While I sometimes call BS on Chuck Klosterman's assertions, he explores topics in ways that are so fascinating, insightful, clever, and downright enteWhile I sometimes call BS on Chuck Klosterman's assertions, he explores topics in ways that are so fascinating, insightful, clever, and downright entertaining that this is still easily a 5-star read for me, despite Klosterman's occasional flawed logic and forced parallels. After finishing Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, I was craving more of him and wanting to find every single published essay of his. I was sold in the first few pages, when he discussed ways in which movie characters set unrealistic expectations for romantic partners--not a novel idea, but the way he drew in references from John Cusack's Lloyd Dobler character, along with Woody Allen films, was hilarious and provided a lot of "aha" moments for me.
In several of the essays, he tackles different forms of "low-brow" entertainment and illustrates ways in which it resonates with people. For instance, how The Sims makes us reflect on our own lives the same way high-regarded art is supposed to; how we become emotionally attached to characters of The Real World, even though they are stereotypes; and how the lyrics of Dixie Chicks and Trisha Yearwood carve meaningful experiences in our minds much more so than other types of musicians. Similarly, he illustrates ways in which reality gets oddly conveyed in entertainment and the great lengths we're willing to do to suspend our disbelief (such as dissecting the "Tori paradox" from Saved by the Bell). He also rants about soccer and provides an amusing essay about the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, arguing that it represents far more than just basketball.
Whether or not I was familiar with the topics he covered, I found Klosterman's humor and writing style so engaging that I wanted to see how he approached everything, including the subject matter that normally doesn't interest me (which to me is the mark of a truly great essayist). His astute observations and his way of drawing together references make me think about the topics in detail long after putting down the book. I will probably annoy my friends in the next couple weeks by making too many references to this book....more
I really wanted to get into this series, because the idea of a supernatural society set in St. Louis appealed to me so much. But I'm so annoyed by AniI really wanted to get into this series, because the idea of a supernatural society set in St. Louis appealed to me so much. But I'm so annoyed by Anita's character, and by the horrible prose, that throughout Guilty Pleasures and this one I found myself cringing more than enjoying.
Aside from being smug and prude, Anita is for some reason always feeling the need to prove herself by being overtly stubborn and mouthy. I wanted so badly for her to just get over herself.
The narration, which tries very hard to be clever, falls short and ends up sounding cheesy. The "poetic" passages are painfully generic. And I wish I had a dollar for every time Anita told us about her Nikes, gave a dry "Yippee" at the end of a paragraph, or felt the need to give her own snarky summary on a scene we JUST READ.
I'm told the series becomes more erotic as it progresses, which makes me want to stay tuned, but I don't know if I can bear the build-up any more. I can just hope Hamilton got a better editor or took a couple writing classes in the meantime. ...more