The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture
As a child and teenager, Nathan Rabin viewed pop culture as a life-affirming form of escape. Today, pop culture is his life. For more than a decade, he's served as head writer for A.V. Club, the entertainment section of The Onion. In The Big Rewind, Rabin shares his too-strange-for-fiction life story. From a psilocybin-addled trip to the Anne Frank House to having focus groups for his movie-review panel show opine that all the male critics seemed 'gay' and that the show as a whole was 'too gay, ' Rabin discusses his personal evolution in prose as hilarious as it is unexpectedly poignant. Using a specific song, album, book, film, or television show as a springboard to discuss a period in his life, Rabin recounts his heartwarming tale of triumph over adversity with biting wit and unwise candor. The pop culture touchstones Rabin uses here reflect his broad frame of reference with comic dissertations on The Simpsons, The Catcher in the Rye, Dr. Dre, Grey Gardens, The Great Gatsby, the Magnetic Fields, the uncanny parallels between Ol' Dirty Bastard and John F. Kennedy, and how the stock market mirrors the pimp game. Rabin writes movingly about how pop culture helped save him from suicidal despair, institutionalization, and parental abandonment -- throughout a childhood that sent him ricocheting from a mental hospital to a foster home to a group home for emotionally disturbed adolescents. The Big Rewind is also a touching narrative of a motherless child's search for family and acceptance and a darkly comic valentine to Rabin's lovable, hard-luck dad. Featuring cameos by Billy Bob Thornton, a vomiting Topher Grace, and Barack Obama, The Big Rewind chronicles the surreal journey of Rabin's life and its intersection with the dizzying, maddening, wonderful world of entertainment.