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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
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.
“Bigger and Deafer” – When it comes to making fun of people with disabilities, the appropriate response is no. Always no. But then I like to think I have more than two cents to rub together.
“Human Snowball” – If you want to read about a bus ride and a botched encounter with Lauren Hill (not the Lauryn Hill), then you’ll probably want to give this story a go. On a side note, Vernon adds a bit of comedic relief.
“What Are You Wearing?” – If you want a checklist in how not to conduct phone sex, and when to probably pass on picking up the motel phone, you’ll find your answers here. If you’re still confused when you reach the end, you might want to start from the beginning all over again.
“The 8th of November” – How Jim Thompson, arguably the best Ford mechanic in the Beltway, developed a friendship with the author with the idiot heart.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love his stories set in site specific locales, memories of some of the places I've lived. Just shy of being a bit too pat, I still root for his hopelessly, neurotically... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tina
Heart-wrenching honesty. Wow! Story after story you will be continually amazed at the brutal honesty in the writing. Read morePublished 10 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 13 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 13 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 15 months ago by Jessica