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Talking to girls about Duran Duran : one…
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Talking to girls about Duran Duran : one young man's quest for true love… (edition 2010)

by Rob Sheffield (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4112625,858 (3.72)17
Member:HarryMacDonald
Title:Talking to girls about Duran Duran : one young man's quest for true love and a cooler haircut
Authors:Rob Sheffield (Author)
Info:New York : Dutton, c2010.
Collections:Phonies: Wall of Shame
Rating:1/2
Tags:memoir, already donated/sold/swapped

Work details

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut by Rob Sheffield

  1. 10
    Cardboard Gods by Josh Wilker (zhejw)
    zhejw: Wilker's memoir is told through the baseball cards he collected in the late 1970s while Sheffield's is told through the pop songs he listened to in the 1980s. Both are well-written and interspersed with a good balance of humor and deep insights into life.
  2. 00
    American Nerd: The Story of My People by Benjamin Nugent (Othemts)
  3. 00
    Giving up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum (amyblue)
    amyblue: Both books are memoirs about growing up in the 80's with many music references.
  4. 00
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (heatherlove)
    heatherlove: Just a trip back to the 80s with Talking to Girls... after you've spent your time ensconced in some fun 80s Trivia from Ready Player one.
  5. 01
    Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby (Othemts)
  6. 01
    How the Beatles Destroyed Rock n Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music by Elijah Wald (Othemts)
  7. 01
    Don't You Forget About Me: A Novel by Jancee Dunn (chazzard)
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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
For my review please visit my blog: Martin's View: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. ( )
  Martin_Maenza | Apr 14, 2017 |
9 stars: Super, couldn't put it down

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From the back cover: Growing up in the 80s, you were surrounded by mysteries. These were the years of MTV and John Hughes movies, the era of big dreams and bigger shoulder pads. Like any teenage geek, Rob Sheffield spent the decade searching for true love and maybe a cooler haircut. This book is his tale of stumbling into adulthodd with a killer soundtrack. Inept flirtations. Dumb crushes.Deplorable fashion choices. Girls, every last one of whom was madly in love with the bassist from Duran Duran. ... As a confused teenager stranded in the suburbs, mowing lawns, and playing video games, Rob had a lot to learn about women, love, music and himself. But he was sure his radio had all the answers, whether he was driving an ice cream truck through Boston to "Purple rain" , slam dancing to the Replacements, or pondering the implications of Madonna lyrics. From Bowie to Bobby Brown, from hair metal to hip hop, he loved them all. Talking to Girls about Duran Duran is a journey through the pop culture of an American adolescence that will remind you of your first crush, first car, and first kiss. But it's not just a book about music. this is a book about moments in time, and the way we obsess over them through the years. Every song is a snapshot of a moment that helps form the rest of your life. Whenever you grew up, and whatever your teenage obsessions, this book brings those moments to life.

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What a wonderfully fun and entertaining book. I read it at a time I needed a laugh and a light read, and this certainly provided it. While I couldn't relate to many of Sheffield's experiences, I certainly related to the music. It also reminded me of something I didn't understand until I was in my 40s--- how much of our communication styles and ability to relate to the opposite sex can be influenced by whether we had siblings of the opposite sex that we learned to relate with. Sheffield talks with much affection of his older sisters, and how he learned to talk to girls, by talking with them about Duran Duran.

Quotes can describe this book much better than I can, so here's some portions which resonated and gave me joy:

I've been obsessed with how girls talk about Duran Duran. I'm pretty sure Duran Duran would cease to exist if girls ever stopped talking about them. Except they never do.

A "girl's artist" ... commands a certain loyalty that never really goes away. An adult woman might have a slightly mocking, slightly ironic relationship to her teenage Duran loving self, and yet she can still feel that love in a non-ironic way. And when adult women talk about them, they turn into those girls again.

[David Bowie] created a night world of new romantics and modern lovers, populated by all the bizarre creatures he sang about. He was a kindly presence, a cracked pastor for all of us moonage daydream believers, pretty things and hot tramps, queen bitches and slinky vagabonds, people from bad homes, night crawlers and pinups and young dudes and scary monsters. They moved in numbers and they plotted in corners. And you could join them just by listening. The "B" section of the local record store is where you'd find them. I started to spend many afternoons loitering around the "B's"

[Ashes to Ashes video]-- Bowie is a sad clown on the beach, apparently agitated by a little sand in his tights, walking under a bloodred sky with a bunch of goth priests and priestesses. He strolls the beach with an old lady who looked remarkably like my grandmothers. He also walks in front of a bulldozer, which I guessed must symbolize harvesting the crops of awesome.

[E.T.] It was basically a movie about a sad Muppet who thought he was David Bowie.

If you have a song about nuclear war, you are new wave. If you sing about gay sex and nuclear war, you are Frankie Goes to Hollywood. If you are a hot German chick and you sing about nuclear war, you are Nena. If you sing about starting a nuclear war via making out, you are Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark. If you sing about nuclear war and girlfriends who don't exist, you are scoring some serious new wave points. (WHy are you trying so hard, anyway? You must be OMD again!) If you start to sing the word "ass" but change your mind and substitute a drum solo, you are Huey Lewis, which is as far from new wave as you can get.

If I'm not mistaken, the all-time- standard in the "location, location, location" wars was set by Journey in "Separate Ways', the one where they went to a lumberyard. Steve Perry sang about his broken heart while clambering over a stack of two by fours. Journey walked around the lumberyard feeling sad about their lady love, who (naturally) was right there in the lumberyard feeling sad about their lady love, who (naturally) was right there in the lumberyard, strutting around in her leather miniskirt. How exactly did this girl end up there? Was she looking for her friends? Did they play a prank on her?

It's part of being a fan--sometimes its a lonely thing to devote your heart to a song, especially when it's a song that literally nobody can stand, from an idiotic group with an idiotic name and idiotic haircuts. Everybody's got something like this in their life. whether its a song nobody likes or a celebrity crush everybody else finds hideous or a team that always loses.

It's hard to remember there even was a time before Johnny Depp was around to toast the loins of the nation, but there was. And it was a cold, cold place. [Girl] loved to talk about how Johnny Depp was going to change the world. He was a new ideal of manhood, the dawn of a new golden era.

I watched the Live Earth broadcast in 2007 just to see them save the planet. Simon Le Bon told the crowd "Just coming here is not enough to get what's got to be done.... but.... if we all sing.... we might just make a stand, right here!" And what song did Simon choose to save the planet? "Girls on Film". That is why he is Simon, and that is why we love him. "Girls on Film" Famous for a video with sexy models attacking sumo wrestlers. ( )
  PokPok | Mar 16, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this book! DURAN DURAN lured me in of course, but music kept me there. I am a child/teen of the 80's and a big music junkie!! I could really relate to how songs/bands affect our lives and what we think. I would certainly encourage all 1980's teens to read this book. ( )
  MzKitty | Sep 18, 2016 |
... It never really occurred to me that love and music belonged in separate categories. - Rob Sheffield "Talking to Girls About Duran Duran" ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
In what is seemingly a common trend with all of the books I've read thus far this year, I'd describe this one as ""good, not great.""

I thought it as a good, interesting read...but it didn't have the heart that ""Love is a Mix Tape"" had and it seemed to be drastically more disjointed from the typical memoir offerings I've read.

My biggest issue is probably that my formative years came about 15 years after Sheffield's thus causing all of the songs that comprised his youth to be the ""oldies"" and ""one-hit wonders"" of my youth.

Reading his efforts to wax nostalgic over bands and songs that never meant more much to me made it hard to really get sucked into the book in the way I'd have hoped following up on his previous effort. ( )
  tkatt00 | Sep 11, 2015 |
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The author of Love is a Mix Tape returns to share the soundtrack to his eighties adolescence. When he turned 13 in 1980, Sheffield had a lot to learn about women, love, music and himself, and here he offers a glimpse into his transformation from pasty, geeky "hermit boy" into a young man with his first girlfriend, his first apartment, and a sense of the world. It's all here: Inept flirtations. Dumb crushes. Deplorable fashion choices. Members Only jackets. Girls, every last one of whom seems to be madly in love with the bassist of Duran Duran. Sheffield's coming-of-age story has a playlist that any child of the eighties or anyone who just loves music will sing along with. These songs--and Sheffield's writing--will remind readers of that first kiss, that first car, and the moments that shaped their lives.--From publisher description.… (more)

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