Often when I finish a book, though I might enjoy it, I don’t necessarily feel comfortable recommending it to everyone. Nathan Rabin’s The Big Rewind on the other hand, is a book that should be required reading for all citizens eighteen and over.
Okay okay…it is possible that not everyone might enjoy this fantastic memoir, but I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t. Our protagonist is Nathan Rabin, the head writer of the Onion’s entertainment section, A.V. Club. He ties in the story of his own too-crazy-not-to-be-true upbringing with various works of television, film, music, and literature that were important to him at different stages of his life.
His knowledge of pop culture is encyclopedic, his life story at turns incredibly depressing yet always fascinating, and his tone both extremely sincere and wonderfully sardonic. Rabin is a fantastic writer: often hilarious even when describing times of great confusion and sadness. Ultimately, it’s a downright uplifting story; against all odds, Rabin makes it, overcoming his roots to land the job of his dreams, and a life he didn’t know he attain. That said, there is some use of “foul” language and there are some sexual situations (thus my above age recommendation). But something tells me you can handle all that.
The Big Rewind is always immensely entertaining and when it ends you’ll wish it was only the first volume. I guess you’ll have to just move onto his latest critical work, My Year Of Flops, a reexamination of films that were initially badly received or unsuccessful. Kudos Mr. Rabin! Long may you write…