Author: Chuck Klosterman
Is this really worth writing about? It’s a question that pops into my mind quite often while reading Chuck Klosterman. Nevertheless, I can’t seem to resist his work. He’s achieved some notoriety over the past couple decades for writing oddball essays, unique interviews and imaginative meanderings. In Klosterman X – his tenth book – he’s collected some of his favorite work over the past decade into one volume, demonstrating a consistency of form that somehow must be keeping food on the table. It’s pretty much what I expected. Taken as a whole, that’s a good thing.
He covers a lot of territory, with interviews from luminaries as diverse as Taylor Swift, Kobe Bryant and Eddie Van Halen. He also includes some really great essays, exploring why he refuses to read the Harry Potter books and analyzing the unique artistry of public television’s The McLaughlin Group. Other highlights include a humorous satirical report on a long forgotten ‘60s band known as The Beatles, an exploration of the modern zombie craze and a look at why the thrill of viewing live sporting events will never grow old.
As anyone can reasonably expect, not every one of these three dozen essays is an extra-base hit, but throughout the book Klosterman’s batting average is high enough to keep me engaged and enthusiastically moving on to the next curious creation. Interestingly, he starts the book with his very best piece, an unexpectedly enjoyable chronicle about a junior college basketball game he attended while he was youngster in North Dakota.
Most importantly, for the reader, the real question is whether his stuff is worth reading. For the most part, the answer is yes. Consistently, Klosterman demonstrates a unique aptitude for choosing a seemingly mundane topic and writing something memorable and thought provoking. I can say with some confidence that almost everyone will find something to fancy in Klosterman X. I can also say that I’m sure to keep coming back for more.
— D. Driftless
author photo by Rich Fleischman (CC BY-SA 3.0)