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Chuck Klosterman

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Chuck Klosterman
 
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About This Author
Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; Killing Yourself to Live; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and The Onion A.V. Club. He currently serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine and writes about sports and popular culture for ESPN.
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Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; Killing Yourself to Live; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and The Onion A.V. Club. He currently serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine and writes about sports and popular culture for ESPN.
Books by thisAuthor
  • Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

    Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
    A Low Culture Manifesto
    Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don't even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation. Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry, Chuck will make you think, he'll make you laugh, and he'll drive you insane -- usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about art, entertainment, infotainment, sports, politics, and kittens, but -- really -- it's about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, "In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever 'in and of itself.'" Read to believe.

    Eating the Dinosaur

    Eating the Dinosaur
    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.  

    Downtown Owl

    Downtown Owl
    A Novel
    New York Times bestselling author and “oneofAmerica’stop cultural critics” (Entertainment Weekly) Chuck Klosterman’s debut novel brilliantly captures the charm and dread of small town life—now available in trade paperback. Somewhere in rural North Dakota, there is a fictional town called Owl. They don’t have cable. They don’t really have pop culture, but they do have grain prices and alcoholism. People work hard and then they die. But that’s not nearly as awful as it sounds; in fact, sometimes it’s perfect. Mitch Hrlicka lives in Owl. He plays high school football and worries about his weirdness, or lack thereof. Julia Rabia just moved to Owl. A history teacher, she gets free booze and falls in love with a self-loathing bison farmer. Widower and local conversationalist Horace Jones has resided in Owl for seventy-three years. They all know each other completely, except that they’ve never met. But when a deadly blizzard— based on an actual storm that occurred in 1984—hits the area, their lives are derailed in unex- pected and powerful ways. An unpretentious, darkly comedic story of how it feels to exist in a community where local mythology and violent reality are pretty much the same thing, Downtown Owl is “a satisfying character study and strikes a perfect balance between the funny and the pro- found” (Publishers Weekly).

    Killing Yourself to Live

    Killing Yourself to Live
    85% of a True Story
    Building on the national bestselling success of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, preeminent pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman unleashes his best book yet—the story of his cross-country tour of sites where rock stars have died and his search for love, excitement, and the meaning of death. For 6,557 miles, Chuck Klosterman thought about dying. He drove a rental car from New York to Rhode Island to Georgia to Mississippi to Iowa to Minneapolis to Fargo to Seattle, and he chased death and rock ‘n’ roll all the way. Within the span of twenty-one days, Chuck had three relationships end—one by choice, one by chance, and one by exhaustion. He snorted cocaine in a graveyard. He walked a half-mile through a bean field. A man in Dickinson, North Dakota, explained to him why we have fewer windmills than we used to. He listened to the KISS solo albums and the Rod Stewart box set. At one point, poisonous snakes became involved. The road is hard. From the Chelsea Hotel to the swampland where Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane went down to the site where Kurt Cobain blew his head off, Chuck explored every brand of rock star demise. He wanted to know why the greatest career move any musician can make is to stop breathing...and what this means for the rest of us.

  • Chuck Klosterman IV

    Chuck Klosterman IV
    A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas
    Coming off the breakthrough success of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and Killing Yourself to Live, bestselling pop culture guru Chuck Klosterman assembles his best work previously unavailable in book form—including the ground-breaking 1996 piece about his chicken McNuggets experiment, his uncensored profile of Britney Spears, and a previously unpublished short story—all recontextualized in Chuck’s unique voice with new intros, outros, segues, and masterful footnotes. CHUCK KLOSTERMAN IV consists of three parts: Things That Are True—Profiles and trend stories: Britney Spears, Radiohead, Billy Joel, Metallica, Val Kilmer, Bono, Wilco, the White Stripes, Steve Nash, Morrissey, Robert Plant—all with new introductions and footnotes. Things That Might Be True—Opinions and theories on everything from monogamy to pirates to robots to super people to guilt, and (of course) Advancement—all with new hypothetical questions and footnotes. Something That Isn’t True At All—This is old fiction. There’s a new introduction, but no footnotes. Well, there’s a footnote in the introduction, but none in the story.

    The Visible Man

    The Visible Man
    A Novel
    Austin, Texas, therapist Victoria Vick is contacted by a cryptic, unlikable man who insists his situation is unique and unfathomable. As he slowly reveals himself, Vick becomes convinced that he suffers from a complex set of delusions: Y__, as she refers to him, claims to be a scientist who has stolen cloaking technology from an aborted government project in order to render himself nearly invisible. He says he uses this ability to observe random individuals within their daily lives, usually when they are alone and vulnerable. Unsure of his motives or honesty, Vick becomes obsessed with her patient and the disclosure of his increasingly bizarre and disturbing tales. Over time, it threatens her career, her marriage, and her own identity. Interspersed with notes, correspondence, and transcriptions that catalog a relationship based on curiosity and fear, The Visible Man touches on all of Chuck Klosterman’s favorite themes—the consequence of culture, the influence of media, the complexity of voyeurism, and the existential contradiction of normalcy. Is this comedy, criticism, or horror? Not even Y__ seems to know for sure.

    I Wear the Black Hat

    I Wear the Black Hat
    Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)
    Chuck Klosterman has walked into the darkness. As a boy, he related to the cultural figures who represented goodness—but as an adult, he found himself unconsciously aligning with their enemies. This was not because he necessarily liked what they were doing; it was because they were doing it on purpose (and they were doing it better). They wanted to be evil. And what, exactly, was that supposed to mean? When we classify someone as a bad person, what are we really saying (and why are we so obsessed with saying it)? How does the culture of deliberate malevolence operate? In I Wear the Black Hat, Klosterman questions the modern understanding of villainy. What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don’t we see Bernhard Goetz the same way we see Batman? Who is more worthy of our vitriol—Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O. J. Simpson’s second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still haunted by some kid he knew for one week in 1985? 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. Klosterman continues to be the only writer doing whatever it is he’s doing.

    Fargo Rock City

    Fargo Rock City
    A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota
    Empirically proving that -- no matter where you are -- kids wanna rock, this is Chuck Klosterman's hilrious memoir of growing up as a shameless metalhead in Wyndmere, North Dakotoa (population: 498). With a voice like Ace Frehley's guitar, Klosterman hacks his way through hair-band history, beginning with that fateful day in 1983 when his older brother brought home Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil. The fifth-grade Chuck wasn't quite ready to rock -- his hair was too short and his farm was too quiet -- but he still found a way to bang his nappy little head. Before the journey was over, he would slow-dance to Poison, sleep innocently beneath satanic pentagrams, lust for Lita Ford, and get ridiculously intellectual about Guns N' Roses. C'mon and feel his noize.

  • Bonds vs. America

    Bonds vs. America
    An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV
    Originally collected in Chuck Klosterman IV and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Sports, this essay is about Barry Bonds.

    Through a Glass, Blindly

    Through a Glass, Blindly
    An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
    Originally collected in Eating the Dinosaur and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Living and Society, this essay is about voyeurism.

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Ralph Sampson

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Ralph Sampson
    An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
    Originally collected in Eating the Dinosaur and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Sports, this essay is about athletic success and failure.

    Robots

    Robots
    An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV
    Originally collected in Chuck Klosterman IV and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Film and Television, this essay is about I, Robot.

  • Local Clairvoyants Split Over Future

    Local Clairvoyants Split Over Future
    An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV
    Originally collected in Chuck Klosterman IV and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Living and Society, this essay is about psychics.

    Unbuttoning the Hardest Button to Button

    Unbuttoning the Hardest Button to Button
    An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV
    Originally collected in Chuck Klosterman IV and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Rock, this essay is about the White Stripes.

    ABBA 1, World 0

    ABBA 1, World 0
    An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
    Originally collected in Eating the Dinosaur and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Pop, this essay is about ABBA.

    Toby over Moby

    Toby over Moby
    An Essay from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
    Originally collected in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Pop, this essay is about popular country music.

  • Porn

    Porn
    An Essay from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
    Originally collected in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Media and Culture, this essay is about porn.

    I Wanna Get Free

    I Wanna Get Free
    An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV
    Originally collected in Chuck Klosterman IV and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Living and Society, this essay is about revolution.

    "Ha ha," he said. "Ha ha."

    "Ha ha," he said. "Ha ha."
    An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
    Originally collected in Eating the Dinosaur and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Film and Television, this essay is about sitcoms.

    The Karl Marx of the Hardwood

    The Karl Marx of the Hardwood
    An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV
    Originally collected in Chuck Klosterman IV and now available both as a stand-alone essay and in the ebook collection Chuck Klosterman on Sports, this essay is about Steve Nash.

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