Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes

Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes

Review by Lauren

source: copy from BloggingforBooks; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryDave Holmes has spent his life on the periphery, nose pressed hopefully against the glass, wanting just one thing: to get inside. Growing up, he was the artsy son in the sporty family. At his all-boys high school and Catholic college, he was the closeted gay kid surrounded by crush-worthy straight guys. And in his twenties, in the middle of a disastrous career in advertising, he accidentally became an MTV VJ overnight when he finished second, naturally, in the Wanna Be a VJ contest, opening the door to fame, fortune, and celebrity—you know,almost


I watched a lot of MTV when I was younger, especially when TRL was popular (Total Request Live) where VJ's announced the top ten videos of the day and celebrities stopped by to be interviewed or play games. Despite watching TRL and other shows on MTV, I have to admit that I didn't recognize the name Dave Holmes. Maybe he wasn't on as much when I really started watching, but at any rate, he was an MTV VJ for a bit and then moved around helping out with other non-music related MTV shows.

Reading his memoir was a lot of fun though because each chapter is is name of a song and it chronicles Dave's life from before MTV to afterwards, when he had left the company and moved on to something new. Holmes is a great writer and he infuses a lot of humor into most of his stories. There are some more serious tales though, like being a young worker in NYC when 9/11 happened - this was his pre-MTV days. I find these stories interesting, as someone who was alive during 9/11. We all have that story of "where were you?"

As Dave is a gay man, I appreciated how he incorporated that in stories. He writes about being in the closet until college and how he tries to make it safer for other kids at his religious college to come out. He talks about his first boyfriend and others, until he tells you the story of meeting "the one" near the end of the book. This is definitely a book about Dave and his life and not just a who's who at MTV, so you should know that before you dive in. It's still an enjoyable memoir though and I appreciate it.

Finally, I want to mention the little extras that Holmes includes between some of the 21 chapters. Some of these are themed song lists, while another gives you a little inside information on some MTV guests - for those of you who like the juicy Celeb stories!

All in all, definitely a good one.


Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

Not much for memories.

Lisa Mandina said...

I was going to say, I don't remember that name either. Of course what years was it? I would probably only remember the VJs from 80s and very early 90s. Great review!

Keionda @Keionda Hearts Books said...

When I first saw the book cover, I was all like: AWWWWW! That cover looks so lonely with that one guy on there all by himself and stuff. But I was surprised to learn that it was like a memoir of sorts. :) Super fun review! <3

Verushka said...

That cover is awesome, but I have to admit I don't know much about MTV or TRL. I like that he's named the chapters after songs, it sounds like his choices are very cool!

Lola said...

I haven't read a memoir yet, even though I have picked up some non-fiction this year. Not sure if I will enjoy reading them, but it does sound interesting how you follow the story of this person their life.

Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity said...

I've only read a few personal non-fiction stories. I absolutely ADORED one (Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrews. If you haven't read it, Lauren, I highly recommend it), and I really did not like the other one (I won't say, to save from feeling mean, haha).

It's great that you liked this one, though! I really like it when there are little unique things (like song title chapters) and stuff like that when reading about someone's life. It just brings that extra edge of personality and intimacy, too.

Lovely review, as always ^.^

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