"Art and love are the same thing: Itís the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."
Chuck Klosterman is an author who has written for SPIN
, the New York Times
, and Esquire
, among other publications. He grew up in Wyndmere, North Dakota
but relocated to New York City to write for SPIN. He has also written several books about American pop culture, but which always incorporate little pieces of his life and romantic relationships in his stories. He first became recognized as an author with the book Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
, released in 2003, which tackled everything from fundamentalist Christians to the porn industry. His follow-up, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story
, chronicles his journey through the United States in search of places famous rock stars had died, while simultaneously moping over past romantic relationships
His writing style is very unique: he can get into a complex, intricate analysis of the human condition
and then litter his writing with F-bombs
at the same time. Much of his writing is autobiographical, either talking about his interviews with famous rock stars and celebrities, past relationships, or growing up in North Dakota. He tends to write from an outsider's point of view, talking about how a country boy raised on Hair Metal
and cheap pot can survive in today's hyper-accelerated media culture. Because of this, he has often been called "The Midwestern Hipster
- Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (2001)
- Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (2003): A selection of essays that put him on the map.
- Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story (2005)
- Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas (2006): A collection of previously published essays, with some new material thrown in for good measure
- Downtown Owl: A Novel (2008): Unusual for Chuck in that it's fiction. A novel about people in the fictional town of Owl, North Dakota.
- Eating The Dinosaur (2009): Another essay collection, similar to Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
- Hypertheticals: 50 Questions for Insane Conversations: Not actually a book, but a deck of trading cards containing the hypothetical questions that make Chuck's signature style. Fun to bring out at parties.
Chuck Klosterman contains examples of:
- Berserk Button: He once dated a girl who blew him off to go to a Coldplay concert. His response, is, well... not family-friendly.
"It does not matter that Coldplay is absolutely the shittiest fucking band I've ever heard in my entire fucking life, or that they sound like a mediocre photocopy of Travis (who sound like a mediocre photocopy of Radiohead
), or that their greatest fucking artistic achievement is a video where their blandly attractive frontman walks on a beach on a cloudy fucking afternoon. None of that matters. What matters is that Coldplay manufactures fake love as frenetically as the Ford fucking Motor Company manufactures Mustangs, and that's all this woman heard."
- Cluster F-Bomb: A lot of his work (see the quote under Berserk Button)
- Dead Artists Are Better: Not to Klosterman himself, but why he decided to write Killing Yourself to Live: he wanted to understand why so many artists only became notable after they die.
- Insane Troll Logic: A staple of his writing. His essay "33" tries to explain whether you rooted for the Boston Celtics or the Los Angeles Lakers in The Eighties can explain every decision you make in your life, from political preferences to who you should marry to whether David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar was a better singer in Van Halen.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: A big focus of many of his stories.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Killing Yourself to Live contains a story about a girl Chuck was interested in, who got high and climbed up on the roof of her house. The girl's friends were paranoid that she would jump off and injure herself, and Chuck was worried that he wouldn't get laid. So what happened? Nothing. The girl climbed down from the roof and never saw Chuck again.
- Sophisticated as Hell: His writing often shows this trope.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: "Sexy British weirdo Benedict Cumberbatch."