Searching for John Hughes by Jason Diamond
Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know about Life I Learned from Watching '80s Movies

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Both funny and heartbreaking, Diamond’s memoir is not just an account of how one director’s films impacted—and perhaps saved—his life. It is also a memorable reflection on what it means to let go of the past and grow up. A quirkily intelligent memoir of finding oneself in movies.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

For all fans of John Hughes and his hit films such as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, and Home Alone, comes Jason Diamond’s hilarious memoir of growing up obsessed with the iconic filmmaker’s movies—a preoccupation that eventually convinces Diamond he should write Hughes’ biography and travel to New York City on a quest that is as funny as it is hopeless.

For as long as Jason Diamond can remember, he’s been infatuated with John Hughes’ movies. From the outrageous, raunchy antics in National Lampoon’s Vacation to the teenage angst in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to the insanely clever and unforgettable Home Alone, Jason could not get enough of Hughes’ films. And so the seed was planted in his mind that it should fall to him to write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to Jason that he had no qualifications, training, background, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. But no book came out of these years, and no book will. What he did get was a story that fills the pages of this unconventional, hilarious memoir.

In Searching for John Hughes, Jason tells how a Jewish kid from a broken home in a Chicago suburb—sometimes homeless, always restless—found comfort and connection in the likewise broken lives in the suburban Chicago of John Hughes’ oeuvre. He moved to New York to become a writer. He started to write a book he had no business writing. In the meantime, he brewed coffee and guarded cupcake cafes. All the while, he watched John Hughes movies religiously.

Though his original biography of Hughes has long since been abandoned, Jason has discovered he is a writer through and through. And the adversity of going for broke has now been transformed into wisdom. Or, at least, a really, really good story.

In other words, this is a memoir of growing up. One part big dream, one part big failure, one part John Hughes movies, one part Chicago, and one part New York. It’s a story of what comes after the “Go for it!” part of the command to young creatives to pursue their dreams—no matter how absurd they might seem at first.

 

 

About Jason Diamond

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Jason Diamond is a writer and editor from Brooklyn. He is an Associate Editor at Men’s Journal, a columnist at Electric Literature, former Literary Editor at Flavorwire, and the founding editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn. He has been published by the New York Times, Paris Review, New York, the Believer, the New Republic, the New York Observer, Tablet, The Rumpus, The Awl, and many other places. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published November 29, 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Searching for John Hughes
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Sep 06 2016

Both funny and heartbreaking, Diamond’s memoir is not just an account of how one director’s films impacted—and perhaps saved—his life. It is also a memorable reflection on what it means to let go of the past and grow up. A quirkily intelligent memoir of finding oneself in movies.

Read Full Review of Searching for John Hughes: Or... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Drew Toal on Nov 29 2016

But this memoir is satisfying in a way that a Hughes film never could be, and the author's story will be achingly familiar to anyone who relied on Hollywood for a respite from reality but who came away disappointed.

Read Full Review of Searching for John Hughes: Or... | See more reviews from NPR

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