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Eating the Dinosaur

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  14,281 ratings  ·  921 reviews
After a bestselling and acclaimed diversion into fiction, Chuck Klosterman, author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, returns to the form in which he’s been spectacularly successful with a collection of essays about our consumption of pop culture and sports.

Q: What is this book about?

A: Well, that’s difficult to say. I haven’t read it yet—I’ve just picked it up and casually
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Scribner (first published October 20th 2009)
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3.76  · 
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 ·  14,281 ratings  ·  921 reviews

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Dec 21, 2009 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
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
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
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Oct 28, 2010 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
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.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Mar 04, 2013 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.
Nov 29, 2011 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
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a good Chuck Klosterman book. (But even a bad Chuck Klosterman book is better than 95% of books that are generally considered to be good.)
Jul 08, 2010 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
Benjamin Siess
Aug 04, 2011 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
Jan 09, 2012 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
Kerri Anne
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.]
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Isaac; critical thinkers; people who love Gladwell and other essayists
Shelves: nonfiction
"For the first twelve years of my adult life, I sustained a professional existence by asking questions to strangers and writing about what they said."
Randomly picked up the book thanks to the intriguing title and a free afternoon spent in the library. Read it in one setting, but it must be noted that I didn't read all the essays as some of them were about things that didn't spark my interest (football, rock music). Overall, I loved the voice of the author and the questions he possess about the world. I will excerpt my favorite passages below.

"I fear that most contemporary people are answering questions not because they're flattered by the at
Peter Derk
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super great. First essay is one of the best, especially if you're interested in podcasting, interviewing, and what the truth is. Guest-starring Ira Glass, so you can't go wrong.
Ryan Keller
I was going to give it 4 stars, but I had to bump it down for the inclusion of 2 boring chapters on sports.
Mar 10, 2012 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,
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
Jan 29, 2012 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
Aug 18, 2009 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
Jul 01, 2012 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
Aug 20, 2012 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
Sep 02, 2012 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
Dec 06, 2010 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
Mar 14, 2011 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
Jun 16, 2011 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
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
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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.

“Every time I learn the truth about something, I’m disappointed” 72 likes
“It doesn't matter what you can do if you don't know why you're doing it.” 36 likes
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