- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (May 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780743406567
- ISBN-13: 978-0743406567
- ASIN: 0743406567
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 102 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota Paperback – May 1, 2002
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"Kirkus Reviews" This is what Lester Bangs would have written had he been a farmboy raised on a diet of Skid Row and KISS. Unfailingly smart and demonically opinionated...
Ronin Ro author of "Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records" With a style as hilarious as it is thought-provoking, Chuck Klosterman delivers an authoritative, impressive debut.
Marc Weingarten author of "Station to Station: The History of Rock and Roll on Television" Klosterman's hilarious heavy metal odyssey will flick the Bic of every headbanger who's ever found salvation in a great Motley Crue riff. His sly, swaggering prose struts across the page like Axl Rose in his prime.
About the Author
Chuck Klosterman is the bestselling author of many books of nonfiction (including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, I Wear the Black Hat, Fargo Rock City and Chuck Klosterman X) and two novels (Downtown Owl and The Visible Man). He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Guardian, The Believer, Billboard, The A.V. Club, and ESPN. Klosterman served as the Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine for three years, and was an original founder of the website Grantland with Bill Simmons.
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We were both born in the same year, we both grew up in somewhat culturally isolated communities, we both love 80s hair metal, Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil was the record that had the biggest impact on our early teenage lives and finally, we can both karaoke Guns 'n Roses' Apetite for Destruction from start to finish. There are still some differences in our journeys from childhood to maturity, but those are mere details. I spent my teen years baking on a tropical Latin American shithole instead of freezing on a Midwestern wasteland and I had access to MTV as early as in 1982. Instead of becoming an indie rock loving hipster during College like the author I kept my metal faith in the early 90s, Nevermind notwithstanding, and moved on to extreme metal as the decade progressed, but in the end, it doesn't matter, since we both still rock to the same aquanet friendly songs when drunk.
You might say that because my teenage music related experiences are pretty similar to Chuck's I'm bound, even obligated to love this book and that is a very valid point, but that doesn't mean anyone can enjoy it, since it's very entertaining and written with an unassuming, funny and down to earth style. Since the story of a nerdy teenager using rock music as a means to escape his boring, drab day to day life and overcome his own lameness can be the story of countless people everywhere, this book transcends its limited musical scope and ultimately becomes a paean to music lovers of every genre and origin, while still managing to make poignant observations about the radical changes media and music consumption went through the 80s. Highly recommended for pop culture enthusiasts, music lovers and anyone who was a teenager during the 80s.
But Chuck Klosterman was a different breed. From the moment he first heard Motley Crue on cassette in 1982, he had found HIS music. He spent the 1980s as a devout metal-head, and largely remains one today. As an articulate writer and critic, and a fan of music largely ignored or decried, he turned his word processor to an analysis of why his favorite music was good after all, and more importantly, why it worked for him and his friends in their backwater town in North Dakota.
I loved this book. Metal was never my music but I felt a kinship with Klosterman for the absolute passion and devotion he showed for what he loved. I had my own obsessions and could completely identify with his. I enjoyed his thumbnail history of heavy metal, his analysis of the different bands, and the memoir aspects of how events in the history of the music intersected with his own life and consciousness--for example, a story in the newspaper about Vince Neil's DUI killing a member of another band (and badly wounding several other people) didn't mean that Vince Neil was a criminal or possibly going to prison to middle school Chuck--rather, the appearance of the story in the local newspaper was an odd confirmation that the music and people he loved existed in a larger world that otherwise seemed to take no notice.
I read the book straight through in one sitting--it's a fast, easy, often laugh-out-loud-funny read--and it was the kind of book where I kept reading bits and pieces to my partner. Definitely recommended to anyone who is feeling nostalgic about the metal bands of their youth, or even for those who aren't particularly fans of the music but can identify with spending one's pre-teen and teenage years obsessed with something others find stupid or dorky.
To me the 80's is the by far the greatest musical decade precisely because most of the music had no deep meaning. It was about having fun and enjoying life(although not by the same moral code I followed). The 90's came along and all of a sudden everyone is depressed and they're trying to tell me why I should be also. Sorry, there are too many reasons NOT to be depressed, especially in this country.
This book is funny, witty and a fantastic read, even if you're not a fan of 80's metal. I look forward to checking out some of his other titles.