22 10 / 2012
"He does not seem to be aware, most importantly, of how awesome he thinks he is. In his telling, he is ever the perfect employee, cruising through assignments with few mistakes. He and a colleague, he writes, became known as “the guys who, if you needed to put the ball in someone’s hands in the final stretch of the game, were not going to screw it up under pressure.” The memoir, like the dinner story, is a genre that thrives when the narrator is self-effacing, the butt of all jokes—Michael Lewis, in Liar’s Poker, takes his own achievements as a suspicious sign about Salomon Brothers—but Smith reverses this entirely. He compliments himself on his “dry sense of humor,” he saves parties with his jammin’ iPod, and, in one of the strangest subplots, details his international triumphs in Ping-Pong."