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
Synopses & Reviews
A collection of andlt;Iandgt;Found andlt;/Iandgt;magazineand#8217;s best lost, tossed, and forgotten itemsandlt;Iandgt;, Foundandlt;/Iandgt; offers a fascinating glimpse into other peopleand#8217;s lives.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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;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.
"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
"Writers resent Found.
How would you feel if you spent months and years slaving over stories when these talented rubberneckers can't seem to walk their dogs without tripping over one teensy epic after another? No fair!"
-- Sarah Vowell, author of Take the Cannoli and The Partly Cloudy Patriot
"The extreme pleasure this brings is really hard to explain, and the more we try to analyze it, the more troubling our enjoyment might become." andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; -- Dave Eggers, author of andlt;iandgt;A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Geniusandlt;/iandgt;
"Rothbart probably never listened to his mother when she told him not to pick up trash. Which is good: Otherwise he might have never started Found
-- Amy Fritch, Spin Magazine
"I love Found!"
-- Drew Barrymore
"I love Found!"
-- Drew Barrymore
is a diary of the human race put together with affection and love."
-- Laura Kwerel, a radio producer in Washington
contents are sometimes bizarre, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes downright hilarious, and other times a combination of all three."
-- Los Angeles Times
"The lost scraps of writing in this book are perfect short stories."
-- Ira Glass, host of This American Life
"Davy Rothbart's brilliant idea was to create a forum for folks to submit the revealing detritus of life...The notes are sometimes funny, sometimes mundane, sometimes horrifying and always a beautiful peek into the fascinating private lives of others."
-- St. Paul Pioneer Press
"I love andlt;iandgt;Found!"andlt;/iandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; -- Drew Barrymore
"Whether youre in it for the entertainment value or the encouragement of knowing that even the best writers once sucked, youre bound to find something to love in this collection of mostly terrible early work from some of todays big names.'
"The book's humor is encouraging; young writers might be inspired to keep working through what might not yet seem to them such deliciously bad writing. Not only hilarious but also somewhat magical."
"This endearing anthology of early poems, teenage diaries, college essays, and high school assignments lives up to its bold name. The humorous volume will inspire anyone who enjoys writing and delight those who fondly remember the awkwardness of their teenage years."
“Drivel will pluck your heartstrings.”
"Before Gillian Flynn wrote the best-selling novel Gone Girl, she penned a soapy tale of evil triplets inspired by the twins of the 1980s “Sweet Valley High” series. Other highlights presented in this collection are Chuck Palahniuks letter to Cambodian leader Pol Pot, written at age ten, in which Palahniuk pretended to be a billionaire industrialist, and Caroline Pauls haphazard letter to then-president Richard Nixon about animal cruelty. (Included is Nixons actual response on White House letterhead.) The primary sources add to the volumes readability—Amy Tans decidedly awful poetry is bolstered by her pretty handwriting and the embarrassing childhood photographs throughout the book remind readers that their favorite authors had bad hair days (or years), too. Journalist Scott gathered the inspiration for her debut book from the San Francisco-based Regreturature, an annual event at which authors read their most regrettable works. Proceeds of the book benefit Litquake, the literary festival that hosts the event.
VERDICT: This endearing anthology of early poems, teenage diaries, college essays, and high school assignments lives up to its bold name. The humorous volume will inspire anyone who enjoys writing and delight those who fondly remember the awkwardness of their teenage years. Ideal for all public library collections." —Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal
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.
From discarded valentines to a breakup letter written on the back of an air sickness bag, this tribute to everyday life takes an uncensored, poignant and hilarious peek into other people's lives.
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.
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.
Review A Day
"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