Lisa Brown, August 27, 2010 (view all comments by Lisa Brown)
i'm a sucker for chuck klosterman's writing style and with, so it's no surprise that i dig this book. what was a bit of a surprise is that i prefer the majority of these essays to those found in "sex, drugs, and cocoa puffs." from the unabomber to in utero to a deconstruction of the very strange moment in pop music history that is chris gaines, this is a fun, quick read for anyone who takes their lower culture a little seriously (but loves a good laugh in the process).
Scribner Book Company -
Whether he's dissecting the boredom of voyeurism, the reason why music fans inevitably hate their favorite band's latest album, or why we love watching can't-miss superstars fail spectacularly, Klosterman remains obsessed with the relationship between expectation, reality, and living history.
Q: What is this book about?
A: Well, that’s difficult to say. I haven’t read it yet—I’ve just picked it up and casually glanced at the back cover. There clearly isn’t a plot. I’ve heard there’s a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don’t laugh when they’re inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and college football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women. Supposedly there’s a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I’m misinformed.
Q: Is there a larger theme?
A: Oh, something about reality. "What is reality," maybe? No, that’s not it. Not exactly. I get the sense that most of the core questions dwell on the way media perception constructs a fake reality that ends up becoming more meaningful than whatever actually happened. Also, Lady Gaga.
Q: Should I read this book?
A: Probably. Do you see a clear relationship between the Branch Davidian disaster and the recording of Nirvana’s In Utero? Does Barack Obama make you want to drink Pepsi? Does ABBA remind you of AC/DC? If so, you probably don’t need to read this book. You probably wrote this book. But I suspect everybody else will totally love it, except for the ones who totally hate it.
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