I was going to write my own review of this book but then I read what Kirby Fields at PopMatters.com had to say and decided not to reinvent the wheel. It’s screaming for a Media Integration Guide…yeah I know its not media but it is a literary art. I’ll get it done and up in the next few days so look for it.
You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried, by Susannah Gora
As if the title doesn’t give enough away, the promotional materials for Susannah Gora’s compulsively readable You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation includes a tease that defines exactly the book’s audience: “Because You Can Quote Lines from Sixteen Candles, Your iPod Playlist Includes More Than One Song by The Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds, and You Still Wish Andie Had Ended Up with Duckie in Pretty in Pink”.
I’m proudly guilty of one and three, and no one was more surprised than I was to learn that I only have one song by either the Psychedelic Furs or Simple Minds on my iPod (“Pretty in Pink”, from the soundtrack). In my defense, however, the first song I tried to buy when I got an iTunes account was “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. At the time it was unavailable. Still, I mean… it was the very first song I looked up. That has to count for something.
You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation
(Crown; US: Feb 2010)
In any case, there are a number of other tells I could add to that spot-on promotional blurb, but the best may be this: If you understand the book’s title without having to read past the colon, then this book is for you. Kf you add the “Sweets” to the beginning of the line, then a purchase should be in your future. For those of us who can name the original MTV VJs, who know that the Thompson Twins don’t share a surname and aren’t really twins, and who once pegged their pants, this book falls somewhere between required reading and a damn good time. It’s closer to a damn good time, but that’s OK. The movies were, too.