Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idaho” as Want to Read:
Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idaho
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idaho

(Pop Classics #7)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Gus Van Sant’s film and the ’90s cult of the alternative

Gus Van Sant’s 1991 indie darling My Own Private Idaho perplexed and provoked, inspiring a new ethos for a new decade: being different was better than being good. Gentlemen of the Shade examines how the film was a coming-of-age for a generation of young people who would embrace the alternative and bring their outs
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by ECW Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gentlemen of the Shade, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Gentlemen of the Shade

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  41 ratings  ·  11 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idaho
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A little too Gen-X self-congratulatory for my taste, and more nostalgic flashback than cultural or film analysis (not to mention shallowly researched), but still a pleasant extended essay on "Idaho," and worth a read of you're a fan of the film. ...more
M- S__
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, film
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for feedback and review.

This was an interesting look at the author's interaction with the film and the culture of the early 90s. It was an adequate discussion of the work of Van Sant and the celebrity of Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. I'm sure it fits in nicely with this series, and I don't have any major complaints. It was a good enough launching point. It's just very slim and didn't really surprise me.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gentlemen of the Shade is a wonderful, albeit slim, companion piece to Gus Van Sant’s film My Own Private Idaho. I liked how the author recounted her own experiences upon seeing the film for the first time and how it impacted her views on sexuality and mainstream culture as an adult. Although this is a very short book (which is unfortunate because I wouldn’t have minded reading 100+ more pages of this), I felt like there was a lot of interesting critiques of not only the film itself, but also of ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: show-biz-books
This is the second book in the "Pop Classic" series that I've read; the first being It Doesn't Suck: Showgirls.

I love film criticism, especially when it's as well written as this one. Jen Sookfong Lee does an excellent job of describing the context of when "My Own Private Idaho" was released in 1991--what was happening in Pop Culture and how gays and lesbians were being portrayed in films and on TV. She explains where the movie fit in with the Grunge scene, how it influenced fashion, and the ris
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
No es un libro que solamente se enfoque en la película, sino un libro que habla del contexto de la época en la que se realizó la película, se lanzó al público y el efecto que tuvo en toda esa generación. Lo cual es una maravilla. Creo que también sirve como guía, por las referencias que hay dentro, de esas películas que sirven para distinguir aun más como era el entorno, expectativas de ese entonces.
Tengo sentido mmmm en fin. Fue una buena lectura que merece una relectura en el futuro.
Petty Lisbon
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tv-is-my-friend
I'm glad I read this book. The first time I didn't pay attention to the movie and the second time I liked it but I didn't understand the significance so this book created a context I wouldn't have otherwise. I like and understand Gus Van Sant's style more now. ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
probably closer to 2.5. I know the whole point of this series is that it’s a) a short essay and b) the authors subjective view of the piece of pop culture, but the things that interested me about it felt way too briefly touched upon. just personal preference I guess.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
An excellent analysis of both the film and the 90s. Made me want to watch the film again. A very easy, yet contemplative read.
Kyle Amato
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely read about a lovely film and the culture that inspired it.
Andrea MacPherson
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully deconstructs the importance, cultural significance, and raw beauty of MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO.
Garrett Zecker
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Over the past few weeks, I have been slowly making my way through the extended essays on Generation X Pop Classics book series by Canadian publisher ECW Press. I might not have ever picked these up were it not for their availability on Hoopla through my library and it popping up with a quick search for one of my favorite things in the world, Twin Peaks. From there, I realized that there was a series of books that explored some of my favorite obsessions, and I burned through all of the ones that ...more
Crissy Calhoun
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2018
Dave Bradley
rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2018
Lucy Walters
rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2020
Paul Vermeersch
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2018
rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2018
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2017
rated it liked it
Jul 03, 2017
Jac Crombie
rated it liked it
Apr 08, 2021
Niobe Edicius
rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2018
Doretta Lau
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2017
rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2019
Andrea Nene
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2018
rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2018
Dina Bucchia
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2017
rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2020
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Luster
  • Live Well With Louise: Fitness  Food to Feel Strong  Happy
  • Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse
  • Writing About Movies
  • The Further Adventures of Gobbolino and the Little Wooden Horse
  • Test Your Cat: The Cat IQ Test
  • Gobbolino the Witch's Cat
  • The Eyes of the Dragon
  • This Could Change Everything
  • Axiom's End (Noumena, #1)
  • Intimations
  • Earthlings
  • The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • Paper: An Elegy
  • Nada
  • The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
See similar books…
Jen Sookfong Lee writes, talks on the radio and loves her slow cooker.

In 2007, Knopf Canada published Jen’s first novel, The End of East, as part of its New Face of Fiction program. Hailed as “an emotional powerhouse of a novel,” The End of East shines a light on the Chinese Canadian story, the repercussions of immigration and the city of Vancouver.

Shelter, Jen’s first fiction for young adults, wa

Other books in the series

Pop Classics (10 books)
  • It Doesn't Suck: Showgirls
  • Raise Some Shell: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Elvis Is King: Costello's My Aim Is True
  • Wrapped in Plastic: Twin Peaks
  • National Treasure: Nicolas Cage
  • In My Humble Opinion: My So-Called Life
  • Ain't No Place for a Hero: Borderlands
  • Most Dramatic Ever: The Bachelor
  • Let's Go Exploring: Calvin and Hobbes

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
33 likes · 10 comments