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Nathan Rabin viewed pop culture as a life-affirming form of escape throughout his childhood and adolescence. As an adult, pop culture became his life. Head writer for A.V. Club for more than a decade, Rabin uses specific books, songs, albums, films, and television shows as springboards for dissecting his Dickensian life story in his acclaimed memoir The Big Rewind. Rabin writes movingly and hilariously about how pop culture helped save him from suicidal despair, institutionalization, and parental abandonment during a childhood that sent him ricocheting from a mental hospital to a foster home to a group home for emotionally disturbed adolescents. A fun book about depression, The Big Rewind is ultimately a touching narrative of a motherless child's search for family and acceptance, and a darkly comic valentine to Rabin's lovable, hard-luck dad. With comic dissertations on everything from The Simpsons to The Great Gatsby, and from Grey Gardens to Dr. Dre, The Big Rewind chronicles Rabin's improbable yet all-too-true journey through life, and its fortuitous intersections with the dizzyingly wonderful world of entertainment.
In 2007, Nathan Rabin set out to provide a revisionist look at the history of cinematic failure on a weekly basis. What began as a solitary ramble through the nooks and crannies of pop culture evolved into a way of life. My Year Of Flops collects dozens of the best-loved entries from the A.V. Club column along with bonus interviews and fifteen brand-new entries covering everything from notorious flops like The Cable Guy and Last Action Hero to bizarre obscurities like Glory Road, Johnny Cash's poignantly homemade tribute to Jesus. Driven by a unique combination of sympathy and Schadenfreude, My Year Of Flops is an unforgettable tribute to cinematic losers, beautiful and otherwise.
Filled with veteran pop culture writer Nathan Rabin's "trademark humor, quirkiness, and self-deprecation" (USA TODAY) comes a gonzo exploration of two of music's most obsessed fanbases: Phish's neo-hippie following and hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse's "Juggalos." When memoirist and head writer for The A.V. Club Nathan Rabin first set out to write about obsessed music fans, he had no idea the journey would take him to the deepest recesses of both the pop culture universe and his own mind. For two very curious years, Rabin, who Mindy Kaling called "smart and funny" in The New Yorker, hit the road with two of music's most well-established fanbases: Phish's hippie fans and Insane Clown Posse's notorious "Juggalos." Musically or style-wise, these two groups could not be more different from each other, and Rabin, admittedly, was a cynic about both bands. But once he gets deep below the surface, past the caricatures and into the essence of their collective cultures, he discovers that both groups have tapped into the human need for community. Rabin also grapples with his own mental well-being--he discovers that he is bipolar--and his journey is both a prism for cultural analysis and a deeply personal exploration, equal parts humor and heart.