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Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-Up

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Once upon a time, boys and girls grew up and set aside childish things. Nowadays, moms and dads skateboard alongside their kids and download the latest pop-song ringtones. Captains of industry pose for the cover of "BusinessWeek" holding Super Soakers. The average age of video game players is twenty-nine and rising. Top chefs develop recipes for Easy-Bake Ovens. Disney Wor ...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published June 20th 2006 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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 ·  230 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Sep 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: life
As a guy in his thirties who still reads comics, watches cartoons, and just yesterday ate apple pie for breakfast, I sort of felt it was necessary to read this book. Not so much to justify my existence, or even to find out why I don't always feel the need to put away childish things, but maybe just for the reassurance that yes, there are plenty of other people out there who do this same sort of thing every day. It's an easy but interesting read, and it's hard to come away from it without wanting ...more
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was enjoyable. I had often wondered if I were alone in thinking that the life I imagined for myself when I was my parents age (or older, actually) seemed so distant. It turns out I am part of a whole generation for whom playfulness is a protracted state of being, not of mind. The author does a good job of not focusing on the pathological, but showing exactly why our youthful passions are so hard to give up, and why ultimately many people choose to give them up, for a lot of different reason ...more
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was very impressed by the honesty involved in this book. It's not easy to examine non-traditional behavior in yourself and get past the measure of shame instilled into you.
Noxon gave some great insights into how 'adulthood' and 'maturity' have not always been treated as the same thing, and further how adulthood's definition has morphed over the decades. (And even centuries!) It gave me a few things to think about in how I make decisions about my spending and life path. Introspective and such,
Ann M. Matteson
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Yep, I'm a rejuveile and after reading this book, I'm okay with that. I love Scooby Doo, Mr. Potatohead, Pixar movies, blowing bubbles, and board games. I realized while reading this book that I wasn't into dolls as a kid and don't really like them now. All I wanted was books and all I pretty much want now are books. Guess it's a good thing I became a Librarian. Thanks for putting this on your list, Erin. It was a quick and good read.
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
So this is one of those books that I've owned for years, but never read and just before New Years, I pulled a stack of books off of my TBR shelf and put them on my bedroom shelf (small- reachable at night), and vowed to make a dent in my own unread book collection in 2020. I did the same thing in 2018, and still have a couple of those there, to give you some idea of how good I am at this (not at all good). I found it at a used book sale- probably a library sale, and the jacket DOES still sound i ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I’ve been wanting to read this FOREVER (well, for 3 years, according to Goodreads) and I finally did. Turns out I really like the title a lot, but would have been as satisfied by a solid few pages as I was by these couple hundred pages. Yeah, a lot of adults really like kid stuff these days. True. I’m a little disappointed that the author didn’t delve at all into the very popular trend in my cohort- adults, mostly women, reading “teen” fiction. Hunger Games, The Penderwicks, Flavia de Luce, and ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
A look at why adults enjoy and, in some cases, devote themselves to, juvenalia such as Disney movies, video and tabletop gaming, skateboarding, etc.

Author Noxon proudly describes himself as a Rejuvenile, and, according to the terms laid down in the books, I'm one too. I've never been to Disneyland nor on top of a skateboard, but I play video games, I favor attachment over authoritarian parenting, and I enjoy playing with my children. That's all it takes, apparently.

Overall, I found Rejuvenile t
Feb 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Saw this book featured in scenes of the TV series Weeds (realized after reading the author's bio that he worked on that show, so big surprise...he plugged his book on the show).

The book explores the growing phenomenon of adults enjoying things & activities once regarded as for kids only.... (video games, playing "playground" type sports, having collections of things like baseball cards or dolls/action figures, etc) and whether it should be viewed negatively as a sign of immaturity/Peter Pan syn
Aug 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I liked the chapter on Disney, which I started reading on the bus. Kind of skimmed through the rest, and something bothered me a little about the role of consumption in this whole new, childlike adult thing. Rather than playing with kids, or playing in general, a lot of it is about collecting things. And I think there is something a little annoying that comes through in some of the interviews about people thinking they're better people because they ride skateboards or make a living singing child ...more
Donnie Edgemon
The author gets the point of the book across in the first 5 pages. I'm not sure what the next 260 are for, but they read like a mediocre college research paper, just stacking example on top of examples, even when they don't fit the author's thesis.

I'm not sure I even agree with the part of the thesis about "rejuvenile" being a trend. It might just be the human condition, with the real trend of the infinite media abyss in the modern world and the proliferation of writers that need to fill it. Thi
A quick read that some may dismiss as somewhat self-indulgent and frivolous. I enjoyed Noxon's discussion of the shifting idea(s) of adulthood. He clearly did a lot of research in preparation for writing the book. I would have liked to see a slightly more in-depth analysis of the larger social forces that have contributed to the shifting model(s) of adulthood. Overall, I found it well-written and I liked the individual portraits. It was a positive take on a phenomenon that usually gets negative ...more
Gina Boyd
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise, and undeniably worth exploring. This would have made a fantastic article for the NYT Magazine or the Atlantic, but I don't think there was quite enough meat for an entire book. I felt like the author was repeating himself in order to fill space/make points, and I got a little bored.

I will be interested in seeing where this whole thing goes . . . what is the future of the rejuvenile, and what will happen to the US as the rejuveniles "come to power"?
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it
The book is actually quite juvenile but it makes some very interesting points that, I think, are right on target as to why so many mid-20's young adults are veering away from responsibility and independence. Gives you quite a bit to think about even if you are somewhat irritated by the author's smart-aleck treatment of the subject.
Jennifer Shehane
Jan 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author took a subject that warranted a fourth of the time spent he on it. I feel like he's grasping at straws for examples of rejuveniles. Some of the people's lives he featured were interesting, but fell short of inspiring.

I wonder if he had a point in writing this book other than to tour the US giving sound bites for radio and TV shows. He should stick with magazine writing.
Never Grow Up!

This is a general overview of the trend that makes seemingly "grown ups" still entertain aspects of youth. Why do those of us past 18 go to Disney, read Harry Potter, and collect the toys we once dragged around the house? Nixon doesn't have an answer, but talks of the importance of play, the stress of responsibility, and the sheer joy of goofing off.
Max Ostrovsky
May 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Nothing new. It's not so much the reinvention of the American grown-up, but more and better sophisticated toys, comics, etc.

And the several paragraphs devoted to sexual kinks like furries and men who dress up like babies - completely unnecessary and distracting to the author's main point.
Aug 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: rejuveniles
This book was a pretty interesting take on the generations of now. Some of the analysis is a little fluffy, and when he tries to tie skate boarding moms, Disney freaks, and adults who buy cupcakes together in one big bundle, it tends to fall short, but still, a fun, quick read.
Nov 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
This was an interesting book to read. I liked the author's comments taken from his personal life in addition to his research. He is the husband of the creator of the Showtime series Weeds. You see the book in some of the scenes.
Sep 16, 2007 marked it as to-read
i want to read this because it's written by the husband of the creator of, and often seen on, the show "weeds", which i've been very into lately.
Jul 21, 2010 rated it liked it
It started out great, but then slowed and was almost impossible to finish.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
For a book about play it wasn't much fun.
Feb 20, 2008 added it
This sounds awesome!! I need to pick it up hopefully by the summertime at the latest!
Stephen Dranger
Dec 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Boring. Substanceless. Provides a bunch of "hey did you ever notice" observations about the modern world with no insight or analysis, and fails to be entertaining enough to overcome that.
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Enjoyable read about the kid in all of us as a social phenomenon.
Jack Oughton
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
finishing this book, i feel like my life has been validated in some way

not sure if this is healthy or not
rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2007
Josh Kaplowitz
rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2007
Christopher Noxon
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2008
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Christopher Noxon is an author, journalist and illustrator.

He’s the author of the novel Plus One, which “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner called “well-observed, honest, and laugh-out-loud funny” and Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes and the Reinvention of the American Grown Up, which Ira Glass, host of public radio’s This American Life, called “an eye opener.” The book was featured in the Wa

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