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Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas [Kindle Edition]

Chuck Klosterman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $14.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

Coming off the breakthrough success of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and Killing Yourself to Live, bestselling pop culture guru Chuck Klosterman assembles his best work previously unavailable in book form—including the ground-breaking 1996 piece about his chicken McNuggets experiment, his uncensored profile of Britney Spears, and a previously unpublished short story—all recontextualized in Chuck’s unique voice with new intros, outros, segues, and masterful footnotes.

CHUCK KLOSTERMAN IV consists of three parts:

Things That Are True—Profiles and trend stories: Britney Spears, Radiohead, Billy Joel, Metallica, Val Kilmer, Bono, Wilco, the White Stripes, Steve Nash, Morrissey, Robert Plant—all with new introductions and footnotes.

Things That Might Be True—Opinions and theories on everything from monogamy to pirates to robots to super people to guilt, and (of course) Advancement—all with new hypothetical questions and footnotes.

Something That Isn’t True At All—This is old fiction. There’s a new introduction, but no footnotes. Well, there’s a footnote in the introduction, but none in the story.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Esquire columnist Klosterman may remind listeners of a slacker holding forth at a tailgate party or over a game of beer pong. Klosterman has imbibed a lot of lowbrow culture in his young career and the tone of his sentences are a blend of jaded and amused, with a voice both nasal and deep. The strongest material in this uneven collection of pop culture essays are his celebrity profiles, in which Klosterman employs an offbeat narrative energy. Unfortunately, there is a jarring effect in these pieces when audio actors stand in for the interviewed celebrities such as Britney Spears, Val Kilmar, Oliver Stone and NBA star Steve Nash. The audiobook concludes with a short story, which Klosterman also narrates. Having listened to the author as himself for almost four hours, it's hard to accept him as the first-person narrator of his own fictional protagonist. In the end, Klosterman IV offers up a casual and relaxed style, but the narration is only as engaging as the material, which unfortunately becomes increasingly ragged as the collection unfolds. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Reviews, May 29).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Pop-culture-enthusiast Klosterman anthologizes his previously published rock interviews, opinion pieces, and a short story to create an entertaining albeit head-scratching follow-up to Killing Yourself to Live (2005). Rock fans will appreciate the ironies in Klosterman's interviews as he plays the interloper invited to the party who sits back and makes fun. Caustic throughout while alternating between disclosures oddly unrevealing and quasi sympathetic, Klosterman observes, "Britney Spears is the most famous person I've ever interviewed. She was also the weirdest." Bono picks Klosterman up in an insanely expensive car, then helps injured kids in a hospital only to be taken aback when he plays the new, still unreleased U2 album and the kids sing along--not taken aback in humility but in capitalist questioning of how the album leaked. Contradictions and silliness best exemplify this collection. Klosterman's writing is funny and smart, if not so new or earth shattering, and that, after all, is pop culture. Mark Eleveld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 1371 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743284895
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,651 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Klassik Klosterman January 20, 2007
My take on Klosterman is this: if you absolutely must get a pop culture fix by reading about inane movie stars or overrated bands, you might as well read someone who is smart and funny about them, and that person is Klosterman. Although not a metal fan, I loved Fargo Rock City, and found his essays in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs exceedingly funny. Killing Yourself To Live didn't work as well for me, and I was glad to get another dose of his shorter works here ( all of which were previous published). The book (whose title is a reference/homage to albums by both Led Zepplin and Black Sabbath) is divided into three parts.

"Things That Are True" contains about twenty profiles and pieces of reportage. Included are the best Britney Spears profile ever ("Britney Spears is the most famous person I've ever interviewed. She is also the weirdest. I assume this is not a coincidence."), a very good U2 piece ("U2 is the most self-aware rock band in history. This generally works to their advantage."), and solid profiles of musicians The White Stripes, Radiohead, The Streets, Billy Joel, Jeff Tweedy, and metal tribute bands. There are also profiles of actor Val Kilmer, basketball superstar Steve Nash, a Q&A with Robert Plant, experiential pieces on Latino Morissey fanatics, the unofficial "Goth Day" at Disneyland, Akron-area clairvoyants, and a "Rock Cruise" (featuring Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Journey), and contrarian review essays on the documentaries "Super Size Me" and "Some Kind of Monster."

The somewhat briefer "Things That Might Be True" section contains about fifteen more personal opinion pieces written in recent years for Esquire (these are available at and Spin magazines.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chuck's Common-Sense Is In Short Supply In the Culture October 4, 2006
The title of "Chuck Klosterman IV" hearkens back to Led Zeppelin's classic untitled, "Stairway to Heaven" album. It's typical of Chuck's approach, which is to examine our significant pop culture landmarks with ironic, self-deprecating wit. This book collects some of the highlights of Klosterman's journalism over the past decade. He has been hailed as the successor to Hunter Thompson, but I think he has a quality that Thompson lacked (as much as I admired the work of the Good Doctor). That quality is American common-sense, in abundance. Klosterman's method is to examine pop culture with the close reading usually reserved for so-called "high culture." And then he takes the contrarian view, which can yield some surprising insights. A lot of these icons have been only worshipped their whole careers, so the combination of Klosterman's ruthless scrutiny and heartland human sympathy produces strange and wonderful new wisdom.

I mentioned Klosterman's compassion because it's an attribute not normally associated with critics. But it gives us a more rounded portrait of his subjects, which this time include Wilco, Robert Plant, Metallica, U2, the White Stripes, and Britney Spears, to name just a small sample. He can see clearly and unsparingly while taking into account unavoidable human frailties. This got him into trouble with his infamous profile of Billy Joel (included here), which was meant by Chuck to be a celebration of his career, but was interpreted by Joel and other as a too-candid, embarassing look at an artist's mid-life crisis.

My favorite essay in this book is "Cultural Betrayal", which should be recognized as a brilliant analysis of the current culture wars in America.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of pop culture tidbits.... September 8, 2006
If you like S,D&CP, you will love this too. There are always parts where I find the things Klosterman is writing about is picked directly from my life growing up on the tailend of Generation X.

You either like this type of writing or you don't. Klosterman's work typically applies to a very specific segment of the population, but to that segment his writing really connects.

I especially enjoyed the essay on identifying your Nemesis and your Archenemy, and the differences between the two, for I too have a Nemesis - and yes we are friends, yes we sit down and have a drink together every so often, and yes we have both punched each other in the face at one point or another in anger.

If you want to read a book where you find yourself laughing out loud while reading it on the subway, pick it up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creative insights April 27, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Klosterman's work reflects creativity and interesting insights into American culture. His major frame of reference is modern-pop music. Interesting read with fascinating "what if" scenarios. Good basis for discussion with friends. Worth the quick read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fanastic, competes with SD&CP September 5, 2006
Great book, i preordered it and got it one week before it was released. And finished it the day it was.

I have read all of Klosterman's other books and i really didn't think he (or anyone else, for that matter) could write anything more entertaining than Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs. And my first impression of Chuck Klosterman IV is that it is just that. The first part is a great collection of essays/articles with new (self-critisizing) introductions. The second is a collection of mostly articles from Esquire with hypothetical introductions that remind me of the SD&CP segways. And the final section, a fictional story slighty resembling his life.

Overall, i think it's a great read. Especially if you have read his other books (as he does make refrence to them) and are already familiar with his style of writing (the footnotes are running rampant, as usual)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Waste of time, if you want to read a story of someone blabbing about their life read Obama's book
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read.
Published 5 months ago by Lori
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book if you like to think about things
Another great book from a man who knows how to arrange his thought in an entertaining way.

in short, it will make you think
Published 6 months ago by J. Romps
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great buy
Published 6 months ago by Chiebuka Egwuonwu
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
bought for kid
Published 6 months ago by debra fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 months ago by Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Topical Klosterman
Very intelligent, readable and fast paced compendium of some of Klosterman's published and unpublished essays from the late 90's- early 2000's. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Polo Entendre
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, random Klosterman
It took me a while to like Chuck Klosterman and, even now, I'm not sure that I like the man, but I've come to love the writer, which, I suppose, it what matters.
Published 11 months ago by Rebecca T. Heimbuch
4.0 out of 5 stars Great compilation
If you are a fan of Chuck Klosterman, you will no doubt enjoy this book. This offers a compilation of some of his earlier articles from the 90's and early 2000s. Read more
Published 15 months ago by KLR
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as amusing as I'd hoped.
I'm not a Klosterman fan and am not very familiar with his work, but somehow I expected this to be funnier than it was. It had moments, but they were too few and far between IMO.
Published 17 months ago by Paula Knox
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More About the Author

Chuck Klosterman is a New York Times bestselling author and a featured columnist for Esquire, a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, and has also written for Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and ESPN.

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He's left?
Yes. Let me explain. Spin magazine was sold last year for a mere $15 million to Blender Magazine (a sad little music magazine by Maxim). Maxim fired Sia Michaels, (the brilliant editor), as well as Chuck Klosterman, and other great writers like Marc Spitz and columnist Sarah Lewtin. They... Read More
Dec 25, 2006 by TylerB |  See all 2 posts
book subject.
I just interviewed Klosterman for my student newspaper (he's coming to speak at my University later this month) and he said it's like an anthology-- about 70% previously published material, mostly his magazine stories.
Apr 5, 2006 by Amy Farley |  See all 4 posts
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