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Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement Hardcover – April 26, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
What happens when an able-bodied 28-year-old decides to "retire" in a Florida senior community? It may seem like the setup for a Carl Hiaasen novel, but it's actually the project Rothman thinks up after losing his television job. Following through with his plan, Rothman comically probes Boca Raton's Century Village. He infiltrates the social hierarchy of the "pool group," eats dinner at the local early-bird specials and joins a shuffleboard club. He captures these experiences in short, humorous chapters, consistently detailing his own physical and mental failings compared to the seniors he meets. The book's laconic and self-deprecating tone brings to mind Rothman's former boss, David Letterman, but unfortunately, Rothman doesn't balance the two traits as well as Letterman. During a Thanksgiving dinner in the community, when Rothman competes with his neighbor Sylvie's son for Sylvie's attention and says, "I'm committing Grand Theft Mother, directly in front of him. I don't feel bad about it. Why should I?" his humor can feel uncomfortably callous. Much of Rothman's angst stems from his idleness, but it's hard to muster sympathy when that situation is self-imposed. This undermines what is otherwise a funny and engaging memoir of a quarter-life crisis. Agent, David McCormick. (May)
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"[EARLY BIRD] is a hilarious reminder that everyone was young once...everyone except Rodney." -- Jon Stewart