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My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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“THIS BOOK IS F---ING GREAT! Nobody writes quite like Davy Rothbart, because nobody lives quite like Davy Rothbart--a true and funny ragged-hearted seeker of ecstasy, mystery, and human connection. My Heart Is an Idiot contains some of the most perfect and heartbreaking writing that I have ever read.” ―Elizabeth Gilbert
“Welcome to the newly remodeled Heartbreak Hotel, where Davy Rothbart is concierge. He'll also unpack your underwear, restock your minibar, and do stand-up comedy in the lounge.” ―Tom Robbins
“In Davy Rothbart's essays on heartache, mad love, the low life, and the high life, everybody is fascinating; everybody has something to say. The sentences speed you along down one narrative highway after another, and your tour guide is smart and funny and a real democrat: he has a sweet-tempered openness to experience that wins you over. This book breathes new life back into the personal essay, and these essays are a trip. Take that trip.” ―Charles Baxter
“Tender, cool, funny, and utterly engaging, Davy Rothbart writes with a kind of warmth and cockeyed energy that make you love him. This book is marvelous.” ―Susan Orlean
“An intriguing hybrid of timeless Midwestern warmth and newfangled jive talk.” ―Sarah Vowell
“Davy Rothbart has the humor and purity of heart you want and need in an observer of contemporary American life. Without guile and with a belief in small towns, underdogs, love at first sight, the pull of the road, and the soulfulness of strangers, Rothbart is a kind of new-styled Bill Moyers--genuine, wide-eyed, and hopeful.” ―Dave Eggers
“I believe in Davy. He's a force to be reckoned with.” ―Ira Glass
“Davy's as real as it gets. This is a badass book.” ―Kid Rock
“Davy's my kind of storyteller--honest, hilarious, deeply feeling, and slightly cracked. This is the fresh voice we've been looking for.” ―Jim Carroll, author of The Basketball Diaries
“Davy writes with his whole heart. These stories are crushing.” ―Arthur Miller on The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas
“It's always exciting to discover a talented new writer. Davy writes with such energy, wit, and heart.” ―Judy Blume on The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas
“Like Kerouac's best novels, these stories are breezy and energetic dispatches from obscure corners of the country... Rothbart mines his material to heartbreaking effect.” ―The Washington Post on The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas
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Top Customer Reviews
Each essay in My Heart is an Idiot has a little "ah-hah" moment to it - a moment of connection, exhilaration, or heartbreak that pops out and punches you right in the heart or the face. Rothbart's essays seem a natural progression from his years working with This American Life and telling stories on the road - the essays are breezily written and full of nicely-put detail. If you have ever wanted to stick Davy in your pocket for safekeeping or wanted to hop in his van and travel along with him after a show, reading this book is probably the next best thing.
From the utterly filmic "Human Snowball" to the crushingly sad "Shade," Rothbart succeeds in showing us why his heart is an idiot, yes, but a lovable idiot. Rothbart himself is a rich character, charming but weird, sweet but a little selfish, and addictive like few people are. Readers who have ever been in love and done something a little outside-of-the-box will find plenty to relate to, as will those who have been on the receiving end of such gestures.
The collection is based upon Rothbart's seemingly endless arsenal of impossible-but-true tales. He knows how to tell a story, to be sure, but at times the coincidences in his life seem too great, and the reminder on the copyright page seems to suggest that perhaps some of them are: "Occasionally certain aspects...have been altered, amalgamated, reordered, refashioned, omitted, or even fictionalized... to preserve narrative flow." But maybe that is the price of a collection of creative non-fiction as engaging as this, and it's one that readers will likely be eager to forgive.
Buy it. Read it. It will make you feel things.
Wrong. Not fiction but "essays," according to the cover of Rothbart's collections. Not college-course "essays" but non-fiction accounts. Adventures, perhaps? Maybe categories don't matter.
With passion tattooed on his bicep for everyone to see, Davy Rothbart is the likable star and hero of his ever-changing world.
Surely he’s literary three-way love child of Jack Kerouac, Studs Terkel and, I don’t know, Lord Byron.
"My Heart is an Idiot" will give you armchair travel time with a guy who follows the smallest urges and wispiest reasons to chase down offbeat dreams and stray questions. And women.
But like the action in “Human Snowball” (which is a terrific story/essay) Davy Rothbart gets bounced and whacked by the giant pinball flippers of life. Many of these stories start out being one thing and morph suddenly or slowly into something else. For 14 years, Rothbart has been running Found magazine, which collects love letters, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles (this is from their web site)—anything that gives a glimpse into someone else’s life. He’s also a contributor to “This American Life” on NPR and there’s a ton of videos on YouTube from his endless roadshow and there is a documentary based on this volume of essays/stories/adventures.
But I just took "My Heart is an Idiot" for what it is—good writing. I don’t know if telling these stories come naturally, but they sure feel that way. Rothbart’s hopeless romanticism is everywhere, whether it’s chasing skirts or thinking through the guilt or innocence of a man imprisoned for murder.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Heart-wrenching honesty. Wow! Story after story you will be continually amazed at the brutal honesty in the writing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a book that you can't help smiling while you're reading it. I even had to contain some laughs at some points. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Margaret Carmel
This book is absolutely fantastic. It's hilarious, and I was so absorbed in the stories I almost forgot I was READING an actual book . Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great stories. You feel you're right next to Davy in the passenger seat in all his adventures. Non-fiction fiction. Or fiction non-fiction. Fun either way.Published 9 months ago by Jessica
Outside of three of the stories a largely uneventful boringly written book.Published 12 months ago by Michael M