From Publishers Weekly
Klostermanfollows up on 2003's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
by expanding on an article he wrote for Spin
about driving cross-country to visit several of America's most famous rock and roll death sites, from the Rhode Island club where more than 90 Great White fans died in a fire, to the Iowa field where Buddy Holly's plane crashed. Along the way, Klosterman opines on rock music, never afraid to offend—as when he interprets a Radiohead album as a 9/11 prophecy or reminds readers that before Kurt Cobain's suicide, many preferred Pearl Jam to Nirvana. The quest to uncover these deaths' social significance is quickly overwhelmed by Klosterman's personal obsessions, especially his agonizing over sexual relationships. He applies semifictional techniques to these concerns, inventing an imaginary conversation in the car with three girlfriends that becomes the book's centerpiece. This literary cleverness recalls classic gonzo journalism, but also contains a self-conscious edge, inviting comparison to Dave Eggers. Klosterman also worries his neuroses will brand him as "the male Elizabeth Wurtzel," but he needn't fret. Despite their shared subject matter of drug use and cultural musing, Klosterman has clearly established that he has a potent voice all his own.
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Armed with 600 CDs in the back seat, a task of gargantuan rock n roll proportions, memories of three dysfunctional relationships (an ex, a sort of ex, and a true love), and a wild imagination, Klostermans in good shape for his cross-country death trip. A few critics compared his pop-culture musings to Nick Hornbys High Fidelity
. Yet Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
*** Nov/Dec 2003) tries harder, indulges himself more, chats faster, uses more gimmicks, and doesnt achieve Hornbys heights. But Klosterman is nothing if not articulate about music, and his light, humorous touch often reveals meatier themes and revelatory insights about not only music but also life and death, particularly his own life. Reading Klosterman is like sitting in a bar with a good friend. Its fun, but when its time to leave, its time to leave.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.