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My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure Paperback – October 19, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439153124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439153123
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Nathan Rabin's My Year of Flops is like watching a genius nurse a score of frightened, wounded baby birds back to life--a superhuman level of care and compassion lavished on That Which Never Had A Right To Exist. Truly brilliant."
—Patton Oswalt, author of Zombie Spaceship Wasteland

"Nathan Rabin is all-knowing (without being smarmy), open-and kind-hearted (without being sappy), and he'll make you laugh on every page. You can't have a better friend sitting next to you as you watch these glorious atrocities."
—Mike Sacks, author of And Here’s the Kicker and SEX: Our Bodies, Our Junk

“Jon Krakauer's writing is beyond vivid. You FEEL the cold of Everest as your read his words. Into Thin Air is a harrowing journey, well worth your time. I’ve also heard great things about Nathan Rabin's My Year of Flops.”
—Aziz Ansari

"Nathan Rabin's book is funnier than John Travolta's facial hair in Battlefield Earth. He's a brave man for undertaking this dangerous mission and returning alive with a highly entertaining tale."
--A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

About the Author

From the faceless corporation behind The Onion and Inventory comes My Year of Flops, A.V Club Head Writer Nathan Rabin's hilarious and insightful exploration of the strange world of cinematic fiascos. 

In January 2007 Rabin began a curious project for A.V Club, the entertainment section of satirical newspaper and website The Onion: he set out to provide a revisionist look at the history of failed films. What began as a solitary ramble through some of the more bizarre corners of pop culture quickly developed a cult following.
My Year of Flops collects dozens of the best-loved entries from the column along with loads of bonus features. These include interviews with talent from the films chronicled, a new introduction and postscript, illustrations by Danny Hellman, fifteen new entries on everything from notorious flops like The Cable Guy and The Last Action Hero to bizarre obscurities like Gospel Road, Johnny Cash's homemade tribute to Jesus. But that's not all: because your pain is his pleasure, Rabin had written a minute-by-minute account of the three hour long director's cut of Waterworld. Driven by a unique combination of sympathy and Schadenfreude, My Year of Flops is an unforgettable tribute to cinematic losers, beautiful and otherwise.
Praise for The Big Rewind 

"Packed like a cannon full of caustic wit and bruised feelings"--The New York Times 
"With his uncanny grasp of the cultural zeitgeist, Rabin could unseat Chuck Klosterman as the slacker generation's vital critical voice."--Heeb Magazine 

The A.V Club was founded in 1995 as the arts-and-entertainment arm of satirical institution The Onion. In recent years, A.V Club's web presence has become huge, attracting over a million and a half unique users per month. Nathan Rabin has long been A.V Club's Head Writer. In 2009 Scribner  published his memoir, The Big Rewind, to great acclaim.

More About the Author

I am a very old young man with a brutally funny, unwisely candid memoir to pimp and a message to spread throughout the world. That message: buy my book. Seriously. It's an awesome book and if it doesn't sell I'll have to go back to being a hobo.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
All in all… a great book for anyone who likes to laugh and loves the movies.
Anthony Pantliano
If you love movies, you want to step into some of the titles that continuously play on TBS and have a great time going through it then this is the book for you.
Will the IT Guy
A.V. Club editor Nathan Rabin's regular column "My Year of Flops" is a fun read.
T. A. Daniel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Leonard on October 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here's what you get:

NOTE TO KINDLE USERS: The illustrations are present in the Kindle edition, and there is a clickable table of contents.

Brand New Reviews:
- The Conqueror
- W.
- The Great Moment
- Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus
- The Cable Guy
- Skidoo
- Postal
- Dice Rules/The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
- I'll Do Anything (the original musical cut)
- Mame
- The Last Action Hero
- The Scarlet Letter (1995)
- Lolita (1997)
- Cleopatra

- Richard Dreyfuss (W.)
- Austin Pendleton (Skidoo)
- Michael Jai White (Breakfast of Champions)
- Dave Foley (Postal)
- Wallace Shawn (Southland Tales)
- Roberto Benigni (Pinocchio)
- Tom Noonan (Heaven's Gate)
- John Patrick Shanley (Joe Versus the Volcano)

Other Material:
- About a dozen illustrations of various flops, done up in the style of carnival posters
- A new introduction and afterword
- The minute-by-minute review of Waterworld
- A reconsideration of the original MYOF case file, Elizabethtown

Otherwise, the rest of the book is taken straight from the AV Club's website. The new material is a blast: the new reviews are often twice as long as the older entries and the interviews help shed some light on how a movie can go spectacularly wrong. For the exclusive writing, I felt the book was $10 well spent (and perhaps help spawn a Volume 2), but be aware that the majority of this book is made up of material you can read for free on the AV Club's website. If you're unfamiliar with MYOF, your best bet is to go the site [ ... ] and read up on the (as of this writing) 173 entries and see if it's for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diane Lanier on February 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a nice anthology of the author's "My Year of Flops" from The Onion online site. Some of the movies you have heard of, like Heaven's Gate and Ishtar, most you will not. HIs writing style is entertainingly funny, WARNING: a little profane, and very knowledgeable of film history. I didn't agree with all of his opinions (probably because I'm not the filmophile that he clearly is) but it's made me rethink my opinions and look at some less heard of movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenya Starflight on September 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
For some reason I have a fascination for movie trivia -- especially trivia regarding bombed or otherwise terrible movies. Despite the fact that I rarely watch these movies myself (at least not without the protective filter of snark provided by MST3K or the Nostalgia Critic), there's a perverse sense of fascination to be had in learning just how these train wrecks were made, and what caused them to fail so spectacularly. And when I stumbled upon Nathan Rabin's "My Year of Flops" blog, where he made a point of researching, watching, and reviewing at least one box-office bomb a week, I found myself laughing and shaking my head along with him as he explored such notorious flops as "Delgo," "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," "Southland Tales" (one I still want to watch for myself, even if it's terrible), and "The Oogieloves Big Balloon Adventure." So naturally, I had to give his book compilation a read.

For those unfamiliar with Rabin's blog, this book is a hilarious and fascinating treat, a look into some of cinema's most infamous disasters that's as informative as it is funny. For those who are long-time readers of "My Year of Flops," this book provides plenty of new material to enjoy as well -- reviews exclusive to the book, interviews with actors and directors behind the films, illustrations, and more.

I won't lie -- Rabin is one of the best online film reviewers I've seen to date. He does his homework when it comes to movies, looking into the pasts and (often troubled) productions of various film projects, and even covering the source material when a film is adapted from another source such as a novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lavers on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Nathan Rabin writes movie reviews for the website The A.V. Club, a sister site to The Onion. And over the past few years his mission has been specifically to review movies that, for all intents and purposes, are flops. Movies that were box office poison, that cost a ridiculous amount to make but brought in next to nothing, movies that were uniformly panned by critics or reviled by audiences. Movies that everyone--except for perhaps a small cult following--agreed were just plain bad. His goal? To find out what all the anti-hype was about, to see for himself if these cinematic disasters were really that bad or if perhaps there were a few hidden gems. Or, at the very least, to warn the rest of us once and for all.

The whole project started with his raging hate of the movie Elizabethtown. It's a, let's say, romantic comedy starring Orlando Bloom as a brooding sad guy and Kirsten Dunst as a "manic pixie dream girl," as Rabin puts it. His review has the hilarious quality of someone who needed so badly to rant about this movie that if you were sitting next to him on the train he'd probably be talking your ear off about how awful it was. He hated it so much that his editor even asked him to re-watch it and write a new review for the book. He does, including both reviews, and he finds that after several years have passed, he doesn't hate Elizabethtown QUITE as much as he once did, but it's still pretty bad. Plus he can now say he's watched the movie three times, making him fear that he has become its primary "cult follower."

Not all of the "flops" in My Year of Flops cause Nathan Rabin so much psychic pain. In many cases he manages to find the hidden wonder (or "secret success") of some of the world's least successful films.
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