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Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. Paperback – October 1, 1983


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Paperback, October 1, 1983
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Lexikos Pub; Reprint edition (October 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938530232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938530237
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,466,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mr. Smith is sympathetic. Mr. Smith is also very funny . . . heartwarming.” (The New York Times Book Review ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Paul Smith was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, and graduated from Columbia College in 1936. He authored four novels as well as Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. and its companion, How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
I first read this book when I was 11 or 12, circa 1962.
Lectura
I'm sure that mothers and daughters will enjoy the book as well, but fathers and sons will get the most from it.
David E. Goldweber
I can't wait to read it...I hope it's as good as the series it inspired.
M. Mathews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By robertdstalnaker2@worldnet.att.net on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a young man, I found this book among some of my Father's collection. It seems it has been twenty years since I read it, but the images of life portrayed by the Author are still imprinted on my mind. I can remember the wholesome, innocent feeling that came over me, even as a rebellious youth, as I read each chapter. Even the detail of each story has escaped me now, but the impression it has left is inescapable. And now after all these years, Through Amazon.com, I am able to rekindle this friendship, between that old book and I. It is a "must read" and should be considered a classic for young people in school.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By robinr@mindspring.com on June 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
AS fate would have it, i was given this book at the tender age of 12 by my best friend's mother. Growing up in a house with 2 sisters i was clueless to the minds of young men..a mystery..never understood why the neighborhood tough guys felt the need to pelt us girls with grapefruits from the safety of their fortified clubhouses and armed camps. I love this book..Robert Smith has captured the innnocent and fearful thinking process of young boys that transcends the generations..haven't we all put our fists to our eyeballs in the dark of night to see the flashing lights??
Through it all he maintains a dry wit and subtle humor than endears the reader. I re-read it once a year just to get perspective on the youth in America...a treasure not to be missed..his narrative on losing at marbles to the town bully is a classic.....fears and joys..isn't that what childhood is all about?With a wry perspective and total honesty, Robert Smith manages to ring a bell of truth in this slice of life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lectura on June 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was 11 or 12, circa 1962.

It was so appealing that I adapted it into a play for a 7th grade book report. My teacher, the doughty Mrs. Kerrigan, took me to task for not reading a REAL play. I held my ground, however, and insisted that the dialogue and imagery made it as actable as any "play" could be.

Here I am, lifetimes later, still chuckling over this little masterpiece.

If you like Jean Shepherd's "Christmas Story", you will love this book!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This timeless collection of childhood memories is a classic. It can be read at any age, because everyone, boy or girl, man or woman, can relate to its tellings of childhood memories, dreams, and shenanigans. This is the best book ever written, aside from the Bible.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. L Wilson on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful little book! Very short, only 124 pages, and I think the best word to describe it is - bemusing. I was charmed by the writer's account of his childhood in the Roaring Twenties. Written in 1957, so many of his observations on parenting (and he had two of his own) are certainly true today. We micro-and macro-manage our children. Are they ever left to their own devices any more? I do remember one of the things he did, running a needle under the skin of my finger. I have a note in my copy that says this book should be given to whichever of my children's children reaches 6 first.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel P. Smith on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The thing is, I don't understand what kids do with themselves any more," begins Smith. In 1950s suburbia, children, Smith thought, were overscheduled, with "play groups and athletic supervisors and Little Leagues and classes in advanced fingerpainting."

He was alarmed to discover that his own children and their friends had no idea how to play mumbly-peg. "Why don't the kids teach the other kids to play mumbly-peg?" he asked. Children were spending too much time playing games organized by adults in which "the rules were written down in a book." "In my block," he said, "the rules were written down in kids."

From there he proceeds to reminiscences of his childhood, the interior life of the child, and the value of unsupervised exploration. Warm, humorous, ingratiating, and perfect for reading aloud.

A 1957 bestseller, its title became a catchphrase, inspiring a Charles M. Schulz cartoon, A New York Times think piece about book titles, and an assertion that the title was the first American Zen koan. A 1974 research study on the benefits of briefly dropping out of college used the title "Where did you go? Out." A 1987 scholarly book on seventeenth-century English poetry commented on the ending of Paradise Regained; the scholar used the words: "Mother: 'Where did you go?' Son: 'Out.' Mother: 'What did you do?' Son: "Nothing.'"

Smith's book inspired Brown University professor Howard P. Chudacoff to write his 2007 book "Children at Play: An American History."

But this genial, affectionate, and well-written book is more than a warm and nostalgic reminiscence of childhood. It has something to say, and it seems as important in 2010 as it was in 1957.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. on August 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book should never be out of print. A glorious, accurate dipiction of childhood from a boy's perspective. We can all relate. Sweet and innocent: when he talks about smoking "weed," it was real weeds from a back lot! When duct tape was the most valuable thing on the planet and an abandoned lot was a wonderland, it will all come back to you.
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