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Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

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Overview

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1996 piece about his chicken McNuggets experiment, his uncensored profile of Britney Spears, and a previously unpublished short story—all recontextualized in Chuck’s unique voice with new intros, outros, segues, and...
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Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

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Overview

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1996 piece about his chicken McNuggets experiment, his uncensored profile of Britney Spears, and a previously unpublished short story—all recontextualized in Chuck’s unique voice with new intros, outros, segues, and masterful footnotes.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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Confections like Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs earned high praise for author Chuck Klosterman. The Los Angeles Times Book Review called his works "junk food for the soul" and People installed him as "the new Hunter S. Thompson." Not to be silenced by such accolades, Klosterman returns with a fresh batch of high-adrenaline riffs on heavy metal music, trash TV, sports, and sex. High-spirited and unpredictable.
From the Publisher
"One of America's top cultural critics." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Mr. Klosterman makes good, smart company." -- The New York Times

"He's perfect junk food for the soul." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The reigning Kasparov of pop culture wits-matching." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Klosterman is like the new Hunter S. Thompson." -- People

"Ferociously clever and ferociously self-deprecating." -- Evening Standard (London)

"He's killing his artform, in hopes of reviving it." -- The Onion A.V. Club

Publishers Weekly
Fans of Klosterman's Ritalin-paced pop culture criticism (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs) will eagerly devour this collection of previously published essays. Whether investigating Latino fans of British pop icon Morrissey, interviewing female tribute bands like Lez Zeppelin and AC/DShe or eating nothing but Chicken McNuggets for a week, Klosterman is always entertaining and often insightful. But other than a sympathetic profile of Billy Joel, Klosterman rarely strays from his favorite topics: heavy metal music, television, sports and sex. Perhaps this career overview is his way of recycling old themes into some kind of new "defining endeavor," as he describes the title inspired by Led Zeppelin IV (as it is unofficially called). This would make perfect sense given his work so far: Fargo Rock City was an original and confident debut (like Led Zeppelin I); his newest book definitely has kick, but overall it's a mixed bag of collected essays-strong and not-so-strong performances-its parts are greater than the whole. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
From trend pieces ("Things That Are True") to opinion pieces ("Things That Might Be True") to a short story ("Things That Are Not True at All"). With a 15-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743284899
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 7/3/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 319,412
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 1.00 (h) x 8.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Klosterman
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.

Good To Know

In our interview, Klosterman shared some fun and fascinating facts about himself:

"I think I love onion rings, but I actually don't. Very often, I will purchase onion rings and throw them in the oven, and I'll be very excited about the premise of consuming them. However, when I finally start to eat supper, I realize they're only okay. Somehow, this situation has happened to me at least five times in my lifetime: For some reason, I keep unconsciously convincing myself that onion rings are delicious."

"The original title for Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs was American Minotaur, but everybody turned against me."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 5, 1972
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wyndmere, North Dakota
    1. Education:
      Degree in Journalism, University of North Dakota, 1994

Table of Contents

Contents

Things That Are True

Southern-Fried Sex Kitten

Bending Spoons with Britney Spears

(This Happened in) October

Mysterious Days

Call me "Lizard King." No...really. I insist.

Crazy Things Seem Normal, Normal Things Seem Crazy

1,400 Mexican Moz Fans Can't Be (Totally) Wrong

Viva Morrissey!

Chomp Chomp

The Amazing McNugget Diet
McDiculous

My Second-Favorite Canadian

The Karl Marx of the Hardwood

Deep Blue Something

That '70s Cruise

"Deep Sabbath"

In the Beginning, There Was Zoso
Not a Whole Lotta Love

Disposable Heroes

Band on the Couch

Unbuttoning the Hardest Button to Button

Garage Days Unvisited

The Ice Planet Goth

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Fitter, Happier

No More Knives

The American Radiohead

Ghost Story

Bowling for the Future (and Possibly Horse Carcasses)

Local Clairvoyants Split Over Future

But I Still Think "All for Leyna" Is Awesome

The Stranger

Someone Like You

Dude Rocks Like a Lady

Taking The Streets to the Music

Untitled Geezer Profile

Five Interesting Corpses

The Ratt Trap

How Real Is Real

The Tenth Beatle

Here's "Johnny" 207

Fargo Rock City, for Real

To Be Scene, or Not to Be Seen

Things That Might Be True

The Grizzly Hypothetical

Nemesis

The Transformation Hypothetical

Advancement

The Unknown Companion Hypothetical

I Do Not Hate the Olympics

The Dress Code Hypothetical

Three Stories Involving Pants

The Court of Public Opinion Hypothetical

Don't Look Back in Anger

The Brain Pill Hypothetical

Not Guilty

The Life Plagiarist Hypothetical

Cultural Betrayal

The Universal Morality Hypothetical

Monogamy

The Joe Six-Pack Hypothetical

Certain Rock Bands You Probably Like

The Hitler Theft Hypothetical

Pirates

The Robot War Hypothetical

Robots

The Cannibal's Quandary

Super People

The Apocalypse Hypothetical

Television

The General Tso's Hypothetical

Singularity

Something That Isn't True at All

You Tell Me

Acknowledgments

Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Funny, thought-provoking, and entertaining...and a little crazy

    This collection of Klosterman interviews of famous people in American culture, his speculative essays of pop philosophy, and one crazy hilarious unfinished-feeling novella were just plain fun to read. I love his style of writing, which I know many people have to hate, which makes me love it all the more. If you have every liked anything Klosterman has written, you will certainly love this. If you have never liked anything by Klosterman, you will certainly not like this. Fun and crazy. Read a sample of it, and you will find it is a fair and accurate representation of the whole work.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Everything Relevant and Irrelevant

    You know the friend you have that always seems to know everything about the strangest of subjects? Chuck Klosterman is that person. Klosterman knows almost all there is to know about eighties hair metal, the formation of punk, and the texture of chicken nuggets. In IV, Klosterman shows that he has settled nicely into the niche of a pop-culture writer by creating articles over anything and everything, relevant or irrelevant, for magazines like Spin. This book is a compilation of a decade worth of his articles about a variety of subjects.

    His style of writing is very down-to-Earth, like he's talking to a friend, but at the same time it's condescending. Each person he interviews is almost made fun of or turned into a social experiment. For example, while interviewing musician Jeff Tweedy, who later suffered from a nervous breakdown, Klosterman mocks his family-man lifestyle while also saying that Tweedy is a modern Willy Loman, a man who will never live up to his own ideals. For Klosterman, every interviewee is not a person, but a lesson. He finds insight in all of his articles, but I'm not sure there really ever is such an insight. In the Tweedy interview, the musician seems like he's enjoying his life, but Chuck always seems to see a deeper meaning. He twists the quotes of his subjects to fit into his hypotheses about the modern world.

    It feels as if Klosterman is trying to be the guru of modern pop culture, and while he may hold that title, I question if it is well-deserved. The conclusions that he comes to want to have resonance, but they always seem to fall flat and feel rushed. In his novel "Downtown Owl," the same kinds of "deeper meanings" are given, but they have more of a place in a story with characters, than in an interview with celebrities. Klosterman turns his subjects into characters in his own personal novel of life. The interviews are never solely about the interviewee, but always relate to Klosterman's life or the life of everyone in America, like the theme and message of a novel should.

    To me, there is no comment on popular culture in Britney Spears' answers about her perceived Madonna/Whore. They are simply the comments of a young celebrity. But for Klosterman, every subject has something to tell the world about life. I admire his love and quasi-obsession of music and popular culture, but that love makes him sometimes sound a bit condescending towards the reader, as if they are inferior since they aren't obsessed as well. Yes, Klosterman sometimes has valid points and interviews, but the distracting messages and the self-importance distract from that. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in learning about a variety of subject from music to Nebraska, but won't mind some unimportant themes thrown in.

    3 out of 4 stars.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    chuck, the blogger

    chuck was blogging before blogging was anything. his witty prose about music and the lifestyle will have you in stitches. i read this novel in one sitting, couldn't put it down. if only we could all live such an exciting life

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Chuck is hilarious

    I love reading Klosterman's books and this one was just as fantastic as his others that I've read. His focus is mostly on rock music - heavily from the '70s and early '80s - and sports, specifically NBA basketball, however I still enjoyed his essays about these topics and others that more closely applied to me. The entries provide interesting insight on topics I know a good bit about and also those on which I know very little. I also just really enjoy his writing style and humor, so I'll read anything that he writes.

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