August 10, 2012

David Rakoff has died.

I'm really sorry to read about the death of this wonderful writer, who was only 47. Over and over, I've listened to his gentle, humorous voice reading his brilliant essays in "Don't Get Too Comfortable" and "Half Empty" and "Fraud."
Mr. Rakoff’s cancer had first appeared when he was 22 and recently reappeared as a tumor in his left shoulder.

The return of his cancer, and the possibility that his arm and shoulder would have to be amputated, were the subjects of the concluding essay in Mr. Rakoff’s most recent collection, “Half Empty” (2010), a darkly comic paean to negativity.

15 comments:

Nathan Alexander said...

And Romney killed him?

Christy said...

Sorry for your loss.

Roger J. said...

welcome back to blogging Professor, albeit on a very sad note. RIP Mr Rakoff and condolences to his family.

john said...

This was priceless: “How does someone without a left arm know he’s having a heart attack, for example?”

He was a funny guy.

wyo sis said...

As an amateur practitioner of sarcasm I appreciate Rakoff for doing it very well professionally.

deborah said...

You can listen to an audio sample here:

http://www.amazon.com
/Fraud-David-Rakoff/
dp/0553714422/ref=la_
B001ITROU6_1_3_title_2_
aud?ie=UTF8&qid=
1344618139&sr=1-3

Ann Althouse said...

I listen to an audiobook to fall asleep, nearly every night. (I have a pillow speaker, so Meade can't hear it.)

Rakoff's voice is something that fits the exact need I have in audiobooks. I nearly always listen to either him or Bill Bryson.

Something about the gentle, humorous male voice works for me. Since it puts me to sleep, I can resort to the same few books hundreds of times.

Methadras said...

While some critics faulted Mr. Rakoff’s writing as overly aphoristic, many praised his singular style, which combined an amiable dyspepsia with an almost palpable undercurrent of melancholy.

This makes me want to punch a baby in the face.

traditionalguy said...

RIP Rakoff. Bill Bryson needs to do more audiobooks.

ricpic said...

Melancholy Dane yields to melancholy gay --
A whimper not a bang ends the western day.

madAsHell said...

I'm guessing you don't have much of a Marvin Hamlisch collection.

Truth be told?....me, neither!

The Farmer said...

He was a very good writer. His piece on Steven Seagal was outstanding. He was funny and sarcastic without being mean-spirited or self-absorbed, and he had a heart. Sort of the anti-David Sedaris.

Carnifex said...

Wish I had been introduced to him sooner. Sounds like he fits my temperment to a tee. They always cancel stuff I like.

Ken Pidcock said...

Rakoff was featured on a This American Life live show this past May.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/464/invisible-made-visible?act=3

Eric said...

They replayed Rakoff's Fresh Air interview today on NPR. In it he says "My arm is in danger from the cancer, but my life isn't." :(