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X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking Paperback – January 27, 2009
Frequently Bought Together
From Publishers Weekly
Nostalgia for the attitudes and culture of the early to mid-'90s looms large in Gordinier's entertaining book-length argument for the greatness of Generation X. Gordinier does not have warm sentiments toward the baby boomers or the current wanna-wanna generation of celebrity worshippers, preferring instead the self-effacing, conflictedly ambitious heroes of the '90s, like Kurt Cobain and Richard Linklater, who were not enthralled by the concept of changing the world. Gordinier has an easygoing style and a comprehensive knowledge of pop culture gleaned from a career writing for Entertainment Weekly and editing Details magazine, and this might be the reason the book sometimes feels like a collection of essays. Sequences on the rise of Nirvana and the burst of the dot-com bubble are ably narrated. And Gordinier does find a fresh perspective in discussions of recent phenomena such as YouTube and American Idol and their relationship to Generation X. (Mar. 31)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"I loved this book. . . . It's impassioned, very quick on its feet, dense with all the right allusions, funny, and in the end actually very moving."
"Ever wonder what became of Generation X, those ironic slackers wedged between the paunchy, tie-dyed boomers and their smug offspring, the millennials? Gordinier's first-person manifesto starts with a thumbnail sketch of '90s disillusionment and ends with a passionate call for social activism."
Top Customer Reviews
I appreciate Gordinier's view that the term "Generation X" doesn't necessarily encompass or exclude those born during a vague time frame--even though I am pretty solidly in the accepted birth date range. "Generation X" is, by Gordinier's definition, an attitude of antipathy towards the manufactured monoculture.
I have two complaints about Gordinier's examples of GenX culture. One is his heavy (and constant) adoration of the band Nirvana. While I agree that their influence on music and culture was enormous, I don't know that they quite deserve the headline spot here. I don't think any single band would. The frequent lauding of Cobain gets a little tiresome. The second is his endorsement of Barack Obama largely because Obama presents an alternative to the Boomer (or older) candidates. If the Republican party had a young, charismatic up-and-comer who was interested in shaking up the system, would Gordinier give that person equal time? I'm not sure. Gordinier's excessively heavy focus on one particular band and one particular political candidate is the only reason I wouldn't give the book four stars. I'm not saying he shouldn't talk up his favorite band and political figure in his own book--I'd just rather he not do it in a book that is supposedly describing a fairly large segment of the population.
A reviewer complained that Gordinier attempts to turn "insipid pop music" into something "cheesily delightful." I believe that reviewer missed a crucial point of the book.Read more ›
Gordinier's ability to truly nail certain key moments in the zeitgeist
and make them sing again is wicked good;
whether the tune is happy sad (the moment Nirvana broke)
or just plain gutter tragic (baby hit me one more time).
Gordinier lifts the curtain on obvious truths
that are only obvious once he reveals them.
I love deceptively simple artistic revelations,
and X is chock full of them.
Highly recommended unless you're a millennial, of course,
but then again, you would be too busy taking self portraits for your myspace page to read this in the first place.
I was a little disappointed to see that Mr. Gordinier didn't just at least graze how Xers got stuck having to live their parents' second childhood and teenage years in the 1970s and 1980s. Think about it: The programs and music we grew up to, for the most part, were remakes of songs from the 1960s and the biggest TV shows of the 1980s were shows from the 70s and 60s (remember the resurrection of The Monkees in the late-80s?).
One part of the book that resonated with me was when he talked about how "We come from a lost world ... much of what defines us is our ambivalent stuckness between a hunger for the new and an attachment to the old." (Page 125) He goes on to talk about the speed of change in society and that Gen X is forced "...into a state of constant diligence" (125). Gee, and here I was thinking I was alone there.
On the downside: I really didn't appreciate the knocks at The Beatles (none of whom were Boomers). If not for them, chances are real good there wouldn't have been a Nirvana (either the 1990s grunge band nor the original 1960s British psychedelic band). So The Beatles suck, but Nirvana and, worse yet, The Replacements are wonderful? Nope, I don't get that one - at all! (And I loved Nirvana - version grunge.)
In all, though, Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read if you are a gen X'r to make you understand our mark on the worldPublished 6 months ago by chris smith
A good look at the culture that shaped and continues to shape our generation... A lot of things I hadn't considered and this book gave voice to a lot of sentiments that have been... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sarah
Good old Generation X, a mere pamphlet between the monstrous volumes that represent the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations. Read morePublished 9 months ago by DACHokie
Life changer. I don't feel so much like a loser anymore with my vast knowledge of punk rock trivia.Published 22 months ago by Robert Conger
As an X-er, I loved reading a book that for once, was about me. Sort of. I am gen X after all. Seriously though, Jeff Gordinier articulates the plight of this generation with... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jessica Miller
Obviously not born n raised in south Detroit. .Nirvana?? Gag me with a spoon!! I am younger than you are Nirvana?? Loved the book until again NIRVANA?? WTF?? Read morePublished on July 25, 2014 by Jeanmarie M DePaola
During my mid-twenties I wrote a book called 'Kurt Cobain Syndrone,' it was about the radical events that were marking Generation X as little more than a series of social... Read morePublished on May 27, 2014 by Alex Hutchinson's Twisted Trails
about the millenials: "They just love stuff. They love celebrities. They love technology. They love brand names. . . . They're happy to do whatever advertising tells them to do. Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Sophia