Posts Tagged ‘Found magazine’

It’s easy to feel angry at Davy Rothbart while reading his collection of essays “My Heart is An Idiot.” Angry because his book is essentially the same book you tried to write years ago and, by extension, because while Rothbart’s tales of love and live are adventurous and charming, your tales (and your life, and your loves) are ever-the-more mundane and uneventful.

In a series of episodic vignettes, Rothbart talks about landing face first in one American city after another in the pursuit of romance and financial success, only to see himself constantly foiled by lofty expectations and the same men-from-mars women-from-venus misunderstandings we can all relate to. Along the way he sprinkles a few non-romantic tales of the heart into the mix to add levity and variety, such as walking up in nothing but a pair of socks in a New York City park or bonding with a hitchhiker on the unknown roads that make for great classic rock lyric inspiration.

It’s a quick, relatively easy read that is more than enjoyable. Rothbart, a sort of neo-beatnick, doesn’t shy away from the details – good or bad – resulting in some explicit and graphic diction at times, not to mention some underlying subject matter that might make my mother blush.

The book also takes a few self-promoting turns as Rothbart hawks his magazine at every turn and spends one of his longer segments toward the end explaining the false imprisonment of one of his friends. It reeks of free publicity and a ploy for sympathy, almost like you’ve been tricked into hearing a sales pitch for time-shares by the promise of a free lunch.

But all in all, MHIAI is a charmingly honest, inspiring slice from the pie of life that makes you wish you had spent more time seeing the world and taking risks, because even in our most embarrassing failures come the best stories later on. B

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