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From the author of the highly acclaimed heavy metal memoir, Fargo Rock City, comes another hilarious and discerning take on massively popular culture—set in Chuck Klosterman’s den and your own—covering everything from the effect of John Cusack flicks to the crucial role of breakfast cereal to the awesome power of the Dixie Chicks.

Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don’t even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation.

Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry, Chuck will make you think, he’ll make you laugh, and he’ll drive you insane—usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about art, entertainment, infotainment, sports, politics, and kittens, but—really—it’s about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, “In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever ‘in and of itself.’” Read to believe.

Topics: Witty, 20th Century, Music, Sports, United States of America, Funny, Television, Creative Nonfiction, and Irreverent

Published: Scribner on
ISBN: 9780743258241
List price: $11.99
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This is undeniably a very funny book at times, but also gets to be annoying after a while. Everyone's had the experience of talking to someone who is funny and clever and then slowly starts to wear on you, becomes obnoxious and doesn't know when to turn it down a notch. This is the book version.

Klosterman wants to have it both ways, mocking obnoxious hipsters, while acting like the worst example of one himself. He really lost me when he stated talking about "The Real World". I was baffled that this was a grown man writing this. There are also many examples of a pet peeve of mine; the "we all do it" excuse. This is where you talk about your pettiness, shallowness, bigotry, general obnoxious traits, and instead of apologizing or showing shame you just take the "we all do it" attitude and "isn't it cute that I talk about it?". No, we don't all do it, and no , it isn't cute.

A fairly entertaining book, but a lot like the Cocoa Puffs of the title. I get the feeling he might be an interesting writer when he grows up.

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For the parts that one has experienced, this author can have you literally laughing out loud. This book provides a refreshing laugh when looking at a lot of our lives through a different perspective. The title was definitely eye catching and for the most part, the text between the pages held up it's end of the bargain. The only parts I didn't enjoy were the ones where he spoke about things I had nit experienced too much.more
I don't hate Klosterman. but man am I already sick of him. Still, this is a nice collection of essays. I really love the one where he tours with the G'n'R cover band -- great reporting, filled with jokes for fans of the band. And yet he still shows the band members respect. Of course, his style gets tedious. he's like a young dennis miller -- reference after reference after reference. it's not bad, it's just annoying after awhile. Also, he makes the baseless arugment that coldplay and travis rip off radiohead. first of all, he's not the first to make this argument. and second of all, these bands don't sound alike at all. and they certainly don't sound like radiohead. And yet, annoying things like that don't necessarily ruin the essays. But whenever I see his name now i cringe. maybe it's the glasses.....more
I should have read this book 10 years ago. I think I would have liked it even more back then - but given its subject matter - it is pretty amazing that it is still enjoyable so many years later.I loved some of the chapters (real world chapter for one) I found the sports chapters boring because I don't follow sports in any sort of detailed way that would make his references anything more than gibberish. Mostly I laughed a little, nodded my head a little, groaned a little and was entertained enough to say if you are a person who went to college in in the 90's you will probably enjoy at least some of these essays.more
Like most smart people, Chuck Klosterman thinks very deeply about a lot of things. However, unlike, say, a smart theoretical physicist or a smart behavioral psychologist, the stuff Klosterman ponders and writes about is both random and of remarkably little consequence. Of course, essays exploring relatively insignificant topics can still be interesting and occasionally very funny. For the most part, the author manages to do just that in this volume.Take, for instance, the frequently cited chapter in which Klosterman explains why he thinks ‘Saved by the Bell’ became such an iconic television show for kids of a certain age, despite the fact that it was unrealistic, unimaginative, and not particularly good. Or, the author’s take on what may or may not be fascinating about having an acquaintance who turns out to be a serial killer. Or even his views of why Trisha Yearwood is more relevant than Bob Dylan and how the internet changed the dynamics of the porn industry.My only real complaint about ‘Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs’ is that much of the material feels a little dated by now, which is understandable given that most of the essays appear to have been written in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Still, an essay that contrasts the visions of reality presented in the movies ‘Vanilla Sky’ and ‘Memento’ is hardly cutting-edge material today. Also, the depth to which Klosterman dives into some of his more arcane arguments made reading them a little monotonous at times. Nevertheless, the author has a unique perspective on modern culture and that makes this book worth considering.more
Laugh out loud funny in the first few essays, followed by a slow retreat into mediocrity. There are moments when you think that is David Foster Wallace at his most accessible -- an intricate but compelling writing style that seems fresh and unforced. But there are also essays where Klosterman can't conjure up that glow and the writing then feels like William Vollmann at his voluminous worst.more
This was my first reading of Klosterman, and I would compare the experience to watching someone masturbate. You just sort of wish you were enjoying it as much as they were.more
I wanted to like this, I really did, but in the end I just couldn’t. There were lots of funny little bits here and there, but the sum total was just too glib, too shallow, too purposefully contrarian, and above all, too universalist and unqualified. The main problem is that he’s trying to universalize what amounts to a very narrow-bore pop culture experience. I’m only a few years younger, but very few of the touchstones(the Real World, Billy Joel, Saved by the Bell, etc) that he mentions have had any appreciable effect on my life or that of my peers. I’ve heard of them all and been exposed to them enough to have a good familiarity, but I can’t hang any of the shared meaning on them that he does and attempts to extend to his whole readership.I was also bit irritated by his ongoing attempts to cast himself as lowbrow, working class, anti-elitist, etc. He may be genuinely uncomfortable being a part of a cultural elite(and some sincere confrontation with this discomfort could have been really interesting in this context), but he is, and he’s not fooling anyone with his protestations and poses to the contrary.Finally, he should just avoid writing about the internet or gaming or computers, because he just doesn’t have any expertise in those areas and catty condescension is not enough to make up for that fact.more
Written like a drunken English major. Lots of rock and roll references but with no substance.more
I've only read three chapters of this book, but I liked what I saw.more
In Klosterman's own words, this book is "philosophy for shallow people." Full of insights on topics including the Lakers/Celtics rivalry and heavy metal tribute bands. Slightly dated (for example, there is one essay about the Sims) but overall an entertaining read for aficionados of pop culture.more
This series of essays attempts to discuss the vital truths of today's society using pop culture as its vehicle of reference. Via Saved by the Bell, The Sims, various iconic musicians, MTV's The Real World, the post apocalyptic book series Left Behind, movies such as Vanilla Sky and The Matrix, and many other pop culture he discusses life, the universe, and everything. Klosterman can tend toward the more pessimistic view of humanity, and there are multiple occasions where I disagreed with him outright. At other times, he opened me up to new ways of seeing the world and the movies/ TV/books/music I love. Thoughout it all this book is often amusing, and even occasionally hilarious, so I was able readily enjoyed the ride whether I was in agreement with him or not.more
An all-time favourite. This book is to Gen X & Y what Tom Wolfe's essays were to everyone living through the Me Decade.more
This book was ok, not much laughs.more
If you take a transcript of every late night, bong-hit driven, pop-culture conversation ever had in every dorm room across this great land, condense them, edit them, then place them lovingly in a book, you would then have a near facsimile of "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs," by Chuck Klosterman. Is it interesting? Yes. But just like those dorm conversations, it will fade quickly. All that will remain with you is the illogic of half remembered hypotheses, which only made sense in context.more
For those with an affinity for GenX culture, this is an entertaining read. This is a group of musings on those things that were both watershed and pervasive if you were consuming youth culture in the 80s and 90s. It's not that we live and died by Saved by the Bell, it's that you can find someone your age that remembers Bayside and those kids because they were watching it "ironically" on the weekends. Then again, watching a live-action show on Saturday morning during the cartoon block while in college to see kids learn important life lessons probably negates the quotes, doesn't it? It's also not all about that show, but this is probably one of the essays that will weigh down a person that didn't live the show the most.Either way, it's a trip down memory lane for anyone that's lived it. For a good time, the Hypothetical Interlude can lead to a few good conversations with friends. Thus far, we're all against letting the gorilla play for the Raiders. Hilarity of the gorilla in uniform aside, we fear the accidental dismemberment of opposing players would be far too frequent to offset the enjoyment of primate in a helmet.more
Some of the essays are awesome and brilliant, and others are... just not. I loved This Is Emo (how John Cusack ruined love), What Happens When People Stop Being Polite (which made me want to watch the Real World), and Being Zack Morris. I'm a sucker for pop culture analysis. Other essays had a whole host of problems. Some of them, like Ten Seconds to Love were creepily misogynistic, and others were just uninteresting.more
the book that made Klosterman a commendable music journalist. he goes out there in this one, and it truly is a great look at pop culture on the time from the real world to rock n'roll. who knows with this guy other than you'll love his style. I read this when I was 18, my freshman year in college. ie ages agomore
Chuck Klosterman is a genius. I knew this before I even read this book but it was confirmed within the first few pages. This book of essays about pop culture and modern life is laugh out loud funny and incisive. I can't even pick a favorite essay because they were all so wonderful. Reading this definitely reminded me why I lean towards media studies.more
Solipsist. Never has a single word ever summed up one person so well. When this came up on my book group's reading list, I was all excited: essays on pop culture? Yes, please! Too bad it turned out to be the ramblings of a self-satisfied, self-styled genius with all the piercing insight of the average brick.Aside from Klosterman's incredible self-absorption, his casual misogyny infuriated me. Has this man ever actually talked to a woman? After reading the first essay, I had my doubts. By the end of the second or third, I was sure he hadn't. The relentless cliches about American female roles and the gratuitous swipes piled up to the point that I started wondering if Klosterman was talking to someone else.more
It's not that I didn't like this book... Okay, that's exactly what it is. But the real issue I had with Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is this: I've either had every conversation in this book (which I enjoyed more than these essay versions of them) or I've walked away from the conversation because it didn't interest me in the slightest. I can name at least ten people I know who could have written this book (give or take an article or two), and probably could have written it better (including the person whose choice this book is for my book club).I didn't dislike it all, though. It was amusing in parts. It's just that I didn't find it to be wonderfully clever even though it was clearly trying very hard to be.I could talk a lot about why I didn't like this book for little reasons, but on the whole, I think my distaste for it was rooted in the fact that I couldn't simply read it at my leisure, picking it up and putting it down to read a single article and then switch to something else, because we're reading this for book club and thus my reading has a deadline. Had I been able to just skip an article (such as the mind-numbing article on basketball) or stop reading one (like when he made repetitive references to Sigur Ros and Devo as though they were symbols of uniqueness, only to make them ordinary by constantly referencing them) so I could move on to something else or read an essay every few days, then I probably would have a kinder outlook on this book.But here's the kicker as to why I can't simply dismiss this book. Do you know the game "Table Topics"? Or have you read the If...? books? They work on the same premise... posing a "what if" kind of question that you're supposed to then discuss with people. This may seem lame, because it implies that you can't have a natural conversation with your friends without the assistance of cards, but I found them amusing in college... and probably still would, given a particularly creative bunch of friends and a few bottles of wine. "If you could only listen to one album again for the rest of your life, what would it be?" "If you had to kill an innocent person to end world hunger, could you?" "If you were exiled from your current country, what new country would you pick as your new home?" "Which famous dead person would you most want to have a dinner conversation with?" "If you could either sleep with one famous person and never tell anyone or give the impression of a deep and loving relationship to the world but never actually sleep with them... which scenario would you pick?" (I actually think he did pose this question somewhere in the book...)Anyway... there's one "essay" in this book that's my favorite part, not just because it's funny, but because it seems like it unwittingly captures the whole essence of the other articles -- or at least distills what good this book can accomplish. It's a small section of twenty three questions that the author would pose to a person and their answers would determine whether or not this could be his soulmate. Think of Table Topic and If...? questions (like those above) and multiply them by ten on a specific and weird scale... then you'd get the kind of questions that he asks.For example, here's a fairly ordinary but still interesting one:Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly. What do you talk about?And here's a weird one that I quite enjoy:Defying all expectation, a group of Scottish marine biologists capture a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter in the Pacific Northwest shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity. These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the president announces he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week. You are the front page editor of The New York Times: What do you play as the biggest story? And one more for kicks:Someone builds and optical portal that allows you to see a vision of your own life in the future (it’s essentially a crystal ball that shows a randomly selected image of what your life will be like in twenty years). You can only see into this portal for thirty seconds. When you finally peer into the crystal, you see yourself in a living room, two decades older than you are today. You are watching a Canadian football game, and you are extremely happy. You are wearing a CFL jersey. Your chair is surrounded by books and magazines that promote the Canadian Football League, and there are CFL pennants covering your walls. You are alone in the room, but you are gleefully muttering about historical moments in Canadian football history. It becomes clear that—for some unknown reason—you have become obsessed with Canadian football. And this future is static and absolute; no matter what you do, this future will happen. The optical portal is never wrong. This destiny cannot be changed. The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a pre-season CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it? Okay, last one, for real:Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks--he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. These are his only tricks and he can't learn any more; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he's doing these five tricks with real magic. It's not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space. He's legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein? These make me think that Chuck Klosterman missed his true calling as a "Table Topics for Gen X" writer. ALL of his essays seem to serve one purpose for me: they're mildly interesting, but they make me think of more interesting things that I then actually want to discuss with other people.Weirdest thing of all, but I actually think this might be a good book for discussion at book club... not for discussing the merits of the book, but because Klosterman's random topics (the true meaning of Saved by the Bell, the weird interest he has in people who have met serial killers and lived, etc.) will hopefully inspire other things we want to talk about in the Table Topics sense of things.My mother tried to make the point that perhaps Klosterman was really intending to inspire conversation with these topics. At first, I found it hard to believe that Klosterman, who writes about saved by the Bell and cartoon cereal characters, is really trying to inspire discussion... but that's totally it. I might find his writing to be somewhat lacking, but he really is creating a jumping-off-point for people who might find these topics to be of interest.So Klosterman, despite all of the complaints I have, I give you three stars.Oh, and if you don't pick the Loch Ness Monster, then I don't understand what you could possibly be thinking.more
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman seemed to be a good book. Its a good idea but it was just a major rant. And of nothing in particular either lol. What ever popped in his head at the time he was writing is what he ranted about. Couldnt stand it, sounded like a kid whining the whole time i was reading itmore
Well, it was an interesting read…I’ve seen it on a LOT of reading lists on the 50 book challenge. I was mildly entertained, but not wowed in any way. There were a few laugh out loud moments, but overall, there wasn’t much in the way of sex, drugs or cocoa puffs. I’m glad I got this from the library because it wasn’t entertaining enough to pay for.more
This book came highly recommended as not only a keen social observation, but also as being remarkably funny. It is very clear that Klosterman is incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable as he has his say on everything from the deformed nature of perceived modern love to the effect of 'The Real World' to the obsession of serial killers. He certainly gives the impression that, over the last twenty years, he has listened to every piece of music worth listening to and quite a few which aren't, and knows enough about them to bring up their cultural significance in just about every pop criticism he approaches. At times, I find him to be pretentious and slightly alienating, two claims which I imagine he would not only agree with but endorse, but regardless of whether or not I agree with him on any given subject, I can not help but admit that he often has a good point. His style is biting, witty, and journalistic in the best sense, and manages to reveal a great number of cultural misconceptions and truisms often ignored by the public at large. Bottom line, this book is fun, smart, angry, and may shake you up just a little bit. What's not to love?more
Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks - he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. These are his only tricks and he can't learn any more; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he's doing these five tricks with real magic. It's not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space. He's legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?more
I liked this book when I had an understanding of what he was writing about and some of his thoughts were pretty similar to mine, but when I didn't, I thought it was really boring (like the Celtic/laker chapter. I didn't even know the Celtics were a team).I liked his sense of humor. Normally I dislike reading people's philosophies, but his were interesting. I liked the interludes much more than the actually chapters. He makes a lot of sports comments. It kind of ruined it for me. I'm not a sports person, I guess.more
Hilarious and interesting book. A good read. Interesting rants and social commentary written before the guy goes to bed, which results in some very thought provoking material.Its also somewhat like Gilmore Girls in a book, in the way that both make obscure pop-culture references that no one really understands, and still manages to maintain its audience.more
If your life is shaped by pop-culture than you will like this book. It was funny, but honestly, I can't remember anything particular about this story. I know the author looks to Three's Company and Saved By The Bell to guide his hipster lifestley. But seriously, feels like I could have read this content in The Village Voice or the New York Press.more
A collection of essays on pop culture; a few were interesting, but overall, the book was a bore.more
not that great really. thinks he is nick hornby. later writings are better i think,more
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Reviews

This is undeniably a very funny book at times, but also gets to be annoying after a while. Everyone's had the experience of talking to someone who is funny and clever and then slowly starts to wear on you, becomes obnoxious and doesn't know when to turn it down a notch. This is the book version.

Klosterman wants to have it both ways, mocking obnoxious hipsters, while acting like the worst example of one himself. He really lost me when he stated talking about "The Real World". I was baffled that this was a grown man writing this. There are also many examples of a pet peeve of mine; the "we all do it" excuse. This is where you talk about your pettiness, shallowness, bigotry, general obnoxious traits, and instead of apologizing or showing shame you just take the "we all do it" attitude and "isn't it cute that I talk about it?". No, we don't all do it, and no , it isn't cute.

A fairly entertaining book, but a lot like the Cocoa Puffs of the title. I get the feeling he might be an interesting writer when he grows up.

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For the parts that one has experienced, this author can have you literally laughing out loud. This book provides a refreshing laugh when looking at a lot of our lives through a different perspective. The title was definitely eye catching and for the most part, the text between the pages held up it's end of the bargain. The only parts I didn't enjoy were the ones where he spoke about things I had nit experienced too much.more
I don't hate Klosterman. but man am I already sick of him. Still, this is a nice collection of essays. I really love the one where he tours with the G'n'R cover band -- great reporting, filled with jokes for fans of the band. And yet he still shows the band members respect. Of course, his style gets tedious. he's like a young dennis miller -- reference after reference after reference. it's not bad, it's just annoying after awhile. Also, he makes the baseless arugment that coldplay and travis rip off radiohead. first of all, he's not the first to make this argument. and second of all, these bands don't sound alike at all. and they certainly don't sound like radiohead. And yet, annoying things like that don't necessarily ruin the essays. But whenever I see his name now i cringe. maybe it's the glasses.....more
I should have read this book 10 years ago. I think I would have liked it even more back then - but given its subject matter - it is pretty amazing that it is still enjoyable so many years later.I loved some of the chapters (real world chapter for one) I found the sports chapters boring because I don't follow sports in any sort of detailed way that would make his references anything more than gibberish. Mostly I laughed a little, nodded my head a little, groaned a little and was entertained enough to say if you are a person who went to college in in the 90's you will probably enjoy at least some of these essays.more
Like most smart people, Chuck Klosterman thinks very deeply about a lot of things. However, unlike, say, a smart theoretical physicist or a smart behavioral psychologist, the stuff Klosterman ponders and writes about is both random and of remarkably little consequence. Of course, essays exploring relatively insignificant topics can still be interesting and occasionally very funny. For the most part, the author manages to do just that in this volume.Take, for instance, the frequently cited chapter in which Klosterman explains why he thinks ‘Saved by the Bell’ became such an iconic television show for kids of a certain age, despite the fact that it was unrealistic, unimaginative, and not particularly good. Or, the author’s take on what may or may not be fascinating about having an acquaintance who turns out to be a serial killer. Or even his views of why Trisha Yearwood is more relevant than Bob Dylan and how the internet changed the dynamics of the porn industry.My only real complaint about ‘Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs’ is that much of the material feels a little dated by now, which is understandable given that most of the essays appear to have been written in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Still, an essay that contrasts the visions of reality presented in the movies ‘Vanilla Sky’ and ‘Memento’ is hardly cutting-edge material today. Also, the depth to which Klosterman dives into some of his more arcane arguments made reading them a little monotonous at times. Nevertheless, the author has a unique perspective on modern culture and that makes this book worth considering.more
Laugh out loud funny in the first few essays, followed by a slow retreat into mediocrity. There are moments when you think that is David Foster Wallace at his most accessible -- an intricate but compelling writing style that seems fresh and unforced. But there are also essays where Klosterman can't conjure up that glow and the writing then feels like William Vollmann at his voluminous worst.more
This was my first reading of Klosterman, and I would compare the experience to watching someone masturbate. You just sort of wish you were enjoying it as much as they were.more
I wanted to like this, I really did, but in the end I just couldn’t. There were lots of funny little bits here and there, but the sum total was just too glib, too shallow, too purposefully contrarian, and above all, too universalist and unqualified. The main problem is that he’s trying to universalize what amounts to a very narrow-bore pop culture experience. I’m only a few years younger, but very few of the touchstones(the Real World, Billy Joel, Saved by the Bell, etc) that he mentions have had any appreciable effect on my life or that of my peers. I’ve heard of them all and been exposed to them enough to have a good familiarity, but I can’t hang any of the shared meaning on them that he does and attempts to extend to his whole readership.I was also bit irritated by his ongoing attempts to cast himself as lowbrow, working class, anti-elitist, etc. He may be genuinely uncomfortable being a part of a cultural elite(and some sincere confrontation with this discomfort could have been really interesting in this context), but he is, and he’s not fooling anyone with his protestations and poses to the contrary.Finally, he should just avoid writing about the internet or gaming or computers, because he just doesn’t have any expertise in those areas and catty condescension is not enough to make up for that fact.more
Written like a drunken English major. Lots of rock and roll references but with no substance.more
I've only read three chapters of this book, but I liked what I saw.more
In Klosterman's own words, this book is "philosophy for shallow people." Full of insights on topics including the Lakers/Celtics rivalry and heavy metal tribute bands. Slightly dated (for example, there is one essay about the Sims) but overall an entertaining read for aficionados of pop culture.more
This series of essays attempts to discuss the vital truths of today's society using pop culture as its vehicle of reference. Via Saved by the Bell, The Sims, various iconic musicians, MTV's The Real World, the post apocalyptic book series Left Behind, movies such as Vanilla Sky and The Matrix, and many other pop culture he discusses life, the universe, and everything. Klosterman can tend toward the more pessimistic view of humanity, and there are multiple occasions where I disagreed with him outright. At other times, he opened me up to new ways of seeing the world and the movies/ TV/books/music I love. Thoughout it all this book is often amusing, and even occasionally hilarious, so I was able readily enjoyed the ride whether I was in agreement with him or not.more
An all-time favourite. This book is to Gen X & Y what Tom Wolfe's essays were to everyone living through the Me Decade.more
This book was ok, not much laughs.more
If you take a transcript of every late night, bong-hit driven, pop-culture conversation ever had in every dorm room across this great land, condense them, edit them, then place them lovingly in a book, you would then have a near facsimile of "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs," by Chuck Klosterman. Is it interesting? Yes. But just like those dorm conversations, it will fade quickly. All that will remain with you is the illogic of half remembered hypotheses, which only made sense in context.more
For those with an affinity for GenX culture, this is an entertaining read. This is a group of musings on those things that were both watershed and pervasive if you were consuming youth culture in the 80s and 90s. It's not that we live and died by Saved by the Bell, it's that you can find someone your age that remembers Bayside and those kids because they were watching it "ironically" on the weekends. Then again, watching a live-action show on Saturday morning during the cartoon block while in college to see kids learn important life lessons probably negates the quotes, doesn't it? It's also not all about that show, but this is probably one of the essays that will weigh down a person that didn't live the show the most.Either way, it's a trip down memory lane for anyone that's lived it. For a good time, the Hypothetical Interlude can lead to a few good conversations with friends. Thus far, we're all against letting the gorilla play for the Raiders. Hilarity of the gorilla in uniform aside, we fear the accidental dismemberment of opposing players would be far too frequent to offset the enjoyment of primate in a helmet.more
Some of the essays are awesome and brilliant, and others are... just not. I loved This Is Emo (how John Cusack ruined love), What Happens When People Stop Being Polite (which made me want to watch the Real World), and Being Zack Morris. I'm a sucker for pop culture analysis. Other essays had a whole host of problems. Some of them, like Ten Seconds to Love were creepily misogynistic, and others were just uninteresting.more
the book that made Klosterman a commendable music journalist. he goes out there in this one, and it truly is a great look at pop culture on the time from the real world to rock n'roll. who knows with this guy other than you'll love his style. I read this when I was 18, my freshman year in college. ie ages agomore
Chuck Klosterman is a genius. I knew this before I even read this book but it was confirmed within the first few pages. This book of essays about pop culture and modern life is laugh out loud funny and incisive. I can't even pick a favorite essay because they were all so wonderful. Reading this definitely reminded me why I lean towards media studies.more
Solipsist. Never has a single word ever summed up one person so well. When this came up on my book group's reading list, I was all excited: essays on pop culture? Yes, please! Too bad it turned out to be the ramblings of a self-satisfied, self-styled genius with all the piercing insight of the average brick.Aside from Klosterman's incredible self-absorption, his casual misogyny infuriated me. Has this man ever actually talked to a woman? After reading the first essay, I had my doubts. By the end of the second or third, I was sure he hadn't. The relentless cliches about American female roles and the gratuitous swipes piled up to the point that I started wondering if Klosterman was talking to someone else.more
It's not that I didn't like this book... Okay, that's exactly what it is. But the real issue I had with Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is this: I've either had every conversation in this book (which I enjoyed more than these essay versions of them) or I've walked away from the conversation because it didn't interest me in the slightest. I can name at least ten people I know who could have written this book (give or take an article or two), and probably could have written it better (including the person whose choice this book is for my book club).I didn't dislike it all, though. It was amusing in parts. It's just that I didn't find it to be wonderfully clever even though it was clearly trying very hard to be.I could talk a lot about why I didn't like this book for little reasons, but on the whole, I think my distaste for it was rooted in the fact that I couldn't simply read it at my leisure, picking it up and putting it down to read a single article and then switch to something else, because we're reading this for book club and thus my reading has a deadline. Had I been able to just skip an article (such as the mind-numbing article on basketball) or stop reading one (like when he made repetitive references to Sigur Ros and Devo as though they were symbols of uniqueness, only to make them ordinary by constantly referencing them) so I could move on to something else or read an essay every few days, then I probably would have a kinder outlook on this book.But here's the kicker as to why I can't simply dismiss this book. Do you know the game "Table Topics"? Or have you read the If...? books? They work on the same premise... posing a "what if" kind of question that you're supposed to then discuss with people. This may seem lame, because it implies that you can't have a natural conversation with your friends without the assistance of cards, but I found them amusing in college... and probably still would, given a particularly creative bunch of friends and a few bottles of wine. "If you could only listen to one album again for the rest of your life, what would it be?" "If you had to kill an innocent person to end world hunger, could you?" "If you were exiled from your current country, what new country would you pick as your new home?" "Which famous dead person would you most want to have a dinner conversation with?" "If you could either sleep with one famous person and never tell anyone or give the impression of a deep and loving relationship to the world but never actually sleep with them... which scenario would you pick?" (I actually think he did pose this question somewhere in the book...)Anyway... there's one "essay" in this book that's my favorite part, not just because it's funny, but because it seems like it unwittingly captures the whole essence of the other articles -- or at least distills what good this book can accomplish. It's a small section of twenty three questions that the author would pose to a person and their answers would determine whether or not this could be his soulmate. Think of Table Topic and If...? questions (like those above) and multiply them by ten on a specific and weird scale... then you'd get the kind of questions that he asks.For example, here's a fairly ordinary but still interesting one:Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly. What do you talk about?And here's a weird one that I quite enjoy:Defying all expectation, a group of Scottish marine biologists capture a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter in the Pacific Northwest shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity. These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the president announces he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week. You are the front page editor of The New York Times: What do you play as the biggest story? And one more for kicks:Someone builds and optical portal that allows you to see a vision of your own life in the future (it’s essentially a crystal ball that shows a randomly selected image of what your life will be like in twenty years). You can only see into this portal for thirty seconds. When you finally peer into the crystal, you see yourself in a living room, two decades older than you are today. You are watching a Canadian football game, and you are extremely happy. You are wearing a CFL jersey. Your chair is surrounded by books and magazines that promote the Canadian Football League, and there are CFL pennants covering your walls. You are alone in the room, but you are gleefully muttering about historical moments in Canadian football history. It becomes clear that—for some unknown reason—you have become obsessed with Canadian football. And this future is static and absolute; no matter what you do, this future will happen. The optical portal is never wrong. This destiny cannot be changed. The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a pre-season CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it? Okay, last one, for real:Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks--he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. These are his only tricks and he can't learn any more; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he's doing these five tricks with real magic. It's not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space. He's legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein? These make me think that Chuck Klosterman missed his true calling as a "Table Topics for Gen X" writer. ALL of his essays seem to serve one purpose for me: they're mildly interesting, but they make me think of more interesting things that I then actually want to discuss with other people.Weirdest thing of all, but I actually think this might be a good book for discussion at book club... not for discussing the merits of the book, but because Klosterman's random topics (the true meaning of Saved by the Bell, the weird interest he has in people who have met serial killers and lived, etc.) will hopefully inspire other things we want to talk about in the Table Topics sense of things.My mother tried to make the point that perhaps Klosterman was really intending to inspire conversation with these topics. At first, I found it hard to believe that Klosterman, who writes about saved by the Bell and cartoon cereal characters, is really trying to inspire discussion... but that's totally it. I might find his writing to be somewhat lacking, but he really is creating a jumping-off-point for people who might find these topics to be of interest.So Klosterman, despite all of the complaints I have, I give you three stars.Oh, and if you don't pick the Loch Ness Monster, then I don't understand what you could possibly be thinking.more
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman seemed to be a good book. Its a good idea but it was just a major rant. And of nothing in particular either lol. What ever popped in his head at the time he was writing is what he ranted about. Couldnt stand it, sounded like a kid whining the whole time i was reading itmore
Well, it was an interesting read…I’ve seen it on a LOT of reading lists on the 50 book challenge. I was mildly entertained, but not wowed in any way. There were a few laugh out loud moments, but overall, there wasn’t much in the way of sex, drugs or cocoa puffs. I’m glad I got this from the library because it wasn’t entertaining enough to pay for.more
This book came highly recommended as not only a keen social observation, but also as being remarkably funny. It is very clear that Klosterman is incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable as he has his say on everything from the deformed nature of perceived modern love to the effect of 'The Real World' to the obsession of serial killers. He certainly gives the impression that, over the last twenty years, he has listened to every piece of music worth listening to and quite a few which aren't, and knows enough about them to bring up their cultural significance in just about every pop criticism he approaches. At times, I find him to be pretentious and slightly alienating, two claims which I imagine he would not only agree with but endorse, but regardless of whether or not I agree with him on any given subject, I can not help but admit that he often has a good point. His style is biting, witty, and journalistic in the best sense, and manages to reveal a great number of cultural misconceptions and truisms often ignored by the public at large. Bottom line, this book is fun, smart, angry, and may shake you up just a little bit. What's not to love?more
Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks - he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. These are his only tricks and he can't learn any more; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he's doing these five tricks with real magic. It's not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space. He's legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?more
I liked this book when I had an understanding of what he was writing about and some of his thoughts were pretty similar to mine, but when I didn't, I thought it was really boring (like the Celtic/laker chapter. I didn't even know the Celtics were a team).I liked his sense of humor. Normally I dislike reading people's philosophies, but his were interesting. I liked the interludes much more than the actually chapters. He makes a lot of sports comments. It kind of ruined it for me. I'm not a sports person, I guess.more
Hilarious and interesting book. A good read. Interesting rants and social commentary written before the guy goes to bed, which results in some very thought provoking material.Its also somewhat like Gilmore Girls in a book, in the way that both make obscure pop-culture references that no one really understands, and still manages to maintain its audience.more
If your life is shaped by pop-culture than you will like this book. It was funny, but honestly, I can't remember anything particular about this story. I know the author looks to Three's Company and Saved By The Bell to guide his hipster lifestley. But seriously, feels like I could have read this content in The Village Voice or the New York Press.more
A collection of essays on pop culture; a few were interesting, but overall, the book was a bore.more
not that great really. thinks he is nick hornby. later writings are better i think,more
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