When Midwesterner Steve Friedman arrived in Manhattan, the land of the quick and the mean, raring to go and ready to conquer, he soon found pitfalls and pratfalls more numerous and perilous than he had ever imagined. Here is his utterly honest, often hilarious, self-deprecating account of those fateful years, starting with his first job at GQ and his awkward efforts to impress his boss, Art Cooper, and including real and imagined love affairs, disasters at work and play, growing self-awareness with its inevitable bouts of depression and subsequent therapiesall of which failand in the end, a wisdom that promises better things to come.
In the tradition of Bright Lights, Big City and The Devil Wears Prada, Lost on Treasure Island is a witty rendition of the perils of growing up and being thrown into the real world. With sharp humor and unexpected sincerity, Friedman crafts a inviting portrait of the best of times and the worst of times. For all those who have confronted the endless opportunities of the Big Apple, only to discover how hard it is to succeed in thisor anybig city, this boisterous and often enlightening memoir will prove irresistible.
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About the Author
Friedman is the author of four books, including Driving Lessons and The
Agony of Victory, and the co-author of two New York Times best sellers, including Eat & Run. He has written for Esquire, GQ,
Outside, The New York Times, New York, Bicycling and Runner’s World. His stories have been published in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Travel Writing and many other anthologies. Friedman grew up in St. Louis,
Missouri, attended Stanford University, and lives in New York City. Visit
Table of Contents
Author's Note 7
Chapter 1 The Man in the Lime Green Suit 9
Chapter 2 Midwestern Decency Is for Losers 20
Chapter 3 The Starlet and the Stalker 32
Chapter 4 The Eyedrop People, the Bard, and Me 49
Chapter 5 Journalist of Tungsten 63
Chapter 6 Missy's Earth Suit and the Slavering Dogs of Midnight 84
Chapter 7 Looking for Mrs. Friedman and Other Really Bad Ideas 98
Chapter 8 You Get What You Get 111
Chapter 9 "Make It Meaner" 126
Chapter 10 Dear Dirtbag, I Identify with You 150
Chapter 11 Oy, Wilderness 190
Chapter 12 The Blondes in the Basement 196
Chapter 13 My Cold Wars 217
Chapter 14 The Fat Man Makes Me Cry 233
Chapter 15 Voyage of the Damned 250
Chapter 16 She Came from Cyberspace 261
Chapter 17 Cheeseburger Whores, Unite 290
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This amazingly written material is a memoir of 'longing, love and lousy choices in New York City.' Written by a stellar author who has the ability to build a rapport with readers by telling his own life experiences with intelligence and humor, this book is a true literary gem. When we begin, Mr. Friedman is in the frighteningly fast-paced world of New York City, where he has come to a job interview to be a writer at GQ magazine. This is a man who has a great deal of secrets in his background, such as; the fact that he's a recovering addict, a man who can't find a steady girlfriend, and who was just fired two days earlier from St. Louis Magazine where he held the position of editor-in-chief. At this NYC interview, Steve is sitting down with Art - the editor-in-chief of GQ, who is sometimes referred to by employees as a wonderful teddy-bear type, while others refer to him as El Jefe or 'The Big Man.' It's a terrifying meeting; especially if you look at the most amazing city in the world with big eyes and find that the Manhattan world is truly a horror-show. And the one thing you don't want to discover? The fact that when you purchased a pearl-gray suit in St. Louis for this occasion - which looked gray in the fluorescent lights of the store and the GQ offices - you discover it is actually lime green when walking in the outside world. Even a mime on the street, who's supposed to be non-speaking, allows himself a small "peep" to let Steve know."Nice suit." Can't get much more embarrassing than that. Steve tries to speak about GQ subjects from literary fiction to sports; he covers all the manly bases, while nursing an extremely delicate stomach. But his 'act' is bought, and Art hires Steve to be a writer for the illustrious magazine. As readers follow Steve through life in the City, he tells the stories of many women he meets along the way, as well as his ideas for making his GQ articles much more than simple "fluff" pieces about celebrities. Steve, (much like Jerry Maguire did for sports), wants to create in-depth interviews that speak about what celebrities really are, not what they look like. Unfortunately, the idea doesn't fly, and Steve eventually finds himself to be an independent writer trying to contribute articles to various magazines before losing his nest-egg. From all the challenges he must face in his personal and work life, Steve takes readers on a ride of drama, entertainment, fun, and thought-provoking moments. He talks about experiences he has at meetings - where he goes to find true love - as well as personal moments with his nephew Isaac, and how it is to look at life through "innocent" eyes. Every chapter draws readers in to Steve Friedman's life where, at times, you will love him and route for him; while other times, you won't mind that he "got what he deserved." Either way, the material is outstanding and Steve Friedman has done a powerfully good job! Quill Says: From poignant characters such as, 'The Fat Man' to Psychic Rose, this is one memoir that feels like a thriller, romance, and adventure novel all rolled up into one.
Terrible. Oh my goodness, I have absolutely no idea why this book has received 4.5 stars--did these people actually read it? Because I was skipping pages it was so boring. Maybe it is more of a man's book and I just do not get it (giving the benefit of the doubt).
Lost on Treasure Island: A Memoir of Longing, Love and Lousy Choices in New York City is Steve Friedman's incredible memoir beginning with when he moved to New York City after spending his life as a writer in the more docile Midwest. With utter honesty and no apologies he expresses every thought, inane and brilliant alike, that others may be too timid to share. Operating on an ever-fluctuating system of morals, it's difficult not to become endeared to this slightly narcissistic narrator, his occasionally misguided intentions, or his inspirational story of moving forward despite fear of the new and unknown. From inadvertently wearing a lime green suit to his first big city interview with a terrifying big city boss, to engorging himself on copious amounts of deliciously fattening ice cream treats after yet another failed romantic attempt, Friedman lays bare every human emotion. The audience is not the demon he fears, but the prejudice in his own head that follows his every action, and so he documents everything with an entertaining clarity that leaves no thought unexplored. Any lifelong Midwesterner would be intimidated by a move to New York City, and the acclimation process would be a slow but steady progression for anyone with a pulse; for Friedman, specifically, it's a slow but steady progression to becoming a Class-A suck-up, a failed wooer of potential Mrs. Friedmans, and the hilariously honest narrator he is. Some of his experiences are in the flesh, while still others are only extensions of his incredibly vivid imagination, but to him every incident is supremely real. The reader's journey through his prose to discover which is which is like following a treasure map and then finding a bona fide treasure trove. The riches one finds include a sincere depiction of one man's trip down the stairway of unassuming success, and the added bonus of a man's story in the place where generally an emotional and sentimental woman's would reside. Friedman's gift to his reader is a relatable account of a life that both men and women can experience, and proof that the making of questionable decisions and giving in to not-so-commendable desires can be exactly what is needed to live a life worth living. Friedman is original and witty. His candor is revitalizing. His close encounters with the real world will make you smile in recognition of a like-minded soul, snort in astonishment, and then convince you to turn the next page in spite of yourself. He has his share of disastrous endeavors, and now he entrusts his lessons with the reader and encourages them to also appreciate that ending contentment which hard work, commitment, and a sense of humor bought them. Everybody has scraped the bottom of their barrel, and Friedman asks his readers to chortle along with him about similar failed dealings, jeopardized morale, and their ultimate survival in a world that threatened to bring them to their knees.