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Enough about You: Adventures in Autobiography

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3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  146 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
"Enough About You" is a book about David Shields. But it is also a terrifically engrossing exploration and exploitation of self-reflection, self-absorption, full-blown narcissism, and the impulse to write about oneself. In a world awash with memoirs and tell-alls, Shields has created something unique: he invites the reader into his mind as he turns his life into a narrativ ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 23rd 2002 by Simon & Schuster
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M. Sarki
Aug 09, 2013 M. Sarki rated it it was ok
Of the three David Shields books I have, like the wind, swiftly read thus far, this without a doubt is my favorite, though the word "favorite" would not describe how I really feel. I am not a fan of Shields and I am basically reading him to find out what all the fuss is about. I am still not sure. It makes really no sense to me when there are so many other great writers available to us to read instead of this guy. It seems to me his work is basically a looped highlight reel featuring David Shiel ...more
Dr X
Jul 27, 2016 Dr X rated it it was ok
This is a scattershot collection of snippets, some truly autobiographical but many others musings on topics that have presumed autobiographical relevance to the author. Like many of the other reviewers, I had trouble making myself care much about many of these essays. This is not to say there are not memorable moments. For example, the tableau of him, in a brown room, tossing his girlfriend's salad as she licks dropping chocolate off of her clothes and hands is unfortunately an image that will r ...more
Bobbi Lurie
Mar 25, 2010 Bobbi Lurie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no
Recommended to Bobbi by: article by David Shields
I thought I reviewed this book already but it must have been erased. This will be a weaker review than the first but the book, for me, was weak so perhaps it is appropriate that the review was erased and I'm almost too tired to write--earlier I had energy for a more energetic review about a book I didn't like.
What I wrote basically was that the first rule in writing an autobiography IMHO is you should first of all make sure you have an interesting enough life to write about. David Shield didn't
...more
M.
Mar 16, 2009 M. rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, fiction
Frankly, I don't think I like David Shields as a person. Part of this might be that he occasionally reminds me of myself at my worst (and oh God would he love it if he knew I had just typed that), but it's mostly because he is generally entirely uninteresting and solipsistic (narcissistic) to an annoying degree.

His endless "honesty" doesn't reveal anything. There is no core to his emotional being. My two favorite chapters are the chapters where he actually lets himself talk about someone else:
...more
Mark
May 08, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
It was a mistake to read this first, probably. When you want to listen to the Rolling Stones for the first time in your life, you don't put Goats Head Soup or, god forbid, Steel Wheels on your turntable first, you listen to Sticky Fingers or Let It Bleed. If you've never read Shakespeare before, you don't start with Measure for Measure or Cymbeline, you start with Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet.

Likewise, my first experience with David Shields probably should've been Reality Hunger , which is the bo
...more
Kent Winward
Mar 29, 2015 Kent Winward rated it it was amazing
Shield's philosophy and books truly speak to me. I'm fascinated by the intersection of fiction and reality. Maybe because I'm married to a writer, J.A. Carter-Winward, and she has written her own genre defying books, No Apologies and No Secrets, loosely called poetry, but that fall more into the autobiographical shorts that Shields employs in this book as characterized by the William Gass quote employed by Shields:

"I know of nothing more difficult than knowing who you are, and having the courage
...more
Rory
Oct 07, 2009 Rory rated it liked it
Recommends it for: English majors
Shelves: memoirs-and-bios
This book was all, like, vignette-y and, kinda, like, literary criticism-y. I felt smarter having read it--but is that praise?
Jonathan Hiskes
Feb 24, 2015 Jonathan Hiskes rated it did not like it
"I'm just trying to be honest here: the only portraits I'm really interested are self-portraits." Shields writes a book about writing about himself, in an attempt to show how all writing is about nothing more than language itself. He attempts a postmodern pastiche of recollections and scattered thoughts, but they don't build into anything greater than their parts. He casts offhand critiques of lame conventional novelists like Steinbeck, but never fully explains why time-worn conventions like sym ...more
Tyler
Jan 20, 2009 Tyler rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
This book is basically some dude's blog.
Kressel Housman
Apr 29, 2013 Kressel Housman rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
David Shields is a creative writing professor in Seattle, and I first became aware of him when he was promoting his more recent book, Reality Hunger. I was immediately intrigued by him because here was an actual writing professor who declared that both as a writer and a reader, he was bored by novels, and the only thing that interested him was memoir, which is about “how one human being solves the problems of being a human being.” A novel, he said, is just something that someone made up, so he h ...more
Susanna
Aug 19, 2015 Susanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction, essay
Speed-read part of this in June, finished reading it this week. Really interesting structurally. Shields is exploring autobiography as a way for the writer to relate to the audience, as a way for the writer-me to correlate and conspire with the reader-you, as one person to bleed into another. Each section begins with an essay about what he's talking about, often addressing forms of literature, and then melds into autobiographical essays that convey his point.
sisterimapoet
I really like the way Shields approaches this book - that it is teaching us techniques while showing us what he's made of. The way he writes essays about the things he likes, and in turn shows us a lot about himself and how we might begin to unpack ourselves in the same way. I liked the way he showed different ways of approaching autobiographical writing. Some straightforward, some quite unusual. His tone didn't warm me that much, he's a bit too witty and whiny but still a worthwhile read.
Richard Gilbert
Jul 17, 2012 Richard Gilbert rated it really liked it
A postmodern, searching, nonlinear, appealing inquiry into the self. I really liked it in other words and added it to my favorite memoirs page of my blog. I guess I want to read it again, though, because I am not sure it quite coheres. For instance, the essay on Bill Murray is brilliant but I started to wonder if Shields had smooshed a lot of previously published stuff together, common enough and fair game, but it can make the whole feel less whole. The fractured narrative in general and of this ...more
Josephine Ensign
Sep 03, 2014 Josephine Ensign rated it did not like it
I quickly tired of Shields' self-deprecatory ping-pong structured banter in this book.
Brian
May 05, 2014 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid, but some of the material gets recycled in How Literature Saved My Life.
Steve
Dec 22, 2010 Steve rated it it was ok
I have been reading Shields since his first novel ("Heroes" - a basketball novel set in Iowa City) and I really liked his occasional pieces collection "Remote" (about fame and media). But this just seems like a bunch of articles and pieces and notes from the creative writing course he teaches at the U of WA thrown together between a couple of covers. The longest piece is his redundant, scatter shot musings on Bill Murray. Only saving grace is the volume of short pieces is pretty short itself. Sk ...more
Jessica
Jan 10, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Five-sixths of the way through this book, I misread the word "illuminating" as "humiliating." The fact that I almost didn't catch this confusion pretty much sums up how the book made me feel, or rather, how enjoying this book made me feel (and I did enjoy it). And now, I need a confessional booth, preferably one that hasn't already been used by Shields (if there is such a thing).
Wyma
Dec 07, 2009 Wyma rated it it was ok
I wouldn't pass it up because it is different from any other memoir I have read and is provacative at times. He begins with interest and along the way gets bogged down in academic views of self, narrator, memoir, identity. A little of this could have gone a long way. Three quarters of the way through I said to Mr. Shields, "Enough about you!" and returned him to the library.
Rhonda Hughes
Oct 01, 2007 Rhonda Hughes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I began reading this book at 11PM and ended up reading until 3AM even though it was a work night. David Shields' exploration of self and memoir as a form is fascinating . One of the most courageous pieces is "Rebecca's Journal" a story about secretly reading his college girlfriend's journal. More later.
Tina Schumann
Aug 19, 2009 Tina Schumann rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Shields’ last book "The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll be Dead." He is a self-admitted Narcissist of the highest order. Shields’ is always funny, self-effacing and insightful. I can only admire people who just admit that it really is all about them.
Mark Bennett
I expected more after reading Shield's "Reality Hunger," but it still held sway. Shields can write, if for nothing else worth reading just for his chapter on Bill Murray, "The Only Solution to the Soul is the Senses."

Pushing ahead, having to prove who you are.
David Jones
Apr 22, 2010 David Jones rated it liked it
Some of the essays were hit or miss. I guess that is one of the author's points on the essay. The Bill Murray essay was spot on; I enjoyed reading the attempt of characterizing or summarizing what's intriguing about the actor/person, Bill Murray.
Tara
Mar 12, 2010 Tara rated it liked it
A collection of lightweight, entertaining essays about writing (and reading) about oneself. Starts off stronger than it finishes.
Peter Zuppardo
May 18, 2013 Peter Zuppardo rated it it was amazing
His essay about basketball is heartbreaking in the best possible way.
Allison
Apr 04, 2009 Allison rated it liked it
David Shields' reading suggestion list for you.
Marie
Marie marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
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Eric Kroczek
Eric Kroczek rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2016
Caitlynn
Caitlynn marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2016
Isaiah Frisbie
Isaiah Frisbie marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2016
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I like the title ... 2 4 Apr 30, 2013 08:07AM  
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David Shields is the author of fourteen books, including Reality Hunger (Knopf, 2010), which was named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications. GQ called it "the most provocative, brain-rewiring book of 2010"; the New York Times called it "a mind-bending manifesto." His previous book, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead (Knopf, 2008), was a New York Times bes ...more
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