Do-Over! and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $23.99
  • Save: $4.22 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: While this book has been loved by someone else, they left it in great condition. Hurry and buy it before someone else does and take advantage of our FREE Super Saver Shipping!!!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Do-Over! In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Three Returns to Kindergarten, Summer Camp, the Prom, and Other Embarrassments Hardcover – May 11, 2009


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, May 11, 2009
$19.77
$1.41 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014


Frequently Bought Together

Do-Over! In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Three Returns to Kindergarten, Summer Camp, the Prom, and Other Embarrassments + A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel + The Best American Essays 2013
Price for all three: $47.12

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (May 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316020605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316020602
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Hemley, a writing professor at the University of Iowa, decides that he wants to do over some of the experiences he flubbed as a child, he isn't just dreaming. The 48-year-old father of three makes a list of times and places he'd like to revisit, including kindergarten, the prom and summer camp, doggedly pursuing all the contacts and background checks necessary to storm the walls of childhood as an adult. Surprisingly, the kids and teachers he meets along the way accept him in his overgrown state; some even express envy. The complex logistics of Hemley's quest—including endless e-mails and phone calls to convince others that he's legit—can be tedious, but Hemley is endearing, funny and more than a bit courageous (the night before his first day of kindergarten, he's too nervous to sleep.) As he tackles his part in the school play or sits with the popular kids at lunch, Hemley philosophically ponders the lessons of the past. While some experiences don't pan out quite the way he hopes (after crashing his car into the ACT center, he ditches the idea of a standardized test repeat), others fall serendipitously into place (a crush from high school now works as the school's alumni director and agrees to be his prom date). A big kid at heart, the author draws readers in with just the right mix of humor and tenderness. 22 b&w photos. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Regrets? Sure, he has a few. Ten to be precise. Beginning with a shrewish kindergarten teacher who made his first academic year pure torture and ending with his mortifying withdrawal from a foreign-exchange program his senior year in high school, Hemley revisits the lowest episodes of his formative years in order to gain perspective on what went wrong the first time around. Inventively, Hemley actually reenacts the “do-over” experience in pursuit of authenticity, adopting the persona of a sixth-grader to see if this time he can avoid being the bullies’ favorite target, and finally nail his lines from “The Littlest Angel,” a performance complete with a super-sized costume. Now a middle-aged husband and father and successful author and professor, Hemley knows he should have left these youthful traumas behind, but unavoidable shame and unsettled scores die hard. Taking the concept of “coulda, woulda, shoulda” to its most eccentric extreme, Hemley’s step back in time imparts hard-earned wisdom with humility and humor. --Carol Haggas

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Throughout the book, Hemley is engaging, often humorous and very heartfelt.
Nicholas L. Honeck
Out loud I read an excerpt from the first essay and the first two rows of the coach class were laughing in the aisles.
S. Somewhere
After reading Do-Over, you will want to tell all your friends to read it, too.
Sue W. Silverman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Somewhere on June 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Be ready to hold your side while reading Do Over. I slurped down most of the book while sitting on a plane to New York - my fellow passengers starred at me as I shook with laughter and smiled with every muscle of my body. I even caught them watching my hand as I reached into my purse a few times to tap the tears streaming from eyes. Finally a burly white haired man leaned across the aisle and asked me what I was reading. Out loud I read an excerpt from the first essay and the first two rows of the coach class were laughing in the aisles.

This book is the perfect Father's Day gift. Or just send it to one of your childhood friends and oh the conversations that will arise.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Jauss on May 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
One thing Robin Hemley won't ever have to do over is Do-Over!, his hilarious, wise, and moving account of his attempts to revisit and correct his past embarrassments and failures. This is a masterpiece of contemporary creative nonfiction and an absolute blast to read. Through his do-overs, Hemley reaches a delicate kind of détente with his past self and learns how to become a better father to his four daughters. This book would make an ideal Father's Day gift--or any kind of gift. The book is so good it has inspired me to do a do-over of my own: I plan to re-read it again very soon.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Hicks on June 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"There's a new kid in class..He's very big. I don't know what to think about that."

Robin Hemley's do-overs are brave and honest, and yes, laugh out loud funny. He's frank and vulnerable about his insecurities and past missteps, achingly so at times. But there's a lot of Do-ing Now in DO-OVER too. The layering of those two worlds--past and present--will take you on a rich journey through sweet and painful regrets only to land you at the center of Hemley's tender and full life, one in which Then and Now form a wise and witty truce.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sue W. Silverman on July 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
While I expected that Do-Over would make me laugh, I didn't anticipate the lovely sadness it would make me feel. By "lovely sadness" I mean it is full of warmth and humanity; Hemley doesn't write just for the easy laugh. Rather than just describing for the reader what happened as he "did over" past failures and embarrassments, he journeys inside the experience in order to understand what these events meant: both now and in the past.

From reading his book I learned a lot about Robin Hemley, of course, but I also came to understand more about the human condition generally - which is what a great book does for a reader. Hemley encounters the past in the best possible way, with the insight of his adult self--a wise, caring, warm and funny adult self.

After reading Do-Over, you will want to tell all your friends to read it, too.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David M. Wanczyk on May 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
from the Bellingham Review. . .

"Some things, like first kisses and circumcisions, are un-do-over-able," writes Robin Hemley in his new book _Do-Over!_, a half-memoir, half-travelogue that's a complete success. I call the book a travelogue because in it Hemley revisits the locales of his past--both in humorous evocations and in the flesh--attempting to redo some of the memories that have turned into his mid-life regrets.

In ten delightful chapters, he details his return to kindergarten, to camp, to a childhood home, to the middle-school morass, to the prom. Each begins with the reason he wants to attempt a do-over. He hated kindergaten, he tells us, because, incredibly, his teacher used to sit on him. That chapter, like the others, moves from memoir to a kind of immersion journalism as Hemley details his experience as a 48-year old man re-enduring a week of school, a week of camp, a palm-sweaty prom date.

This pattern could turn into a gimmick in the hands of a less-talented writer, and even Hemley occasionally has to work to keep it fresh. A chapter about re-taking a standardized test, for instance, needs to morph into a mini-essay on maturity in order for it to sing; and as the book moves on, we wonder if watching Hemley return to a fourth different school can be as charming as watching him go back for the first time.

It is as charming, though, because Hemley leads us step-by-step through his own adolescence in a way that makes it possible for us to lead ourselves on a similar journey. He's never ponderous about his own past and rarely sentimental, so we feel invited into his life and back into our own. He's exceptional in his ability to present his own anxieties and awkwardnesses, too, without seeming to be overcome by regret.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wes Saylors Jr. on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
... it must be Robin Hemley. I had the good fortune of studying under Robin Hemley in 2004 and I once described him as a cross between Woody Allen, Indiana Jones and Willy Wonka, and I think Do-Over bears this out. What Robin has decided to do is go back and "do-over" the more significant losses and humiliations of his younger life: a kindergarten play in which he flubbed his lines, his high school prom (which, in fact, he didn't really do a first time) and his stint as an exchange student in Japan (probably the most satisfying do-over as it is both hilarious and lump-in-your-throat touching). In the process, Robin gives us a very honest glimpse into his married and family life (a second marriage and daughters from both), a process he is simply doing, and hoping to get right.
What, I think, Robin puts to the test is the old adage, "If I could go back, knowing then what I know now..." And the reality is, even if you knew then what you know now, and you could do it again, the heart would still get in the way of the facts. Eighth grade still feels like eighth grade, whether you're thirteen or 46. Flubbing a line in a play still feels the same whether you're five or 46. You might reconcile the event in some way, but there's a good chance you'll never feel any differently about it. It's funny and touching to see Robin sitting in a classroom filled with kids and be concerned about whether the cool kids like him -- in fact, worrying about it the way we all did when we were that age.
Robin finally does the prom (with a boyhood crush that, if the photo in the book is any indication, still looks preeettty good).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?