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Eating the Dinosaur Paperback – July 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
He starts with a very funny and equally revealing essay about why people answer questions during interviews. Just as the reader recognizes that this is not nearly as obvious a matter as it seems on first blush, Klosterman enters into a discussion of the nature of truth and of selfhood. Errol Morris contributes this gem: "I think we're always trying to create a consistent narrative for ourselves. I think truth always takes a backseat to narrative." (This would explain why each of my satellite radio news channels tells me about events in seemingly different worlds.)
Klosterman is less serious but just as interesting in exploring the challenges inherent in time travel. Even it were possible, he argues, the only reason to do so would be to eat a dinosaur.
His dissection of advertising through the medium of Mad Men and Pepsi is subtle and persuasive. He tries to convince us that we understand we are being conned by the ad. However, we reward the message that does the best job of setting the hook because we want to be a part of the process.
His best piece finishes the book and rather courageously tries to resurrect the Unabomber's arguments in Industrial Society for the Future without creating any sympathy for Ted Kaczynski.Read more ›
That caveat established, my initial impression is that this is Klosterman's weakest collection. Yes, is has the trademark humor, clever turns of phrase, and entertaining contrarian pronouncements. But the humor's not as everpresent, more of the pronouncements struck me as definitively wrong, and the level of navel-gazing seems to be ratcheted up. What I mean by that is most of his earlier work felt like the ideas and observations were just gushing out of his head, almost uncontrolled. Here, he seems to be working a great deal harder to figure out just what it is he's trying to say, and what that says about him. On the plus side are essays like "Something Instead of Nothing," a genuine attempt to understand why people answer interview questions. Another good one is "Oh, the Guilt," a rambling but interesting attempt to link the personalities of Kurt Cobain and David Koresh with the concept of authenticity and their resulting fates.Read more ›
Something Instead of Nothing: Why do people answer questions? For who's sake? What does that say about us? This is far more interesting than it sounds at first and, I think, provides insight into the current human condition. Interviews and answering questions are odder than you would think.
Oh, the Guilt: What do David Koresh and Kurt Cobaine have in common? Really interesting look at what makes self-made cultic leaders and culturally-created messianic figures different. Great examination of the Waco disaster as well - definitely want to read more about it after reading the little bit included here.
Tomorrow Rarely Knows: An essay about why time travel is impossible. Good, but the information is not very original. I had heard most of this before, but interesting none the less.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Ralph Sampson: Society's Reactions to Public Failures. As a lifelong Houston Rockets fan, I was excited to see this essay. Though the premise and the conclusions are valid, this essay on failure and how it is viewed by society ultimately comes up short. The circuitous route that Klosterman takes to get to his point has a few too many curves.
Through a Glass, Blindly: Voyeurism. The most interesting part of this essay were the discussions of the Hitchcock movies Vertigo and Rear Window. An understanding look at why we watch other's lives. The conclusion that Klosterman comes up with here is right on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer 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 6 months 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 22 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 on September 23, 2013 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