It couldn’t be a coincidence, could it, that the November 4 Sunday New York Times Book Review chose to lump the books of two Michiganians, Davy Rothbart and Steven Rinella into a single review? Reviewer Bill Scheft , a novelist and writer for “Late Show With David Letterman” finds the common edge-passion and ‘hunting’. Rinella, who is formerly of Michigan and a graduate of Grand Valley State University, finds his passion in hunting and his new book “Meat Eater” leaves no critter unturned.
Scheft says in the review that in “every chapter, you get a history lesson, a hunting lesson, a nature lesson and a cooking lesson.” In his final analysis, Scheft says “Meat Eater offers an overabundance to savor.”
The reviewer also has a few things to say about “My Heart is an Idiot”, Rothbart’s first collection of essays about his personal hunt for love. Not all are good, but then again it appears that the reviewer didn’t quite understand how Davy Rothbart goes about his writing. Scheft has a problem with how Rothbart stumbles “upon characters so memorable” and how he can recall entire conversations for his essays. The reviewers believes that the style Rothabart uses should be called something other than non-fiction. It is-it’s called creative non-fiction. And if the reviewer worries about how Rothbart discovers his characters, he should follow Rothbart and his brother on one of his non-stop tours promoting “Found” which visits cities you’ve never even heard about. Read about his adventures in a recent New York Times article here. Anyone who has spent time in the noir backwaters of America as Davy has knows you don’t even have to work hard to find characters. Sometimes you have to beat the characters off with a stick or at least share a 40 ouncer with them.
Scheft’s final analysis: “you can overlook all of that (his criticisms) in a good story and there are more than a few.” Visit the Rothbart “My Heart Is an Idiot” website and watch a trailer on the documentary Rothbart has made on the same topic.