Saturday, September 11, 2010

Everything Is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert

  I think I must be getting old -- REALLY old.

  I love reading travel memoirs, especially since I'm not able to as much of my own travelling as I'd like, so I had high hopes about Everything Is Going to Be Great:  An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour.  A European Grand Tour is on my bucket list, but I don't know when (WHEN) it will happen, so for now I must experience it vicariously through Rachel Shukert.

   Shukert, an aspiring actress (though not an overly ambitious one, in my opinion) has the opportunity to travel to Europe as part of a travelling production of a play in which she has performed in New York.  The thing is, "Europe" only means Vienna and Zurich for the play, and her experience of these cities seems to be limited to sites with alcohol and opportunities for sexual encounters.  Following the play's closing, Shukert heads on to Amsterdam, where she hopes to land a role in a play being produced by two friends; in the meantime, she is forced to earn a living, but still manages the alcohol and sex consumption and for all appearances does not want to grow up.

  And I just didn't find it interesting.  Call me a prude, but the fact that one gets drunk almost nightly and has a different partner at an equivalent rate is not my idea of an interesting trip.  I found Shukert to be incredibly shallow and selfish, and eventually became bored with her tales of woe.  Honey, if I had the opportunity to go to Europe like you did I'd be taking in every last bit of the experience.
  Having said that, though, she did get a book deal out of it .... but unless you're a twenty-something without a direction in life, I don't think this is the ideal book to give you a taste of what Europe has to offer.

Disclosure:  received copy from the publisher, Harper Perennial


  1. You must be even older than me, Suzanne, because I liked this book a lot! :-)

    Seriously, I thought it was fun to read about her adventures. I do agree she could have tried to get more out of her trip but remember she was only in her early twenties when things other than entertaining one's self are not high on everybody's list. (That doesn't mean all twenty-something are shallow, far from!!! but she was that kind of person, and she's not the only one at that age).

    I found the book entertaining enough. My main problem was that she was sometimes trying too hard to be funny.

    Anyway, check out my review, I gave the book a 4/5 -

  2. I see your point, but I just got the sense that she didn't put much effort into entertaining herself outside of the alcohol. Since she was an actress, you'd think she'd have sought out the cultural highlights of the places she visited.

    Of course, I could also be plain jealous as I did not have the opportunity to experience Europe at her age ....

  3. Oh no. This one was sent to me a little while ago and is patiently waiting for me to pick it up. I am definitely not a twenty-something and if alchohol is her main focus, then I am in trouble.


What do you think? Good or bad, I'd love to hear from you (but be nice - I'm sensitive!)