Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chuck IV

Let me preface: I am HUGE Chuck Klosterman fan. I love his writing and his take on popular culture.

If you aren't familiar with Chuck, he is, generally, an essayist. Most of his books are compilations of essays that he has written about various topics. He has contributed several articles to Spin magazine and has spoken at colleges across the country. His writing is interesting and enlightening.

That being said, this wasn't my favorite Klosterman experience. I think I was spoiled by Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, his most notable collections of essays. Chuck Klosterman IV is a different type of book. Unlike his other books, this is a collection of previously published articles...mostly. The book is divided into three sections: "Things That Are True," "Things That Might Be True," and "Something That Isn't True at All."

The fist section includes interview pieces. These are articles focusing on interviews that Klosterman has conducted over a span of ten years. Some of these interviews include Britney Spears, Bono, and Val Kilmer. There are also conversations with athletes and several lesser known artists. Some of these articles are very interesting, but overall, this section seems to drag a little bit. I'm sad to say, that before finishing this section, I considered putting this book down. I rarely do that, and I've never done that with a Klosterman book. But, I'm glad I didn't.

The second section really picked things up. The essays included in the "Things That Might Be True" section are the real gems of this collection. These are Klosterman's own opinions, thoughts, and reflections on various topics ranging from a 24 hour period watching VH1 Classic to the influence that pirates have on current culture. His voice in these essays is funny, yet thought provoking. He presents some ideas that seem ridiculous, but actually, in some twisted way, can make sense.

The final section of this book seemed a bit unnecessary. It was neither bad nor good.I read it, but had no real feeling toward it. This was basically a short story, a piece of fiction. Obviously this is why is included under the label of "Something That Isn't True At All." There's really just not much to say about it.

All in all, there were some good things in this book, but it just wasn't Klosterman's best. I finished the last page with an "ehh" type of feeling. Mostly, I was just glad to be finished. And, honestly, I hate that I feel this way. I almost feel like a traitor. Hopefully, I'll feel better with his next book.


  1. I met Chuck Klosterman. He came to my college last year (or the year before). He's awesome!

  2. When I was in grad school, he spoke at the school I was attending. It was great getting to meet him and have my book signed!