In his new essay collection, author and cultural commentator Klosterman (Chuck Klosterman IV) parallels Kurt Cobain with David Koresh, Weezer with Warner Herzog and Ralph Nader, and posits a future in which Unabomber Ted Kaczynski's manifesto is viewed as "the most prescient work of the 1990s." In short, there is something to excite and/or enrage any reader engaged with popular culture in the last 20 years. One of few cultural essayists to enjoy a wide readership, Klosterman's Lester Bangs-lite approach is frequently engaging, if scattershot; too often, he engages in fleeting pop-culture references that evoke the laziest kind of critical cred-grubbing (a typical throwaway jab at indie band TV on the Radio leaves readers with no idea what criticism, if any, Klosterman is leveling). Klosterman even neglects to engage some of his subjects on their artistic merits, such as Nirvana's final album, In Utero: after making much of the disc's pre-release hype, he all but refuses to discuss his reaction as a listener. Even with the inclusion of an article on football (which he admits will turn off "40 percent" of his readers), Klosterman never ventures outside of his comfort zone; though he thrives on challenging his readers, he fails to challenge himself.
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Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; Killing Yourself to Live; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and The Onion A.V. Club. He currently serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine and writes about sports and popular culture for ESPN.See all Editorial Reviews
Far from his best work. With each passing book they are getting less creative and thought provoking. But there still are some good chapters.Published 1 month ago by bmazing
The book starts with a fun premise I have never considered before, nor have I read others considering it: why do people answer interview questions? Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mihow
I didn't expect to like this book, but I honestly couldn't help myself. I started with the essay about ABBA because I'm a big fan. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Dave E Cebula
I like that I always learn something about myself or at least how I perceive the world where I read his work.Published 18 months ago by Anthony M. Underwood
The book itself is great, but don't put a picture of the book with a dust cover if you are going to send me a plain book with no dust cover. Read morePublished 18 months ago by bjstandridge
Chuck is a devilishly clever thinker, and a great communicator.
I find myself discussing the various essays with friends frequently, and I'm amazed at how seamlessly his... Read more
Supremely interesting. Makes you give thought to a lot of topics that usually aren't discussed. Really great! Worth every minute.Published 23 months ago by chuck7630
I am a big fan of Chuck Klosterman and I always eagerly pick up his new books when they come out. My favorites are always his books of essays, so I was excited to read this one. Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by Kat A
This is Klosterman's most abstract and theoretical effort so far. If IV was his most intimate (somewhat like a rock band's frontman solo album where he plays only acoustic songs... Read morePublished on April 24, 2013 by Benoit Lelievre