Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$0.98
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by thrift_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Thriftbooks is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

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

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback, October 1, 1983
$0.98
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$2.12
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
click to open popover

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 alternate Paperback edition.

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 alternate Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Lexikos Pub; Reprint edition (October 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938530232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938530237
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,246,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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!
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THIS LITTLE BOOK IS JUST GREAT. I HADN'T HEARD OFIT UNTIL IWAS READING ANOTHER BOOK IT TALKED ABOUT IT IN THE OTHER BOOK SO I ORDERED IT. SO GLAD I DID ITS HILARIOUS AND CUTE I JUST LOVE IT. ONE OF THE VERY BEST LITTLE HUMOROUS HILARIOUS BOOKS THAT I HAVE EVER HAVE READ AND TRULY LOVED IT. YOU SHOULD BUY IT AND READ IT.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Paul Smith worked for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune,
my hometown newspaper. I read this book when I was about 12.
It is a portrait of childhood in the time of my father, lovingly done.
Great nostalgia, great respect for children.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews