Friends of Mine: Thirty Years In The Life of a Duran Duran Fan by Elisa Lorello (5 out of 5)



Of course, I had to have this book. The minute I read about it on the Facebook feed of one of my Duranie friends. I loved the cover immediately. It is, to be cliched in this instance, “totally 80’s”. Or to be later 80’s, “totally rad”. I had not heard of the book before Facebook, and that shames me to the depth of my being. I am a Duranie. I am obsessed. I love to read even the smallest, most innocent pop culture references to them in other avenues of life that I roam. So for this to have gotten by me, well, it shows that I have not been up on my Duran Duran. So thank you, Elisa, for not friending me on Facebook, but sending me an autographed copy. I had tried to order this through the bookstore, my regular gig, but it is not available through our distributor. I had a hard time getting over my loyalty issues to buy it off Amazon. I exchanged emails with Elisa and explained that not only am I incredibly loyal to my independent bookstore and what they stand for against corporate bookstores, but that I genuinely just can’t do it. She is incredibly understanding and sent me a copy through the mail. In a circumstance that can only happen to me, shortly after that, we had our Secret Santa party at work, and Andrew, my coworker, got me. That little rascal found the book on Amazon and purchased it for me as one of my gifts. So funny. And it’s a book that you should purchase multiple copies of and gift your Duranie friends with, because it’s a great read. Do it, Duranies, you won’t be sorry! And if you aren’t a Duranie, well, firstly, I’m sorry and secondly, here’s a great place to start!

Elisa’s life starts out as a twin and the youngest of seven children and proceeds relatively smooth until adolescence. Her parents’ divorce makes adolescence a rocky road for her family, but she has a beacon- the music of Duran Duran. You read about her childhood friendship with her best friend fading away as they get to the end of the long and winding road known as high school. Come on, we’ve all had a friendship like that, and her painful acceptance of the reality of the situation rings so true, that you again sympathize with her story and feel as if you are there while it’s happening. That’s one of the reasons I love this book. Elisa’s writing is so easily able to slip into and stay for a nice long, visit that you don’t want to come out- or the book to end.

Obviously, the Duran Duran factor was a huge reason that I was angling to read this memoir. As I said before, I’m ridiculous with the smallest, most inconsequential Duran Duran anything that hops into my little corner of the world. A book, my other true passion, full of Duran Duran, one of my all-consuming passions, is a plus times a thousand. However, this isn’t just a memoir about being a Duran super fan. It’s about life and the tough shit that gets handed to you in that life. It’s about survival, finding your place, finding your way, and going with the flow. Elisa does a tremendous job of sending that message to the reader. Duran Duran is a huge part of her survival through the trials and tribulations of young adulthood, friendship, relationships, and life as a whole. You feel through the book that as long as there is something that you have that is a cornerstone, a light that never goes out, a constant, that no matter how rough those seas become, you will find a place to land and calmer beaches ahead (If we’re lucky, they’re frequented by the “Save A Prayer” Duran Duran!). “Ordinary World” was always a song that cut through me. It was a song that I heard after finding out that my friend Marina had passed away. I bawled my eyes out, but hey, all was better with the world somehow when Q101 premiered “Ordinary World” that day. I felt peaceful, and believe me, that’s not an easy feat with me. Reading that it resonated so greatly with Elisa, I felt, again, that odd kinship (Duranship?) that exists among the fandom. For the record, Elisa also wrote a book with Ordinary World as the title. Check it out:

Shameless plug aside, it is one of the quickest, heartwarming, and fun memoirs I have read in a while. By fun, I mean that there is such a recognition of certain traits that Duranies all share, and seeing that in print and reading Elisa’s thoughts on the Fab Five and thinking, “I thought that same thing all those years ago.” was a fantastic reality to see in print. It’s good to know that I’m not the only weirdo who likened everything back to Duran Duran back in the day (and I still tend to, honestly). Elisa’s got such an easy way of making you feel not only as if you were there while she was growing up, but that you were all kindred spirits in the Church of Duran. Her style of writing is infectious in its joy and a pleasure to read. So go out and get it, read it, and buy it for others. It is truly a book of pure joy.



~ by generationgbooks on March 30, 2014.

One Response to “Friends of Mine: Thirty Years In The Life of a Duran Duran Fan by Elisa Lorello (5 out of 5)”

  1. […] aluminum foil. I think the world of her. And her book. Here’s my original review of it:… And here’s the book […]

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