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Lost In Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia…
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Lost In Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia

by Mark Salzman

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3921327,416 (3.74)7
Recently added byJim_Sheire, private library, Dan_Hannay, KRoan, jfaltz, wpwhite, Bookeeper, jackiewyse, tnoble, SueGardner

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This memoir of Mark Salzman's early life (up through Harvard), gave me the backstory on his life to his book Iron and Silk (his memoir of his two years teaching English in China). Reading it made me purchase all of his books I didn't have/hadn't read. He's an engaging writer and knows that the things that he does are definitely not the norm for every child, i.e., learning Kung Fu from a vicious and alcoholic Sensei, learning Chinese, calligraphy and Chinese screen painting in order to keep from having to follow the usual path of high school study (and never figuring out that he probably spent three times the amount of time and did three times the amount of work that the other kids did in pursuing these very different studies), applying to and being accepted to Harvard though he had neither the grades or brilliance of the usual students there, deciding to become a world-class cellist, and lots of other adventures. It made me laugh, snort in amazement, roll my eyes, and gave me immense respect for his parents who had two other children to ride herd on while this wild man was in their midst. I'm sure it was due to them that this borderline kook turned out so well. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Dec 25, 2013 |
Recommended by: Erica J. ( )
  Snukes | Jun 14, 2013 |
Nicely written memoir about Salzman's odd and goofy childhood. The characters ring true, and the absurdities made me smile. Worthwhile, though not as riveting as his True Notebooks. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Some things never really change, and growing up in middle-class suburbia seems to be one of them. This is a charming, if somewhat glib, story and the martial arts instructor Mark encounters is almost (but sadly not quite) beyond belief. I definitely felt some sympathy for the intelligent, restless kid searching for meaning, and while the book as a whole seems rather sanitized, it was definitely an entertaining read. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
This book is hilarious. It might be the best memoir/coming of age novel I've ever read. And it's a memoir that his family can be proud to read, very unusual in the memoir genre. I kept wanting to read bits of this aloud to people. And did I say, it's funny. ( )
1 vote sumariotter | Nov 2, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The world is a hell of a place, but the universe is a fine thing.
--Edwin Arlington Robinson

It has been asserted that we are destined to know the dark beyond the stars before we comprehend the nature of our own journey...but we also know that our inward destination lies somewhere a long way past the reef of the Sirens, who sang of knowledge but not of wisdom.
--Loren Eiseley
Dedication
For Joseph Arthur Salzman, artist, astronomer, social worker, beloved father and good-natured pessimist, whose reaction to this book was to say that he enjoyed it, but felt that my portrayal of him was inaccurate. I put him, he complained, in an excessively positive light.
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When I was thirteen years old I saw my first kung fu movie, and before it ended I decided that the life of a wandering Zen monk was the life for me.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679767789, Paperback)

The author of Iron and Silk looks back to his tortured youth with self-deprecating humor and wistful fondness. The oldest child in a middle-class household in Connecticut, the son of a piano teacher and a social worker, by age six the author was an eccentric with enormous aspirations - none of them ever fulfilled - who stood out not only from his more conventional parents and brother and sister but from everyone else in his suburban neighborhood. A hilarious memoir in the tradition of Russell Baker's Growing Up.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:26 -0400)

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