Trin's Reviews > Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman
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Jan 10, 09

bookshelves: music, american-lit
Read in April, 2007

Reread. Apparently I felt like a dose of rock 'n' roll death. Sadly, there's really not enough of that in here for my taste (oh man, that statement is so wrong); in many ways, this book is more about Klosterman's failed relationships than about its ostensible purpose: touring the sites of a bunch of famous rock 'n' roll demises (from the room at the Chelsea Hotel in New York where Nancy Spungen was killed, to the greenhouse in Seattle where Kurt Cobain shot himself) and analyzing what effects these early deaths had on the musicians' legacies. The whole thing is very entertaining while you're reading it, but at the end I found myself wishing (and remembering having wished the first time around) that there was more actual death discussed, and less "death of Chuck's love life." Klosterman skirts around some theories about how an early demise can actually bring a musician a weird sort of immortality (the discussions of Jeff Buckley, and yeah, Cobain, are particularly interesting) but he never really presents any kind of thesis and, I dunno, I'd've sort of appreciated even a half-assed one. He also, in his rant about why he hates L.A. and considers it the worst city in the country, seems to confuse "Los Angeles" with "Hollywood." BUT THAT IS ANOTHER RANT I WILL NOT TOUCH TODAY. *restrains self*

But ANYWAY...there's still a lot to enjoy in this book. Klosterman is, as always, a highly readable writer. (See? Watch me pillage one of his more fun devices!) Thus, if you're in even a slightly morbid mood, I really do recommend it.
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