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My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays Paperback – September 3, 2013
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“I believe in Davy. He is a force to be reckoned with.” ―Ira Glass
“This book is f--cking great!” ―Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Rothbart...is a born raconteur, with a soldier's can-do spirit and a poet's mercurial soul.” ―The New Yorker
“[Rothbart's] irreverent brand of humor translates seamlessly to the page....He has an unforced curiosity and a natural empathy that make him an ideal traveling....Killingly funny.” ―The Washington Post
“Davy Rothbart has the humor and purity of heart you want and need in an observer of contemporary American life.” ―Dave Eggers
“Substitute Dr. Dre for Charlie Parker, and Davy Rothbart's new collection of sixteen essays reads like early Jack Kerouac....A brutally honest, heartfelt, and clever collection.” ―Time Out (New York)
“[Davy's] capacity for serendipity and overshare is infectious.” ―The New York Times
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 6 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 11 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 14 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 15 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 16 months ago by Jessica