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Eating the Dinosaur

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,212 Ratings  ·  845 Reviews

A Book of All-New Pop Culture Pieces by Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman has chronicled rock music, film, and sports for almost fifteen years. He's covered extreme metal, extreme nostalgia, disposable art, disposable heroes, life on the road, life through the television, urban uncertainty and small-town weirdness. Through a variety of mediums and with a multitude of mo
Published October 20th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published January 1st 1999)
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Dec 21, 2009 RandomAnthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I’ve read every book Klosterman has written and I’m going to outline what I think was running through his mind when he wrote the excellent Eating The Dinosaur:

1. You know, if one more person asks me if I still watch The Real World or know that Screech was in a porno, I’m going to scream. No, I probably won’t scream. I’m from North Dakota, a courteous locale, so I will not scream. I will feel embarrassed for the questioner and remove myself from the interaction as quickly as possible.
2. I’m g
Derek Wolfgram
Meh. I hoped that Eating the Dinosaur would be a return to form for Klosterman, after the unreadable novel Downtown Owl. In retrospect, it occurs to me that Klosterman's books have gotten steadily less entertaining with each one that is published. Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs had me laughing out loud, and I found Killing Yourself to Live pretty insightful and entertaining, but since then the returns have been diminishing. I'll pay Klosterman a sort of compliment here: Eating the Dinosaur reminds m ...more
Gus Sanchez
For one take on Eating the Dinosaur, check out Anthony Shafer's review, which kicks ass in it's own way.

Chuck Klosterman's previous series of essays, Chuck Klosterman IV read more like a collection of rarities and half-formed ideas that left me wondering if Klosterman might be more enthralled with his celebrity as perhaps the pre-eminent pop culture essayist alive than being the pre-eminent pop culture essayist.

All those fears were put to rest after reading Eating the Dinosaur. Simply put, Eatin
Here's a confession: I did not read Chuck Klosterman's entire book "Eating the Dinosaur." This slighting came with his permission, nay, his insistence. Klosterman busts through the fourth wall in his essay about football to suggest that if you aren't into football, you can jump this chapter. " ... I will understand if you skip to the next essay, which is about ABBA." And if a reader hangs around a bit longer, thinking, perhaps, "Meh. Who cares. He'll probably say something about Britny Spears in ...more
Sep 15, 2010 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had a longstanding love/like relationship with Chuck Klosterman. Most of the time I like what he writes, and occasionally I love certain pieces, or even parts of pieces.

But Eating the Dinosaur has, somehow, taken large parts of my brain--and by this I mean not only or simply objects and topics that inhabit my brain, but THE WAYS I THINK ABOUT THEM--and made them plain, in language that not only replicates my own cadences and ramblings, but refines them to the point where I somehow recogni
Mar 06, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, fun, and sometimes laugh out loud funny read. This is the first book I've read by him and I wanted to get it finished before seeing him at the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend.

As is often the case I've been sitting on his first novel, Downtown Owl for a couple of years but have never gotten around to reading it. Looks like I will have to remedy that and pick up a few more of his essay collections in the near future.
Anita Dalton
Klosterman is hit or miss with me, but once I just sort of skipped the essays about sports, this was a very good collection. Though the essay comparing David Koresh and Kurt Cobain is the most notorious, the best essay for me was "T is For True," a discussion of irony and its application, or rather lack thereof, in the careers of Weezer, Werner Herzog, and Ralph Nader.
Oct 28, 2010 ReaderM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I've never read a book by Chuck Klosterman and after reading Eating The Dinosaur, I'm honestly started to wonder what I've done with my life. Eating the Dinosaur is a simple collection of essays that will slightly twist your mind but present a pleasant read.

In reading the 'Easting the Dinosaur' you could say this is just a cheap collection of essays by a guy whose editors told him; "hey it's been a while since you released a book" throw something together quick. I honestly wouldn't disagree w
Not a book review. Talking to myself in descending order of relevance to book/you.

1. Klosterman and David Foster Wallace are right: irony tyrannizes us. But part of the reason that it tyrannizes us is because people will not shut up about it. It's exhausting trying to out-smart and pre-empt every clever person who's ever had a theory on pop culture and society. We all speak in the ridiculous voice of Wallace Shawn: "Perhaps you know that I know that you know that I know." I long for the day tha
May 07, 2012 Kurt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection of essays isn't quite as good as Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Klosterman's most well-known collection, but it's still a great tour of contemporary pop culture with an insightful tour guide. I didn't really like Klosterman's previous collection, IV, because each piece was so short that the author didn't really have room to develop his ideas. This book, though, gives him plenty of space to follow any tangents he likes, and while I don't always agree with his conclusions, I'm fascin ...more
Jul 08, 2010 Brynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Most people are not articulate about everything in their life, but they are articulate about the things they're still figuring out." (8)

"So the deeper question is, what's more important, narrative consistency or truth? I think we're always trying to create a consistent narrative for ourselves. I think truth always takes a backseat to narrative. Truth has to sit at the back of the bus." (13)

"People answer questions because it feels stranger to do the opposite." (20)

"Any time you try to tell peop
Kerri Stebbins
More epic Cali(fornication) road-trip fun, and more amusing short stories amusingly read aloud while we traded Southern Oregon coasts for Northern California Redwoods.

[Four stars for a hilarious essay on Val Kilmer, and for consistently making me laugh without a laugh track.]
Sep 19, 2012 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I found it somewhat difficult to get used to the writing style, but I flew through it in just under a week. The ideas are compelling even though they are initially somewhat confusing and hard to understand.


There are only six types of narrative conflict, and they’re usually described like this: Man vs. Himself, Man vs. Man, Man vs. Society, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Machine, and Man vs. God.

Germans don’t fake laugh. If someone in Germany is laughing, it’s because he or she physically can’t
Benjamin Siess
Aug 04, 2011 Benjamin Siess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chuck Klosterman is a changed man. Evolved. But is that a good thing?

In “Eating the Dinosaur”, Chuck is a different writer than he was when most of his current fan base stumbled upon him with “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs”, his second publication. In SDaCPs, Klosterman was a low culture guru, who molded philosophy around constant references to pop culture. “Eating the Dinosaur” isn’t so lighthearted, and I don’t think it was meant to be, so that’s not an indictment. It’s just not what I’ve come t
Oct 23, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
okay. I'm pretty sure I'm done with Chuck Klosterman now. I've had a weird relationship with his stuff in which I don't really like it...but I do. And it's kind of impossible to explain.

Anyways. I totally forgot that I had even bought this book until I was on here the other night and saw it in my "currently reading" section, so I figured I'd finish it up.

I don't really remember a lot of it, but there was some good stuff. His football essay felt really really goes hand in hand with so
Jeremy Garber
Chuck Klosterman is a genius. He makes me want to write. Seriously, I restarted my PhD dissertation with full energy after reading this book. Reading Klosterman is like having a half-drunken conversation with a really interesting friend who is fascinated by everything. In this book, Klosterman reflects on the process of interviewing and why people go through it, much less tell the truth; the similarities between Nirvana and David Koresh; how time travel is basically for lazy people who want to e ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Connor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman is not your prototypical book. There is no plot or main character Eating The Dinosaur is a book compiled of short essay on various topics. Klosterman brings various topics to the table in his book. Topics include football, sitcom shows, bands and many more. Three of my personal favorite essays are time traveling, football, and laugh tracks. Klosterman writes essay to understand essays that are entertaining as they come. Klosterman is a great writer and ha ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
"As a species, we have never been less human than we are right now.
And that (evidently) is what I want.
I must want it. It must be my desire, because I would do nothing to change the world's relationship to technology even if I could. My existence is constructed, and it's constructed through the surrogate activity of mainstream popular culture. I understand this. And because I understand this, I could change. I could move to Montana and find [Kaczynski's] cabin and live there, satisfied in my phi
Ed Wagemann
I disagree with about 90% of everything Chuck Klosterman utters, yet I enjoy reading him (although I only end up reading about 50% of any book he publishes and skip or skim the other 50%). I've always liked reading/hearing thoughts and opinions that differ from my own, especially if those thoughts/opinions are presented in an interesting and entertaining way--which is the same reason that I listen to Rush Limbaugh at times.

Sometimes I will agree with Klosterman in spirit, but disagree with him o
Mar 10, 2012 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Magpies
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
Scattershot, incoherent (apparently by design), and occasionally just flatly wrong... Chuck Klosterman's essay collection Eating the Dinosaur is still perversely interesting. And he's right a lot more often than he's wrong.

I really hope the method by which Klosterman constructs several of his essays doesn't catch on, though, the one where he just writes sections in the order that occurs to him and then labels them haphazardly so their linear order could conceivably be reconstructed. For example,
James Mcgann
I picked up this book because I've heard Klosterman on Bill Simmons' (aka The Sports Guy on podcast, and he had a unique way of approaching sports, in that he enjoyed them, but never rooted for a team. He just didn't care who won - which was almost completely unfathomable to me! Even in games where I don't really have any rooting interest, I find myself pulling for one team instead of the other. Anyway, this book is full of similarly unique (some might say bizarre) opinions on a variet ...more
Apr 13, 2010 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book while taking a break from grading during STAR testing.

Chuck Klosterman's latest book of essays is his best one yet, but the author is not without his annoying intricacies. His use of the word 'iconography', I'm looking at you.

If I had never heard Chuck Klosterman on The BS Report with Bill Simmons, I think I would like him a whole lot more than I do. Also, if I had never read David Foster Wallace and then had the fact that Klosterman desperately wishes to be him pointed out
Jan 11, 2012 Johnpatrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
In a scant 245 pages Chuck Klosterman will find a way to annoy you. As far as I can tell he's built an entire literary career around being willfully obtuse. He proudly puts forth his failures of the imagination and practiced ignorance as if they were the highest virtues a cultural critic could aspire to. This is a pretty vague criticism, let me highlight two examples:

In "Oh the Guilt," Klosterman puts forth the idea that Nirvana really doesn't have much to say, because in lyrics such as "I tried
Mar 14, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll pretty much read anything Klosterman writes, and this book is not going to change that opinion one bit. In fact, this one actually impressed me, even though I'm usually pretty into K's game.

Part of it is just the weirdness of these essays, this book, existing at all. I think the previous books were collections of pieces that he'd written for other jobs-- Spin, Esquire, whatever. But this one, at least as far as I can tell, eshews that to go for new content. And who has time for that?

The res
Jul 12, 2011 V. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like being cornered at a party by Malcolm Gladwell, just after he's suffered severe head trauma and is mildly brain-damaged. Imagine Malcolm Gladwell, eyes unfocused, insisting on telling you which records were in high rotation on his CD player during the whole of the 90s. Making claims about lead guitarists in bands you've never heard of and then bursting into tears about the tragic waste that was Kurt Cobain's suicide. Then imagine Mr Gladwell, still refusing to let you ge ...more
Jan 13, 2011 Jafar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know anything about Chuck Klosterman. Never read anything by him before. I’m not sure why I decided to read him. I guess I did so because he’s supposed to have the pulse of the pop culture, and I need some education in that department. This book wasn’t much of a help for my needed education. I don’t watch football, don’t read US Weekly, and have never seen Mad Men. Maybe that’s why I kept thinking that Klosterman spends a lot of time overanalyzing utterly useless and inconsequential subj ...more
Feb 02, 2011 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction, humor
I listened to the audiobook version, which was read by Klosterman himself. Klosterman reminds me of a know-it-all alternative kid from high school who hates everything. I wouldn’t want to hang out with him because he likely has so many “rules” about what’s cool and what’s not cool that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Listening to this book was like being trapped late at night during high school at a diner with no way to leave (for lack of a ride home). All I want to do is go home, but instead I’m ...more
Sep 06, 2010 Kelsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all that I will read of Klosterman. This book was a stale bag of tortilla chips that I picked up when bored and put down when I realized how stale it was, which was generally every page or so.

I would flip to more interresting sections (breaking outside the convention that all should be read sequentially), but then stuff would get stale again and I would set it down.

After sixteen pages of stale chips, I set it down forever. It's now in my hubby's collection of things he's reading. He s
Apr 30, 2010 Nick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Way to bring down my average rating on goodreads chuck klosterman! This is the first review I've written. Which is saying a lot. This book had such a negative impact, I felt a need to write about it.

I've liked all other Klosterman books I've read, but this one was just not up to standards. First off, it might be mildly interesting if I had read it in 1982 (which would be a feat as I would have been -3 years old). I don't care to read about football and basketball stars of the 80s. Also, who writ
Patrick Book
Apr 01, 2016 Patrick Book rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I always find Klosterman entertaining. But I think I'm getting to the point where I would rather see him put his exhaustive analytical obsessions towards more topics like the Unabomber (the last essay here) than trying to justify the cultural weightiness of pop stars.
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Charles John "Chuck" Klosterman is an American pop-culture journalist, critic, humorist, and essayist. He was raised on a farm near Wyndmere, North Dakota and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1994. After college he was a journalist in Fargo, North Dakota and later an arts critic for the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio, before moving to New York City in 2002.

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“Every time I learn the truth about something, I’m disappointed” 60 likes
“It doesn't matter what you can do if you don't know why you're doing it.” 31 likes
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