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Esquire columnist Klosterman may remind listeners of a slacker holding forth at a tailgate party or over a game of beer pong. Klosterman has imbibed a lot of lowbrow culture in his young career and the tone of his sentences are a blend of jaded and amused, with a voice both nasal and deep. The strongest material in this uneven collection of pop culture essays are his celebrity profiles, in which Klosterman employs an offbeat narrative energy. Unfortunately, there is a jarring effect in these pieces when audio actors stand in for the interviewed celebrities such as Britney Spears, Val Kilmar, Oliver Stone and NBA star Steve Nash. The audiobook concludes with a short story, which Klosterman also narrates. Having listened to the author as himself for almost four hours, it's hard to accept him as the first-person narrator of his own fictional protagonist. In the end, Klosterman IV offers up a casual and relaxed style, but the narration is only as engaging as the material, which unfortunately becomes increasingly ragged as the collection unfolds. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Reviews, May 29).
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Pop-culture-enthusiast Klosterman anthologizes his previously published rock interviews, opinion pieces, and a short story to create an entertaining albeit head-scratching follow-up to Killing Yourself to Live (2005). Rock fans will appreciate the ironies in Klosterman's interviews as he plays the interloper invited to the party who sits back and makes fun. Caustic throughout while alternating between disclosures oddly unrevealing and quasi sympathetic, Klosterman observes, "Britney Spears is the most famous person I've ever interviewed. She was also the weirdest." Bono picks Klosterman up in an insanely expensive car, then helps injured kids in a hospital only to be taken aback when he plays the new, still unreleased U2 album and the kids sing along--not taken aback in humility but in capitalist questioning of how the album leaked. Contradictions and silliness best exemplify this collection. Klosterman's writing is funny and smart, if not so new or earth shattering, and that, after all, is pop culture. Mark Eleveld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.