My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays
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Update 12-12-12: HA! I sold this bastardo. So glad to have it gone from my sight.
Davy Rothbart seems to get passed over by the ladies more often than most. Maybe it's because he's so earnest about falling in love with almost every girl he meets that the girls sense it is impermanent? Or just because nice guys finish last? Or because he seems to be on the road so often? I suspect it's a combination of these things, and also that, as he posits toward the end of the book, it's the chase he's really after. He loves fal ...more
I love anyone who can make everyday life seem like an exciting joyride. The essay Human Snowball is t ...more
The author keeps talking about his pitiful love life, and yet, in "Shade", he writes ab ...more
Throughout the book he makes some wise observations in Davy-talk. Here's one I like. This is about young Hakim's strong desire to go to Canada, where he thinks he will get away from his problems and begin a new life as a DJ:
"But what would happen once he reached Canada? Missy and I had talked ...more
It's hard to believe some of these tales. Perhaps they are really realistic fiction. Perhaps some are just mildly embellished. Perhaps life really does work in crazy ways and t ...more
This collection of essays by Found magazine and website originator and sometime This American Life (NPR) contributor Davy Rothbart shoots for poignancy and heartache, but typically gets derailed...well, by idiocy. At best, his voice comes across clouded in sap-soaked puppy love ("Ain't That America") and at worst, he's a cringe-indu...more
“Snowball” starts with a fairly factual opening statement: “On February 14, 200, I took the Greyhound bus from Detroit to Buffalo to visit a girl named Lauren Hill. Not Lauryn Hill the singer, who did that cover of ‘Killing Me Softly,’ but another Lauren Hill, who’d gone to my high school, and now, almost ten years later, was about to become my girlfriend, I hoped.”
I mean, that ...more
The book is 16 short stories, or rather true life stories, gleaned from Mr. Rothbart's (admittedly) interesting life. Not all are centered around his pursuit of romantic love, th ...more
I appreci ...more
I couldn't put this book down.
Davy's stories were compelling from the very first page. And they kept getting better and better. His adventures are enthralling, heartbreaking, funny, and brutally honest. I laughed the entire time I was reading this, but there is an underlying sadness in the sto ...more
My only other pet peeve...what's up with the misuse of "me" versus "I"? I get that it's a local dialecty kind of thing...But Rothbart is too quick and too smart to let that pass in the written version of these stories page after page. It discredits him in that it seems an attempt to keep some sort of "street cred". It comes off as too self-conscious.
And another thing... in my mind, the Davy I was picturing is NOT the way he looks in real life. I was seeing this tall, gangly man with some shaggy hair (think Shaggy from Scooby Doo, even), with tortoise-shell glasses that maybe attracted girls who like hipsters. Imagine my ...more
On the one hand, Davy Rothbart has a gift for storytelling. It's not just the way he strings words together, but the way he frames situations and brings characters alive and etc. I was captivated enough to read the book in a day.
On the other hand, some of the stuff this guy does is repulsive. Standouts ...more
No, it's not that I can't get into them. It's that I find th ...more
While he may not impress others, here is someone who is able to capture what so many of us actually are, characters living our lives, falling in and out of love, doing dumb things, and feeling what romantics feel, making mistakes and yet moving on, somehow. I like that. It's storytelling, of life, it is real.
If you are a nerd, ...more
But I was so turned off by the first essay--about the author's teen years and his incredibly disrespectful behavior towards his deaf mother--that it was hard to enjoy the rest of the book. Maybe writing about it was cathartic for the author, but that doesn't make it pleasant for the reader.