With a ten year buffer it’s now safe to pine for the nineties. The slacker generation that the writer Chuck Klosterman epitomizes always looked at yesteryear kindly and in his new collection of essays, Eating The Dinosaur, he makes the last ten years of the last millenium seem eventful. He compares Kurt Cobain to David Koresh, disses the Unabomber’s politics, and combs through the lyrics of Weezer.
This collection, which has no real unifying theme except sharing an author, would make most creative workshop teachers proud. These classes always stress the importance of a writer having a distinct voice and Klosterman has his. He’s the stoner who stays out of the conversation for five minutes and then goes into a deep critical analysis of how each character in Scooby Doo represents someone in Obama’s cabinet. His take will be brilliant, hilarious, random and spot on, but when you sober up you won’t be able to retell a single detail of it.
Is it worth reading something so forgettable? Klosterman got his start writing articles for Spin, New York Times Magazine, and Esquire. This easy to read journalism makes him effective at communicating his complex ideas, but difficult in having them stick with you. Basically this is a book for those who want their periodicals to have sturdier binding and to disown those pesky photos.
For those new to the world of Klosterman I’d check out his actual collections of magazine articles titled Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and IV (as in the Roman numeral 4 not how Kurt Cobain preferred to ingest his drugs). He also has a book titled Killing Yourself to Live where for the first 100 pages he writes something both funny and poignant in trying to interweave the connections between death, rock and roll, and his own life. I recommend checking them out as like it or not he’s the closest us slackers got to Tom Wolfe or Hunter S. Thompson.