Winter Branch's Reviews > Chuck Klosterman IV : A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

Chuck Klosterman IV  by Chuck Klosterman
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's review
Feb 15, 08

bookshelves: nonfiction, fiction
Read in January, 2008

Things that are true:
Anyone who has read Klosterman’s IV will understand the following statement: Klosterman has become a guilty pleasure of mine. I receive enjoyment from his writings, yet feel guilty for liking them. Too often he comes off as smug and formulaic. I think that is what’s so problematic about his writing. The condescending nature of his writings isn’t always enjoyable. Especially in his interview-centered pieces, he comes of sounding like a record-store-clerk-snob or any other person that takes the “I listen to music or I read books that are better than yours” mantra. Even though Klosterman is dipping into some of the lower elements of pop culture and digging out something meaningful and important about them, in the end a lot his essays seem insincere and elitist. He might be honestly trying to validate certain elements of popular culture that most would simply write off but usually it just ends up reading like ridicule and comedy at others’ expense.

Yet, despite these complaints I read on! I have already started Killing Yourself to Live and I’m enjoying it. I enjoy many things about Klosterman, including his essays about Super Size Me and culture (the need for people to like what you like). Given the dated nature of his pieces though, the most appropriate medium for his writing are probably magazines and blogs. But since I’m not willing to track those type of things down regularly, I’ll have to settle for his books and deal with the fact that many of the things he mentions might no longer be relevant or even remembered.
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