So, as an avid fan of his books, I just finished Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman, the man’s recent essay collection. The collection is very good, providing something a little more than previous works with essays that reflect on our need for recognition rather than just simply how our love lives are ruined by John Cusack. Don’t take this the wrong way-I love the previous essays very much. But the new seem to show a side of a perhaps seasoned author, develing into subjects such as the Unabomber and This American Life in a way that makes me think his books have grown just like I have reading them the last 4 or 5 years.
Granted, there is an entire essay, lengthy as it is, devoted to football. Klosterman’s awareness of his fan base is included in this essay, which is both funny and thoughtful. He discusses the rise and fall of Garth Brooks in a way that makes me almost cherish the times as a child when I was forced to listen to “Friends in Low Places.” Simply by interviewing a master of interviews, Ira Glass, Klosterman makes me feel smarter and more intellectual, which I am reluctant to admit, and perhaps proves some of his points about culture discussed in the same essay.
Though it doesn’t really have the same humorous tone as Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Eating the Dinosaur reminded me a lot of Killing Yourself to Live. It contained a certain vibe of self-discovery that usually only comes from the ability to be self-aware amongst this pop culture we feed upon. When I read Sex, Drugs…, I laughed and related to the analysis of trival things that I loved. In Killing Yourself…, I saw things about myself mirrored in his road trip, even if it was only 85% truth. And about this book, I felt the same.
PS: Here’s a really cool (but old) interview with Chuck Klosterman over at The Sound of Young America. It also features an interview with Dave Foley, one of the original Kids in the Hall and one of my favorite actors, for reasons not quite understandable to even myself. It’s great–give it a listen.