Selling Nostalgia:

A Neurotic Novel


by Mathew Klickstein

(Post Hill, 2019)

Selling Nostalgia by Mathew Klickstein.j

About the Book 

Prepare yourself to boldly go where few fanboys and fangirls have gone before on this rocket-powered rollercoaster ride through today’s madcap, pop culture-obsessed “nostalgia industry”—comprised of the reunions, reboots, blogs, podcasts, commenters, conventions, and collect-em-all merch—that fuels today’s ever-growing geek culture!

As with so many members of his generation, down-on-his-luck writer-filmmaker Milton Siegel has what some might call an unhealthy fixation on the TV shows, movies, books, music, and celebrities from his childhood that spanned the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike many of his generation, Milt has spent most of his life as an adult (so to speak) chronicling this same pop culture of his youth. Hey, it’s a living…sometimes.

After quitting his job at a regional newspaper (or after having been fired, depending on who you ask), Milt finds himself on what becomes a quixotic quest to promote his latest pop culture history project around the country over one progressively insane and hilarious month. Throughout his many misadventures to come, Milt must contend with: a horde of salivating manic nerds, an inexplicable rash of natural disasters, clickbait-concocting media pundits, overly ambitious pseudo-celebrities, bafflingly incompetent event coordinators, a desperately hemorrhaging bank account, a super seductive stripper, ultra-competitive frenemies, and his own sense of the precarious future while being so embroiled in his childish past.

In the end, it’s up to Milt to make it through the month-long nomadic tour of laughter, tears, and revelations ahead without losing his mind. If he’s really lucky, he might even make rent, keep his new wife from fleeing in terror, and perhaps have a little fun along the way.


Published by Post Hill imprint Permuted Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster.

"Mathew Klickstein might be the geek guru of the 21st century."
—Mark Mothersbaugh

"Klickstein ... delivers a searing critique of geek culture and the trouble with indulging nostalgia at the expense of reckoning with reality. Though he didn’t set out to write a social commentary, it’s on that level that he finds the most success."
—The Washington Post

"'Selling Nostalgia' reads like Philip K. Dick on speed."

—Bestselling author and columnist Allen Salkin


... As the novel opens, Milt is headed to Los Angeles to prepare for the launch of his documentary on 1980s cult hero and former talk-show host Gil Gladly ... — think, Klickstein said, BoJack Horseman meets Miranda Priestly ...

... But for Corcoran, researching the cover of Selling Nostalgia by Mathew Klickstein was a delight, allowing a self-described “1980s baby” to mine the iconography of everything from Max Headroom to Miami Vice...

The Five Count

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... The end result reads like an acid-witted, weed-and-coke-propelled Fear and Loathing in the Land of Ren and Stimpy Obsessives, amphetamine-pumped by egomaniacal grown-up child stars, psychotically competitive toy collectors, and other mad casualties of society’s collective pop culture overdose ...

with Ken Reid

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© 2020 by Mathew Klickstein

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