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Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2010: Don't be fooled by the title: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran may sound like a dream come true to all the women who she-bopped through the 80s, but at heart it's the Feminine Mystique that every boy-next-door has been waiting for (and will actually read). It's something like a prequel to Rob Sheffield's first, fantastic memoir, Love Is a Mix Tape, taking its cue this time from a musical decade so addictive and eclectic that, as he notes, "every night in your town, you can find a bar somewhere hosting an Awesome 80s Prom Night." This hilarious and heartfelt collection of coming-of-age vignettes is arguably a much more satisfying way to spend an evening, though, particularly if you have even an ounce of the New Wave obsession that courses through it. Sheffield riffs on the songs that saw him through the rapture and misery and bewilderment of being a guy who wanted to understand girls, gleefully skewering Duran Duran along the way (even as he professes his love for them) and paying tribute to tunes that captured some of his best moments. If you're going to revisit your youth, let Rob Sheffield be your guide. Nothing compares to him. --Anne Bartholomew
In this tuneful coming-of-age memoir, the glamorous New Wave band Duran Duran presides spiritually over the all-consuming teenage male efforts to comprehend the opposite sex. Music journalist Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape) chronicles his passage through the 1980s in a series of chapters in which period groups—from headliners like Roxy Music and Prince to one-hit wonders like Haysi Fantayzee of Shiny Shiny semifame—provides musical accompaniment to his adolescent angst. They are the soundtrack to his fumbling attempts to dance or make passes at girls, to weather a winless stint on the high school wrestling team, to survive a summer job as an ice-cream truck driver. The relationship insights he arrives at—chiefly, the imperative of unquestioning submission to female whims—are no more or less cogent than the song lyrics he gleans them from. The book really shines as a collection of free-form riffs on the glorious foolishness of Reagan-era entertainment—the movie E.T., he writes, was about a sad muppet who thought he was David Bowie—and its weirdly resonant emotional impact. The result is a funny, poignant browse from a wonderful pop-culture evocateur. (July)
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I've read all of Rob Sheffield's books and this one is pretty solid. I prefer Love is a Mix Tape, but this is a good read as well. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Dave Kolb
A nice easy read by Ron Sheffield of SPIN magazine. Broken into short stories, this book is a light, breezy ode to how music infiltrates many different parts of our life.Published 27 days ago by Lauren H.
I love Rob Sheffield. I wish I had grown up with him nearby. He's hilarious. He sent me running for tube to watch Hazy Fantazee. Ugh. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kimberly
I loved this book it showed us a time being a teenager and growing up in the 80's was all about. I loved the music the discussions of the bands. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chani Duke
While some Sheffield's story rang true for me personally, I found myself struggling to get through the book at times.Published 5 months ago by CoachDaveK
This book seems like the piece of crap writing that someone who listed Anthony Michael Hall above Norm Macdonald would write. Do not buy.Published 6 months ago by Whitney Weltz
Complete rubbish. He should stick to his day job- poorly ranking SNL cast members.Published 6 months ago by Spencer Ai
Maybe you Had to be there. It's a fun book, but I was born in the late 1980s, so I wasn't present to originally have these experiences. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Steve
Be honest with yourself. If you hear the Human League, you're glad. You know it. I know it. Rob Sheffield knows it.
And don't try to fool anyone. Read more