Behind Everyman Mailbag
I really enjoyed it
I did want to write you because I read your novel the other day. I was hoping for an opportunity to present itself and as I flew out from NY to LA - my flight was the perfect place. I really enjoyed it. Your style and wit are uncompromising and it's such a delight to see a guy write and succeed and incorporate everything that is our pop culture into his material. I am pop culture kid myself and I am so pleased to have read something entertaining by our generation for our generation. Anyways, just wanted to let you know.
Best of luck with all your endeavors!
New York City
That was a good book
I finished reading "Behind Everyman" last night. That was a good book. I found the relationship between Sonja and Everyman very insightful, and realistic. I liked the ending, also.
Touching, funny, and rhythmic
We met at the Rutgers Writers' Conference, in the summer.
First of all, please forgive my extreme tardiness in sending you this note about your novel, behind everyman. No, it did not take me four months to wade through-in fact, I inhaled it in one sitting. You've already heard all the adjectives: it's engaging, witty, charming, clever, touching, funny, and rhythmic (maybe you haven't heard this one), which I attribute to your music background. A moving reading experience, not the usual dick lit.
Among my favorite parts: the Author's Note, Justine & the aardvark-polo shirt, baggage that won't fit in the overhead compartment & everything therapeutic, the delusional screenwriting dreams and the reality of the Monster Flop letter; everything musical; writer's stroke; Merrill's 30-minute run-on sentence, the online profile that you read, Everyman's insecurities, and all the great details and imagery-like finishing your ice cream but still swirling the melted part and the line 'You'll wait for her as an insect waits.'
You probably got some flak for using the 'you' voice, but it works. Hearing you read added to my appreciation of the novel, because I kept hearing your voice in my head.
Anyway, congratulations on your success. It's nice to see persistence pay off.
An Official David Israel Fan
I felt compelled to send you an e-mail which I hope
you'll be compelled to read, since I'm guessing you
get inundated with them on your site.
I'll start where most stories start - the beginning:
I was thumbing through the LA Times last week and came
across an article about amazing Hancock Park duplexes.
In the article are some lines describing you as an
author and the title of your novel.
So here I am, a young Jewish modestly successful
screenwriter in L.A. thinking in a sarcastic voice, "Who is THIS guy?
Scoring an amazing apartment like that AND having a
book published?!" Surely, I thought, he couldn't have
written anything that would ever speak to ME.
Then I check out BEHIND EVERYMAN. Not only do I find
it witty and engaging, I find that it truly speaks to
me personally. I'll admit to you, since we've known
each other for about 30 seconds now, that after
writing full-time for 2 years I was forced to go back
to the working world and get a job as a (gulp)
executive assistant for the steady paycheck that was
required since we were expecting a baby girl. Seeing
a protagonist who also overpaid for college, wants to
be a full-time screenwriter and works as an assistant
was, needless to say, thrilling to me.
So here I am (again), now an official David Israel
fan. I've surfed your website and appreciate your
artistic struggle to success as I must appreciate my
I look forward to your next novel and, hey, if BEHIND
EVERYMAN is picked up by a studio, please let my
agents send you a writing sample.
Los Angeles, CA
I'm Mariano Bonavolonta, an Italian reader. I live in Naples, and I am attending the university. I would say that your book is simply fantastic! You made me laugh and laugh and supported me in a bad moment in my life. So I'd like to thank-you for the happiness that you gave me with your smart, clever, cynic and a little bit handsome BE.
A fan of yours
I've never done this before, email an author after I read their book. I always say I'm going to do it but never actually do, and now here I am finally emailing an author.
First of all, I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your book. I can't remember how I learned about it but last week I realized I had nothing good to take on my trip (I live in Seattle and am visiting family in Chicago & Detroit this week) so I went to book list that I keep on our local library's web site to reserve a book and there was your book. I probably could've read it in one day if I had had the time, it was a very fun, quick & easy read which was exactly what I was in the mood for. I know what you mean that there are a lot of chick-lit books out there, and although some of them are good & fun it was refreshing to read something from a man's point of view.
Any plans on coming up to Seattle for a book tour? Please let me know as I would love to meet you and hear you speak.
Ok, just one question, how much of this book is based on your life?
Best of luck with your new life in LA,
Soooooooo clever and smart!
I just wanted you to know that it usually takes me a bit to get 'into' a book...but, with yours, I literally was laughing my ass of on the second page! I think you're an amazing writer! Funny! Witty! Soooooooo clever and smart! I've actually recommended your book to many, many of my friends.
Anyway...I just HAD to write 'cuz I just now finished...and I want MORE!
Okay...enough! Don't wanna give you too big of a head! but, you truly are an amazing writer!
I've underlined, *'d, arrowed.....all over my book...and I love it!!!!!!
Okay...have a happy night and keep on writing! I'll be waiting patiently.Kami Lerner
Los Angeles, CA
Like What's Behind You
must say..great read....!!! a sweet relief from all the chick lit and red dress ink (just kidding...have been more moved by dr seuss books than single gal in the city novellas)
are you touring for your book and/or music w.in the nyc area any time soon.....
new york city
Loved Your Book
Today while at the library...trying to stay cool since my AC went out, I came across your book, sat down with it, and by the time I got to page 7 new I was going to buy a copy. Which I just did before coming here. Amazon. The local B&N didn't have it.
I checked after leaving the library. Luckily I checked your book out...so I can continue reading it until my copy arrives.
I like your voice. Reminds me of mine. Of course, I shouldn't write you an email and insult you like that, right off the bat. But then my voice doesn't always sound like my email. And besides...the AC is still out.
My one bone about your book is its subtitle, "a novel for guys...etc."
Since most books seem to be bought by women, I would think it might cause them to turn away before they even gave it a chance. Anyway, what the hell do I know when
I have yet to get my first novel written.
I hope the books has and is doing well, and I wish you the best.
Just wanted to drop a note.
i actually couldn't put [your book] down - i just kept getting more and more invested in everyman. i really didn't think i would - initially i thought that the character was going to turn out to be a hopelessly inept arnster/frat boy. i was relieved when he turned out to be so damn vulnerable and real. the love story was well written - it sucked me right in at all the right points. i have to say that the most laugh out loud moment was at the end with the whole dad/mapquest story - for some reason i had to read it like 4 times i enjoyed it so much....it so captured such a real moment that i could totally relate to with the dad.
so - i have already loaned my library copy to a friend. it was exactly the kind of book i needed to read after months of internet dating. i am so relieved that i was in the right place at the right time to just pick up your book at the library. journey. thanks for writing the book - i am already anticipating your next creation.
i know minneapolis is not exactly the hotbed of anything on your radar - but if ever happen to travel through the upper midwest - you must keep me posted. i think i might be your most promising fan.
Thank you for a great read!
Thank you for a great read!
I loved the book and I really look forward to more of your work.
Sorry to read about your lost luggage in Milan -- I hope it turns up soon. I'd see it as a great opportunity to do some shopping. If you buy a new shirt (or pants or shoes or the whole outfit) every time you wear it you can think "This is the ____ I bought in Milan while on my book tour for Behind Everyman." I know I would enjoy that. Try not to miss seeing the Last Supper while you're there. Religion makes no difference it is impressive to see it first hand.
I also posted the same review on amazon.com (five stars)
just started reading your book....
and i have to say.....
LOVE, LOVe, LoVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it is hilarious so far and i'm laughing out loud
while reading it....
you should see some of the looks i'm getting!
your writing is addictive.....
keep on keeping on my dear stranger friend!!!
i am absolutely hooked....
San Diego, CA
the pervert, the hypochondriac, and the feminist
I just read about your new book "the pervert, the hypochondriac, and
the feminist" from your website. Sounds interesting to me. I'm
excited! Can't wait for the book to be out. When's the planned release
date? Anytime soon?
Meanwhile, i shall help you to promote "behind everyman" to my friends
and family. I do have quite a number of friends who are avid readers.
Heh. Any chance of you travelling halfway round the globe to visit
singapore sometime in the future?
You are too funny!!!
Hey David Israel,
I am finding your book hilarious. I am on page 58....are you as funny as your book??? You look like a hot version of Adam Sandler. I was at the library because i spend entirely too much money on books & they must like you 'cause your book is right out front where you can't miss it. You need to write a book about the razza frazza Dad, it is so funny! My Dad used to take us fishing in his piece of crap boat that always conked out in the middle of Mona Lake, or worse yet the Muskegon Channel, or CATASTROPHE Lake Michigan. Then he bought a Boston Whaler..........no razza frazzaing but lots of G.d's,JC's, & s.o.b.'s and the mortification of being towed back by some unsuspecting cabin cruiser with all four of us girls wearing the fashionable orange lifejackets....anyway, you are too funny!!! What's your new book?
I enjoyed your reading at BookCourt very much last night. As I was listening I was reminded of Lorrie Moore's stories. You are the only other person I know of to use the second person point-of-view successfully. We expect the second person pov to distance us from the action, but you were able to use it to make us feel closer to your character.
I read on your website the very short description of your work in progress. It sounds ambitious and complicated. I'll be looking forward to reading it.
New York City
Very good stuff!
I finished your book a couple of days ago- it is
GREAT! I was constantly laughing out loud! Now
everyone on the F train and at my temp job think I'm
So many parts were soooo funny- starting from "Note
that you'll now be within coke-snorting distance of
the cool stainless steel door"....to your references
to the Ten Commandaments movie!...to remembering one
of my favorites shows Dr. Katz!...to "please god
nooooooooo, Long Island"..to finally getting those
pesky ducks in order!! Very good stuff!
Sorry...didn't mean to re-copy most of your book in
this email! It's just that I could identify with so
much of it! Even though I'm a Queens girl..but I am
Mazal Tov on this book...I look forward to your future
I saw your book in a local queens public library where I live.
I hadn't heard of the book I just saw it and out of the 10 I was holding decided to check it out. I usually read chicklit not for the insight but for relaxation. I'm in grad school and need some relaxing reading at the end of my day to unwind. Your book looked like it would be the flip side of the usual chicklit I read. I also looked like it would be fun and a different perspective.
I'm on page 31 and like it. Anyway, I want to know what happens with the man and Sonja...does she ditch him or does it work? Wedding bells or wedding blues? I MUST READ ON!
ps - love the beastie boys reference !
I loved it!!!
Hello, I am one of probably your many fans that just finished your new release "Behind Everyman."
I loved it!!! I am a Barnes and Nobles junkie, I swear all my money goes to books and dance class. Who needs to eat anyway? Dance and performance is the reason why I moved to the city from a bubble named Downers Grove located southwest of Chicago. So when I saw on your website that you have played for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, my brown eyes perked.
Anywho, the reason why I am writing you is not only to congratulate and commend you for accurately and honestly writing simply as every man (I have to tell you, being tomboy all my life with most my friends having been guys, yes, you have succeeded with flying colors. I felt as though they were the ones narrating to me.)...but also I am asking if you have any books to recommend me to read. I figure an author would be the best to ask, especially one with similar interests as I. OH YEAH!!! AND, in your novel your main character took a script class. I figure you too have taken a script class, yes? If so, where did you go? Right now I am involved in an extremely terrible Equity-Showcase. The man is nuts, David, kinda like Corky in Waiting For Guffman, and I figure if he could write a script, direct, and choreograph a show I sure as hell can too!!! This Nut has inspired me to get my ass a writing. I've always been pretty good at it, but, a class could help. A lot. Plus, perhaps I'll be able to meet some other type of guy that won't be gay, or have gay tendencies. Not that there is anything wrong with gay men, I have many gay friends, however... you know what I mean. I am rambling. SO if you have a chance let me know. And if you are touring the area, let me know that as well, although it is probably posted on your website.
Thanks a bushel
New York City
I just picked your book up in the bookstore on a whim- I hadn't heard of it before- I just wanted to let you know how much I liked it.
I work in an advertising agency and your reference to "at the end of the day" and "out of the box thinking" made me cry from laughing. It is completely true.
Any chance you are coming down south to GA for a book reading? Come on- great food, good weather and an extremely high pollen count. Who could resist?
Good luck with everything-
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Behind Everyman, I finished it in a matter of two nights over the course of about 3 hours. Totally hilarious to the point where I just couldn't set it down and had to recommend it to all my friends. Any idea when your new book is coming out? Any recommendations for other authors that follow BE's genre?
Upper West Side, NYC
Keep it Real
I finished reading BE in under a week, near record time for someone that values catnaps more than reading... I liked it, it was sweeet...but lightly sweet...like cotton candy that melts in your mouth. As a 30 something male I can relate to your angst at turning 30, only to realize how close 40 feels now. I think you've left yourself a nice opening for a sequel. Have you read any of Tony Parson's books: Man and Boy or Man and Wife? Similar genre to your book, I'd say.
I commute to work via ferry boat (looooong commute - 4 hours a day) so I have plenty of time
set aside each day for reading. I've actually kept track of every book I've
read since 1999. And right now you're in good company...I've just finished
reading "A Parchment of Leaves" by Silas House and "Gilead" by Marilynne
Robinson. Have you read anything by those two authors? Silas House can lay
down a sentence like a poet - not to take anything away from you - each
writer has their own style - their own way of weaving a story. Yours was
almost "journal" like and I really like that style of writing. (have you
read "Local Wonders" by Ted Kooser - it's also written in the style of a
journal and it was my favorite book last year).
Anyhow since I have all this time to read I'm always searching for new
material and in the case of your book my wife was perusing the new book
section at our local library and came across your book. She was struck by
the line on the back of the book that says:
"Everyman thinks his days at his dreary office are numbered at last."
That line was fitting for me because I used to sit in a dreary office all
day - eventually the company went out of business late last year and I was
unemployed for 2 1/2 months (through the Holiday season no less!). That was
both a joy and a burden. I was always dreaming of a way out of that
place...see I too work in an administrative role - construction
administration...but dream of doing bigger things...who doesn't though -
it's especially tough in my thirties because I should have everything
figured out in life by now...right? Truth is I don't. And 40 is just around
the corner...I think I'm beginning to understand why men experience mid-life
So I read the back cover and chose to read your book over the other two
choices she brought home that day. Another interesting note...I enjoy
reading authors from my generation...I was born in '69...barely making it
into the X-Gen group. I feel like I can sympathize with other people that
grew up in the same era that I did.
By the way I was AMAZED that you wrote this book in a month...that's quite
an accomplishment! I'm lucky to put together two cohesive sentences in that
time - let alone 188 pages worth! (as a side note I do write everyday - for
about 10 minutes...I leave my wife notes in the morning...journal
like...since I don't see her during the day...)
I encourage you to keep writing...and to keep writing to your audience...men
just like you...we're all feeling the same things you are. We're not all
jocks and we're not all married to Desperate Housewives...we still struggle
(even in our 30s) with trying to figure out why we're here. I could see you
weave a tale about meeting your love on the subway...I could also see you
write (like I mentioned earlier) a sequel to "Behind Everyman"
Whatever you choose to write - just keep it real.
With warm regards-
p.s you coming to the Seattle area anytime soon?
Loved, loved, loved...Behind Everyman
I just had to tell you that I loved, loved, loved your book Behind Everyman. It was so tender, honest, so true to life. It really spoke to me, and I am beyond glad that you wrote it. You have a great name, and I can hardly wait for your next book!
All my best wishes to you,
So, what's the best way to wrap up the weekend and prolong those Sunday Blues? Read Behind Everyman of course! Not to overuse the hackneyed expression, but it made me laugh (out loud) and it made me cry (I wish I were kidding with that one).
Even better than lounging around on my sofa on a gloomy Sunday night, was that while reading the book (and simlutaneously inserting one or two guys' faces who've driven me batty in the past) in place of Everyman's, is that I could hear your voice dripping with sarcasm and self-depricating humor all throughout.
It was great to meet you on Friday. I wish more people had come to Tim's 50th Dire.
I've attached a poem of mine, just to return the sentiment of sharing...maybe you'll laugh and cry when you read it?
(p.s. - I'll never look at a minicarrot the same, never again!)
I love the book. I thought it was not only laugh-my-ass-off funny, but smart. Very smart.
I read it while travelling in Thailand and left it on the bookshelf of my bungalow's restaurant for others to read. They all saw me laughing on the beach and wanted to read it.
Back in New York now, I find I cannot say (or think) 'Long Island' without adding 'please, god, nooooooo!'
(I live in Manhattan. In a small office and even smaller apartment. Where I fantasize about escape daily.)
Girls Are Weird
Hi. My name's Pam. I just finished your book and loved it! I wrote a book called "Girls Are Weird," which you can check out on Barnes and Noble.com (if you're interested) It's humor, vignettes - very short. I live in Manhattan, am 35 (thin, pretty) and was wondering if you're still single . . . Will send photo if you're interested. And by the way I laughed out loud several times when reading your book - which NEVER happens! Anyway, hope to hear from you.
New York City
Short and Sweet
David, just finished your book. It captivated and depressed me (I work in
an office). Glad Everyman made the turn. I need to keep this e-mail short so you will think I am
New York City
Well... I'm sure this is just one of many emails received on your end acknowledging and expressing how wonderful 'Behind Everyman' made us all feel. It is MY first, though... :)
So thanks for making my past few nights' read so pleasant and enjoyable. Fun, touching, hearty and so very real... Needless to say, I've enjoyed every bit of it.
Los Angeles, CA
PS Any readings planned in LA!?
i looooooooove your book
i looooooooove your book. im halfway through. its amazing, quite
possibly the most realistic and hilarious thing ive read in a long
time. (oh and the part about the girl dumping the guy for not paying
for her dinner on the 1st date? yes, i did that, only it was coffee,
and it was $1.50 which is not excusable.)
new york university
I read Behind Everyman today. All I can say is WOW! I loved it. You're
right, there aren't enough "guy" books out there. It's comforting to read a book
like this and know that I'm not the only one that goes through these kind of
things. I almost threw the book at the end I was so distraught about the
split. (Yes, I get a little too wrapped up in characters sometimes) My only
question, and I know you don't have an answer (rrrgh!) is what happens when
Everyman shows up in Baldwin?
Do you anticipate coming to Atlanta for a signing? I'd love to shake your
hand and say thanks in person! Please add me to your mailing list.
This is my very first fan letter. I had to write it because I'm simply besotted with Everyman. I found him to be honest & a liar - romantic and a realist - cynical and childlike. "How to Finish a Screenplay" gave me a lump in my throat -- the swish swish of the wipers bringing back all of the sweet memories of his relationship with his Sonja -- his little snowflake.
I am on the last pages of Behind Everyman and I feel compelled to say that it is a wonderful book. I cannot count how many times I laughed out loud while reading it. Strangely (or maybe not to strangely), I remember myself going through some of the scenes from the book. Perhaps men, in general, are more similar than we realize.
About how I found your book. A few weeks ago, I was feeling very lost in Vegas after going through what was very similar to the restaurant scene in your book, minus the white flag. I was driving aimlessly and ended up stopping at a Borders. Don't recall why I stopped but it was probably the shock of seeing a bookstore so close to the strip.
Your book was on the New Paperback stand. Unfortunately, I think I took the only copy. I started to read and it induced a laugh within the first 10 pages. Considering my mood at the time, it was quite amazing.
I didn't find your book on Amazon or by word of mouth. However, I am in the process of introducing it to my friends. Hopefully the next email you receive would be from a happy reader who found your book through the recommendation of a friend.
Anyway, congratulations on getting this first book published. Looking forward to more of your writing in the future.
Just Read Your Book
I just finished reading your book. I don't know where I heard about it but I really enjoyed it - write more.
I found your blog/website on Blogger. I'm a blog junkie and blogger. Congratulations on all your success.
When are you coming to the Chicago area?
Subway Giveaway Winner
It seems like the caliber of reading material being
handed to me after emerging from the subway each
morning is getting better and better. It used to be
flyers for non-kosher restaurants which i would spit
on, then fulan gong (?) propaganda, free newspapers,
and then one morning last week, an author of a book
handed me his book, with eye contact and everything! I
won't be shocked if this upcoming week, soemone hands
me the dead sea scrolls or nostradamus hands me a
decade long forcast. Anyway, I read the book and I
enjoyed it a lot. Its funny and sweet.
I have a subway story that I think is funny, but Im
not sure if it coheres with what youre looking for...
So I'm on my way to work, sitting on the train next to
an ageless asian guy but possibly middle aged, who is
into some sort of video game on this state of the art
gaming something or other. He is totally in the zone.
The train stops at a certain stop, at it is wont to
do, and a guy jumps on the train and rips the
videogame thing out of the guys hands and run out and
down the platform with it. The asian guy, without a
split second of delay, goes right out after his
precious gaming device and tears out of the train
after the guy, leaving his briefcase, etc. Right
before the train doors close again, he runs right back
in with his videogame, sits right back down and
seemingly picks up his game right where he left off.
All this even happened too quickly for me to process,
but a minute later I got it. I guess when our most
precious possessions are threatened, our flight or
flight kicks in on some subconcious level we do what
we need to do! Or maybe frequent videogaming hones
your reflexes. In any case, it was really
New York City
I Just Love It
i began reading [behind everyman] on the plane [and] am enjoying it in a way that i have never enjoyed a book before. i can't really explain it.
so many parts made me burst out laughing out loud. after the reference to the deli as "the korean," i stopped and pondered how i reacted when i heard aidan say it on sex and the city . i was taken by my thoughts for a couple minutes...then came to and saw that the next line referenced this...i loved that.
i could go on and on. i just love it.
A Great Big Congratulations
Hi David: A great big congratulations to you on your Book Signing at Book Soup last night. It was a huge success! I'm into the novel and will probably finish it tomorrow night. I love your voice and think your style stunning.
Best of luck on your next book signing.
Looking forward to hearing,
Maureen Connell (Novelist--"MARY LACEY"/Harper & Row--and a Writers' Instructor at UCLA)
Los Angeles, CA