Klosterman is obviously intelligent, and he obviously cares about popular culture ... The very book itself mimics the cultural essay—important but inherently unnecessary. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Klosterman is a master of the high-low, his writing the rhetorical equivalent of Paul Rudd’s Amnesty International shirt in Clueless. He injects a level of intellectual rigor into subjects that receive precious little in comparison to their importance to the average person ... Klosterman’s essays matter, because—despite focusing on a bunch of middle-aged-white-guy-things—their content tackles well-known subjects. These are not meditations on obscure punk records; these are treatises on KISS, for fuck’s sake. It’s like pulling David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster from a black backpack covered in Toy Machine patches and poorly rendered Sharpie doodles. Klosterman pulls the literary equivalent of Jeff Koons’ art—validating your love of something with nary a pat on the head in sigh.
This collection of previously published 'nonfiction dreams,' as Klosterman puts it, is more than a tome meant for a coffee table in a recording studio or sports injury clinic. His passion for athletic competition, no matter how obscure, is infectious ... But Klosterman is at his best when he’s swimming in deeper waters. One would except nothing less of this former New York Times Magazine Ethicist ... Though Klosterman may be pigeonholed as a guy who thinks too much about Kiss, his 10th book shows he’s something else: a philosopher.
It's difficult to resist a fellow who, despite all unavoidable apperances of megalomania, loves 'reading the index to any book I publish ... Exploring the index from a book you created is like having someone split your head open with an axe so that you can peruse the contents of your brain. It's the alphabetizing of your consciousness' ... Where Chuck Klosterman becomes one of the necessary sensibilities of our time is in, for instance, his final essay where he observes 'from here on out there's never going to be a downturn in the number of high-profile corpses arguably worth remembering, particularly in a media landscape driven not by institutions but by any private citizen who cares enough to argue. Perversely and predictably, recognizing the death of a celebrity on Facebook has beome,a form of lifestyle branding.' In the same way, of course, does reading new books by Chuck Klosterman brand your lifestyle, whatever else it might be. You could do worse. Much worse.
...[a] highly entertaining collection ... This addictively readable collection includes short and longish essays on musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Van Halen, Noel Gallagher, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Danger Mouse, and Lou Reed, and athletes Tim Tebow, Usain Bolt, Kobe Bryant, and Tom Brady. But there are also references to Breaking Bad and Harry Potter and a fine piece on Jonathan Franzen. Other highlights include a fantastic interview with the polite yet prickly Jimmy Page and a surprisingly poignant piece on Charlie Brown.
Sometimes I forget that nonfiction can be just as entertaining and thought-provoking as fiction. If you think any of these essays stay on one path for very long, you have obviously never driven in a car with this particular author ... Klosterman has clearly been in the game for a long time, and in this collection he reprints a fair share of past interviews he’s conducted with athletes and musicians. These interviews go beyond what one might expect and I cannot recommend them enough. Klosterman knows how to dig deep and retrieve solid answers from his subjects. They are well worth the time, even the ones involving artists you may have never even heard of before. Of course, this book isn’t only about sports and music. There’s a great essay about nostalgia, about what it really means, and maybe it isn’t as good as you think. Hell, there are even articles about zombies and Harry Potter. I’m glad I gave this book a chance, and I’m positive you will be, too.
A collection of journalistic pieces that remain provocative, or at least interesting, even if the subjects that inspired them have faded from memory ... Though it has been tempting to dismiss Klosterman as a one-trick pony, claiming black where others (in print at least) see white, the best work offers insight into the relations among artist, art, and audience that goes considerably deeper ... Even those who only dimly remember Royce White, Pavement, or Gnarls Barkley will find the reflections on them engaging.