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Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the Worldby Davy Rothbart
"Ranging from the achingly intimate to the comically bizarre and dully routine, Found is an assemblage of the detritus of our lives: old photographs, to-do lists, love letters, napkin poetry, or birthday cards found on break-room bulletin boards, car windshields, or the sidewalk....At its best, Found can be rather moving, something that can rarely be said about most fare in the reality genre. Some of the most evocative pieces almost read like tiny, fractured stories..." Elana Berkowitz, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
Synopses & Reviews
Sometimes more banal than so called "reality" programs, and all the more poignant for it, Found is an eclectic, sometimes bizarre and frequently fascinating compilation. An addictive read for the voyeur in you. Georgie, Powells.com
Discarded valentines. Ransom notes. To-do lists. A diary. A homework assignment. A break-up letter written on the back of an air sickness bag. They can be found on buses, at stores, in restaurants, waiting rooms, parking lots, even prison.
In Found, Davy Rothbart gives readers an uncensored, poignant, and hilarious peek into other people's lives. One person's trash is another's treasure trove, and half of the fun of Found is in figuring out the stories behind the stuff. It celebrates the detritus of our lives and lays bare the tantalizing tales to be discovered in the garbage we toss away, like this note found under the windshield wiper of the wrong car: "Mario, you're a LIAR. You said you had to work then why's your car HERE at HER place" Amber. P.S. Page me later."
Chock full of charms and oddities from the hilarious to the heartbreaking, Found is an uncommon tribute to everyday life — as well as our eternal curiosity about our fellow human beings — that gives us a surprising window into our nation's heart and soul.
"In the tradition of NPR's National Story Project comes this funky collection of letters, flyers and other miscellany from the pages of Found magazine. Rothbart, the magazine's editor and founder, has pulled together the funniest, weirdest and most moving items found by himself and his readers over the years. Fairly typical is the note left on a car's windshield, intended for a wayward boyfriend named Mario: "You said you had to work then whys your car here at HER place?.... I hate you..." piling invective upon invective until concluding: "p.s. Page me later." Rothbart and company find stuff just about everywhere: on buses, taped to trees, underneath Coke machines, in the recycling bin at Kinko's. Some items are heartbreaking (a missing person poster found in Manhattan after September 11), some hilarious (an algebra test, flunked with creativity and panache) and some just plain odd (a note directing residents to lock a door in order to "prevent unauthorized people from entering the building and defecating in the washing machine"). There are some explanations, but mostly, the trash speaks for itself, reproduced with Rothbart's particular punk-collagist aesthetic. At times, reading the notes and letters feels uncomfortably voyeuristic, and inevitably, readers are left wanting more, wishing for details about these lives beyond what the sketchy fragments provide (did that scoundrel Mario ever change his wanton ways?). A provocative and original book, Rothbart's collection manages to pull laughter and drama from the flotsam and jetsam of society." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A fascinating glimpse into the wackier depths of America's collective subconscious." The Washington Post
"A wonderfully moving collage of human emotion." The Los Angeles Times
"A fascinating and compelling collection that will break your heart." David Sedaris
The writing in this book is so bad, it deserves its own taxonomy of suckitude.
Gillian Flynn, Mary Roach, Dave Eggers, Rick Moody, Chuck Palahniuk, Amy Tan, A.J. Jacobs, Daniel Clowes, Jeff Greenwald, Po Bronson the list goes on. They all sucked once, and they all have the guts to share some of their crappiest early work in Drivel: an uplifting bit of voyeurism, based on the sold-out Regreturature” stage shows in San Francisco, and brought to you by Litquake and the San Francisco Writers Grotto.
Within these pages youll find abstruse and esoteric poetry (bad); incoherent and illogical short stories (worse); bumfuzzling proto-journalism (shameful); and pretentious, overwrought journal entries (well not speak of this again).
Thanks to these courageous but foolhardy writers, the world now knows the real meaning of a work-in-progress.
Discarded valentines. Ransom notes. To-do lists. Diaries. Homework assignments. A break-up letter written on the back of an airsickness bag. Whether they are found on buses, at stores, in restaurants, waiting rooms, parking lots, or even prison yards, these items give readers an uncensored, poignant, and often hilarious peek into other people's lives. By collecting them in his hit magazine, andlt;Iandgt;Foundandlt;/Iandgt; (and its companion website, www.foundmagazine.com), Davy Rothbart has bewitched the nation with a surprising window into its heart and soul and turned his many readers into an army of sharp-eyed finders. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;Iandgt;Foundandlt;/Iandgt; is chock-full of the latest and greatest of these finds, arranged in the style of the magazine, laying bare the tantalizing tales to be discovered in the trash we toss. By turns heartbreaking and hysterically funny, andlt;Iandgt;Foundandlt;/Iandgt; is a mesmerizing tribute to everyday life and our eternal curiosity about our fellow human beings.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Davy Rothbartandlt;/bandgt; is the author of the national bestseller andlt;Iandgt;Foundandlt;/iandgt;, and creator of the magazine of the same name. A contributor to public radio's andlt;Iandgt;This American Lifeandlt;/iandgt;, he is also the author of the story collection andlt;Iandgt;The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansasandlt;/iandgt;. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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