- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (July 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 143918450X
- ISBN-13: 978-1439184509
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 224 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) Paperback – July 1, 2014
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"Highly entertaining." (Parade)
"Intellectually vigorous and entertaining." (Publishers Weekly)
“That most of his subjects are from the pop-culture realm, whether Andrew Dice Clay or Chevy Chase or the Eagles, does not diminish the underlying sophistication of Klosterman’s guiding questions…. A fine return to form for Klosterman, blending Big Ideas with heavy metal, The Wire, Batman and much more.” (Kirkus)
“Very much a product of his generation and as plugged into the popular culture as Mencken was antagonistic to it, Klosterman is in that same direct line of cultural critics as Bierce, Mencken, and more recently, P. J. O’Rourke, and his posture is similarly arch and iconoclastic…[I Wear the Black Hat] will amuse and/or outrage but, either way, it should enlarge his audience.” (Booklist)
"Astute and funny." (USA Today)
"Highly entertaining...a beach classic." (New York Times)
“Klosterman offers up great facts, interesting cultural insights, and thought-provoking moral calculations in this look at our love affair with the anti-hero.” (New York Magazine)
"Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and imaginative hypotheticals, I Wear the Black Hat delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the antihero (seemingly the only kind of hero America still creates). I Wear the Black Hat is a rare example of serious criticism that’s instantly accessible and really, really funny." (DC Spotlight)
"Klosterman has a knack for holding up a magical high-def mirror to American pop culture that makes all of our vanities and delusions look painfully obvious. Spend enough time reading I Wear the Black Hat, and you might even start to recognize, in its pages, your own silly assumptions, your snap judgments, your stubborn loyalties and your badly rationalized prejudices….By underscoring the contradictory, often knee-jerk ways we encounter the heroes and villains of our culture, Klosterman illustrates the passionate but incomplete computations that have come to define American culture — and maybe even American morality." (Los Angeles Times)
"Klosterman's prose exhibits the same firecrack fizz and pop, and his endearing/unnerving polemical habits remain in place." (Time Out New York)
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.
Top customer reviews
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He starts with a premise that villains are people that know better and don't care. A few chapters later, his examples go off that course. He comes back around to it, but had to remind me what his thesis was. There are several times when I wonder what is his thesis and it gets annoying.
This is a good book to read when you're waiting for the train or listening to TV without watching. It's enjoyable and easy to follow. It's not a doctoral study, but that's why I enjoyed it.
So--what is this book? It's a series of chapters about various villains ranging from The Eagles to O.J. Simpson to Hitler. Each mini expose is wrapped in a small shroud of pop culture, putting the villain into context for us--or not.
I'm not sure why I liked it so much, think it was partly that the book is smart, partly that it is irreverent, maybe because there are some good musical references, and heck, it is probably talking down to me but I don't know. Whatever it is, the book was an enjoyable few hours during which my cold symptoms ceased to annoy me.
He hits multiple topics: Rock, Politics, Celebrities, Sports and Historical figures with equal aplomb.
Who's good and who's bad?
That's the problem, unfortunately people are complex and differentiating between evil and good is complex.
His autobiographical journey's are more fascinating, the dude lived on McDonald's chicken nuggets to prove a point.
The writing is first rate, the subject matter is interesting, in particular the take on OJ and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Of less interest is why he hated certain bands at certain times, and what that has to do with anything now left me in the dark.
I liked the last book of his I read better, "Eating The Dinosaur."
Most recent customer reviews
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