Read Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman Online


Chuck Klosterman has chronicled rock music, film, and sports for almost fifteen years. He's covered extreme metal, extreme nostalgia, disposable art, disposable heroes, life on the road, life through the television, urban uncertainty and small-town weirdness. Through a variety of mediums and with a multitude of motives, he's written about everything he can think of (and aChuck Klosterman has chronicled rock music, film, and sports for almost fifteen years. He's covered extreme metal, extreme nostalgia, disposable art, disposable heroes, life on the road, life through the television, urban uncertainty and small-town weirdness. Through a variety of mediums and with a multitude of motives, he's written about everything he can think of (and a lot that he's forgotten). The world keeps accelerating, but the pop ideas keep coming.In Eating the Dinosaur, Klosterman is more entertaining and incisive than ever. Whether he's dissecting the boredom of voyeurism, the reason why music fans inevitably hate their favorite band's latest album, or why we love watching can't-miss superstars fail spectacularly, Klosterman remains obsessed with the relationship between expectation, reality, and living history. It's amateur anthropology for the present tense, and sometimes it's incredibly funny....

Title : Eating the Dinosaur
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416544203
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 245 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Eating the Dinosaur Reviews

  • RandomAnthony
    2018-12-14 22:45

    Ok, I’ve read every book Klosterman has written and I’m going to outline what I think was running through his mind when he wrote the excellent Eating The Dinosaur:1. You know, if one more person asks me if I still watch The Real World or know that Screech was in a porno, I’m going to scream. No, I probably won’t scream. I’m from North Dakota, a courteous locale, so I will not scream. I will feel embarrassed for the questioner and remove myself from the interaction as quickly as possible.2. I’m glad I don’t have a real job. Some of my former basketball teammates back near Grand Forks are stuck in factories or the family farms, and we know how those industries are doing (although North Dakota has weathered the economic hard times better than people might expect). Still, it’s not like I sit around on my ass and watch syndicated television until inspiration hits. I need drugs, too. No, no, kidding. If everybody thinks writing like me is so easy, why doesn’t everyone write like me and get famous? I’m not afraid of any of the bloggers or goodreads reviewers. I did my time and honed my craft. But I writea lot, under deadline, interviewing people about whom I don’t care much, anything to get another article in Spin or Esquire.3. Ok, that’s not true anymore. I used to whore myself out to magazines indiscriminately but after Downtown Owl and all the speaker fees I’m doing ok financially and don’t have to write another profile of the semiotics of old television shows if I don’t want to do so. Still, I probably should. This gravy train might not run forever.4. I know I shouldn’t care that people think my job is easy but sometimes those people bug me. However, once I’m bugged, I can own the fact I’m bugged, shrug off the jealousy, go for a run, and stay humble. I know I’m crazy lucky to do what I do. I mean, I work hard but I know I’m lucky.5. I’m married now. I should start acting like a grown-up. The hipster kids have already disowned me and re-owned me about seventeen times. I’m too old for this shit.6. I write better than people expect, mostly from practice, and I’ve got good editors.7. In turn, I’m going to write an excellent book (according to at least one GR reviewer) with thoughtful, top-notch essays about subjects like how Pepsi and Obama are linked and the similarities between Kurt Cobain and David Koresh. I will also write about football and Abba. These essays will be better researched than some of my previous work but retain the dizzying logic and “you thought X was this but we know it’s really Y and if we’re honest with ourselves we’ll acknowledge X is Y and we probably do acknowledge X is Y covertly so everyone knows but we pretend X is Y but says X is X” rhetoric. I’m not stupid. I know what works. But I don’t want to sound like I’m arguing in a bar at 4 in the morning anymore. I’m, like, your cousin’s husband at your sister’s graduation now. I’m kind of interesting, I guess, and I’m a decent listener, but the kids don’t take me seriously.8. The final essay, on the Unabomber, will be the best essay I’ve ever written. Maybe Klosterman didn’t think any of that. I don’t know. Maybe he plays the stock market and smokes cigars between donations to the NRA. Maybe he campaigned for Al Franken and has a secret crush on Rachel Maddow. I don’t care. Eating the Dinosaur is the work of a smart, perceptive man with an loyal audience, a generally optimistic disposition, and years of experience at the keyboard. I know he makes it look easy but I doubt writing like Klosterman is as easy as one might think. If you’re a Klosterman fan you’ll love Eating the Dinosaur. If you don’t like Klosterman you still might at least, upon reading these essays, fail to hate them. I’m glad Klosterman exists and I’m uncool enough to dig his work. And that makes me cool. X equals Y. Everybody knows it.

  • christa
    2018-11-27 05:53

    Here's a confession: I did not read Chuck Klosterman's entire book "Eating the Dinosaur." This slighting came with his permission, nay, his insistence. Klosterman busts through the fourth wall in his essay about football to suggest that if you aren't into football, you can jump this chapter. " ... I will understand if you skip to the next essay, which is about ABBA." And if a reader hangs around a bit longer, thinking, perhaps, "Meh. Who cares. He'll probably say something about Britny Spears in here somewhere," he stops the bus and holds open the door once again: "If you'd still rather get to the shit about ABBA, you should go there now."Friends, I went to the ABBA.Klosterman's most-recent compilation of essays includes comparisons between David Koresh and Kurt Cobain, the mislaid career of a once-great athlete, and why observing his longtime neighbor through her window was never really interesting. He talks about why Weezer fans never appreciate Weezer albums, Twitter, and the Unibomber. It is all done with Klosterman's patented template. He seems to randomly draws two topics out of a hat, finds a way to weave them together, then throws in an opinion on why an intelligent, shape-shifting metal is more believable in "Terminator" than time travel. This book is fine. There is not a lot that differs from any of his other books -- post "Fargo Rock City" -- including the ones that are fiction or first cousins of fiction. Sometimes this is fine. It's like always ordering the wild rice burger and beer battered fries from the Brewhouse. It tastes good, but it doesn't come with a hell of a lot of suprises. Sometimes it feels like Klosterman could be more something. "Funny" is one word that comes to mind. "Spontaneous" is another. This is what it is like to read one of Chuck Klosterman's compilations of nonfiction essays: It is like being on vacation in a small town in a weird state and seeing some guy wearing a T'shirt with the name of your favorite dive bar printed on the front. It's like "Oh! You've been to Dick's Crab Shack! We go there all the time!" Except in this metaphor, the T'shirt is Klosterman's pop culture references. There you are in a mess of words that may or may not interest you and he mentions something you like or remember liking. "Saved by the Bell," or "WKRP in Cincinnati." So you nod and keep reading. At one point while I was reading this book, Klosterman mentioned Matt Dillon and the band Was Not Was (although this has noting to do with the title) within a few pages of each other. Both of these topics had come up in a conversation I'd had with my boyfriend earlier in the day. I can't tell if this means we are all psychically linked, or if it just means that Klosterman talks about everything in the world at least once.

  • Derek Wolfgram
    2018-11-28 01:57

    Meh. I hoped that Eating the Dinosaur would be a return to form for Klosterman, after the unreadable novel Downtown Owl. In retrospect, it occurs to me that Klosterman's books have gotten steadily less entertaining with each one that is published. Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs had me laughing out loud, and I found Killing Yourself to Live pretty insightful and entertaining, but since then the returns have been diminishing. I'll pay Klosterman a sort of compliment here: Eating the Dinosaur reminds me of what I've read about the last few years of Lenny Bruce's life. Razor sharp wit degenerated into whiny self-absorption and self-reference. While the occasional glimpse of genius was still visible, the overall impression of his rants was that they were just plain boring and sad. While Klosterman is still pretty upbeat, he still writes too much about the phenomenon of Chuck Klosterman and What Chuck Klosterman Means and Why That Is Important. He doesn't take anything else seriously, which is what used to make him fun to read - if he could stop taking himself so seriously, I'd enjoy his writing a lot more.

  • James
    2018-12-03 06:46

    I have had a longstanding love/like relationship with Chuck Klosterman. Most of the time I like what he writes, and occasionally I love certain pieces, or even parts of pieces.But Eating the Dinosaur has, somehow, taken large parts of my brain--and by this I mean not only or simply objects and topics that inhabit my brain, but THE WAYS I THINK ABOUT THEM--and made them plain, in language that not only replicates my own cadences and ramblings, but refines them to the point where I somehow recognize, to my chagrin, that I could never actually say what I mean in quite the way that Chuck Klosterman can. (And I incidentally refer to him by his entire name, "Chuck Klosterman," because I cannot imagine the alternatives--or rather, I can, but I am uncomfortable with them.)The weirdest part of this was reading it earlier this week (Sunday, the 12th of September), and stopping before reaching the end, and then having dinner with friends, one of whom (my very best friend) heard an NPR report on the way to picking up dinner about how the Unabomber was deeply affected by some weird Cold War experiment at Harvard, and then going back to Chuck Klosterman's book, where the final essay was about . . . the Unabomber.I think my Facebook update about this said something to the effect that not since Don DeLillo's White Noise has a book reflected nearly exactly who I was and what I was thinking at a specific moment in history. I've since thought about maybe a half-dozen other books that did the same thing (most recently Roberto Bolano's 2666), but Klosterman's ease of access and rough-hewn prose, which is actually quite difficult to parse out to read to friends and loved ones (so you end up reading nearly the whole thing out loud, to the consternation of the aforementioned), harkens back to DeLillo's effortless xeroxing of my brain back in the eighties.In other words: I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

  • Gus Sanchez
    2018-11-16 00:08

    For one take on Eating the Dinosaur, check out Anthony Shafer's review, which kicks ass in it's own way.Chuck Klosterman's previous series of essays, Chuck Klosterman IV read more like a collection of rarities and half-formed ideas that left me wondering if Klosterman might be more enthralled with his celebrity as perhaps the pre-eminent pop culture essayist alive than being the pre-eminent pop culture essayist.All those fears were put to rest after reading Eating the Dinosaur. Simply put, Eating the Dinosaur is the finest collection of essays Chuck Klosterman has ever penned. He even addresses those "sell out" fears in the first essay, attempting to reconcile his craft with his celebrity. It doesn't always work, Chuck writes, but there really is no other way. The essays get better, stronger after that. His essay on the cult of personality surround Kurt Cobain takes a chilling and deadly accurate turn when he makes the link between Cobain and David Koresh, the apocalypse-spewing leader of the Branch Davidians. Not to say that Cobain was gunning for a Waco-style end of days, but both Cobain and Koresh attracted a cult of personality; one completely rejected it, when he should have embraced it, the other embraced it, when he should have rejected it. This essay alone is worth the price of the book.Yet Klosterman saves his best essay for last; his rumination on the mad ramblings of Ted Kaczinski, aka the Unabomber, may be one of the best essays you'll read in a long time. Klosterman proves here he's not just the best pop-culture essayist alive, but one of the best essayists alive, period.I felt as if Chuck wrote this book for me. Seriously. I've had conversations like the essays he's penned in this collection. I'm sorry I doubted you, Chuck.

  • ReaderM
    2018-11-18 22:58

    So I've never read a book by Chuck Klosterman and after reading Eating The Dinosaur, I'm honestly started to wonder what I've done with my life. Eating the Dinosaur is a simple collection of essays that will slightly twist your mind but present a pleasant read.In reading the 'Easting the Dinosaur' you could say this is just a cheap collection of essays by a guy whose editors told him; "hey it's been a while since you released a book" throw something together quick. I honestly wouldn't disagree with that assertion one bit yet it's to the credit of the writing style and prose of Klosterman that he can turn that into a excellent read. Like Sports, this book has a section for you. Love Music, well it's Klosterman, of course there is a section for you. Even some totally random and inverted comparisons of within make it worth my time. It is a literary classic, no but it's a great lazy read to cruel up with on lazy evening night and digest some good writing.

  • Anita Dalton
    2018-12-04 22:39

    Klosterman is hit or miss with me, but once I just sort of skipped the essays about sports, this was a very good collection. Though the essay comparing David Koresh and Kurt Cobain is the most notorious, the best essay for me was "T is For True," a discussion of irony and its application, or rather lack thereof, in the careers of Weezer, Werner Herzog, and Ralph Nader.

  • Dan
    2018-12-11 02:48

    An interesting, fun, and sometimes laugh out loud funny read. This is the first book I've read by him and I wanted to get it finished before seeing him at the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend. As is often the case I've been sitting on his first novel, Downtown Owl for a couple of years but have never gotten around to reading it. Looks like I will have to remedy that and pick up a few more of his essay collections in the near future.

  • Krzysztof
    2018-12-05 04:59

    Not a book review. Talking to myself in descending order of relevance to book/you. 1. Klosterman and David Foster Wallace are right: irony tyrannizes us. But part of the reason that it tyrannizes us is because people will not shut up about it. It's exhausting trying to out-smart and pre-empt every clever person who's ever had a theory on pop culture and society. We all speak in the ridiculous voice of Wallace Shawn: "Perhaps you know that I know that you know that I know." I long for the day that we all breathe a collective sigh and let it go. Most sensible people have stopped talking altogether. I think Foster Wallace finally realized this.---1B. But this is how we think, dammit, and it deserves props for being a lucid representation of that thinking.---2. Amazingly, the sports essays were not my least favorite. More than that, I actually liked them!The football essay particularly surprised me. I've been warming up to football over the years, but I've never stopped to consider why, exactly. I've had suspicions, but I think it might have come to me in reading Klosterman's essay.I like football because I like Star Trek. What?You heard me, ensign. I want you to ram the Enterprise into the enemy flag ship in a little stratagem I like to call The Kobayashi Mmmmmmutha-fucka-didn't-see-that-comin!This is the equivalent of the QB running the ball and hoping his precious legs aren't snapped like twigs in the process.But it's not just the sucker punch element I enjoy. It's the outsmarting aspect. The tactical aspect where you're just trying to figure out what they think you think their weak spot is and adjusting the plan accordingly. How can we sneak the Defiant through this mass of Dominion ships to the Bajoran Wormhole? We run a distraction play using the Valiant as a decoy.There's also the weird parallel of fantasy football and text-based rpgs. Fans of football and nerd-related things love this extra wasted time*. I really have no idea how either one works, but I get that it's the same concept. They love to sit around and discuss alternate realities (which might help to explain why I've been loving this strip lately). I don't like sports and I don't like the military. I enjoy football only a little more than chess (by which I mean that I appreciate the concepts more the the actual gameplay), and I can get behind Trek because it's fictionalized military in an altruistic future. *Klosterman makes an objectionable comment about excellence in billiards equaling a wasted life. I guess we all feel that way about interests we don't share.---2B. Wallace Shawn for Captain!---1C. A few years ago, I picked up my new (much younger) girlfriend in NY to drive her back to Boston for her new semester. She asked to drive my car because it was a Mustang and, as she drove, I looked in the backseat and found a wrinkled photocopy I had made of an especially powerful Cesar Vallejo poem. I pulled it out and read it to her. She looked over at me and said, "Who are you?" I was feeling pretty good at that point. Here I was with this college girl, in the first car I'd ever been happy owning, and for the first time in memory able to read a poem to another person without pausing over all the wrong bits. But the relationship didn't work out and I've slowly come around to why it couldn't have. It was all in her emphasis of "are." She also once referred to me as a cartoon and this really underscores her inability to see things unironically. The relationship failed (in part) not because of the age gap, but because we interacted with the world in a fundamentally different way (ok, maybe that's an age gap). There was always a layer of irony in her world and she couldn't conceive that I wasn't also living that way. Of course, none of this was helped by the fact that I met her through a craigslist missed connection, using her ironic t-shirt as an identifier.The age gap wasn't so great that I didn't get the concept. I can think of dozens of situations where I deliberately acted ironically. But I feel like it's gotten to a point (the point of flarf) where people don't even know what their social circle is talking about, but they keep gibbering on, pretending that it's fine. In fact, "It's fine" was a sort of catch-phrase of hers. More recently, I again sat in a car with a girl (this time a peer), discussing poetry, which had been the basis of our friendship. I recounted the Vallejo story and said that I was worried not just that we were getting older, but that people, "the kids", really were losing their aptitude for genuine discourse. "Do you know what I mean?" I asked. She looked down and said, "Yes."If I had asked the first girl this same question, she would have said "Yes,' but she wouldn't have known what she was answering or if her answer was correct. Irony tyrannizes us all and yet I keep talking. -----1D. Klosterman is 90% wrong about Rivers Cuomo, which is why Cuomo really is a bad artist, and 100% right about Ralph Nader, which is why Nader would have been an awful president.-------3 At one point Klosterman refers to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as "a couple of disposable teens." This struck me as part of the new trend of not naming a killer (even though no one is ever consistent about this *ahem-Anderson Cooper*) because that's a form of honoring them. While I appreciate the sentiment, it's pretty misguided. First of all, you would never say, "let's never speak Stalin's name again." But more importantly, it's a level a hatred that simply cannot be healthy for anyone. Contrary to popular opinion, killing is not advertising; if you ignore killers, they're not simply going to go away. But if you ignore humanity, that will disappear. I feel like Klosterman could write a decent essay on this topic.-----4. Oddly enough, for much of my elementary school life, Kurt Cobain and David Koresh were interchangeable in my mind.

  • Kurt
    2018-11-28 06:04

    This collection of essays isn't quite as good as Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Klosterman's most well-known collection, but it's still a great tour of contemporary pop culture with an insightful tour guide. I didn't really like Klosterman's previous collection, IV, because each piece was so short that the author didn't really have room to develop his ideas. This book, though, gives him plenty of space to follow any tangents he likes, and while I don't always agree with his conclusions, I'm fascinated by the paths he takes. Seriously, he wrote a long essay about the evolution of college football, and I read every word. As a former resident of Waco and a relatively recent Nirvana fan, I was particularly enthralled by Klosterman's essay comparing Kurt Cobain to David Koresh - the comparison itself is insightful, and even the sections that only examine the Branch Davidians brought me to tears. I have never seen someone try to humanize this people group, yet Klosterman makes suggestions like, "one could argue that any solution that did not involve the government burning people alive might have been worth considering." (p. 30) He also brings up, The ATF claimed the Davidians were stockpiling guns, a claim that is both true and absurd; the reason the Davidians stockpiled weapons was because they made money by buying and selling them at gun shows, one of the few ways they could make money without holding jobs in the outside world. The idea that these self-interested Bible scholars were hoarding weapons in order to attack the rest of America only proves that no one in the government (or the media) tried to understand those people at all. Granted, some of the weapons were illegal. That's true. They did have some AK-47s in the mix. But perhaps they thought they needed a few assault rifles, because perhaps they thought the FBI would drive tanks into their homes and fire tear gas at their children while broadcasting the phrase "This is not an assault" over an intercom. Maybe they thought the government would shoot at them from helicopters and burn them alive. They were, after all, insane. (p. 42) I lived in Waco for four years and never once stopped to think about what life was like for a Branch Davidian. They were the Other that made our town weird, before we got another famous neighbor who only made us weird to Blue Staters. Klosterman challenges me in my inhumanity, though, forcing me to confront the places where I dehumanize people, and that essay alone is enough to make me give this book five stars. It's not the only good essay, though. There's an article about Garth Brooks' colossal Chris Gaines failure that actually - once again - humanizes Garth Brooks and makes the reader see the way that authenticity is different for him, forcing me to see other human beings as human beings. And if the challenging and sobering essays get to be overwhelming, there are plenty of humor pieces, like the anonymous (and probably fictitious) interview to thematically introduce each essay, or the random article about hypothetical brilliant speeches to give in difficult situations (like being pulled over for drunk driving, or getting to the final jury vote on Survivor).I love this book.

  • Diana
    2018-11-27 04:57

    This was a good Chuck Klosterman book. (But even a bad Chuck Klosterman book is better than 95% of books that are generally considered to be good.)

  • Brynn
    2018-12-06 01:54

    "Most people are not articulate about everything in their life, but they are articulate about the things they're still figuring out." (8)"So the deeper question is, what's more important, narrative consistency or truth? I think we're always trying to create a consistent narrative for ourselves. I think truth always takes a backseat to narrative. Truth has to sit at the back of the bus." (13)"People answer questions because it feels stranger to do the opposite." (20)"Any time you try to tell people what your work isn't supposed to mean, you only make things worse." (45)"If you stare long enough at anything, you will start to find similarities. The word coincidence exists in order to stop people from seeing meaning where none exists." (47)"There is no linear continuation: The past disappears, the future is unimagined, and the present is ephemeral. It cannot be traversed." (54)"It doesn't matter what you can do if you don't know why you're doing it." (58)"If you exist in two places, you don't exist at all." (66)"It seems to exemplify the saddest thing about sports and culture, which means it's pretty much the saddest thing about life that doesn't involve death or secrets." (72)"When you have unlimited potential and an unwillingness to pursue that potential, greatness doesn't need to be achieved; as fans, we only require glimpses of a theoretical reality that's more interesting than the one we're in." (78)"So this, I suppose, is the first thing we can quantify: Observing someone without context amplifies the experience. The more we know, the less we are able to feel." (93)"The upside to knowledge is that it enriches every experience, but the downside is that it limits every experience. This is why I preferred watching the stranger across the way, even though she never did anything: There was always the possibility she might do everything." (96)"I would simply be seeing something I could not control and would never understand, and I'd be cognizant of a reality we all consciously realize but rarely accept—that almost all of the world happens without us." (101)"Truly irrelevant art wouldn't even be part of the conversation." (172)"The mere recognition of an extrinsic reality damages the intrinsic merit's of one's own reality. In other words, it's a mistake to (consciously) do what everyone else is doing, just as it's a mistake to (consciously) do the opposite." (173)"There aren't many situations where life experience is assumed to make you dumber. The ability to understand technology is one notable exception." (215)"Facts create norms, but they do not create illumination." (231)"The only people who think the Internet is a calamity are the people whose lives have been hurt by it; the only people who insist the Internet is wonderful are those who need it to give their life meaning." (258)

  • Benjamin Siess
    2018-11-15 22:40

    Chuck Klosterman is a changed man. Evolved. But is that a good thing?In “Eating the Dinosaur”, Chuck is a different writer than he was when most of his current fan base stumbled upon him with “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs”, his second publication. In SDaCPs, Klosterman was a low culture guru, who molded philosophy around constant references to pop culture. “Eating the Dinosaur” isn’t so lighthearted, and I don’t think it was meant to be, so that’s not an indictment. It’s just not what I’ve come to expect from him. “Eating the Dinosaur” definitely still has a healthy share of pop culture infused into it, but not nearly to the extent of any of Klosterman’s other books. It reminded me of a hyper philosophical Malcolm Gladwell in a lot of parts (which I’m sure most agree, isn’t a bad thing). Long passages are crafted purely on ideas with less involvement from the pop culture back bone of the story. More of the examples he gave to illustrate his ideas were less low culture, and more scholastic or, ahem, adult. Technically, his writing is getting more proficient, but for me, not necessarily more enjoyable. Perhaps he thinks the things that he’s trying to get across are more important than the need to entertain. His chosen subject matter is definitely more complex. Perhaps he felt that the more intricate themes demanded a more high-minded approach. I also noticed a lack of the “I’m smarter than you and I’ll prove it” tone that he has made use of in the past, and I…...missed it? I always got the impression that his writing was an exercise, and he didn’t always necessarily believe what he was saying, but that he was trying to convince you anyways and entertain at the same time. This book seemed much more personal, like it was important to him that he discover what he thought about the nature of reality and writing the book was like opening the little black box in his head that he talks about in the first essay about interviews. Another minor thing I noticed was his lack of introspection about his romantic relationships. Recently married, I wonder if we’ve heard the last about Klosterman’s love life, an aspect that I always enjoyed in his writing (let’s try to ignore how odd it is that I enjoyed reading about the romance of a self-professed geeky, odd-looking 40 something, native North Dakotan). All that being said, the essence of his signature writing style is still the same and I really love watching the man think. If you’ve liked his other books, there is a good chance you’ll like this one. Just be prepared for the differences. Less laughy-laughy, more thinky-thinky.

  • Johnpatrick
    2018-12-14 00:49

    In a scant 245 pages Chuck Klosterman will find a way to annoy you. As far as I can tell he's built an entire literary career around being willfully obtuse. He proudly puts forth his failures of the imagination and practiced ignorance as if they were the highest virtues a cultural critic could aspire to. This is a pretty vague criticism, let me highlight two examples:In "Oh the Guilt," Klosterman puts forth the idea that Nirvana really doesn't have much to say, because in lyrics such as "I tried hard to have a father/but instead I had a dad." you could swap the predicates without changing the meaning of the sentence. He also cites the quote, "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," as an example of this. As a scholar of language, I'm utterly confused as to how Klosterman came to the conclusion that symmetrical predicates were some kind of measure of a statements philosophical value. The meaning, at least in the Nirvana lyric, is derived from the fact that they are two different words, not two different ideas necessarily. We all immediately understand the idea of trying to have one thing, but getting something inarticulately different. We understand this intuitively unless we're approaching the thing in a purposeful attempt to get it wrong.In "Tomorrow Rarely Knows," Klosterman states that Time Travel is impossible, acknowledges the existence of Einstein and his theory of special relativity and immediately dismisses it. I assure you, Mr. Klosterman, it's a whole big thing. At the same time, he'll take daredevil leaps of logic that make Einstein look intuitive. I find it hard to read past statements like "(paraphrasing) This scenario is purely fictional, therefore no one has a reason to lie when talking about it." As a professional interviewer I expect Klosterman to know that people will find reasons to lie in the most surprising of places. There are some truly faulty Q.E.D.'s that will leap up at you in this book which have the net effect of making you feel as though you're reading a series of blog entries that someone saw fit to bind.It's maddening to take in his writing on topics he knows little about, because he takes such pride in flaunting this ignorance but when he's writing about things I know nothing about, it's a pretty pleasant ride. I found the second half of the book to be much more enjoyable, and he won me over enough that I'd consider reading his future efforts.

  • Kerri Anne
    2018-11-22 06:56

    More epic Cali(fornication) road-trip fun, and more amusing short stories amusingly read aloud while we traded Southern Oregon coasts for Northern California Redwoods. [Four stars for a hilarious essay on Val Kilmer, and for consistently making me laugh without a laugh track.]

  • Peter Derk
    2018-11-19 05:49

    Super great. First essay is one of the best, especially if you're interested in podcasting, interviewing, and what the truth is. Guest-starring Ira Glass, so you can't go wrong.

  • Alan
    2018-11-24 02:50

    Scattershot, incoherent (apparently by design), and occasionally just flatly wrong... Chuck Klosterman's essay collection Eating the Dinosaur is still perversely interesting. And he's right a lot more often than he's wrong.I really hope the method by which Klosterman constructs several of his essays doesn't catch on, though, the one where he just writes sections in the order that occurs to him and then labels them haphazardly so their linear order could conceivably be reconstructed. For example, the parts of the first essay, "Something Instead of Nothing," are labeled 1, 2, 3, 2A, 4, 4A, 3A, 4B, 5, 4C, 3B, 6.Imagine reading sentences written that way!1) It'd be like3) to navigate 4) with every sentence.3A) a maze 2) having Doable, perhaps, but not especially enjoyable.Fortunately, not all of Klosterman's essays are like that, and his wide-eyed interest in whatever he's writing about tends to carry the reader along anyway.Klosterman's best move—and he uses this a lot—is his ability to juxtapose disparate elements of popular culture and write meaningfully about the connections he sees between them—Kurt Cobain and David Koresh, say, or as in the tour de force "T Is for True" later in this volume, Weezer, Werner Herzog and Ralph Nader. His sights rarely rise above middlebrow targets, but that's a strength, really; that makes it easier for him to carry the reader along with him as he makes these seemingly off-the-wall connections. Klosterman even managed to make American-rules football into an interesting topic for me, something I would've bet against if someone had just told me so in a bar.I especially liked his take on the television show Mad Men, connecting it with Pepsi, Barack Obama and advertising then and now, in "It Will Shock You How Much It Never Happened." That's the one where he misuses the word "normative" (the way things ought to be) where he means "descriptive," but makes a valid larger point about how our perception of advertising has changed—has been changed—from being about the product to being about the packaging of the product, whether the product in question is a refreshing beverage, the leader of the Free World, or advertising itself. He even name-checks (although, hmm, it's actually not in this essay but rather in "Fail," where Klosterman writes unusually straightforwardly about the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski), Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, that brilliant, often prescient, and ultimately doomed call for a little media literacy.I think, from the above, you can start to get a feel for the way Klosterman jumps around, and for the wide range of his interests. These are both good things, on balance. I did not like this as much as I did my introduction to Klosterman's work, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, either—but I liked this more as the book went on.

  • Ed Wagemann
    2018-11-25 00:58

    I disagree with about 90% of everything Chuck Klosterman utters, yet I enjoy reading him (although I only end up reading about 50% of any book he publishes and skip or skim the other 50%). I've always liked reading/hearing thoughts and opinions that differ from my own, especially if those thoughts/opinions are presented in an interesting and entertaining way--which is the same reason that I listen to Rush Limbaugh at times.Sometimes I will agree with Klosterman in spirit, but disagree with him on the detail. A good example of this is the 20 page riff Klosterman goes off on about NFL football that starts on page 125 of his 2009 book Eating The Dinosaur. Like Rush Limbaugh often does, Klosterman seems to be passionately saying a whole lot about absolutley nothing, using small nuggets of wisdom or verifiable facts and stretching them beyond any sort of comprehension or meaning what so ever. With a voice as bold and confident as Olympus he spews completely contradictory ideas and arguments within sentences--or even words--of each other. And after doing such he goes on, as though what he is saying makes absolute sense, which makes it all very comical to me.During his 20 page tirade on NFL footballl for instance he states that what makes the NFL so great is that it is not trying to be anything that it is not. But then sentences later he says: "He [Brett Favre] was the human incarnation of how the NFL hopes to portray itself..." Contradictory. Then he goes on to argue that the NFL is liberalism cloaked in conservatism, going as far as conjuring up a story about how Teddy Roosevelt legalized the forward pass and how former comissioner Roselle was a Marxist. Klosterman has not been the first to suggest that the NFL has socialistic tendencies. Afterall the league does have a salary cap and a salary minimum. It has a weighted college draft and ofcourse the teams all share the massive tv reveune that the league brings in. The idea being that you are only as strong as your weakest link, so if you empower those on the bottom, you make the entire league stronger. So the case that the NFL is liberalism cloaked in conservatism has real merit and is one of the few things that Klosterman points ot that actually makes some sense. Some of Klosterman's jibber-jabber is very entertaining, but most of it seems to be babbling on for the sake of babbling on, possibly just to entertain himself. Which is fine. Because even though alot (probablly even most) of this babbling bores the socks off of me and I end up skipping over it (like his riff about laugh tracks or his riff about Garth Brooks), there are sections of his book that I find moderately entertaining and which are no worse than watching reruns of The Office, for example.For this reason and more I give Eating the Dinosaur 1.5 out of 5 WagemannHeads

  • Connor
    2018-11-28 01:01

    Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman is not your prototypical book. There is no plot or main character Eating The Dinosaur is a book compiled of short essay on various topics. Klosterman brings various topics to the table in his book. Topics include football, sitcom shows, bands and many more. Three of my personal favorite essays are time traveling, football, and laugh tracks. Klosterman writes essay to understand essays that are entertaining as they come. Klosterman is a great writer and has written one of my favorite books.Klosterman writes his essays so the reader even if one does not have any prior knowledge of the subject they can read the chapter with ease. One of my favorite chapters in the book is the time traveling chapter. Klosterman discusses the age old question of is it possible to time travel. Klosterman raises points that would hinder ones thought of time traveling. He proclaims if time traveling was possible than you would not need to travel back in time if you were successful. What he means by this is, if you went back in time to change your decision on a topic and were successful in this than you would not need to go back in time. Klosterman talks about relevant topics that everyone has always thought about. One topic that everyone has thought about at least once is the laugh track in TV shows. Klosterman tells of his view on having the show tells us when we should laugh. He finds the laugh tracks to be the worst because they are telling the viewer how they should feel. Klosterman brings his opinions to the reader which gets the reader thinking.One other reason why I enjoy this book too is after each chapter Klosterman has an interview section. I found this part very entertaining because you could see what Klosterman truly believes in and you can have another view at the author. Also, this part was entertaining because majority of his answers were very funny and truthful.If I was asked if I would recommend this book to someone I would without a doubt say yes. This books is amazing in the sense you enjoy picking it up. I usually feel as if reading is a drag but with this book I did not mind reading this book. I also like this book because it was short essays that allowed you to get into each chapter. Also you can jump around in the book from chapter to chapter. I would 100% recommend this book to a friend.

  • Brandon
    2018-11-25 00:02

    I finished this book while taking a break from grading during STAR testing.Chuck Klosterman's latest book of essays is his best one yet, but the author is not without his annoying intricacies. His use of the word 'iconography', I'm looking at you.If I had never heard Chuck Klosterman on The BS Report with Bill Simmons, I think I would like him a whole lot more than I do. Also, if I had never read David Foster Wallace and then had the fact that Klosterman desperately wishes to be him pointed out to me. That is not to say that Klosterman isn't a good writer or an enjoyable one, but aspects of his literary career seem overly calculated, more so with each bit of fame he achieves. His entire literary career has been spent trying to emulate better authors in a pop style for the masses. He's the kind of author that less widely read people would look to as "theirs": the kind of writer that they can see as their subversive alternative to a Grisham, Koontz or even King, if any of those guys were widely known for their media or pop culture criticism. He's the kind of author people can name at a party and then feel better for having name-dropped an author that some of the other folks hadn't heard of.Since Klosterman started his career writing about and much of his book Chuck Klosterman: IV dealt extensively with music, I get the impression that unless he ties in an additional subject for comparison like he does in "Oh, the Guilt" that his writing about the subject has become formulaic. This is part of what makes Eating the Dinosaur work really well. He tackles subjects like time travel and the Unabomber and advertising and all of them seem a lot more inspired than his previous work. The only sore spot is the first essay, "Something Instead of Nothing," which deals with the nature of interviewing. It's representative of everything I dislike about the guy as he combines navel-gazing with self-importance and adds in ruminations on his quasi-fame. Chuck Klosterman is a guy I think I could enjoy as a person and a writer if there was less ego involved in the former and more variety in the latter. I get the impression that he'll attempt a return at fiction in his next book, and I'll give that a read as well, but I hope he continues books like this one because it's his niche, and I really enjoyed reading it.

  • Matt
    2018-12-09 05:47

    "As a species, we have never been less human than we are right now.And that (evidently) is what I want.I must want it. It must be my desire, because I would do nothing to change the world's relationship to technology even if I could. My existence is constructed, and it's constructed through the surrogate activity of mainstream popular culture. I understand this. And because I understand this, I could change. I could move to Montana and find [Kaczynski's] cabin and live there, satisfied in my philosophical rightness. I could go the Christopher McCandless route and shoot a moose for food and self-actualization. But I choose the opposite. Instead of confronting reality and embracing the Experience of Being Alive, I will sit and read about Animal Collective over the Internet. Again. I will read about Animal Collective again. And not because the content is important or amusing or well-written, but because the content exists. Reading about Animal Collective has replaced being alive. I aspire to think of myself as an analog person, but I am not. I have been converted to digital without the remastering, and the fidelity is appalling."Klosterman's not David Foster Wallace, and this collection (in which he does such things as compare Kurt Cobain to David Koresh, ably) is not Consider the Lobster and Other Essays. The analysis is not as deep, nor the tangents quite as oddly fun. Two other distinctions: 1) Klosterman terms these essays "thought experiments," and says in the afterword that "authenticity (at least as it is applied to art) [does] not matter and [is] not important," which is not something I can imagine DFW ever saying about one of his essays. 2) I'd rather eat dinosaur (Stegosaurus, maybe?) than lobster.[4.5 stars for making me think, even as it entertained. I'd love to drink with Klosterman, is what I'm saying.]

  • Ashley
    2018-12-04 00:48

    okay. I'm pretty sure I'm done with Chuck Klosterman now. I've had a weird relationship with his stuff in which I don't really like it...but I do. And it's kind of impossible to explain.Anyways. I totally forgot that I had even bought this book until I was on here the other night and saw it in my "currently reading" section, so I figured I'd finish it up.I don't really remember a lot of it, but there was some good stuff. His football essay felt really really goes hand in hand with some stuff I'm thinking about in regards to graphic design (which I'm currently going to school for)- so that was a really enjoyable read. The subjects have nothing at all to do with one another, but the 'philosophy' he was talking about...pretty dead on.I enjoyed the piece on irony. It was funny because as I was reading it the only thing going through my mind was David Foster Wallace...and then he finally brought him up, so I was pretty psyched about that! DFW has said a lot of really great stuff on the topic of irony.Also, his last piece being about Ted Kaczynski totally thrilled me. I was taking an Abnormal Psych class a few months ago and we were all given "high profile" cases to take apart and diagnose and everything...oddly enough, I received Ted Kaczynski- so it was fun to read that essay. I really like how Klosterman framed the essay...people either love or hate people like Ted Kaczynski. Those who hate are just going on headlines and the "obvious" facts...those who love are often doing so for the shock value. Klosterman was willing to say "hey- he did some bad stuff, and there's no excusing that...but if anyone really paid attention to what he was trying to say/do, they'd be shocked/amazed!"So yea...considering I spent like a month of my life totally immersed in all things Ted Kaczynski, I found it really enjoyable to read that essay!

  • Jeremy
    2018-12-09 02:56

    I found it somewhat difficult to get used to the writing style, but I flew through it in just under a week. The ideas are compelling even though they are initially somewhat confusing and hard to understand. Quotes:There are only six types of narrative conflict, and they’re usually described like this: Man vs. Himself, Man vs. Man, Man vs. Society, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Machine, and Man vs. God.Germans don’t fake laugh. If someone in Germany is laughing, it’s because he or she physically can’t help themselves; they are laughing because they’re authentically amused. Nobody there ever laughs because of politeness. Nobody laughs out of obligation.Watch The Daily Show in an apartment full of young progressives and you’ll hear them consciously (and unconvincingly) over-laugh at every joke that’s delivered, mostly to assure everyone else that they’re appropriately informed and predictably leftist. F. Scott Fitzgerald believed inserting exclamation points was the literary equivalent of an author laughing at his own jokes. The degree to which anyone values the Internet is proportional to how valuable the Internet makes that person. Even though he deserves to die in jail, Kaczynski’s thesis is correct: Technology is bad for civilization. We are living in a manner that is unnatural. We are latently enslaved by our own ingenuity, and we have unknowingly constructed a simulated world. The benefits of technology are easy to point out (medicine, transportation, the ability to send and receive text message during Michael Jackson’s televised funeral), but they do not compensate for the overall loss of humanity that is its inevitable consequence. As a species, we have never been less human than we are right now.

  • Jafar
    2018-12-09 23:45

    I don’t know anything about Chuck Klosterman. Never read anything by him before. I’m not sure why I decided to read him. I guess I did so because he’s supposed to have the pulse of the pop culture, and I need some education in that department. This book wasn’t much of a help for my needed education. I don’t watch football, don’t read US Weekly, and have never seen Mad Men. Maybe that’s why I kept thinking that Klosterman spends a lot of time overanalyzing utterly useless and inconsequential subjects. I do listen to Lady Gaga, but it wasn’t much help in getting me to appreciate this book. A lot of this book is barely above the casual cocktail-party chitchat about sports and music and TV. Nothing wrong with that, but somehow Klosterman comes out very irritating in these parts. He gives the impression that he’s one of those types who are in awe of their wit and insight and won’t shut up in the aforementioned parties. And there are parts where he’s having a shot at pretentious bullshitting, like when he’s explaining why Weezer fans like Weezer. He did redeem himself in a few places in the book with some interesting commentary and analysis. In the end, I only have myself to blame for the disappointment of this book. What was I thinking?

  • Matt
    2018-11-24 04:06

    I'll pretty much read anything Klosterman writes, and this book is not going to change that opinion one bit. In fact, this one actually impressed me, even though I'm usually pretty into K's game.Part of it is just the weirdness of these essays, this book, existing at all. I think the previous books were collections of pieces that he'd written for other jobs-- Spin, Esquire, whatever. But this one, at least as far as I can tell, eshews that to go for new content. And who has time for that?The result, though, is that most of the essays here are longer, and more serious, than most of his previous work. The essays themselves, as the back of the book promises, are largely concerned with exploring the way media creates a reality for us. Which is fine, really. The opening essay, a reflection on interviewing, is interesting but maybe doesn't quite come together. But other essays, like one on Pepsi and Mad Men, is insightful and funny, and an essay on irony and Ralph Nader is pretty dynamite, too.There's a lot to like here, in short. The essay on canned laughter "Ha ha," he said. Ha Ha" is something I should try to integrate into my genre studies class.

  • V.
    2018-12-02 03:02

    Reading this book is like being cornered at a party by Malcolm Gladwell, just after he's suffered severe head trauma and is mildly brain-damaged. Imagine Malcolm Gladwell, eyes unfocused, insisting on telling you which records were in high rotation on his CD player during the whole of the 90s. Making claims about lead guitarists in bands you've never heard of and then bursting into tears about the tragic waste that was Kurt Cobain's suicide. Then imagine Mr Gladwell, still refusing to let you get away, giving you a commentary on what he can see outside of the window and then recalling a football match he once saw on television.It may sound like I am exaggerating the kind of things this book talks about, but I am not. If these subject-matters seem of interest, then maybe this book will appeal to you. If you are wondering what the Unabomber’s manifesto was all about and how it related to network television, rush out and buy this book. If the profound meaning of Abba lyrics (I kid you not) do not hold much fascination for you, move along.

  • Jeremy Garber
    2018-11-25 23:59

    Chuck Klosterman is a genius. He makes me want to write. Seriously, I restarted my PhD dissertation with full energy after reading this book. Reading Klosterman is like having a half-drunken conversation with a really interesting friend who is fascinated by everything. In this book, Klosterman reflects on the process of interviewing and why people go through it, much less tell the truth; the similarities between Nirvana and David Koresh; how time travel is basically for lazy people who want to escape their situation rather than change it; that the genius of football is to be radically innovative while appearing conservative; and a whole bunch more that are all worth reading (even if you don’t care about football or ABBA). Klosterman is honest about his own situation and often incisive about modern culture, commenting at one point, “I aspire to think of myself as an analog person, but I am not. I have been converted to digital without the remastering, and the fidelity is appalling.” Don’t worry about it, Chuck. You’re still well worth listening to anyway.

  • Kelsey
    2018-11-30 06:52

    I've read all that I will read of Klosterman. This book was a stale bag of tortilla chips that I picked up when bored and put down when I realized how stale it was, which was generally every page or so. I would flip to more interresting sections (breaking outside the convention that all should be read sequentially), but then stuff would get stale again and I would set it down.After sixteen pages of stale chips, I set it down forever. It's now in my hubby's collection of things he's reading. He says he's enjoying it, but he also enjoys reading textbooks, so I can't put too much stock in this.I would recommend this to people who enjoy reading drier material, like long, philosophic dissertations and or people that want to feel indie and hip. It would make an excellent read on the bus where people could see how indie you are while you read.Enjoy.As for me, I'm moving onto new things.

  • Scott
    2018-12-05 03:02

    I listened to the audiobook version, which was read by Klosterman himself. Klosterman reminds me of a know-it-all alternative kid from high school who hates everything. I wouldn’t want to hang out with him because he likely has so many “rules” about what’s cool and what’s not cool that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Listening to this book was like being trapped late at night during high school at a diner with no way to leave (for lack of a ride home). All I want to do is go home, but instead I’m stuck with some kid philosophizing about pop culture until 3:00 a.m. Klosterman was a music critic, and his writing resembles a typical record review that contains so much jargon and so many nonsensical, abstract notions that you’ve learned nothing about the record. He’s like my high-school English teacher who injected meaning into poetry that I’m sure the author didn’t intend. I want my six hours of life back.

  • Nick
    2018-12-12 03:39

    Way to bring down my average rating on goodreads chuck klosterman! This is the first review I've written. Which is saying a lot. This book had such a negative impact, I felt a need to write about it.I've liked all other Klosterman books I've read, but this one was just not up to standards. First off, it might be mildly interesting if I had read it in 1982 (which would be a feat as I would have been -3 years old). I don't care to read about football and basketball stars of the 80s. Also, who writes about ABBA in 2009? This book was just written way after the fact, on 90% of the topics it discussed. Everything has already been written about ted kaczynski, "the time machine" and nirvana. None of these thoughts were new or particularly interesting. I suggest you read this book if you've never read anything about any event that happened in the late twentieth century. If you have, pass.