Kill Yourself to Live

Much like the author I am about to review, I feel the need to justify my opinions in an otherwise meaningless field. Chuck Klosterman is one of my favorite authors. His satirical worldview and how rock n’ roll, love and drugs apply to it, makes for interesting reading. He writes the way most of my music loving friends talk, so instantly I feel like I am part of his discussions. Reading through his collection of essays (Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs), he hits on points in an insightful, witty manner. However, much like the Avengers, Dukes of Hazards, and any other television show that has been converted to movie form, his style works better in sitcom length entries.

In his latest effort, Killing Yourself to Live, Chuck takes a SPIN funded trek across America visiting the graves of dead musicians. The idea is brilliant, and getting one of rock’s most enteraining and insightful critics to make the trip seems like a perfect match. However, for some reason, the story focuses more on his obsession of three women, and his casual drug use, and turns into a book that seems like it was written so the author could read his own words.

His words, as always, are funny, but there is no real point to this book. Chuck writes this story, constantly trying to justify himself with regards to the women he obsesses over or the people who he feels are cool. For example, he drops the woman he loves off at a camping party, and breaks into a rant about how hippies love electronic music, and he assumes the people at this party will spend hours discussing how under appreciated the Boards of Canada album, Music has the Right to Children (which is probably on my man Damien's make out tape), is. This sums up the book to me. The reference made me laugh out loud, but I’m not sure why I was reading it. His points about pop culture and music are dead on, but his descriptions of each of the women he cares about are bland and without emotion. It is hard to read about these women, Chuck, or their past and care. Each week you can flip to SPIN, or ESQUIRE and read Chuck in his best form. His articles are priceless, probably because he doesn’t drift into weed-laced explanations of past love, and how to smoke pot in frat house type styles.

This book is enjoyable. If you like Chuck, you will like this book. If you love Chuck’swork, this books will leave you wanting a lot more.

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