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Nathan Rabin

Nathan Rabin (/nˈðɨn rɑːˈbn/; born April 24, 1976) is an American film and music critic.[1] A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rabin was the first head writer for The A.V. Club,[2] a position he held until 2013.[3] Currently, he is a staff writer for The Dissolve, a film website operated by Pitchfork Media.[4]

Life and career

He coined the phrase manic pixie dream girl as a cinematic type.[5] He was a panelist on the short-lived basic cable show "Movie Club with John Ridley" on American Movie Classics.[6] In 2007, he began My Year of Flops on The A.V. Club, where he re-evaluated films that were shunned by critics, ignored by audiences, or both, at their time of release.[7] As of January 2008, the year was finished, but he continued the project as a bi-monthly feature. Other ongoing features Rabin wrote for The A.V Club include Dispatches From Direct-To-DVD Purgatory, a tongue-in-cheek look at DVD premieres, reviews for TV shows like Louie, Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club,[8] a humorous exploration of trashy books about entertainment, and Ephemereview, which offers critiques of sub-reviewable pop-culture detritus.

Rabin released his memoir in 2009, The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought To You By Pop Culture, (2009, ISBN 978-1-4165-5620-6) which was published by Scribner.[9] The Washington Post gave the book a negative review, calling it a "...failed project is brought to you by pop culture."[10] while The New York Times wrote, "[Rabin] has packed [The Big Rewind] like a cannon, full of caustic wit and bruised feelings" in its more positive review.[11] The book uses novels such as The Great Gatsby, musical recordings such as The Charm of the Highway Strip by The Magnetic Fields and other pop culture items as a springboard to discuss its author's tragi-comic adolescence as a guest of a mental hospital, a foster family whose patience and generosity he jokes "knew only strict, unyielding boundaries" and the Jewish Children's Bureau group home system as well as his career with The A.V. Club and the short-lived film review show Movie Club With John Ridley which he appeared on.[11] The book ends with a chapter about Rabin's unsuccessful audition to fill in for Roger Ebert as a guest critic on At the Movies. Scribner also published a book version of My Year of Flops (2010, ISBN 1-4391-5312-4).[12]

On April 23, 2013, The AV Club announced that Rabin, Tasha Robinson, Genievive Koski, and Noel Murray would be leaving to start a new web-based project with former staffers Scott Tobias and Keith Phipps.[3] On May 30, 2013, this project was revealed to be The Dissolve.[4]

Rabin is Jewish.[13]


  • The Tenacity Of The Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders (2002), with The AV Club staff
  • The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You By Pop Culture (2009)
  • Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists (2009), with The AV Club staff
  • My Year of Flops (2011)
  • Weird Al: The Book (2012) with "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, And My Misadventures With Two Of Music's Most Maligned Tribes (2013)[14]


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