Title: IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas
Author: Chuck Klosterman
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays, Short-Story
The Premise: This book is a collection of writings Klosterman has done over the years; mostly for magazine and paper publications such as Esquire, Spin, ESPN, The New York Times, and others. It is divided up into three sections: THINGS THAT ARE TRUE contain articles he wrote about people or events; interviews with Britney Spears, the White Stripes, Bono, Steve Nash and others, as well as coverage of Bat Day at Disneyland, an "experiment" of watching VH1 Classic Hits for 24 hours, and (my favorite) a rock'n'roll cruise ship featuring the bands Styx, REO Speedwagon and Journey. THINGS THAT MIGHT BE TRUE contain Klostermans opinion and theory articles covering topics from monogamy to pirates to super people and several things in between. SOMETHING THAT ISN'T TRUE AT ALL contains just one piece of fiction Klosterman wrote; a short story.
What I thought: Chuck Klosterman is a witty, intellegent man. The best work in this book is in the beginning; starting off with one of the best write-ups about Britney Spears that I have ever read:
"It's not that Britney denies that she is a sexual icon, or that she disagrees with the assertion that she embodies the "madonna/whore" dichotomy more than any human in history, or that she feels her success says nothing about what our society fantasizes about. She doesn't disagree with any of that stuff, because she swears she has never even thought about it. Not even once...
...And suddenly, something becomes painfully clear: either Britney Spears is the least self-aware person I've ever met, or she's way, way, savvier than I shall ever be."
Klosterman's articles are enjoyable to read because he mixes astute observation with wit. What makes this book enjoyable to read are the prefaces and footnotes he peppers throughout; containing anecdotes he left out of the article, extra facts he didn't know at the time or that happened later, or humerous self-criticism (especially in his older works where it's common to see footnotes that simply say: "Jesus christ" or "I was really, really wretched person.")
Articles that were about sports folk, or bands that I wasn't particularly interested in were still kept interesting by his observations. And there were many moments when I was simply laughing out loud.
Because of how good his articles were, I was eager to read his opinion essays; and while they were interesting and talked about poignant topics, I found myself agreeing with him about half of the time. But that's okay because even if I didn't agree, I still found his opinion interesting to read.
Sadly, I thought his short story was crap; but then again the druggie life has never interested me much to begin with.