Found: The Best Lost, Tossed and Forgotten Items from Around the World

Overview

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, Found (and its companion website, www.foundmagazine.com), Davy Rothbart has bewitched the nation with a surprising window ...

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Overview

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, Found (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.
Found 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, Found is a mesmerizing tribute to everyday life and our eternal curiosity about our fellow human beings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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."

— Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

"I love Found!"

— Drew Barrymore

"A fascinating and compelling collection that will break your heart."

— David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day

"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

"A treasury of trash, a wonderfully weird collection...a fascinating glimpse into the wackier depths of America's collective subconscious."

The Washington Post

"Found is a diary of the human race put together with affection and love."

— Laura Kwerel, a radio producer in Washington

"Found's 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

"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 magazine."

— Amy Fritch, Spin Magazine

"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

Washington Post
A treasury of trash, a wonderfully weird collection...a facinating glimpse into the wackier depths of America's collective subconscious.
—Peter Cadron
The Washington Post
A fascinating glimpse into the wackier depths of America's collective subconscious.
Spin
Davy 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 magazine.
Los Angeles Times
A wonderfully moving collage of human emotion.
Publishers Weekly
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. (May 4) Forecast: Found! could eventually dethrone The Onion's Our Dumb Century as many homes' bathroom reading of choice. The magazine has been praised by publications as diverse as Spin, GQ, the New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times and U.S. News & World Report. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The Washington Post

"A treasury of trash, a wonderfully weird collection...a fascinating glimpse into the wackier depths of America's collective subconscious."

Los Angeles Times

"Found's contents are sometimes bizarre, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes downright hilarious, and other times a combination of all three."

St. Paul Pioneer Press

"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."

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Since elementary school, Rothbart has been collecting things he finds-in the trash, on the bus, on the ground. When he decided that others might be interested in them, he cut and pasted the best ones into a fanzine called Found. Other people quickly began sending him items, and the magazine grew into this "best of" collection. It contains predominantly handwritten notes, but there are also photos, drawings, e-mails, grocery lists, and even a picture of a kitten that was found in a library book drop. Many of the finds are compelling on their own, but what really entertains is the imagined possible backgrounds. One must wonder about the story behind the note, "Don't take matress. Leanne died on it. Shame on you. Apt. 306." There is also an interview with cartoonist Lynda Barry, and a poignant one with a man who found a message in a bottle 19 years after it was sent to sea. Though many of the items will bring laughs, there are also sad ones-lots of breakup notes and those written by children to their estranged parents, and some moving flyers from the World Trade Center collapse. Some of the pieces were obviously written by high-school students and passed in class. Reluctant readers will enjoy browsing through the silly, the sexy, and the scatological, but this book will appeal to anyone's inner eavesdropper and packrat instincts.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743251143
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 4/27/2004
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 367,372
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Davy Rothbart is the author of the national bestseller Found, and creator of the magazine of the same name. A contributor to public radio's This American Life, he is also the author of the story collection The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    I don't read non-fiction all that often, but I was intrigued by FOUND when it was nominated as a 2007 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. And I'm very glad I picked up a copy! <BR/><BR/>FOUND is, quite simply, a book filled with notes, letters, lists, pictures, and other miscellaneous items that have been found--either in the trash, on a sidewalk, stuck on a windshield, or just about anywhere else--that people have sent to the editors of FOUND Magazine for inclusion. <BR/><BR/>There is no real index to allow you to search for specific found items, but you can search by state. It doesn't really matter, though, because once you get started, you'll want to read the entire book. There are found items ranging from the funny, to the heartbreaking, to the downright insane ramblings of someone who obviously needs medication. <BR/><BR/>Some of my personal favorites include: <BR/><BR/>THIS PHASE OF YOURS found in Hoffman Estates, IL <BR/>FIND GOD, START DRINKING found in Lincoln, NE <BR/>MY OWN PRIVATE LIBRARY found in Casper, WY <BR/>AARON'S ALGEBRA TEST found in Portland, ME <BR/><BR/>This is definitely an informative and funny read. I'm looking forward to the release of FOUND II on May 2nd, which should be very educational, indeed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2006

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    I don't read non-fiction all that often, but I was intrigued by FOUND when it was nominated as a 2007 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. And I'm very glad I picked up a copy! FOUND is, quite simply, a book filled with notes, letters, lists, pictures, and other miscellaneous items that have been found--either in the trash, on a sidewalk, stuck on a windshield, or just about anywhere else--that people have sent to the editors of FOUND Magazine for inclusion. There is no real index to allow you to search for specific found items, but you can search by state. It doesn't really matter, though, because once you get started, you'll want to read the entire book. There are found items ranging from the funny, to the heartbreaking, to the downright insane ramblings of someone who obviously needs medication. Some of my personal favorites include: THIS PHASE OF YOURS found in Hoffman Estates, IL FIND GOD, START DRINKING found in Lincoln, NE MY OWN PRIVATE LIBRARY found in Casper, WY AARON'S ALGEBRA TEST found in Portland, ME This is definitely an informative and funny read. I'm looking forward to the release of FOUND II on May 2nd, which should be very educational, indeed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2005

    excellent!

    i absolutely loved the idea of this book & also loved the book. i loved reading the pieces from notes and old photos. i feel like it gives you a glimpse of other people's history.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2004

    this was soo much fun to read

    this was one of the most random and hilarious books that i have read in my whole life. i live near ann arbor, were the author is from, and it inspired me to pick up random things from off the street and read them, and maybe send them in to the magazine, which he also publishes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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