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You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, and My Misadventures with Two of Music's Most Maligned Tribes Paperback – June 11, 2013

3.4 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A universal [story] about the ways we connect with the music we adore. By making it personal, and by profiling such a broad spectrum of fans, Rabin puts a human face on what would be caricatures." (Publishers Weekly)

"An extremely funny and engaging book about how fandom provides people with surrogate families and a way to escape day-to-day banality." (Rolling Stone (four-star review))

"[A] deftly told tale." (The Huffington Post)

“I love this book. Not only is it funny and well written, but it is, dare I say… beautiful. People could learn a thing or two from Nathan. Instead of judging new things and keeping them at bay because they’re 'scary' or 'shitty,' he embraces them and walks away with rich life experiences. So, give yourself a rich life experience of your own and read this book. Then, when you’re finished, go and see a Phish show. What do you have to lose? Nothing. What do you have to gain? – maybe they’ll play a thirty minute “Tweezer” and you’ll get to see god.” (Harris Wittels)

"Nakedly honest." (The Capital Times)

“Awesomely funny…. I’ve rarely read something that was so good at understanding and building empathy for such an unlikely group.” (David Plotz, Slate Staff Pick, Best Books of 2013)

"[Insane Clown Posse] may forever remain the butt of jokes, but there's a lot of community-building going on here as revealed in the acclaimed book You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me." (Huffington Post)

About the Author

Nathan Rabin is a staff writer for The Dissolve, a new film website from the popular music website Pitchfork. Previously, he was the head writer for The A.V. Club, the entertainment guide of The Onion, a position he held until recently since he was a college student at University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1997. Rabin is also the author of a memoir, The Big Rewind, and an essay collection based on one of his columns, My Year of Flops. He most recently collaborated with pop parodist "weird Al" Yankovic on a coffee table book titled Weird Al: The Book. Rabin’s writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Spin, The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Nerve, and Modern Humorist. He lives in Chicago with his wife.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Original edition (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451626886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451626889
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate that I can't finish this book.
I usually finish everything, but I'm going to go with the "life's too short to waste on boring books" philosophy for this one.
It seems like the author (and he admits this) is just trying to fill pages. Very repetitive (how many times can you write that a show was a good time? (Answer:257 pages of times).He admits to being anxious that he would't be able to fill a book and the reader can tell.

Also, there is no mention of his mental illness... just all of a sudden, one day, he is "falling apart" by his own definition. However, there is no evidence of this behaviorally, no explanation of how it came on, if it's ever happened in the past, is he used to it or is this something totally new, It's confusing to the reader. We get 4 chapters of normal mental acuity and then all of a sudden, there are a few pages saying he's crazy. Since it's so out of nowhere, and doesn't have much to back it up, it seems kind of... I hate to say this but... self-indulgent. (For the record, I have a mental illness and I also treat people with MI. I don't look down on it. I just don't think he writes about his experience very convincingly.)

The main topic of the book (the author's experience following two very different bands) is such a weird concept that the writing would have to be really tight and focused to pull that off and it wasn't. It could have been a great book, but he let it slip away. The author rambles and seems lost in his writing. It's one thing to be emotionally lost and write about it, while it's another to have lost your focus and subject matter completely.

I don't give reviews that often and I don't enjoy giving bad ones but I really had to put this book down after giving it a couple of weeks of tries.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book caught my interest when I read about it in the back of a Rolling Stone magazine. Being a Phish fan I naturally wanted to check it out as anything about my favorite band sparks my interest. However, the thought of mashing ICP with Phish seemed appalling. I have to admit I've had zero interest in ICP - if anything I've been snobby and judgmental towards them. My knowledge of them has been the tidbits I've heard in the media.

After reading this book I have respect for ICP and realized that I'm simply guilty of judging a book by its cover. Judging ICP and their fans is like judging Phish heads for what they do w/o fully understanding why they do what they do. Fact is when music touches you and you find your 'people' it truly is the gift of a lifetime and no one has the right to judge that.

I think the line that really hit me hard was when the author and his girlfriend were standing in line to see ICP and a man with a scar on his face turned around and mentioned that this is the only place where he doesn't feel like a freak. That really hit me because even free thinking people can become jaded and judgmental. Though I don't consider myself a juggalo and probably won't go see ICP my eyes are open and I have respect for them and their tribe.

The Phish portions were great as I feel like the author maintained a presence in the audience/crowd vs. got in the inside. I've been seeing Phish for almost 20 years now and during that time I've bumped into them in the lot, hotels, etc... Each time I found myself with nothing to say. There's something mystique about Phish and sometimes I wonder if meeting the band would ruin it. That's what I found cool about this book is it kind of maintained that aspect and kept it real.
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I loved the idea of this book. Maybe I was projecting too much of what I wanted it to be. An anthropological look at ICP and Phish fans through the lens of a funny pop culture writer? Sounds like a great read. Too bad that's not what this book is. I think the author started out with this intention, but halfway through, he admits that his vision for it had changed. Instead it would be a love letter to his Phish-fan girlfriend.

Then again, the book didn't turn out to be that, either. Lacking vision, it becomes a druggy travelogue. Basically the author tells his drug stories, which later in the book he admits aren't very interesting if you aren't the one experiencing them. Exactly.

It's a real shame, because I really would like to learn more about ICP fans and Phish fans. I'd like to hear their stories and what motivates them to follow these bands. There's maybe three or four pages in the book that talks about it in a quick summation. The rest of the book is about the author doing drugs and talking about his mental breakdown. The mental breakdown is supposed to be the arc of the story, but it doesn't really work because we're really not invested in the author. The author does seem to have interesting back story, but since it's only hinted at, I don't really know him or care, and therefore really don't care about his mental breakdown.

The writing is hard to follow and changes direction often. When he does talk about certain fans, they're forgotten sentences later as the direction shifts yet again. I wonder if this is more a function of the author being hazy and under the influence during most of the encounters.

The only good thing I'd say about the book is it would make a good beach read -- you know, when the material is light, you can look away often to check out the surf and other beachgoers, and return to it without having to really worry about where you last left off.
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