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
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A handful of rock writers can explain what they think about music, and lots of rock writers can explain what they feel about music. What makes Rob Sheffield different is that he understands how those feelings are generated. He can turn those abstract emotions into concrete thoughts. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes the smartest guy in the room is also the funniest guy in the room...and the nicest guy...and the tallest guy...and the most vocal Chaka Khan fan. Read Talking to Girls About Duran Duran and enter that room.
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-Chuck Klosterman, New York Times bestselling author of Eating the Dinosaur and Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
"In Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, Rob Sheffield goes deep into the '80s, into his own adolescent heart. Sheffield uses music the way some people use scripture-to elucidate and sanctify the mysteries of life. He raises teen angst into high art that is funny, charming, and profoundly pleasurable."
-Darcey Steinke, author of Easter Everywhere
"[Sheffield]'s such a funny and insightful critic... After happily wallowing in this nostalgic journey, haul out your Go-Gos tunes, and you'll soon feel the same."
"... a lighthearted coming of age story about a music-addicted teen growing up in '80s Boston, driving an ice cream truck and gobbling up all things new wave. We all have songs that serve as emotional and biographical touchstones, but Sheffield has a gift for writing about such songs and bands in a way that brings his past to vivid life."
-Dallas Morning News
"Readers who were teens during the Eighties will love Sheffield's anecdotes, insights, and odd pop-culture trivia and will find themselves humming the tunes as they read. Those who don't remember this time period will be looking up the bands to find out more. An endearing coming-of-age story, perfect for music lovers and all who feel nostalgic for the music and moments that shaped their lives."
"Sheffield is back with the same encyclopedic knowledge of pop music and touching, resonant prose in Talking to Girls About Duran Duran...incredible, almost stream-of-consciousness commentary on 1980s music."
"Much like the '80s, this book is chock-full of pure, guilty-pleasure cheese ... [but] Sheffield's writing is deeply introspective and thoughtful, not just entertaining."
-Philadelphia City Paper
"Humorous, heartbreaking, and heroic."
-Entertainment Weekly on Love Is a Mix Tape