X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from SuckingX Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

By all accounts, I’m the target audience for this books. I was born smack in the middle of GenX (and does it get any GenXer than that), a writer, and I grew up devouring the works of Douglas Copeland and the like.

Despite all that, I was never entirely engrossed in X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking. At its best, the book is a well-argue long-form essay about how Generation X views the phrase “changing the world.” There are stories of regular people doing small things that are changing larger populations. Sometimes that means running neighborhood gardening groups, and sometimes that means founding MeetUp.org.

The problem, though, is that Jeff Gordinier doesn’t trust that narrative as interesting enough. Instead, he peppers the book with obtuse rants about subjects such as The Beatles and Las Vegas that drag the large narrative to a halt. (Since this book began as an article in Details, I found myself if these were the points that either survived from that initial assignment or appeared because it was conceived as a GenX snarked response to life between the Boomers and Millennials.)

As I finished reading, I was left with the feeling that I’d missed out on a larger, more cohesive narrative about our generation.

However, my frustration grew not because the narrative wasn’t interesting, but because there were so many moments where I was silently nodding as I was reading. (Let’s face it: A book that references the Green Tortoise bus is probably worth reading if for no other reason that everyone should know about Seattle’s quirky travel line.)

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