Jennifer's Reviews > Love is a Mix Tape

Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
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Mar 01, 08

Recommended to Jennifer by: Powell's
Recommended for: nostalgic gen-x-ers like me
Read in March, 2008

I really loved this book. It wasn't just that it made me laugh. It wasn't just that it brought back a swirl of music-tinged memories from the 90's. It wasn't just that it made me cry. It wasn't just that the author is my age and that we seem to speak the same pop culture language. It was all these things and more.

Rob is a tall, shy music geek from Boston pursuing a graduate degree in English when he meets Renee, a bold "punk-rock girl" from West Virginia who is getting her MFA. Music connects them from the very beginning. They both perk up when a Big Star song is played at the local bar and the soundtrack to their developing relationship is wonderfully eccentric (and most likely recorded over some crappy band's demo tape).

This book isn't just a mix tape; it's a love letter. A love letter to Charlottesville, Virginia, to Renee and all she stood for, to music and especially 90's music, and, of course, to mix tapes.

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Quotes Jennifer Liked

Rob Sheffield
“But for me, if we're talking about romance, cassettes wipe the floor with MP3s. This has nothing to do with superstition, or nostalgia. MP3s buzz straight to your brain. That's part of what I love about them. But the rhythm of the mix tape is the rhythm of romance, the analog hum of a physical connection between two sloppy human bodies. The cassette is full of tape hiss and room tone; it's full of wasted space, unnecessary noise. Compared to the go-go-go rhythm of an MP3, mix tapes are hopelessly inefficient. You go back to a cassette the way a detective sits and pours drinks for the elderly motel clerk who tells stories about the old days--you know you might be somewhat bored, but there might be a clue in there somewhere. And if there isn't, what the hell? It's not a bad time. You know you will waste time. You plan on it.”
Rob Sheffield, Love is a Mix Tape


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