Cover image for Nights in White Castle : a memoir
Title:
Nights in White Castle : a memoir
ISBN:
9780316419437
Physical Description:
viii, 308 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm.
Contents:
Introduction: The game of life -- In the high school halls, in the shopping malls. Nights in White Castle ; We're the kids in America ; Simply waste the day away ; Dancing with myself ; Hold on to sixteen as long as you can ; One more summer -- I have only come here seeking knowledge. The beer that made Milwaukee famous ; Home again, home again, jiggety jog ; Spending warm summer days indoors ; Money for nothing ; Another one rides the bus ; We'll give you the world ; Golden handshake -- Stompin' on the avenue by Radio City. Into the great wide open ; Nothing but flowers.
Personal Subject:
Summary:
Picking up where he left off in his acclaimed memoir Sting-Ray Afternoons, Steve Rushin brilliantly captures a bygone era, and the thrills of new adulthood in the early 80s. It begins in Bloomington, Minnesota, with a 13-year-old kid staging his own author photo that he hopes will someday grace the cover of a book jacket. And it ends at a desk in the legendary Time & Life building, with that same boy-now in his early 20s and writing professionally-reflecting on how the hell he got there from what seems like a distant universe. In between, Steve Rushin whisks us along on an extraordinarily funny, tender, and altogether unforgettable journey. From a menial summer job at suburban Bennigan's, to first-time college experiences in Milwaukee, to surviving early adulthood in seedy New York City, this deeply touching odyssey will remind any reader of those special moments when they too went from innocence to experience.
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Summary

Summary

It begins in Bloomington, Minnesota, with a 13-year-old kid staging his own author photo that he hopes will someday grace the cover of a book jacket. And it ends at a desk in the legendary Time & Life building, with that same boy-now in his early 20s and writing professionally-reflecting on how the hell he got there from what seems like a distant universe. In between, Steve Rushin whisks us along on an extraordinarily funny, tender, and altogether unforgettable journey.

From a menial summer job at suburban Bennigan's, to first-time college experiences in Milwaukee, to surviving early adulthood in seedy New York City, this deeply touching odyssey will remind any reader of those special moments when they too went from innocence to experience.


Author Notes

Steve Rushin is the author of Road Swing, which was named "Top 100 Sports Books of All Time". He previously worked for Sports Illustrated and has filed stories for the magazine from all seven continents, including Antarctica. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing , The Best American Travel Writing and The Best American Magazine Writing collections, with essays appearing in Time magazine and The New York Times . He lives in Minnesota.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following up Sting-Ray Afternoons, about his 1970s youth, Sports Illustrated writer Rushin explores his 1980s teen years in this humorous, lighthearted collection of anecdotes. Opening with a story about his brother and friend passing themselves off as counter attendants at the local White Castle and handing out free burgers to their high school classmates, Rushin captures the good-natured hijinks that were at the heart of his upbringing in Minnesota. Mixed in the with the relatable dynamic between him and his loving suburban parents, his good-natured siblings, and tight crew of hoops-playing, R&B-listening friends are a slew of pop culture references--including Prince, Van Halen, Larry Bird's Celtics, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High--that will have 50-somethings nodding their heads. Some sections, such as the origin story of Chi-Chi's Mexican restaurant, can feel out of place, but the thread of Rushin's love of books and guileless hunger to write for Sports Illustrated--encouraged by his mother--provides a strong backbone for the lighter fare. Even with the fear of nuclear "warheads raining down on Kansas" at any moment, Rushin describes what seems to be a safer, simpler time. For nostalgic baby boomers, this is a joyful romp down memory lane. (Aug.)


Kirkus Review

Building on Sting-Ray Afternoons (2017), Sports Illustrated writer Rushin continues his account of growing up in the 1980s heartland."To be in high school in the 1980s is to see yourself depicted in countless movies," writes Rushin, enumerating such now-classic films as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and The Breakfast Club before closing the thought: "confirming your place at the center of the culture." Sure enough: If the 1950s saw the birth of the teenager as concept and construct, the '80s saw its apotheosis. Rushin, with a light touch of the bittersweet, recounts that he wasn't quite the teenager of those films or of celebratory songs by the likes of the Stray Cats and Heaven 17. Instead, he writes, on the brink of adulthood, he was engrossed in books, jazz, and sports, longing not for a muscle car but for a muscle typewriter, an IBM Selectric II, "all that power in your right pinkie." The author faced most of the usual disappointments but also a couple of unusual victories, including praise from a tough-minded feature-writing teacher who sported "a wardrobe of shirts and ties evidently acquired on the newsroom set of All the President's Men" and, eventually, publication in Sports Illustrated, his home ever since. Rushin's account of a sibling-crowded, busy youth in suburban Minneapolis is affectionate and often funny. For example, he writes about resisting his parents' call to move out via the siren call of newly born cable TV, which urged instead that he lash himself to the basement and stay put, and of the other blandishments of junk culture, including processed-food sandwiches "tasting of salt and moist paper towel." Though without the gritty depth of Chuck Klosterman's Fargo Rock City, situated a few years later, Rushin's account captures many slices of life in a time fast receding into the depths of nostalgia.Survivors and fans of the era will find this to be a pleasing book of meaningful touchstones, from beer jingles to Porky's, love, and baseball. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Nobody does nostalgia like Rushin. He doesn't traffic in rose-tinted memories of golden afternoons but, instead, basks in the harsh lights of the White Castle parking lot and the unusual nighttime clientele those lights reveal. Following up on his childhood memoir Sting-Ray Afternoons (2017), Rushin returns in top form to share his journey from age 13 to 22 in the 1980s. An aspiring writer who labels a letter home as sent by Bud Ding Journalist, Rushin recounts the favorite activities for high-schoolers in Minnesota (mostly involving driving around and eating everything in sight, when not working terrible temp jobs) and his anxiety while making the leap to semi-independence on his way to the real world. His memories are crammed with cultural touchstones, from the latest in wood-paneled technology, including cassette tapes from competitors that irk Rushin's 3M executive father, to the nuclear wasteland depicted in The Day After to the beer jingles clamoring for attention on the air. A fun and nuanced coming-of-age story, Nights in White Castle offers a rollicking ride down memory lane.--Bridget Thoreson Copyright 2010 Booklist