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Written By: Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont
Publisher: Perigee

I love the 90’s!!

The Book

I’ve always enjoyed popular culture. Hell, part of the reason I do the podcast is just to fulfill my pop culture fixation. And I get especially geeked about the 90’s. I turned sixteen in 1990 so the 90’s encompassed the bulk of my 20’s and I have a grand fondness for the era. So when I was handed The Totally Sweet 90’s I knew I was going to love it. The only question was how much?

In this era of Best Week Ever and endless countdown and lists shows, The Totally Sweet 90’s fits right in to today’s culture. This is an alphabetical run down of the highlights in fashion, music and fads for the 1990’s. And for the most part they hit it all. There were a few things missing and a couple of things listed that quite frankly baffled me; the most obvious one being Teddy Ruxpin which was introduced in the mid-80’s.

The only real complaint I have about the book is that rather than focus on specifics, sometimes a grouping is used instead. For instance, Kurt Cobain, Nirvana nor Lollapalooza are listed here but rather rolled into the grunge music entry. Maybe I’m being picky but to gloss over the specifics of a movement in music is a bit lazy. This is only one of several times this happens and I know this isn’t a comprehensive book but it still seems a bit odd.

There also isn’t much in the way of politics discussed in the book. If ever there was a decade that politics became pop culture fodder and politicians became rock starts it was the 1990’s. I mean c’mon, Bill Clinton playing saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show should have registered somewhere here. Not to mention the fact that the 1992 election was powered by the youth vote and that demographic carried the U.S. economy and steered the political landscape all through the decade. Maybe Cooper and Bellmont are saving all that for the sequel.

The Totally Sweet 90’s is a nice little walk down memory lane and a good way to spend an afternoon. And I mean you can read through this book in just a few hours which is a nice change of pace and easily digested piece of pop culture confectionery. As 90’s nostalgia heats up into a full blown thing The Totally Sweet 90’s is a great Cliff’s Notes for a generation with a short
attention span to a decade that started with Nirvana and ended with Britney Spears.