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Summary

From former MTV VJ Dave Holmes, the hilarious memoir of a perpetual outsider fumbling toward self-acceptance, with the music of the '80s, '90s, and today as his soundtrack.

Dave 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 20s, 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.

In Party of One, Holmes tells the hilariously painful and painfully hilarious tales - in the vein of Rob Sheffield, Andy Cohen, and Paul Feig - of an outsider desperate to get in, of a misfit constantly changing shape, of a music geek who finally learns to accept himself. Structured around a mix of hits and deep cuts from the last four decades - from Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart" and En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" to LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge" and Bleachers' "I Wanna Get Better" - and punctuated with interludes like "So You've Had Your Heart Broken in the 1990s: A Playlist" and "Notes on (Jesse) Camp", this book is for anyone who's ever felt like a square peg, especially those who have found their place in the world around a band, an album, or a song. It's a laugh-out-loud funny, deeply nostalgic story about never fitting in, never giving up, and letting good music guide the way.

©2016 Dave Holmes (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"In Party of One, Dave Holmes goes deep into all the ways loving music warps you for life, from shaping your teen crush on Huey Lewis to putting you on MTV at the peak of the TRL era. But his book is also a tenderly hilarious and moving tale of trying to grow up - whether that means coming out at your Catholic college, hitting the hot tub with Kid Rock, or getting that sensation that the singer on your radio is the only soul who truly understands you." (Rob Sheffield, New York Times best-selling author of Love Is a Mix Tape)
"Who better to marry great storytelling with great songs? Dave Holmes's love of music and pop culture is infectious, and his stories are hilarious!" (Andy Cohen, New York Times best-selling author of Most Talkative)
" Party of One is a perfect memoir - hilarious, moving, and full of beauty. Holmes writes at all times with great heart, brains, and courage." (Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Half a Life)

What members say

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  • Gretastired
  • 29-06-16

Party of One on One with a great storyteller

Dave Holmes' reading/performance of this book is wonderful. The tone is completely conversational yet at the same time incredibly professional. There was no over the top affect to the performance (as there have been some other audiobooks). Even the few times where Holmes began to attempt an accent were peppered with jokes of "no, I'm not going to do an accent".

He is a wonderful writer with smart and funny observations and the ability to make the reader feel as if they are in a one on one conversation with the author.

It is an engaging, funny, self-depreciating and poignant book. The chapters are vignettes that are strung together to tell the story of life by a talented storyteller. And the author brings you along--inviting you to his party.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • AF
  • 27-06-17

Loved Dave Holmes before love him more now

Listening to him read his life is like sitting with my best friend. He explains his experiences so even if you've never had them you feel it with him.
I'm going to listen again and tell everyone to buy this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fulanito
  • 21-12-16

Funny? Yes! Relatable? Surprisingly so!

Despite the author's contention that he is not funny, don't let him fool you; Dave Holmes is quite funny. Imagine your best friend. Now go back to the time when you had just met that person, before they were actually your BFF and you were just getting to know that person. You already knew you liked that person and all the stories you told each other about your respective childhoods, your formative years, your latest exploits as adults - that's what this book feels like, with a tiny sprinkling of celebrity dish. Dave Holmes' honesty and willingness to be forthcoming makes him instantly likable and he discusses some issues that, while intensely personal, end up being pretty universal; I found myself nodding and saying, "That's right" several times throughout, and I'm a straight late-30's Latino male from California. Definitely worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • E. Anderson
  • 24-10-16

Hilarious and delightful

Dave Holmes tells a good story and his voice is very pleasant. A whole-hearted recommendation!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Trey Chic
  • 02-05-18

Listening to Dave is a party for one!

This book helped me feel less alone, about not wanting to be just like everyone else. Now if only Mr. Holmes will not cave on talking about The Real Housewives on his podcast. Come on Dave, be the only gay podcast that doesn't force me to hear about those people. #party

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  • Kiddos
  • 26-04-18

Charming, nostalgic and honest

I was drawn to this book after hearing Dave being interviewed about on the podcast,Getting Curious. I loved Dave’s personality and remembered him as one of the only VJ’s at the time he was on air that I liked. After just listening to the sample I knew I’d love this book. He narrates his journey of self acceptance with humor and heart. I really enjoyed his story and the stroll they music and the budding years of MTV were prolific for me as well! You won’t regret this book.

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  • Breanne
  • 15-09-17

I don't care who he is but...

Kidding. It was a fun listen. Very relatable, particularly for people who grew up with MTV. He has a nice voice, is a good storyteller, and seems like an all around fun guy!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-06-17

This is the party to attend!

This was a great story. It really put into perspective for me the coming of age of a homosexual youth, which is why I wanted to read this. I am a 38 year old Mom of an 18 year old girl who is a lesbian. I am trying to understand her more and I think this helped me. I will not put my daughter in a box anymore. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories about his time at MTV, I was watching him as a young Mom home with my baby girl. I remember thinking that Jesse Camp kid was weird and I was glad Dave ended up on MTV anyways. Dave's music taste is right up my ally and I loved how connected he was with the music. I was the same way when I was younger and I miss that person that I was.... the girl who came alive with a song. Thank you Dave for helping me find her again. I will Hold on for one more day!

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  • Sarah
  • 19-06-17

This Book Is For You

One of the best memoirs I've heard. All queer kids and adults should listen--it's comforting, funny, and feels like a support group without the drama of having to say anything.

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  • E. McCall
  • 23-09-16

Funny and heartfelt.

Hysterical memoir that resonated with me. Poignant without being heavy handed. I enjoy all of Dave's writing!