Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. by Robert Paul Smith, James J. Spanfeller |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing.

Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing.

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by Robert Paul Smith, James J. Spanfeller
     
 

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"A classic evocation of childhood . . . a masterly mixture of up-country drawl and Huckleberry Finn."—The New Yorker
A hugely popular bestseller when it first appeared in 1957, Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. is Robert Paul Smith's nostalgic and often wry look back on his 1920s childhood. Smith agitates against what he perceives as the over

Overview

"A classic evocation of childhood . . . a masterly mixture of up-country drawl and Huckleberry Finn."—The New Yorker
A hugely popular bestseller when it first appeared in 1957, Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. is Robert Paul Smith's nostalgic and often wry look back on his 1920s childhood. Smith agitates against what he perceives as the over-scheduled and over-supervised lives of suburban children as he celebrates privacy, boredom, and time to oneself away from adults. Arcane games and pastimes including mumbly-peg, horse-chestnut collecting, and Indian scalp burns pervade the book, alongside tales of young love—"I loved the smell of kerosene. Rose smelled of kerosene. I loved Rose."—and hard-won observations by Smith the elder. Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. still conveys the essence of adventure that forms the basis of a fondly recalled childhood.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
“Mr. Smith is sympathetic. Mr. Smith is also very funny . . . heartwarming.”
Library Journal - Booksmack!
Smith waxed nostalgic in this 1957 memoir about his 1920s childhood in Mount Vernon, NY, when all kids needed to have fun was a bag of marbles, a baseball glove, and their imaginations. Illustrated with a handful of simple drawings, Smith talks about kid things ranging from playing mumbly-peg with a scout knife to his first crush. His remembrances, of course, are filtered through the experienced eye of an adult. Still a fun read if you didn't grow up with personal computers and home-entertainment systems—and, maybe, even if you did. Mike Rogers, "Classic Returns", Booksmack!, 12/2/10
Nora Krug
Smith's message may sound crotchety, but he delivers it with charm. He evokes a time when kids were left to their own devices and made aware—sometimes painfully—when they had gone too far. Some of this may be sugar-coated nostalgia, but it's hard to quibble with his no-nonsense approach to child-rearing: "Let them moon, let them babble, let them be scared," he suggests. "I guess what I am saying is that people who don't have nightmares don't have dreams."
—The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393339413
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/06/2010
Pages:
134
Sales rank:
632,225
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Paul Smith was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, and graduated from Columbia College in 1936. He authored four novels as well as Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing. and its companion, How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself.

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