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Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas Hardcover – September 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743284887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743284882
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Klosterman's Ritalin-paced pop culture criticism (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs) will eagerly devour this collection of previously published essays. Whether investigating Latino fans of British pop icon Morrissey, interviewing female tribute bands like Lez Zeppelin and AC/DShe or eating nothing but Chicken McNuggets for a week, Klosterman is always entertaining and often insightful. But other than a sympathetic profile of Billy Joel, Klosterman rarely strays from his favorite topics: heavy metal music, television, sports and sex. Perhaps this career overview is his way of recycling old themes into some kind of new "defining endeavor," as he describes the title inspired by Led Zeppelin IV (as it is unofficially called). This would make perfect sense given his work so far: Fargo Rock City was an original and confident debut (like Led Zeppelin I); his newest book definitely has kick, but overall it's a mixed bag of collected essays—strong and not-so-strong performances—its parts are greater than the whole. (Sept.)
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

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.

Customer Reviews

If you have every liked anything Klosterman has written, you will certainly love this.
Karl Kindt
It's a nice book to read while you're waiting for stuff because each essay/article is reasonably short.
C. Corbett
I bought all of Chuck Klosterman's books for collection because the man is great at what he does.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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 Esquire.com) and Spin magazines.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on October 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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 By secoulte on September 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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 By Howard E. Borck on 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 By Amanda Berg on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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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