Klosterman's highly touted debut has as much to do with Fargo, N.D., as the Coen brothers' slice of Americabre, Fargo. That is, nothing at all, really. Misleadingly titled to cash in on Fargo's cinematic mystique, Klosterman's memoir about growing up a sexually repressed metalhead, with a humiliating (mom-dictated) Richie Cunningham haircut is actually set in Wyndmere, N.D. Klosterman starts up with a bang ("You know, I've never had long hair"), shifts gears often (from memoir to music criticism, somewhat jarringly at times), and rarely idles. Ultimately, though, Klosterman, ironic throughout the book, does not write with enough sincerity to prove his thesis "that all that poofy, sexist, shallow glam rock was important." Granted, it's a daunting task to write a hymn of praise to the genre that spawned David Lee Roth so the author wisely stretches his pop-culture references like taffy. In the final chapter Klosterman, now an arts critic for Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal, quotes a friend's definition of a "guilty pleasure" "something I pretend to like ironically, but in truth is something I really just like" to explain how he really feels about glam metal. His closing summation of what metal means to isolated kids in the heartland will strike a power chord for many readers. (May)Forecast: Klosterman has tapped a gold mine. Fans of 1980s Mtley Cre, Poison and Ratt are pushing 30 and 40 and seeking a nostalgia trip. Also, Gear magazine will run an excerpt of the book along with a conversation between Klosterman and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Let it be known that Fargo Rock City does not detail a burgeoning music scene in North Dakota's largest city (population: 70,000). Nor is it a yarn about a heavy metal band gigging across the frozen tundra of the Red River Valley. Rather, it's one Middle American's memoir of growing up with and loving 1980s heavy metal (e.g., Ratt, Poison, and Guns 'n' Roses). In other words, this book is for the myriad metal-heads from Fargo to Phoenix who inked "M?tley Cr?e" on their notebooks during high school study halls. The music, film, and culture critic at Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal, Klosterman uses refreshingly candid language: reading his debut is like overhearing a drunken discussion between two music fans. He nicely blends metal music theory with compelling tales of self-realization. Perhaps more than a memoir, this is a seriocomedic defense of a culture that was only cool to those who participated in it. Recommended for all public libraries, especially those in the heartland.
- Robert Morast, "Argus Leader Daily," Sioux Falls, SD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Funny, intelligent views of small-town life and pop-culture. Classic rock fans will enjoy it.Published 8 months ago by Corey
My roommate lent me this book, which I believe he bought on a lark in Union Station (DC), to distract himself during the nine-hour train ride to Boston. Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by "justinchend"
This is one of the best metal-related books I've ever read. It focuses on the 80's hair metal scene and it's affect on pop culture, as well as seeing how that music reflected the... Read morePublished on July 2 2004 by Justin G.
With a title like "Fargo Rock City," and especially with a subtitle promising "A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota," I was excited about this book. Read morePublished on April 2 2004 by Timothy A. Rundquist
At the very end of his Midwestern memoir/history of hair metal Klosterman writes: "Very often, I inexplicably embrace the same ideas I just finished railing against: Part of... Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2004 by A. Ross
Chuck Klosterman's book of heavy metal criticism is really a book about himself. He reveals, by writing about the music he loved growing up, all the attachments teenagers make to... Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2003 by Clinton Williamson
"Fargo Rock City" is an autobiographical look at how the heavy metal bands of the 80's affected the author, Chuck Klosterman, during his youth in North Dakota. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2003 by E A Glaser