosley is back with a second book of essays. Ten years after the debut of “I Was Told There’d Be Cake,” Crosley delivers 16 new stories with her trademark sense of humor and wit.

“Look Alive Out There” is a book about accepting whatever life may throw your way. Through personal anecdotes, Crosley invites readers to first laugh at her extenuating circumstances and then join her as the crazy, unimaginable details unfold. We trudge through the tales of an obnoxious teenage neighbor in New York and a mountain-climbing trip gone terribly wrong in Ecuador. Readers follow along as Crosley interviews her ’70s porn-star uncle, learns to navigate vertigo and addresses the ailments of an epileptic dog.

Although the book is peppered with a variety of essay lengths and topics, one thing remains true: Crosley’s voice is original, sophisticated and full of humor. Look no further than the stories about the British man who stole her website identity or the hippie couple who invited her to participate in amorous activities. Through all of these outlandish ordeals, it’s plain to see why Crosley has been compared to both Nora Ephron and David Sedaris.

“Look Alive Out There” is a delightful collection of hilarious essays that manage, in some cases, to point to relatable life lessons. It’s equally smart, creative and hilarious. Crosley teaches readers not to sweat the small stuff in life. Hold things loosely, crash the shiva, be true to yourself and laugh accordingly.

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