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Book Review: My Heart Is An Idiot

My Heart Is An Idiot by Davy Rothbart

This book made me giggle, and, at one point, laugh out loud.

There I was, lying on my bed with my iPad propped up on my chest at 10:00 PM. I usually read a book at bedtime to help me sleep, but this book wasn’t helping at all. One page would leave me teary-eyed from laughing, and the next I’m tingling from the warm, fuzzy feeling as author Davy Rothbart describes his love affair with a female character in a movie.

This book is a collection of essays from Davy Rothbart – from the time he (and eventually his brothers) played a prank on their deaf Mom as kids, his amusing yet sad experiences falling in and out of love with women (he’s attracted to cute girls with “shades” of sadness in them), swallowing a gulp of his own medicine after plotting dirty revenge on a scammer, to his road-trip misadventures meeting a colorful hodge-podge of interesting characters.

Rothbart writes wonderfully: his descriptions are picturesque, his writing honest and earnest. You can’t help but be caught up with his humor and the craziness of his outrageous schemes. If I were a guy, I’d totally love to be his wingman the next time Rothbart goes on one of his road trips. It seems that he’s a magnet for quirky, odd, and interesting people.

The guy, however, needs to stop falling in love. He’s like obsessed with the falling, and not with love itself. He craves that bittersweet process from when a crush develops to the point where it blooms to love, and then stops short there. He’s just so dang idealistic! His tragic romantic pursuits are fun to read. There are times I find myself rooting for him. At other times, I want to grab him by the neck and whack his book on his head over and over again.

I can see myself reading this book for the 2nd, and probably 3rd, time later on. My favorite moment is when a deliriously drunk Rothbart accidentally swallowed a bottle of his own urine. (Yes, he had bottles of his own pee. All 99 of them!) This part of the book was just effing priceless.

Also, it’s brave of Rothbart to confess how he compares every woman he meets and falls in love with with a female character in a movie he saw when he was in his teens. Every potential girlfriend (that is if he hasn’t finally found himself a wife yet now) will read this book and forever question Rothbart’s feelings: is he truly in love with her, or is he still hung up on a fantasy, a fictional character who can never be flesh-and-blood?

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