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Lost on Treasure Island: A Memoir of Longing, Love, and Lousy Choices in New York City Hardcover – June 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611450209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611450200
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #940,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“You may be horrified by the spectacle of Friedman trolling for babes at 12-step meetings while pitying his own inability to understand what his problem with the ladies is. You will be amply rewarded, however, by the final, jaw-dropping comeuppance he receives at the sadistic hands of a famous memoirist who snags him on a cyberdating site and emotionally demolishes him without so much as a smooch. You’ll actually feel sorry for him.” (Ben Dickinson - Elle)

“Steve Friedman is a toxic cad and a fabulous writer.” (Meghan Daum, Los Angeles Times columnist)

Lost on Treasure Island is the story of every Midwesterner who has ever come to the Big City to follow a dream. I read it with both jealousy and gratitude: jealous because Steve Friedman is a truly gifted memoirist, and grateful that I have never personally auditioned for the role of Mrs. F. This is a fantastic read.” (Sarah Rose, author of All the Tea in China)

“After finishing this sometimes infuriating, oft funny, and truly touching memoir, I’m amazed there’s not a line of ladies volunteering to be Mrs. Friedman. Lost on Treasure Island is chest of wonders indeed.” (Shari Goldhagen, author of Family and Other Accidents)

“An unvarnished reckoning of the realities of following one's dreams to make it as a writer (and fully formed adult) in Manhattan. Through highs and lows, Friedman's caustic charm steals the show."” (Thomas Kohnstamm, author of Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?)

“I loved Lost on Treasure Island, and, by the end, its hapless, hopeful, utterly hilarious narrator. I laughed, I cried, I flung it to the floor and snatched it up again. It's The Devil Wears Prada meets A Million Little Pieces meets Lolita. Fantastic.” (Cathi Hanauer, author of Sweet Ruin and editor of The Bitch in the House)

Lost on Treasure Island brilliantly limns one Midwestern man's seriocomic struggles with success, sex and spiritual development in Manhattan. Kind of a Bright Lights, Big City without the drugs, a Pilgrim's Progress without the progress, a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man without the art or the young man. It is one man's down-and-dirty account of his battle with demons within and without. Brutally honest doesn't begin to describe it. This is a spiritual striptease that sears the soul and tickles the funny bone. Friedman writes like an angel going to hell on a Harley.” (Jeff Leen, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Kings of Cocaine and Queen of the Ring)

“I love Lost on Treasure Island. It's the truest, funniest, sexiest big-city adventure story I've ever read. As a hero, Steve Friedman is wildly flawed, but as a writer, he's in a class with Nick Hornby at his best and Candace Bushnell in her dreams.” (Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, And the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)

About the Author

Steve Friedman is the author of four books, including Driving Lessons and The Agony of Victory, and the co-author of two New York Times best sellers, including Eat & Run. He has written for Esquire, GQ, Outside, The New York Times, New York, Bicycling and Runner’s World. His stories have been published in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Travel Writing and many other anthologies. Friedman grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, attended Stanford University, and lives in New York City. Visit Stevefriedman.net.

More About the Author

Steve Friedman is the author of five books, including Driving Lessons, Lost on Treasure Island and The Agony of Victory and the co-author of two books. Eat & Run (with Scott Jurek), will be released June 5, 2012. Friedman has written for Esquire, GQ, Outside, The New York Times, Backpacker, Runner's World and other titles and his stories have been widely anthologized. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Stanford University. He lives in New York City. Visit Stevefriedman.net.

Customer Reviews

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Funny, poignant, revealing, brutally honest, REALLY funny.
The Reader
As I read, I felt like an old friend was sitting next to me telling me his life story.
Naida M.
The author can write a funny sentence or short paragraph as well as anyone.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By kindlenerd on June 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Lost On Treasure Island" by Steve Friedman, is often funny, always honest, and frequently uncomfortable to read. The latter is due to Friedman's gift for putting the reader in his shoes (shoes you do NOT want to be in) with descriptive prose. The book takes us on a journey from the perspective of a young writer trying to make a name for himself in New York City, and over the course of 10 years, turns him into an older-but-not-so-wiser writer trying to make a name for himself in New York City. Reading this memoir, we relive Friedman's poor choices in fashion, story-pitching strategies to his boss, and all too often, bad dates. When true love, or something like it, looks like it may be within his grasp, Friedman either botches it because commitment frightens him, or the object of his affection dumps him. Some of which feels like schaedenfreude, but you can't help rooting for Friedman to conquer his demons, fears and find the elusive Mrs. Friedman. One of the funniest chapters focuses on the pickup basketball games Friedman joins, with a group of mostly Wall Street traders. Another sequence custom-made for a movie, should "Lost On Treasure Island" ever make it to a film version, is the search for Mrs. Friedman, wherein the author makes a diligent effort to locate the perfect wife. Like many of his other misadventures, it doesn't go very smoothly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EAFemLuv on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lost on Treasure Island: A Memoir of Longing, Love and Lousy Choices in New York City is Steve Friedman's incredible memoir beginning with when he moved to New York City after spending his life as a writer in the more docile Midwest. With utter honesty and no apologies he expresses every thought, inane and brilliant alike, that others may be too timid to share. Operating on an ever-fluctuating system of morals, it's difficult not to become endeared to this slightly narcissistic narrator, his occasionally misguided intentions, or his inspirational story of moving forward despite fear of the new and unknown.

From inadvertently wearing a lime green suit to his first big city interview with a terrifying big city boss, to engorging himself on copious amounts of deliciously fattening ice cream treats after yet another failed romantic attempt, Friedman lays bare every human emotion. The audience is not the demon he fears, but the prejudice in his own head that follows his every action, and so he documents everything with an entertaining clarity that leaves no thought unexplored. Any lifelong Midwesterner would be intimidated by a move to New York City, and the acclimation process would be a slow but steady progression for anyone with a pulse; for Friedman, specifically, it's a slow but steady progression to becoming a Class-A suck-up, a failed wooer of potential Mrs. Friedmans, and the hilariously honest narrator he is.

Some of his experiences are in the flesh, while still others are only extensions of his incredibly vivid imagination, but to him every incident is supremely real. The reader's journey through his prose to discover which is which is like following a treasure map and then finding a bona fide treasure trove.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Reader on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Funny, poignant, revealing, brutally honest, REALLY funny. Now we know the male view of Sex in the City. It's not always a pretty view, but Steve Friedman is a wonderful story-teller -- did I mention funny? -- and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next to him. What I didn't expect was to be inspired.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Among the many stories of young men coming to age in the big harsh city, this is one of the best I've read. It is a very sharp

portrayal of cynicism ,self-involvement and redemption. And it is very very funny. And moving.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read many memoirs, all claiming to be `brutally honest,' or `unvarnished,' or `unflinching,' or some other variety of `this-isn't-a-bunch-of-made-up-stuff-so-trust-the-author.' In most of those books the author/memoirist realizes the error of his ways/stops drinking/discovers love/finds god in a few carefully choreographed set pieces and that neat little ending almost always rings hollow. It's almost always contrived. That's not the case with Lost on Treasure Island. Steve Friedman doesn't do cheap sentiment and every one of his epiphanies is real and messy. He weasels and waffles, he sleeps around, he weasels some more, he comes by some hard-earned wisdom, he waffles some more, reaches for the wrong woman, aspires to do better, and still keeps weaseling and waffling on his way to something like wisdom and happiness. It's real, it's sad, it's hilarious and fantastic!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a story Steve wrote, which was published in my latest issue of Backpacker magazine. Enjoyed the story and bought the book. So far (I'm about 1/3 into the book), I am enjoying it! His honesty is shocking...he is a brave man.
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Format: Hardcover
I almost gave this book five stars, but the sort of redeeming ending seemed a bit rushed and forced. It's a good attempt at a type of coming of age in the big city story, but the author/protagonist is such an interesting and unusual guy, it may not resonate as a universal experience.

Still, a great book. The author does self deprecating humor as well as anyone I have ever read, wth the possible exception of Dave Barry, and appears to be brutally honest about his own character.

Perhaps the best part is the humor, although this was probably not intended to be a comedy. The author can write a funny sentence or short paragraph as well as anyone. I found myself harassing my family by repeatedly making them read (or listen to mr read) short sections.
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