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Searching for John Hughes: Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know about Life I Learned from Watching '80s Movies

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3.24  ·  Rating details ·  675 ratings  ·  142 reviews
For all fans of John Hughes and his hit films such as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, and Home Alone, comes Jason Diamond’s hilarious memoir of growing up obsessed with the iconic filmmaker’s movies—a preoccupation that eventually convinces Diamond he should write Hughes’ biography and travel to New York City on a quest that is as funny as it is hopeless.

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Paperback, 285 pages
Published November 29th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Marilyn Vix I'm impressed with the author's take on John Hughes movies and growing up in Chicago. It just shows how much of a genius Mr. Hughes was that future…moreI'm impressed with the author's take on John Hughes movies and growing up in Chicago. It just shows how much of a genius Mr. Hughes was that future generations will be able to relate with his work, even after Millennials.(less)

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Average rating 3.24  · 
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 ·  675 ratings  ·  142 reviews


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Start your review of Searching for John Hughes: Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know about Life I Learned from Watching '80s Movies
Larry H
As I've remarked on countless occasions, I'm kind of obsessed with all things 1980s. That was the decade of middle school, high school, and part of college, so it represents some pretty significant times in my life, and the movies, television shows, music, celebrities, and other pop culture phenomena of that decade served as touch points, a soundtrack and backdrop along the way.

I'm also a huge movie buff, so I remember spending an immense amount of time at the movies in the 80s, or watching
...more
Rob Murphy
This title does not even come close to capturing the truth about this memoir. John Hughes and his films are definitely a recurring element to this book but they are pretty limited and they are just a few of the numerous pop culture references made throughout this book. What this book is really is a memoir of a young man with very deep and profound problems and difficulties. It's a tale of abusive parents, depression, abandonment and looking to get our life back on track. John Hughes and his ...more
Rachel León
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
(4.5 stars, rounded up because I connected to this book in a major way)

NOW AVAILABLE!

I received an advance copy of this memoir from William Morrow and will be interviewing the author this month. The book won't be released until November, but mark your calendars now because it's a fantastic memoir about Jason Diamond's quest to write John Hughes's biography. Maybe that premise doesn't sound immediately interesting, but trust me, this is a great book. In general, I'm really picky when it comes to
...more
Jenny
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-gianna
I always say that I don't miss being a kid because I actually got to be a kid, something I'm often very grateful to God for. I enjoyed being young, playing outside, arguing with my sisters, sharing a room with my younger sister, sleeping on bunk beds, making up games. Then, as I got older, it was going to the mall with friends, leaning against the second-floor railing to look for boys, calling my mom to pick us up on a payphone, watching She's All That, Bring It On, Save the Last Dance, and 10 ...more
Jennifer Quijano
Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written, poorly edited.boring story came off very whinny and unbelievable. I really wanted to love this but couldn't find a single thing worth my time.
Melissa
Bailed because I was bored.
Kevin
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison
The author of this memoir once traveled to a tiny Pennsylvania town where he stayed at a rather crusty mom-and-pop-hotel – where the roof caved in during a storm as he slept – all in the name of tracking down the former actor who played 80s uber-hottie Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles.

That level of detail about 80s pop-culture obsession, and the author’s honesty about his obsession with interviewing teen-movie auteur John Hughes – and desire to “make it” as a successful author – were what made me
...more
Sarah
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A book about writing a book. What begins as a quest to research and record the life of John Hughes takes on a life of its own.
Jason Diamond's unflinching account of his struggle with inner demons and becoming a functioning member of society is, at times, dreadfully depressing. His childhood was far from pleasant. The only child of a physically and emotionally abusive father and a mother, who, at best, was inconceivably neglectful, Jason spent the majority of his teen years couch surfing at the
...more
Jenn Cunha
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Ugh. What a whiner. I expected more John Hughes, less Jason Diamond. While I appreciate that he incorporated his research on Hughes into the story, this is in effect, an autobiography that references John Hughes.
Michele
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected.
Angie Bauman
Mar 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not at all what i hoped for, and quite boring sadly its the first book reading in 2017 that i could not bring myself to finish as i did not enjoy reading it.
Freesiab (Bookish Review)
4.5 stars. My only problem with the book is that it beleaguered at times and was a bit long. Seriously an enjoyable book if you're a fan of Hughes, or not. A serious dose of realism in this memoir I wasn't prepared for but deeply identified with.
Marne Wilson
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Between the title and the aggressively pink cover, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this book is some kind of light, frothy confection, but it's not. Jason Diamond was once a kid with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses whose father beat him and mother abandoned him. Somehow he made it to adulthood, partly by imagining that he could have a life like the kids in John Hughes movies, kids like Ferris Bueller or any of the characters Molly Ringwald played. When he decided he wanted to become ...more
Brian
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookriot
I don’t mind a project that starts off with the author exploring one subject and ends up talking about himself instead. I’ve seen Sherman's March.
On page 88, someone asks the author, “Why don’t you just write a book about John Hughes?” And on page 123 he decides, “I would write the John Hughes biography that nobody else had ever attempted.”
And maybe it’s because I’d actually want to read that book that it bothered me so much he never got around to it. I don’t mind that he started with himself.
...more
Tayla
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5
First, a warning. Don't pick this up expecting a light, nostalgic trip through Hughes' films. That's not what it is. Yes, the films are a big part of the story, but they're not THE story.
This is very much a memoir of Diamond's early years, living in the same area Hughes captured in his movies, but it is a story with a much darker undercurrent. Diamond shares the ugly side of those perfect looking suburbs that align with his experience of neglect and abuse.
It's not all darkness and despair,
...more
Tobias
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2016
An impressively realized book about coming of age that heads into some incredibly dark places, had me eager to revisit a whole lot of John Hughes film, and–maybe most impressively of all–captures the gulf between the idea of creating something and the actual process of creating something.
Susan Shapiro
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jason Diamond's debut memoir of growing up lost in the Midwest is sweet, sad, angry, hilarious and totally relatable. I couldn't put it down.
Reed Hansen
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting memoir about Diamond, coming of age in the Northshore area of Chicagoland. Much like Diamond I enjoyed many of Hughes's movies and have seen many of them multiple times. Even growing up in Utah, Hughes movies shaped my vision of what american life was like. Years later I find myself living in the North Shore area of Chicago. Diamond gives an honest portrayal of his life, his broken home, his attempts to be good writer and look successful into early adulthood. He describes ...more
Aria
Aug 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf

Dnf around p. 130, but was sure to skim & skip about further in to see if I could pick up a thread of something interesting. Nothing stuck, & soon enough I just jumped to the end. Nothing there either. Thus the abandonment. The following reviews sum up my experience.


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Ben
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is this my best life, and if the answer is no, am I least trying to make it so?

More - http://www.changeyourlifethiswill.com...
Hannah Cook
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't even finish it
Callie Rose Tyler
Mar 18, 2017 marked it as i-give-up
made to pg 62 and realized this isn't what I was expecting. I wanted an book that focused more on John Hughes and his movies, but this is a memoir of a guy who just really likes those movies. It was good but not what I was looking for, so maybe another time.
Deb
It's pretty impossible not to have been entertained, influenced or both by the movies of John Hughes if you fall into the Generation X world, or even if you are younger/older and don't immediately recognize the name, you are bound to recognize many of the titles from his teen films--Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Pretty in Pink to Mr. Mom, National Lampoon's Vacation and Christmas Vacation, Uncle Buck, the Home Alone series, Miracle on ...more
Elizabeth
Meh.
Wasn't what I thought it would be - or as good as I was told it would be. Maybe somebody else will like it - it was too boring and self absorbed for me.
Tobin Elliott
Apr 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I truly don't know what I expected going into this book. I'm one of those readers that sees a book, reads a bit of the back copy, decides on the spot if it's a yes or no read, then it gets shelved for a few months at the end of the TBR pile.

Which often means, by the time I've come around to read it, I've forgotten the initial spark that grabbed me. Though, as a lover of Hughes' earlier movies, I'd say that was it.

What I didn't expect was to read about whiny, phony asshole, but that's what I got.
...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Searching for John Hughes: Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know about Life I Learned from Watching '80s Movies by Jason Diamond is a very highly recommended coming-of-age memoir about growing up in Chicago and New York, and a poignant look at following your dreams.

After viewing his first Hughes movie, Jason Diamond was hooked. He felt as if the writer/director understood him and he knew through Hughes' oeuvre that, in the end, after all the angst and anxiety, everything would turn out okay.
...more
Lukas Evan
Aug 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Alternate title: Searching For a Book That Doesn't Suck
Jacob
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacqueline
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit, but the pink color really belies the darkness of the memoir. It's not a fluff book about John Hughes by any means. It meant a lot to me because I was actually a big fan of John Hughes back in high school as well--not to the same extent as the author was, but I had LiveJournal icons of The Breakfast Club quote "When you grow up, your heart dies" (I think I made it myself, too), and quoted his movies a lot, so I was still a legit fan! I could also relate a ...more
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“I lived through those books, songs, television shows, and movies - the way the characters talked, looked, acted. I thought that could translate over into reality, that I could make their world my world. I wanted so badly to run away from my life. But you can't bury yourself in other people's pages and scenes. You aren't David Copperfield or Tom Sawyer. Those love songs on the radio might speak to you, but they're not about you or the person you pine for. Life is not a John Hughes film.” 4 likes
“to be a Cubs fan is both a birthright and a curse.” 2 likes
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