Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman

After enjoying Killing Yourself to Live, I was anxious to read more from Chuck Klosterman. When I found this book as part of a Borders "buy 2 get 1 free" deal, I had to get it. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is a fascinating and entertaining read for anyone who pays attention to popular culture, be it music, movies, television, sports, or celebrities. It is a collection of essays, and since the brief essays were my favorite parts of Killing Yourself to Live (even when they were tangential to the plot), I love this book.

Klosterman addresses issues like whether Pam Anderson is the Marilyn Monroe of our time, why soccer will never be as popular in the U.S. as its proponents predict, and what's wrong with contemporary journalism. He throws in an article about touring with a Guns N' Roses tribute band and a meditation on serial killers. The longer essays are separated by brief "interludes," which run the gamut from slice-of-life observations to "The twenty-three questions I ask everybody I meet in order to decide if I can really love them," which is like a twisted version of the game Scruples.

While I can't completely identify with every essay (I've never watched MTV's Real World or paid any attention to Saved By The Bell, for example), Klosterman injects enough cultural references and humor into his writing that I can still figure out what he's getting at. I don't necessarily agree with all of his analyses, but Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is one of the most hilarious and insightful books I have ever read. My next stop on the Klosterman train: Fargo Rock City.

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