Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"IV" by Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is probably the world's smartest Rock/Movie/Sports Critic. So what if he's probably the only one? Klosterman is all about drawing unexpected connections and critical thinking. He perfectly merges stoner philosophy with serious, mindboggling inquiry.

It's too bad, then, that IV has three parts, only one of which really brings these strengths to the fore. Part one features some pretty straight-forward personality profiles with Rock/Movie/Sports stars, while part three is a lukewarm novella with no real ending. Part two has all the strength in it: good article after good article, most of which (unfortunately) I had already read in Esquire.

So, basically, what this review is going to come down to are the following four points:

1. If you haven't read Klosterman, and you're 18-40 years old with a thorough grounding in pop culture, you should read Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.
2. If you read, and liked Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, you should read IV in the following order: part 3 (optional) part 1 (good) and part 2 (great).
3. If you read and disliked Klosterman, you should be shot. Sorry.
4. If you liked Fargo Rock City and Killing Yourself to Live you should disregard my advice, as you probably already own this book in hardback. There are new essays in the paperback though, so you may want to check these out.

Part 1: 7/10
Part 2: 9/10
Part 3: 4/10

Overall, 8/10 and well worth the read.

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