Night Moves by Jessica Hopper

Night Moves

Written in taut, mesmerizing, often hilarious scenes, Night Moves captures the fierce friendships and small moments that form us all. Drawing on her personal journals from the aughts, Jessica Hopper chronicles her time as a DJ, living in decrepit punk houses, biking to bad loft parties with her friends, exploring Chicago deep into the night. And, along the way, she creates an homage to vibrant corners of the city that have been muted by sleek dev...

Details Night Moves

TitleNight Moves
Release DateSep 18th, 2018
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Music, Writing, Essays

Reviews Night Moves

  • Gretchen
    I have some complicated feelings about this book, and complicated feelings about Hopper, which I'm sure are influencing each other. When Hopper is philosophizing, she's amazing. When she's being generous and kind, light shines. When she discusses Chicago, it's very specific, but also very true. But when she's being smug it's just so frustratingly negative and petty. Look, I don't love drunk idiots either, but I've also been a drunk idiot and ther...
  • Joe
    Jessica Hoppers NIGHT MOVES is a stream of consciousness portrait of the last days of bohemia in Chicago (or Austin, or Brooklyn, or Portland) before hundreds of urban planners with their brand new copies of Richard Florida's RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS gentrified the cities and made them unaffordable for anyone but the rich. A beautiful snapshot of a period filtered through a slight haze of a time lost, this is a fantastic book from the woman who...
  • Demi
    I work for the University of Texas Press, so I read this early. It is remarkable.
  • Kathleen
    My review for the Chicago Tribune: his seminal play The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde has the character Gwendolen declare, “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” By that worthy metric, Jessica Hopper’s memoir Night Moves—which draws on her personal journals from the aughts, and which chronicles her formative years as a DJ a...
  • Michael Smith
    I wanted to love this book. It’s about the exact part of Chicago where I lived, during the same era. I went to the same bars, record shops, and venues. And yet, this just fell flat. A love letter to a city, but without anything to pull you in deeper.
  • Lylia
    i want my writing voice to be like this - accessible language but so structurally smart that it takes a bit of thinking to get to the meaning of a sentence, word choice that reveals the author's character, always fun to read, short and sweet, there are so many things i like about the prose here
  • Simon Robs
    I bought/read this book to show love/support to a Chicago author (my home town) although she is not home grown herself (Minneapolis). She, like so many young hipsters or whatever "label" they might willingly answer to migrated to the urban North Side neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, Bucktown, Ukrainian Village, etc., where during recent years gentrification was happening apace. This is memoir/auto/such 'n such more like diary though f...
  • Julia
    When I was a college student in Wisconsin, I dreamed of living in the city of Jessica Hopper's "Night Moves." I may have moved to Chicago a few years too late, but this book put me right back in it and in stitches.
  • Ian
    A pointless book about a forgettable time in a very good music critic's life.
  • Amanda Dee
    "Night Moves" rides through 2004-2008 Chicago, hanging lefts through the city's weird & rich musical & literary history. Hopper begins her memoir/dreamoir with a map of her Chicago, with landmarks that strike personal and political to preface the tone of the book and to elevate the voice of Hopper, the Author. In what fellow Chicago essayist Megan Stielstra called "an absolute love letter to Chicago," Hopper waxes about the tiny-big city, the mus...
  • Delia Rainey
    finished this slim one as i was sitting doing door for a rock show in "shithole" st. louis city, on a breezy summer night, believe it or not! and missing chicago, too. i normally live in the neighborhood that jessica depicts in the beginning grid-map in this book - ukrainian village and humboldt park ~ but here is my neighb in its forms of the early 2000s, in Jessica's fast-paced diaires. i am taking a short stint in STL, & reading this book made...
  • Kate Dunn
    I'm just stealing all of Will's reads. But this one got me straight in the molecules and takes me right back to those aughts and doing similar but not nearly as cool life's work with friends in that beautiful scrappy town we call Chicago. Jessica Hopper is a bad bitch.
  • Jocelyn Bailey
    Very evocative of a time and place that I wish I’d known myself. And I’d fallen a little more in love with Chicago by the end. The page about Tr*mp Tower made me gasp!
  • Miranda
    This was fun to read. A short, sweet love letter to living in the Midwest! I liked the small anecdotes and sometimes the way they were written even felt like poetry.
  • Mike
    A writer details her love of Chicago while reminiscing about her and her friends’ twenty-something days gone by.Now all I want to do is listen to Separation Sunday while riding my bike around Wicker Park.
  • Laura
    I waffled between totally digging the poetic vibe Hopper has going on through many of her entries and being turned off by her too-cool self-awareness. It's definitely worth the read, though you might not dig it. But you might. And it's short. So give it a whirl.
  • (jessica)
    I wanted to like this more, I wanted it to pull me in, I recognized so much of the landscape, the specific character types, the neighborhoods as they've shifted and changed over the years, and yet - although I could connect at a surface level - nothing truly drew me into this book. It was like picking up and flipping through the journals of someone who has lived a relatively parallel life just down the road only to discover the most salient, inte...
  • Harriet M.
    Most of the vignettes that make up the book took place in places I used to know like the back of my hand, although a few years before Hopper was there. She has captured the neighborhoods and music venues Well and it was fun to read. But ultimately, the stories felt repetitive and static, an arrested adolescence. The tendency to drop syllables irked me (e.g. “‘spensive”), an apparent attempt at infusing casualness or faked authenticity or so...
  • Lindsey
    I actually wish I could give this book negative stars, that's how much I loathed it. Jessica Hopper should stick to what she knows: music. This book is a long-winded rambling session on paper, and I was not invested in even one of Hopper's "vignettes," if that's what you want to call them. I am normally a huge fan of "little moments," and much of my own work is written in similar fashion. However, in order to sell these "moments," you have to mak...
  • Clay Proctor
    There is no plotThere is no character developmentThere is no order (chronological or otherwise) to the chapters/journal entries.And, finally, there really isn't anything interesting or entertaining about 95% of the stories in this book.I gave up halfway through when I realized that there was nothing more to this book than "we went out for a bit tonight, I say my friend, it was fun" or "My friends moved today, here's a list of items they took with...
  • Palula Clarkelle
    This combines one of my favorite things, the utopian era of blog rawk (2004-2010) with one of my least favorite things, gentrification.Jessica Hopper is inspired and bursting with originality. The artists and musicians she references get woven into the poetic patchwork of her voice, making everyone she mentions in an already bygone Chicago scene seem infinitely more brilliant and interesting. She’s also honest about the struggle, and how the mo...
  • Tankboy
    This is actually my second time reading this. I devoured it when it first came out but didn’t want to write anything about it for fear I’d let nostalgia cloud my view. But while Jessica nails this period in Chicago, it’s a also crackling with energy and insight that feels universal. The moments are specific, but I think the feelings are relatable to everyone.
  • Sonatajessica
    Let's start shallow. I love how the book is designed: the cover, the inside flaps, the chalk board chapter breakers, the small size to fit into my tiny hands. Thank you, University of Texas Press, for putting out a beautiful object (that I will return to the library in a few days, I guess my superficial love has its boundaries).The content gives me mixed feelings. An interesting memoir, I am on a little journey, driven to explore interesting, sma...
  • Colleen
    Spoiler alert: Jessica Hopper is cooler than you. If you’re interested in this book, you’re likely aware of this fact, which for the uninitiated makes itself apparent somewhere between the jacket copy and page five. Only with that out of the way is it possible to evaluate this slim volume of diary entries, smartly catalogued by theme rather than in chronological order. Each one is a snapshot from a narrow window of time (roughly 2004-2008) in...
  • Lauren
    In an age where so many stories and reports about Chicago come from people who've never lived here, Night Moves feels an enormous, jagged exhale--finally! Some might call it a love letter and the scenes do unfold like so much epistolary drama, but it is far from one-sided. Hopper is a seer, faintly nostalgic for a Chicago that just barely was during the span of time these essays take place. She can tell you about the dirty punk face of the city b...
  • Diana
    Interesting book that I couldn't resist buying. I found it on an eclectic table of books at the Strand in NYC, and while reading it thought that it must have been published 10 years ago, because all of the stories are dated and most are 2004-2007. It was published in 2018. Not sure why. It was a nice collection of interesting observations of Chicago from that period, but has nothing worth writing about happened there since 2007? I guess you could...
  • Natalia
    A true snapshot of a few years of Jessica Hopper's life that gives us so much information, but keeps back stories and histories a mystery. As a music writer myself who is so inspired by Hopper's music criticism, I enjoyed reading the little ways music came up in her everyday life, from attending shows to hearing DJ's to listening to music in the car. Sometimes I felt myself wishing I knew about the ex-boyfriend she ran into in one anecdote, or ho...
  • Jon
    My initial disappointment in this was down to my expectations, I was hoping for more of a linear read and less a collection of journal entries and thoughts. That said, once I got over my disappointment, I liked a lot of this - I think it helped by not only from having lived and worked in Chicago, but also having spent several years in the exact same neighborhood in some of the same years as Hopper (though I was in a decidedly less hip crowd). I'v...