Other Writing.


From its NASDAQ-fuelled heyday to the tragic hours of 9/11, the provocative and mindblowing story of Manhattan in its most recent golden age comes to life in David Goodwillie’s acclaimed memoir, SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME (Algonquin, 2006).  With naive aspirations of literary renown, Goodwillie arrives in New York at the dawn of a decadent age that celebrates youth and rewards dreamers.  But eight jobs later, he learns that success comes at a heavy price. After a failed attempt to make it in professional baseball, Goodwillie becomes a private investigator but has no talent for finding anyone; a writer for America’s leading sports auction house; and then a journalist who exposes the mafia, only to become their newest target. Even when he breaks through as the most unlikely of experts at Sotheby’s, he’s soon lured away by the promise of Internet millions…only to find that he’s missed the biggest party of all.


SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME teems with the temptations and contradictions of New York itself: tenements and penthouses, one-night stands and serious romances, gratuitous success and crashing failure. With a good measure of innocence and irony, Goodwillie takes readers on a quixotic search for authenticity, and offers a memorable tale propelled by wit, humor, and a finely tuned sense of style. In his struggle to become a big-city writer, Goodwillie becomes something much more: an important voice of the lost generation he so eloquently depicts.


“A mezmerizing memoir and searing sketch of a decade in decline…[Goodwillie] conveys his wisdom via syntax that is simultaneously sobering, insightful and amusing.” — The Louisville Courier-Journal

“Want some buzz along with your beach read?  Pick up the hot memoir du jour, Goodwillie’s Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.  It’s a darkly humorous story…filled with art, sports, culture, sex and celebrity, and you just might want to keep reading after the beach is only a memory.” — The Boston Herald

“In his breakout first book, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, a breathless, humor-tinged account of postcollegiate life in the fast lane, David Goodwillie takes an unflinching look back at life in New York City during [the 90s].” – Elle

“An astonishingly entertaining book about … hell, the price of ambition? The vagaries of love? The essence of youth? Sure, all of those things, and a few dozen more, wound together brilliantly in a rollicking tale that is laugh-out-loud funny and, somehow, fiercely poetic. A wondrous debut.” — Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics

“Not just a memoir, Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time is a painful and witty evocation of a very specific collective delusion called New York in the Nineties.”
 — Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask

“Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time reminds me of the person I never was, and makes me miss him.” — Stephen Graham Jones, author of Demon Theory


Mama’s Boy (David Guterson’s “Ed King”) – The New York Times Book Review

Good Glove, No Hit (Chad Harbach’s “The Art of Fielding”)- The Daily Beast

Reading the Detective (Ed Conlon’s “Red on Red”) – The Daily Beast

Living With Music: A Playlist by David Goodwillie – The New York Times “Paper Cuts”

Then We Came to Book 2 (Joshua Ferris’s “The Unnamed”) – The Daily Beast

The Great Recession Novel (Adam Haslett’s “Union Atlantic”)- The Daily Beast

The Great American Novel in Miniature (Benjamin Taylor’s “The Book of Geting Even”) – The Rumpus

When Good Friends Make Bad Decisions – Men’s Health