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Do-Over! In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old…
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Do-Over! In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Three Returns to… (edition 2009)

by Robin Hemley

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10421182,226 (3.2)1
Robin Hemley's childhood made a wedgie of his memory, leaving him sore and embarrassed for over forty years. He was the most pitiful kindergartner, the least spirited summer camper, and dateless for prom. In fact, there's nary an event from his youth that couldn't use improvement. If only he could do them all over a few decades later, with an adult's wisdom, perspective, and giant-like height. In the spirit of cult film classics like Billy Madison and Wet Hot American Summer, Hemley reencounters papier mâché, revisits his childhood home, and finally attends the prom--bringing readers the thrill of recapturing a misspent youth and discovering what's most important: simple pleasures, second chances, and the forgotten joys of recess.--From publisher description.… (more)
Member:KarenElissa
Title:Do-Over! In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Three Returns to Kindergarten, Summer Camp, the Prom, and Other Embarrassments
Authors:Robin Hemley
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2009), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:people

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Do-Over!: In which a forty-eight-year-old father of three returns to kindergarten, summer camp, the prom, and other embarrassments by Robin Hemley

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I enjoyed this book, although it wasn't as humorous as I thought it would be. It is fun to see Hemley approach all these blasts from the past with his self-deprecating humor. I felt sorry that he had so many bad memories from his childhood and teen years, as I have almost nothing but happy memories of my youth. I would hate to be so haunted by my failures (I'm sure there were plenty but I just seem to have let them go...). My favorite chapter was the one in which he returns to Japan to "do-over" his school year abroad.

There is plenty to think about in this book and I'm glad Hemley is willing to let readers into his life for these adventures. ( )
  glade1 | Apr 14, 2015 |
3.5 starsThis is a very romantic short about a husband's 25th anniversary gift/weekend to his wife. The cover images didn't feel right to me - she's much too young, but he at least has some gray in his hair! At only 72 pages, I was easily able to read it in one sitting. The thing which didn't quite gel with me was that it was also a sexy story and I didn't feel the romance (and it was very romantic!) "fit" with the hot sexxoring. I enjoyed both individual aspects of the story but I didn't think they meshed all that well. It was nice to read a story about a slightly older couple who are happily married but wanting to reconnect and get the sizzle back after their children have left home. ( )
  Kaetrin | Aug 13, 2012 |
Just okay. Robin goes back to scenes of past embarassment and tries to live through them and redeem himself. Kindergarten and summer camp were pretty good, but some of it I slogged through. Enjoyable, but not amazing. ( )
  bookwormteri | Jun 13, 2012 |
Another book in the genre I call challenge books. Hemley takes on the personal challenge of going back to places in his life where he fumbled the ball and tries to do things over. Better.Who wouldn’t like to try these things?Loved the kindergarten do-over but I grew less and less intrigued with his subsequent trials. A good summer read. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
Robin Hemley went on a mission to get a second chance at some of the things he messed up, or he thought had been messed up for him, the first time around. It is an interesting idea, to see if you can go back and “fix” those mistakes. But when a 48 year old goes back to kindergarten there are also going to be some laughs. His conversational tone, the fact that he can see the absurd and share it with us, and his whole approach to the project and the people he meets or remeets make it a lot of fun to read. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and doesn’t mind making a joke at his own expense. But it isn’t just a joke either. He does get serious sometimes as he explores his past and tries to see if he can change the way he thinks about the things he finds there and in turn change his outlook about his present. It does end up a learning experience for him, sometimes unexpectedly. It’s interesting to see how he has different memories of an experience than someone else who shared the experience with him; or how people reacted (it was amazing how supportive people were) to his project and the reaction and acceptance of the kids of various ages to his presence; or his reaction as an adult to some of the things that the children were taught, (classroom repeating in unison “Different is great!” looks different from an adult perspective); and to see how things have changed and how they have stayed the same over the years. It is a very entertaining read that is both funny and thought provoking. I liked how he worked both the serious and the absurd sides, not only into the book, but into the entire project. And Robin Hemley tells a good story. In the end I think that is what made the project come alive and made the journey with Hemley a trip you wanted to go on. ( )
1 vote bedda | Jan 6, 2010 |
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Epigraph
Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers. - Hans Christian Anderson
The fairy in whose presence we are granted a wish is there for each of us. But few of us know how to remember the wish we have made; and so, few of us recognize its fulfillment later in our lives. - Walter Benjamin
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For Margie, who, in marrying a writer, didn't quite know what she was in for
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Most likely, you don't remember your nemesis in kindergarten, but I remember mine, probably because I had two.
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