Eating the Dinosaur

Eating the Dinosaur

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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Baker & Taylor
Takes a humorous look at expectations versus reality in pop culture, sports, and media, exploring such topics as pop culture's obsession with time travel and what Kurt Cobain and David Koresh have in common.

Blackwell North Amer
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 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.

Baker
& Taylor

The best-selling author of Downtown Owl and Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs takes a humorous look at expectations versus reality in pop culture, sports, and media, in a book that explores such questions as: Why is pop culture obsessed with time travel?; What do Kurt Cobain and David Koresh have in common?; and much more.

Simon and Schuster
Q: What is this book about?

A: Well, that’s difficult to say. I haven’t read it yet—I’ve just picked it up and casually glanced at the back cover. There clearly isn’t a plot. I’ve heard there’s a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don’t laugh when they’re inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and college football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women. Supposedly there’s a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I’m misinformed.

Q: Is there a larger theme?

A: Oh, something about reality. "What is reality," maybe? No, that’s not it. Not exactly. I get the sense that most of the core questions dwell on the way media perception constructs a fake reality that ends up becoming more meaningful than whatever actually happened. Also, Lady Gaga.

Q: Should I read this book?

A: Probably. Do you see a clear relationship between the Branch Davidian disaster and the recording of Nirvana’s In Utero? Does Barack Obama make you want to drink Pepsi? Does ABBA remind you of AC/DC? If so, you probably don’t need to read this book. You probably wrote this book. But I suspect everybody else will totally love it, except for the ones who totally hate it.



Publisher: New York : Scribner, [2009]
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9781416544203
Branch Call Number: 973.92 KLOST
Characteristics: vii, 245 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Notes: Includes index

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lukasevansherman
Sep 27, 2015

The problem with Klosterman is he's not as smart, funny, or insightful as he thinks he is.

n
nicolewalker
Jun 08, 2011

I skipped the sports essays because i don't know anything about sports but the other parts made me laugh. I enjoyed this book. Especially the essay about laugh tracks in tv shows! :)

m
mjhoy
Jan 29, 2011

Seems to be described as either "too hip" or "brilliant". I found it to be a little of both, but the brilliant parts stick, especially his thoughts on authenticity (a general theme throughout the essays).

d
derekwolfgram
Apr 15, 2010

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.

m
MUhrblock
Jan 02, 2010

Great book of essays. Not a huge Klosterman fan but found this more enjoyable than his previous work.

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