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Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Over half a million copies sold! 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: Read more Read less.
Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains Real and Imagined.
Killing Yourself to Live: Klosterman, one of the few members of the so-called "Generation X" to proudly embrace that label and the stereotypical image of disaffected slackers that often accompanies it, takes the reader on a witty and highly entertaining tour through portions of pop culture not usually subjected to analysis and presents his thoughts on Saved by the Bell , Billy Joel, amateur porn, MTV's The Real World , and much more.
It would be easy in dealing with such subject matter to simply pile on some undergraduate level deconstruction, make a few jokes, and have yourself a clever little book. But Klosterman goes deeper than that, often employing his own life spent as a member of the lowbrow target demographic to measure the cultural impact of his subjects. While the book never quite lives up to the use of the word "manifesto" in the title it's really more of a survey mixed with elements of memoir , there is much here to entertain and illuminate, particularly passages on the psychoses and motivations of breakfast cereal mascots, the difference between Celtic fans and Laker fans, and The Empire Strikes Back.
Sections on a Guns n' Roses tribute band, The Sims , and soccer feel more like magazine pieces included to fill space than part of a cohesive whole. But when you're talking about a book based on a section of cultural history so reliant on a lack of attention span, even the incongruities feel somehow appropriate.
There's a lot more cold cereal than sex or drugs in Klosterman's nostalgic, patchy collection of pop cultural essays, which, despite sparks of brilliance, fails to cohere.
Having graduated from the University of North Dakota in , Klosterman Fargo Rock City seems never to have left that time or place behind. He is an ironically self-aware, trivia-theorizing, unreconstructed slacker: The closest Klosterman gets to the 21st century is Internet porn and the Dixie Chicks.
This is a shame, because he's is a skilled prose stylist with a witty, twisted brain, a photo-perfect memory for entertainment trivia and has real chops as a memoirist. The book's best moments arrive when he eschews argumentation for personal history. In "George Will vs. Nick Hornby," a tired screed against soccer suddenly comes to life when Klosterman tells the story of how he was fired from his high school summer job as a Little League baseball coach.
The mothers wanted their sons to have equal playing time; Klosterman wanted "a run-manufacturing offensive philosophy modeled after Whitey Herzog's St. Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.
See all Editorial Reviews. Product details File Size: Scribner; Reprint edition August 26, Publication Date: July 22, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention klosterman pop chuck funny essays saved bell references essay entertaining billy topics joel loud sims laugh collection generation popular hilarious.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Chuck Klosterman's an interesting essayist in that he actually seems to have engaged with the pop culture entities he writes about.
This is a major accomplishment. Much of what I've read about pop culture is written by people who get basic facts wrong, and who don't even seem to like the pop culture they're getting paid to write about and don't pay close enough attention to the details.
Klosterman himself parodies this in a late chapter in which he attends an academic conference on rock music criticism. Like most collections of essays, this book is pretty uneven. That's to be expected. Klosterman is at his best and funniest when writing about sports and music, the two topics he knows the most about and has the most professional experience with. The essay on a Guns N' Roses tribute band was sympathetic and spot-on, for example, and dovetails with many of my own experiences having seen and interacted with many tribute bands in the New York City.
And speaking of New York, Billy Joel should really send Klosterman at least one fruit basket a year for the thoughtful analysis of "The Nylon Curtain" that appears early in this book because - unlike most Rolling Stone critics - Klosterman not only has listened to the album multiple times but gets what Billy Joel was trying to do better than anyone else. If you're a Billy Joel fan, you'll want to buy this book for that alone.
As for the worst moments? I think I have read enough anecdotes about Klosterman's undergraduate days in this book to last me a lifetime. He also does not really seem to understand science-fiction, which is not a serious flaw except that an entire chapter is devoted to a defense of the "Vanilla Sky" film that keeps veering into fairly superficial Philosophy for Dummies.
There are no deep insights here, because this isn't really a manifesto. Given how many of the topics that Klosterman obsesses over in these essays seem like artifacts from an alternate universe from a more modern perspective "Vanilla Sky," "Saved by the Bell", some low-budget Rapture films, Pamela Anderson's sex tape, the Dixie Chicks , the book itself accidentally makes a brilliant point. The world that Klosterman wrote about at the turn of the 21st century is as different from as was to Ironically, some of what Klosterman includes here - namely internet pornography and reality television - seem just as topical today.
And, if you look close enough, there is an undercurrent of the cultural divide between what we now call Red States and Blue States presented in a mostly nonconfrontational way. If you're familiar with the pop culture that Klosterman uses as touchstones, and you're willing to read a book of essays which you may not always agree with, you're going to enjoy sections of this book. If you hate pop culture, you're not going to get anything out of this.
I have always hated reading but I could not put this book down. Klosterman's sense of humor is a bit more cynical than average, but that's exactly why I love it. He write in a way that's very easy to understand and feels like he's talking right at you. He talks about finding the meaning of the game Sims and how celebrities today are often famous for being famous.
He covers a vast amount of pop culture topics in a very thought provoking way. My only complaint though not the fault of the writer is that some of the references are a little too old for me to really know, but that's pretty fair as I was only six years old when this book came out. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is a collection of essays on popular culture and its connections to psychology, sociology, and other inner workings of society.
This book is mainly geared toward Generation X'ers, and I believe that older people may appreciate it, but significantly younger people born after, say, may not, since the references may be too obscure. The collection starts out strong with a rant on why John Cusack has ruined the love lives of everyone men and women born between and This is funny and promising to anyone who feels similarly. The biggest downside of this collection is that Klosterman's writing and his skill at making a coherent point are highly variable.
Klosterman insists that everything is connected and really does set out to connect, well, everything. He sometimes succeeds and sometimes I was left thinking that this is a man who likes the sound of his own voice or pen, as it were and tries to make a lot of pseudo-intellectual or maybe even true intellectual references to make the reader believe that what he's saying actually makes sense.
The collection improves significantly at the last three or four essays, and I felt that Klosterman dropped any pretension or self-satisfaction and just wrote, which worked a lot better. I definitely feel that someone born in or earlier would enjoy this collection as a whole, but I would definitely recommend skimming or skipping the ones on topics in which the reader is less than interested.
I don't think you can have an informed opinion about popular entertainment made after unless you've read this book. This particular copy I bought for a date who told me she had never read it. I may never see her again, but if she reads this book, I'm glad we met.
See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 1 month ago. Timothy Haugh Top Contributor: Published 2 months ago. Published 4 months ago. Published 5 months ago. Published 10 months ago. Published 11 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto.
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