Richard says: “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut is Rolling Stone contributor Rob Sheffield’s second book. Like his first book, Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, Talking To Girls About Duran Duran… is part memoir, part pop culture commentary, and part coming-of-age story. As a fan of Sheffield’s Rolling Stone articles and rock music in general, I love that this book is arranged like a greatest hits compilation. Like that lost art of the perfect mix tape, it’s all about the flow of the narrative. As such, each chapter is structured around one particularly memorable 1980s hit and how it influenced the author as a teenager. Sheffield has a particular affinity for Duran Duran, whose biggest hits had a tremendous impact on him; however, he also gets to demonstrate his encyclopedic knowledge of all things new wave and pop culture as the book progresses.
Anyone with nostalgia–borrowed or otherwise–for a ‘greatest hits’ collection of the ’80s will find something to enjoy in this charming, funny, and incredibly accessible book. Pop fans will also find a lot to love in how Sheffield effortlessly weaves his knowledge of the minutiae of ’80s media. Likewise, anyone looking for a good coming-of-age story will appreciate the author’s candid exploration of his awkward adolescence and how Duran Duran (and pop music in general) taught him to relate to girls. As an added bonus, you couldn’t get a better list of recommendations for your next new wave playlist. Even if you spent all night watching reruns of VH1’s I Love the 80s or John Hughes films, then you’d still only scratch the surface of the popular culture highlights this book explores. It’s like The Wonder Years for Generation X. Highly recommended.”
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3 Similar Reads
Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds (note: this book is not available at River Forest Public Library. It may be ordered through the SWAN network.)
Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke by Rob Sheffield (note: Sue Quinn reviewed the ebook in July 2014.)