Sarah's Reviews > The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture

The Big Rewind by Nathan Rabin
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Mar 01, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: memoir-biography, pop-culture

I love 90% of Rabin's writing on the Onion A.V. Club. He's hilarious and his pop-culture sensibilities are similar to my own. I also love memoirs and it has been hinted in his columns that Mr. Rabin has lead an interesting life, so I was totally stoked to read this book.

Unfortunately, this memoir, which is the definition of "try-hard", fails on multiple levels and it was hard to not let some of the disappointment affect my feelings on Rabin as a writer. He is constantly trying to be funny to the point where it's distracting and tedious. He writes about himself with so much self-conscious self-loathing that it's painful. And I got crazy second-hand-embarrassment when he started writing about his current girlfriend. I mean it's great that Rabin found someone nice but his emotional maturity is such that he writes about her as if he was a 20 year-old in his first serious relationship.

The only parts of the book that are really good are the parts that focus primarily on pop-culture and celebrities. Unfortunately he awkwardly tried to break his life up into these chapters that related to some aspect of pop-culture and that conceit doesn't really work. Basic takeaway - Rabin should stick to writing about pop-culture, and let his personality and life shine through that writing - not the other way around. Sorry, dude.
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