- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 6 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: July 9, 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D6JQGG4
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
As a new Klosterman reader perhaps I came to the book expecting the wrong thing. I expected a cogent thoughtful treatise on what causes us to identify some people or characters as villanous while giving others the pass. And while Klosterman starts off his first chapter in this direction with a discussion of why Machiavelli is widely reviled, he quickly dissembles into some serious navel gazing.
Klosterman opens his second chapter with an extended discussion of bands he has disliked. I'll admit that I didn't care much about Klosterman's taste in music, however the discussion might have been justified had it fed some larger reasoned conclusion. However, even after re-reading his discussion twice I could not make out exactly what his larger point was. While he wrote in exacting detail about his personal taste he definitely phoned it in when it came to drawing conclusions.
From there Klosterman launched into a discussion of why some mysoginist music from decades passed has come to be thought of as mostly harmless while a similarly sexist comedian is still reviled. Again Klosterman doesn't draw any strongly reasoned conclusions, and it's even the conclusions that he does draw seem suspect given that he offers up no support other than his own opinions and no additional examples beyond the two he has discussed.
And to be honest even though Klosterman was clearly working to paint his sexist comedian as a sympatheitc victim of political correctness, it was difficult to find much to sympathize about a man who made millions calling women dirty names on stage.Read more ›
I find that the reviews that criticize Klosterman's ideas or express disagreement with his conclusions are probably missing the point - the questions he raises are just as important as his assertions. You don't have to agree. The Amazon summary is exactly correct: "Klosterman continues to be the only writer doing whatever it is he's doing." Fans of his other books will enjoy this.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quite a good casual philosophical book, using relevant pop culture and political references (1990's-2010's) to construct an overarching argument about how we view devious acts.Published 18 days ago by David. J. C.
Essays loosely connected, it lacks a compelling thesis or definition of villainy. He really needs to more explicitly unpack the difference between antihero and villain.Published 1 month ago by mrchapel
Klosterman's best writing to date. Highly personal exploration of the cultural value and understanding of evil. By turns funny frustrating and enlightening.Published 1 month ago by Jon_Zajdel
Not Klosterman's strongest collection as a whole, likely due to being written around a singular theme. A few essays are stellar. Many are just okay. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kim Meyer
More introspective than most Klosterman works, this collection of essays is tied together by the author's fixation on a the answer to the question manifested in the title. Read morePublished 3 months ago by paul
Really interesting book, from an author I already like quite a bit.Published 4 months ago by Peter Conte
You either like CK or you dont. This book got to be a little dragged out. You can only describe a villain so many ways before it get old and repetitive.Published 5 months ago by Rick
Buy this book. It is certainly the most memorable book that I have read this year.
Klosterman is hysterically funny. Read more