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Book Review: Chuck Klosterman-IV

August 24, 2008

So I actually read this book a while ago, and I think it (along with another of Klosterman’s books-Fargo Rock City) are among the best books I’ve ever read.

Why do I like Klosterman so much? Well, he is one of the funniest writers I’ve ever had the privilege of reading, and he had me laughing through every single page. Secondly, he is incredibly thoughtful, and is able to point out the little facts of life that all the rest of us know to be true, but have never stopped to consider. People who can do that fascinate me…and I often find myself stealing their ideas and pretending I had thought of them first. Sorry. But the truth is, there aren’t a lot of writers that I find myself stealing ideas from….Klosterman is one of the lucky few, and I mooch from him a lot. Klosterman IV is really just a series of reprinted essays and interviews that he published during his stints with major magazines such as SPIN and Esquire. That brings me to another point-Klosterman is a skilled interviewer, with fairly unusual and insightful questions. So when I picked up this book, the interviews were what I was mainly looking forward to. However, in hindsight, the very best articles-and the ones i will mooch from the longest-are the articles in the “things that might be true” section. They’re mainly opinion pieces, but they’re insanely clever and  insightful. And perhaps interesting enough is the fact that he tends to either hold a very strong opinion in these pieces, or no opinion at all.  Rather, he just makes observations from the sidelines. The thing about it is, you can’t predict Chuck Klosterman. he is never what you expect.

So what am I doing writing about Chuck Klosterman in my music blog? Well, the guy has done much to spread the cause of glam around the world. The title of his first book, Fargo Rock City may remind you of, well…Detroit Rock City, a KISS song. And I’m sure that was purposeful, because most of his book is about how he grew up listening to ’80’s metal, which is pretty darn awesome for him to admit. So many people dismiss the whole genre and ignore its finer merits. So for a popular journalist to take the time of day to write a book (or two, or three, or IV…) to talk about how Glam has affected him and made him who he is…well, thats cool.

Rock On, Chuck Klosterman.

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