Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: A Memoir

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9781565124653: Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: A Memoir
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Fresh out of college and following a brief and disastrous stint playing minor league baseball, David Goodwillie moves to New York intent on making his mark as a writer.

Arriving in Manhattan in the mid-nineties, Goodwillie quickly falls into one implausible job after another. He becomes a private investigator, imagining himself as a gumshoe, a hired gun—only to realize that he's more adept at bungling cases than at solving them. When, in his stint as a freelance journalist, he unveils the Mafia in a magazine exposé, he succeeds only in becoming a target of their wrath. As a copywriter for a sports auction house, he imagines documenting the great histories hidden in priceless artifacts but finds himself forced to write about a lock of Mickey Mantle's hair. Even when he seems to break through, somehow becoming the sports expert at Sotheby's auction house—appearing on major news networks, raking in a hefty salary—he's lured away by the promise of Internet millions...just in time for the dot-com crash.

Teeming with the vibrancy of a city in hyperdrive, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time recounts a dizzying and enthralling search for authenticity in a cynical, superficial—and suddenly dangerous—age.

In his heartbreaking and hilarious struggle to become a big-city writer, Goodwillie becomes something more: an important voice of the lost generation he so elegantly describes.

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Book Description:

A talented young writer gives voice to a generation in this exhilarating memoir that chronicles the detours, dead ends, and dubious decisions made while searching for what really matters.

After a disastrous stint playing professional baseball, David Goodwillie moves to New York City with vague notions of literary stardom. But what happens next is anything but triumphant. Goodwillie quickly falls into one implausible job after another—a private investigator; a magazine journalist trailing the Mafia; and, somehow, the youngest sports memorabilia expert in the history of Sotheby’s, where he presides over the largest sports auction ever held— until finally succumbing to the promise of Internet riches . . . just a few months too late.

Through his occasionally heartbreaking, often hilarious, and ultimately uplifting struggle to become a big city writer, Goodwillie has become something more: an important voice of the lost generation he so eloquently depicts.

About the Author:

DAVID GOODWILLIE’s fiction has appeared in Swink, BlackBook, and other publications, and he is a contributor to the essay collection My Father Married Your Mother (Norton, Spring 2006). He lives in New York City.

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Goodwillie, David
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