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The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas: Stories Paperback – August 2, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas: Stories
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  • My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays
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  • Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World
Total price: $40.63
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rothbart, the creator of Found magazine, self-published five of the eight stories included here under the same title. This new collection should give him the wider attention he deserves, for his stories contain an immediacy and freshness that make them instantly engaging. The stories' strength lies in their narrators, young men who are rootless, restless, and full of heart, displaying humor and sweetness even in dire situations. The young couple in the title story are newly in love and zooming across the back roads of Kansas when they espy a young boy practicing his surfing moves in a cornfield. Drawn into a family drama surrounding the surfer's fatally ill sister, the narrator is moved to remark that "the world had never seemed so beautiful and devastating, so ordinary and broken-down." Such small epiphanies are the hallmark of the collection, which also includes magical portraits of a charismatic, outrageous liar and a lonely teen transformed by the kindness of a stranger whom he victimized. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Davy writes with his whole heart. These stories are crushing."
-- Arthur Miller

"It's always exciting to discover a talented new writer. Davy Rothbart writes with such energy, wit, and heart."
-- Judy Blume

Davy Rothbart is a prodigiously talented young writer, and I would happily read anything he writes. His stories are full of a strange nervous energy in which wisdom is also, somehow, always visible."
-- Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love and Saul and Patsy

"I believe in Davy. He is a force to be reckoned with."
-- Ira Glass, host of public radio's This American Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Touchstone Edition edition (August 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743263057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743263054
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Davy Rothbart's short stories evoke the innocence and the complexity of human relationships. These sometimes wacky and sometimes not so wacky characters, encountering the everyday trials and tribulations of life, could be your best friend, your brother, or even yourself at some moment, current, past, present. Perhaps that's what Davy does best -- caputure the fleeting beauty of particular moments in time.
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Format: Paperback
I have had the pleasure of following Davy and his Found crew at public events for the past few years here in Boston. When learning he would be here to promote his new book, I bought it right away. These stories are raw in a way that when you flip through and pore through Found zines are raw-there is a voyeristic feeling that washes over you when you read the stories of being plopped right into their lives with hardly any back stories, and sometimes, no discernible future at all. Davy himself has an amazing presense-the very aspects of Mr. Rogers that he enjoyed is what he has been given-a charm of being truly interested in other people's lives in an authentic pure way that is never malicious and always whimsical. His fictional pieces sometimes wrap up a bit too neatly (unlike love letters found in the trash-always messy and crawling all over the places with loose ends) but I feel his future writings will correct that aspect-but one cannot ignore the blinding heat of wonder of the beauty and cruelity of our world. Read and feel, people, read and feel....
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Format: Paperback
The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas is a hugely enjoyable collection of stories. I read it in under a day, because I couldn't stop wondering about the next story, and the next story. This book reflects some of those amazing experiences where life comes together through coicidence or design. Well written, touching, honest, and amazing, these experiences will have you invested in the journey, turning page after page.

When I finished reading, I immediately wanted to read more, and to take a road trip.
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Format: Paperback
Davy's book is a wonderful read. When I picked it up, I was pleased that it was a thin book. By the time I finished reading the last story, I wished it would go on and on. My favorite story in the collection was the "Lone Surfer...".
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Format: Paperback
The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas, is a collection of short stories much like a collection of Found items from the creator himself! You never know what to expect and you can't help but to anticipate more. Each story is unique in bringing to life a cast of characters that follow you well beyond the pages of the book. I really enjoyed these stories and I look forward to reading more from Rothbart in the future.
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By Jeffrey Orig on August 27, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These stories reach down to those places that you think you want to forget, but really don't. It reaches to the aching of things you should have done, people that you will never forget, and to the things that you are guilty of being.

Maybe this review is a little dramatic, but this is a damn good book.

Buy it now.

Read it.
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Format: Paperback
...and not let go.

I devoured it in 2 days and then went back and read it again. Davy Rothbart has a knack for distilling the humanity in any given situation with an uncanny sensitivity. Many of the stories are out-loud funny and almost all of them will break your heart (in a good way). I can't recommend it enough.
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A Kid's Review on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Lone Surfer was, overall, a great book. It managed to be sufficiently sad and touching while also being humorous. When I found out that Davy Rothbart was the author, I was very surprised, as Davy's only other literary experience has been a magazine called Found, which required little to know writing on his part. Rothbart has written a wonderful collection of stories about love and loss.

The book is a collection of short stories, most of which concern people who have lost or are losing someone very close to them. The standout story is "The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas", in which the narrator and his girlfriend are driving through rural Kansas and see a boy surfing on two cinder blocks in his backyard. The boy falls and breaks his arm, so the narrator rushes him to the hospital. On the way there, the boy tells the narrator and the narrator's girlfriend about his dying sister who doesn't have much longer to live. They get pulled over by the police for speeding, but eventually the cops are helping them get the boy to the hospital.

Anyone who has ever loved and lost will be able to connect with the character's in Rothbart's stories. He tells the stories from the point of view of people from different races, classes, and locations, but the stories all retain the heart-wrenching quality of losing someone that meant the world to you, from a little sister to someone else's girlfriend to a prostitute's daughter.

This book is not for young children, because of obvious reasons, but adults are not the only ones who can enjoy Rothbart's stories. The Lone Surfer is an easy read, but if you look deeper you can find a truly touching message about love, which everyone will interpret in their own way.
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