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Dumbfounded: Big Money. Big Hair. Big…

Dumbfounded: Big Money. Big Hair. Big Problems. Or Why Having It All…

by Matt Rothschild

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entertaining! ( )
  ownedbycats | Sep 1, 2013 |
This is one of the more enjoyable memoirs I've read in recent memory. When I closed the book, I wanted more. Rothschild (yep, one of those Rothschilds) was raised by his idiosyncratic, irreverent and truly lovable grandparents. He was, to put it mildly, a bit of a handful. Less a peek into the rich-and-famous-life and more an illustration of how to put the fun in dysfunctional, it's a book that avoids mean-spiritedness and honors love. Highly recommended. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Loved this book. It was a really quick read because I really didnt want to put it down. Hysterically funny. I really felt for him and it was easy to love him and the grandparents. It really is a must read. ( )
  thecate | Aug 1, 2011 |
Reviewed by Cat for TeensReadToo.com

So you think being raised by wealthy Jewish grandparents in a Fifth Avenue apartment, twelve years of prep and boarding schools, regular trips to FAO Schwartz, chauffeured limousines, or visiting Mom at her husband's Italian villa also means a life on easy street?

Then you haven't read Matt Rothschild's family memoir, DUMBFOUNDED.

In his memoir, Matt paints a lush and detailed portrait of life as a complex, awkward outsider in a world that demands conformity and simple definition. Despite growing up in a completely different environment, I felt a constant sense of familiarity and kinship with Matt, whether he was describing the painful silence that greeted his a capella rendition of "Get Happy" for the sixth-grade talent show, spinning tales of his midget butler, Little Saigon, in the hopes of pleasing his fickle grandmother, or confronting an ever-increasing awareness that his sexuality might not fit society's definition of "normal."

Matt's story runs the gamut of human emotion from laugh-out-loud hilarity to chest-aching heartbreak. DUMBFOUNDED is first and foremost a book about people, and it reminds us that once stripped of all our ideological constructs (wealth, race, faith, gender, orientation, nationality, etc.), at our core, we're all pretty much the same. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 10, 2009 |
Poor little rich kid, Matt, has been left by him mom and raised by his Rothschild grandparents (both near 70 when he was born) on the UES of NYC.
Misfit, fat, gay, troublemaker. Total dysfunctional family!
Great great tale.
Can't wait for more!! ( )
  coolmama | Jan 29, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307405427, Hardcover)

What fresh hell is this?

I stopped, dumbfounded. My grandmother was at my bedroom door. “What the hell are you doing?” she asked, surprised but not angry. I looked down at my dress. “Playing school.” My grandmother began stroking her chin. Clearly, there were several ways she could take this conversation. “Matthew, what are you wearing?” I could see that she didn’t really want to ask this question but felt she had to. “A dress,” I said. . . . “And where did you get this dress?” she asked. . . . “I found it?” My grandmother sighed. “So you’ve been wandering around the women’s department at JC Penney? Do you expect me to believe you couldn’t find a better dress than that?”

The only Jewish family in a luxury Fifth Avenue building of WASPs, the senior Rothschilds took over the responsibility of raising their grandson, Matt, after his mother left him for Italy and a fourth husband. But rearing Matt was no small task—even for his sharp-tongued grandmother, a cross between Lauren Bacall and Bea Arthur, and a lady who Matt grew to love deeply.

Matt secretly wore his grandmother’s dresses, shoplifted Barbies from FAO Schwarz, invented an imaginary midget butler who he addressed at dinner parties, and got kicked out of nearly every elite school in Manhattan—once for his impersonation of Judy Garland at a recital. He was eventually sent to a boarding school (his grandmother had to ransom off a van Gogh to get him in). But as funny as his hijinks are now, at the time they masked a Jewfroed, chubby, lovable kid, sexually confused and abandoned by his mother, trying to fit in among the precious genteel world he was forced to live in.

Matt Rothschild—the man David Sedaris could have been if he’d grown up in an esteemed family on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—tells the story of his childhood with humor, honesty, and unlikely compassion for his eccentric relatives, including his mother, in this bitingly entertaining and unexpectedly tender memoir of family dysfunction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:03 -0400)

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The only Jewish family in a luxury Fifth Avenue building of WASPs, the senior Rothschilds took over the responsibility of raising their grandson, Matt, after his mother left him for Italy and a fourth husband.

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