House of Cards: Love, Faith, and Other Social Expressions

House of Cards Love Faith and Other Social Expressions An original and hilarious memoir by an ex greeting card writer virgin fundamentalist and This American Life contributor that chronicles how in the belly of the social expression industry he learne

  • Title: House of Cards: Love, Faith, and Other Social Expressions
  • Author: David Ellis Dickerson
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 469
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An original and hilarious memoir by an ex greeting card writer, virgin fundamentalist, and This American Life contributor that chronicles how, in the belly of the social expression industry, he learned to love, thrive, and finally feel comfortable in his own skin David Dickerson s dream is to write greeting cards Valentine s Day, sympathy, and holiday cards GreetAn original and hilarious memoir by an ex greeting card writer, virgin fundamentalist, and This American Life contributor that chronicles how, in the belly of the social expression industry, he learned to love, thrive, and finally feel comfortable in his own skin David Dickerson s dream is to write greeting cards Valentine s Day, sympathy, and holiday cards Greeting cards offer him the chance to indulge his gifted obsession with words, puns, and humor But when he manages to win a coveted slot at Hallmark, he soon discovers his own limited life experience has left him unprepared for sentiments he writes about in his cards As a fundamentalist raised, twenty seven year old virgin social misfit, he knows that his world is decidedly circumscribed In House of Cards, Dickerson tells of his time at Hallmark and how the experience and the cast of characters he meets there open his eyes to a much larger and emotionally rich world In comic and sometimes cringe inducing detail, he chronicles his bumpy journey to maturity, from straitlaced evangelical Christian to relatively modern single guy As Dickerson navigates supervisors and colleagues who don t understand him, he learns what it takes to connect with this new lot of personalities and how to write funny lines that resonate with the heart of America Along the way he confronts his past, his beliefs, his relationships, even his virginity, as he ponders whether his struggle to stay true to the life he knows is worth it Endearing and idiosyncratic, House of Cards is the very human story of one man who, step by step, stumble by stumble, embarrassment by embarrassment, finds his place in the world.

    One thought on “House of Cards: Love, Faith, and Other Social Expressions”

    1. I am disappointed that I have to give this book such a low rating, because I was hoping for so much more. The thing that is most troublesome, Dickerson is an excellent writer. The story flowed without and chunky plot or dialogue, and it was very readable. In fact, if it had been fiction, I would have probably given it a four; I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a novel by this author even after this book. I also like the inside look at how a company is the best in the world at what it does (Hallmar [...]

    2. I suppose my main beef with "House of Cards" isn't quite Dickerson's fault, or even his publisher's, as the subtitle reads "Love, Faith, and Other Social Expressions." Nevertheless, in all the blurbs of praise I read about this memoir, including the three on the back, nobody mentioned that the book devotes a lot of time to thinking about Christianity in its various incarnations, interpretations of the bible, the nature of faith, and that sort of thing. I don't like books being surprisingly about [...]

    3. Two stars for this memoir about David Dickerson’s short career at Hallmark Cards. One of two things would have had to happen for me to give this book a higher rating. Either I would have to like Dickerson more, or the story about Hallmark should have been more interesting. This is all despite the fact that I think Dickerson is a good writer – his prose are readable, clear, precise and concise.As to the former, the author came across to me as a self-absorbed whiner who was socially and profes [...]

    4. (caution: spoilers)First of all, be VERY suspicious of any book that compares the author to David Sedaris. In this case, the comparison must be because they have the same first name."House of Cards" could have been an interesting 200 page look into the behind-the-scenes creation of Hallmark cards and a skewered look inside the greeting card business.Instead we get a 360-page memoir that is actually much more about the author's sexual frustrationand religious baggage. He covers the same 'I'm so h [...]

    5. House of Cards is about many things: cards, humor, puzzles, creativity, love, sex and religion. David Ellis Dickerson winds up getting what seems like his dream job at Hallmark. He thinks that because he's a puzzle lover (having proposed to his girlfriend via crossword puzzle) and because he's passionate about cards, that it'll be a perfect fit. He introduces readers to a world of categories and subcategories, for holidays you've heard of and holidays you haven't, but the heart of this book is D [...]

    6. I won this book through the first reads program and was anxious to read it. First of all, while the saying is that you can't judge a book by its cover, this book has a great title and cover, and anywhere I went with it, people would ask me about it. So there's definitely props to be given there.I've struggled a bit over what exactly to rate this book. On one hand, I loved hearing about the greeting card business--how cards are written, chosen for production, tracked, etc. I even enjoyed reading [...]

    7. Like a lot of people (I suspect), I used to want to work at Hallmark. It just seems.ive and fulfilling, but also super-easy. This was a pretty fascinating view into that forgotten childhood dream of mine. There was also a spiritual-journey story arc that I enjoyed but thought was kind of underdeveloped. Then there's the sexual-journey aspect, whichI found it pretty funny, but it seems to have failed to amuse other GoodreadersI dunno how you could read the prostitute/Handel's Messiah story with a [...]

    8. I have to admit, I'm torn about the rating of this book.ly because it felt like two completely different books: one a religious journey and the other a memoir about a socially retarded (can you say retarded anymore? Whatever, I’m saying it.) man trying to navigate through a horrid job, a sex-less partnership (even though the new rage is to declare one’s self a “virgin” despite the fact that they’ve done everything else, I think we can all agree that’s bullsh**) and all the while tryi [...]

    9. I won this book as a giveaway so at least I didn't have to pay for it. I initially planned to give it to a good friend who told me she always thought it would be interesting to write greeting cards, but now I'm going to have to tell her she can't have it. Part of me wants to throw it away. This isn't really a story about what it's like to work for Hallmark or write greeting cards. This is a memoir of Dickerson's many sexual and religious hang-ups. I started off the book liking him - a slightly g [...]

    10. I know this person, well, not in the flesh, but by habits and quirks, David is a lot like me.Recovered evangelical.Late blooming virgin.Overenthusiastic geek of many stripes turned cynic looking for a better path and greater love of fellow human beings.The book is a drag to read at parts, depressing at parts, never hits the point of elation, everything low key, true to life, and a lot of Amen, Brutha.Reading it was time well spent.What prompted me to run out and buy this book was this YouTube of [...]

    11. The jacket blurbs promising knee-slapping hilarity are way too glowing, but I ended up liking this quite a bit because it's an accurate depiction of office life. His experiences at Hallmark weren't much different than mine in aerospace: eccentric coworkers, flaky bosses, the horror of getting the "bad" cubicle. And the book has a sweet-natured but not icky tone -- more like a wry Shoebox card than one with a bouquet of daisies covered with "flitter." (That godawful sparkly stuff that lands every [...]

    12. Not exactly what I expected, which was irreverent, honest, and laugh-out-loud funny. Which isn't to say that it wasn't all of these things, because it was - just not to the degree that I had expected. I wanted to hear about the greeting card, life, and love part; not so much the fundamentalist virgin-sex part, and I didn't like what he had to say about Christianity. So not that this is a horrible book, just that it wasn't my kind of book. House of Cards from Penguin via .

    13. I read this book despite a slew of negative reviews I found online. I guess I just had to make sure they were right. The author just whines about everything. He's got the great job, he whines, he has the sucky job, he whines. There's no escape to his endless whining, and his endless self-praise. Just skip it.

    14. I met the author of this book, and as he says, he's $5000 funnier in person. It's not that the book isn't funny (it is) it's just unlike the real Dave, book Dave doesn't come across as someone I'd necessarily like to be friends with. The book reminds me most of BORN ON A BLUE DAY, a memoir of a highly verbal autistic man with synesthesia and numerous compulsions, including the compulsion to memorize things. Book Dave has scary-high levels of sexual repression, zero social skills, and a catalog o [...]

    15. I thought this might be an interesting book about what it is like to write greeting cards for a living. While there is a bit of that here (working for Hallmark in the mid-1990's was both more prosaic and more weird than you'd expect), mostly this is just about Dave.And Dave's problems. He's a relapsed evangelical Christian. He's been engaged to his girlfriend for six years, and they remain faithful even though for three of those years she's been away working on her PhD and they see each other on [...]

    16. Ok. This book was certainly different than my normal read. I'm not much of a memoir person and it might be because I don't think memoirs end up being very honest or it might be because I find them frustratingly awkward. This would fall into the second half. The book is about the author, who leaves a no-where job in Tucson Arizona and head to Kansas City, Missouri to work for the Greeting Card Company, Hallmark. Within the first few chapters the writer seemingly goes from portraying himself as in [...]

    17. (Disclaimer: I won this book in a First Reads contest.)I feel like I should have enjoyed this book more than I should have. By all things considered, I should have -- in a book blurb, David Ellis Dickerson was favorably compared to David Sedaris (a beloved favorite of mine); he grew up a fundamentalist Christian and became disillusioned; and he enjoys the language with which he writes so much that it borders on the fringe of ultimate nerdiness. All of these I could respect and relate to in the [...]

    18. Conversationally pleasant writing? Check.Seems like a sweet, smart guy? Check.Would welcome him as a colleague or neighbor or bud? Check.And also:WAAAAAY Too Much Information? Check. David Sedaris's heir apparent? Uncheck.It's somewhat a shame that David Ellis Dickerson's publishers insisted on using a quote comparing the dueling Daves to sell this memoir. That's a mighty high bar. Trading on their This American Life connection, no doubt, but did the label not realize that ranking him against on [...]

    19. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.Good and bad.Very original premise - a memoir about a man who works in the greeting card industry, covering his career, aspirations, love life, religious background.Author gets hired to go to the Taj Mahal, the Mecca, nay the very Zion of the U.S. greeting card industry -- i.e Hallmark headquarters in one of the Carolinas (as I recall).Author is creative, incisive, has a huge sense of humor, is not afraid to cast himself in an embarrassing light though he's also a marked ego [...]

    20. this was my first win for first reads giveaway, so i was super excited to read this; however, i wasn't sure what to expect since i'm not exactly the queen of nonfiction. i can enjoy nonfiction, but it's generally not something that sticks with me and causes me to stop and think - i prefer books that make me think deep thoughts or feel intense emotions. this did neither; it reads like you're having a conversation with dave, where he won't let you get a word in, which i suppose would most likely [...]

    21. First off, the blurbs on the book liken David Ellis Dickerson to David Sedaris. David Sedaris is laugh until you cry and snort funny. David Ellis Dickerson is funny, but not David Sedaris funny. Dickerson is funny in a cynical, self effacing sort of way. I won this book off of first reads. It looked interesting. It looked funny. It is interesting (Who knew Hallmark was such a horrible place to work?) and it has it's funny parts, but when you read these parts, you mostly just cringe for Dickerso [...]

    22. I liked this book a lot even though, at its core, it is hollow. It is funny and witty, it follows the adventures of an altogether likeable buffoon, but it lacks real insight, and while it alludes to insight as being a thing that happened, it never really shares it with us, even as as allusion of what is to come. It's a shame because it has the opportunity, but it fails to understand, fully, what was happening and what has happened as a result. It's frustrating, to see, for instance, a massive, l [...]

    23. Sometimes a book looks really, really interesting, and it turns out that the story being told is ultimately not one that should be presented in the form it is. House of Cards is one of those books.I won this from a First Reads contest, and I thought the premise was interesting enough. That Dickerson is an NPR contributor certainly helped matters. Unfortunately, this book more made me hope I don't ever sound like him, and really brought the entire experience down. A significant portion of the bo [...]

    24. I laughed, I cried, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Dave has been hired for his creativity at Hallmark. It is is first real job after college. He learns the hard way that his co-workers and supervisors want him to be creative only on paper. While he is navigating the often backstabbing corporate world, he is also addressing issues in his "perfect" relationship with his fiance. This book is full of hysterical greeting card sentiments and moments of painful self-awareness. It's well written and co [...]

    25. I received a free copy of House of Cards through the First Reads program. When I first read about this book, it sounded intriguing because I thought it would be funny. Instead, it became a compelling read because I kept thinking, "so this is the low point, and now we'll get to the point where his life gets better." But I'm not sure that point ever really came. Elie Wiesel wrote that he really resisted writing a memoir, because doing so implied that your life was over and you were summing up. Tha [...]

    26. I received a free copy of House of Cards through the First Reads program. While I could see why a large number of the scenarios David Ellis Dickerson got himself in might be humorous, I didn't find most of them funny. He was just a bit too dense for my liking, and maybe a bit too zany. For example, near the end he looks up some pictures of topless girls from Mardi Gras as a way to skirt the edge of the porn/not-porn/research standards that Hallmark has set up. While doing this he decides to mast [...]

    27. Actually, 2.5 stars, I've often thought about greeting cards and have come up with some dark and inappropriate ideas for some, so very interested in this foray into the world of greeting cards. Many have mentioned this in their reviews, but the author just really comes off as basically unlike able, shallow and more than a bit of the pedantic twit. Funny to see him yearn to become an academic and atheist, quite telling since I have intense dislike of both of those groups. There were so interestin [...]

    28. I'm conflicted on how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it is quite funny in parts - but on the other hand, it is a bit tedious. I thought the premise was good (fundamentalist virgin writing about 'stuff'), but there was so much unimportant drivel that I was quite bored toward the end. In the beginning there was a lot more about the process of writing greeting cards (and as a self-reported card connoisseur, I was intrigued by this), however, I felt that the book was more about the experie [...]

    29. I really did enjoy House of Cards by David Ellis Dickerson. I found that his tales of corporate life and trying to fit into something that you really want to like hit close to home. I've always felt that the corporate world, while a place where I can function, isn't really the best place for me. People like Mr. Dickerson (and me) aren't really cut out for the kinds of policies and espionage and smiling between clenched teeth that tend to mark these places. The memoir is a really quick and enjoya [...]

    30. I won this book in the First Reads Giveaway and am thankful I had the opportunity to read it. The book is a memoir of Dickerson's time working with the Hallmark Greeting Card Company. The author comes from a fundamentalist Christian background but has already converted to Catholicism which is the religion of his fiancee. Even though he no longer has the beliefs he grew up with he is still trying to come to terms with what he believes and about his sexuality. But really a good part of the book fo [...]

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