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The Big Rewind by Nathan Rabin, a Pop Culture Memoir

Book Bag: The Big Rewind, a Pop Culture Memoir

On more than one occasion, I've imagined what song would make the perfect soundtrack for a moment I'm currently living. One of my friends' favorite party topics is who would play us in our hypothetical biopics. We are a pop-culture obsessed culture, comparing our realities to that of reality TV stars and voraciously devouring VH1 specials and The Soup.

Naturally, I love the idea of The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture by The Onion arts and entertainment writer Nathan Rabin. The book tells Rabin's autobiography through the context of the songs, books, movies, and other diversions that defined his youth.

If you're still looking for something to read this month, Rabin's memoir sounds pretty rich. Each episode is tied to a specific song, book, or show, whether it's a story about tripping on mushrooms at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam or a stay in a mental hospital that's compared to Girl, Interrupted. To read some of what Rabin has to say about the power of pop culture,



Like an ideal family, our personal pantheon will never let us down. Ella Fitzgerald's version of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" will never abandon you. Belle and Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister will never run off with your best friend. John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces will never tell you that it finds the prospect of having sex with you less appealing than watching back-to-back reruns of The Golden Girls.

It sounds as if many of Rabin's cultural references are also my own. But what would be the movies, books, TV shows, and more that would shape the story of your life?

Join The Conversation
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
I would read it. I am currently devouring the hyped "Twilight" series, which I never saw myself reading. I'd feel less embarrassed reading a book that has a cool concept behind it. However, as for songs punctuating your life or something, I can never do that. I mean, you're not upset or happy all the time, so it's more like a mix tape.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
This is all so very Chuck Klosterman. I think everyone does the same thing, but with everything and not just pop culture. Certain foods remind me of seasons or experiences...same with scents/fragrances, certain cars, places, items of clothing in addition to songs, movies and books. For me, high school was all about 4AD/Creation, my 20s were about Ninja Tunes/Stones Throw and now...dear god, I have no idea. But I disagree that "our personal pantheon" will never let us down. Sometimes, things that I thought were wonderful an amazing at the time, beg a revisit and I discover it was boring, banal and just generally horrid. I remember telling my boyfriend about how amazingly funny the Ben Stiller show was back in the day. So we rented it...and it was just awful. So dated! And don't even get me started on my mid nineties cd collection.
colleenb colleenb 7 years
"On more than one occasion, I've imagined what song would make the perfect soundtrack for a moment I'm currently living." I do this. In fact, I think spent all of high school doing this. I was very melodramatic.
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