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My Heart is an Idiot

By Davy Rothbart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


No one can claim that Davy Rothbart, of NPR’s This American Life, is inexperienced when it comes to love. My Heart is an Idiot, the most appropriately titled autobiographical essay collection ever, is a road trip through the USA and Rothbart’s unfortunate dating history, peppered with random adventures. Stories like “Ninety-nine Bottles of Pee on the Wall,” which details his exploits in dethroning a serial literary-contest-scam artist with the help of the US postal service and, well, bottles of pee; and “Shade,” his fruitless, lifetime search for his B-movie soulmate in middle-of-nowhere New Mexico, prove that Rothbart has carved himself a niche by perfecting his own brand of honest, self-deprecating humour. When he’s not busy being rejected, stories like “New York, New York” and “Ain’t That America” show a different side---lost, and yet hopeful. At times whiny, Rothbart always redeems himself---he’s a storyteller, and maybe happiness just wouldn’t make an interesting book.

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