Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century

Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century

by Chuck Klosterman


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New York Times-bestselling author and cultural critic Chuck Klosterman sorts through the past decade and how we got to now.

Chuck Klosterman has created an incomparable body of work in books, magazines, newspapers, and on the Web. His writing spans the realms of culture and sports, while also addressing interpersonal issues, social quandaries, and ethical boundaries. Klosterman has written nine previous books, helped found and establish Grantland, served as the New York Times Magazine Ethicist, worked on film and television productions, and contributed profiles and essays to outlets such as GQ, EsquireBillboard, The A.V. Club, and The Guardian.

Chuck Klosterman's tenth book (aka Chuck Klosterman X) collects his most intriguing of those pieces, accompanied by fresh introductions and new footnotes throughout. Klosterman presents many of the articles in their original form, featuring previously unpublished passages and digressions. Subjects include Breaking Bad, Lou Reed, zombies, KISS, Jimmy Page, Stephen Malkmus, steroids, Mountain Dew, Chinese Democracy, The Beatles, Jonathan Franzen, Taylor Swift, Tim Tebow, Kobe Bryant, Usain Bolt, Eddie Van Halen, Charlie Brown, the Cleveland Browns, and many more cultural figures and pop phenomena. This is a tour of the past decade from one of the sharpest and most prolific observers of our unusual times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399184161
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 209,394
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 8.23(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Chuck Klosterman is the bestselling author of many books of nonfiction (including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa PuffsI Wear the Black Hat, But What If We're Wrong?, and Chuck Klosterman X) and two novels (Downtown Owl and The Visible Man). He has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostGQEsquireSpinThe GuardianThe BelieverBillboardThe A.V. Club, and ESPN. Klosterman served as the Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine for three years, appeared as himself in the LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and was an original founder of the website Grantland with Bill Simmons.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

June 5, 1972

Place of Birth:

Wyndmere, North Dakota


Degree in Journalism, University of North Dakota, 1994

Read an Excerpt

The book you are about to read is a collection of stories I’ve published in various media outlets over the past ten years. I like these stories and wouldn’t republish them if I didn’t. But I certainly hope you like them more than I do. The process of compiling old articles is not difficult, but it also isn’t pleasant. It’s just not enjoyable to reread things you’ve written in the not-so-distant past (I think this is true for most writers, discounting those real crazy motherfuckers who believe the world would be radically different if they weren’t involved). Every positive memory is coated with the ooze of regret: You want to delete every semicolon and alter every joke. Moments that once seemed revelatory now seem banal. You’re forcibly reminded how rapidly society evolves, and it’s disheartening to revisit an arbitrary event from five years ago that suddenly feels like a factoid from 1958. It’s the worst kind of time machine.

Excerpted from "Chuck Klosterman X"
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Copyright © 2018 Chuck Klosterman.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Three-Man Weave 5

My Zombie, Myself 23

That's not how it Happened 31

The Light who has Lighted the World 43

There's Something Peculiar about Lying in a Dark room. You can't see anything. 57

Liquid Food 69

C'Mon Dave, Gimme a Break 91

Where were you while we were Getting High? 105

I'm Assuming it's going to be fun 121

I Need to be Alive (In Order to Watch TV) 137

I Will Choose Free will (Canadian reader's note: This is not about Rush) 146

Eeverybody's happy when the Wizard Walks by (Or Maybe Not? Maybe they Hate it? Hard to say, really) 153

Speed Kills (until it doesn't) 158

Not a Nutzo Girl, not yet a Nutzo Woman (Miley Cyrus, 2008) 167

When giants walked the earth (and Argued about China) 172

Use your Illusion (But Don't Bench Ginobili) 177

The drugs don't work (Actually, they work Great) 185

The city that time remembered (Tulsa, Oklahoma) 193

But what if we're Wrong? (Drink the Acid, Swallow the Mouse) 200

Owner of a Lonely Heart 207

The enemy of my enemy is probably just another enemy 225

A road seldom traveled by the multitudes 241

Brown would be the color (If I Had a Heart) 255

I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars 273

White's Shadow 283

House mouse in the mouse house 299

The man who knew too much 317

The opposite of Beyonce 333

Like regular music, except good 343

Non-suppressive Slacker 350

Democracy Now! 354

Metal Machine "Music" 360

2 + 2 = 5 365

Advertising worked on me 377

Hero in Black 413

Villain in white 418

(1928-2013) 421

Something Else 425

Acknowledgments 433

Index 435

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