Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota Paperback – May 1 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
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.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It was the same for Mr. Klosterman, as told in Fargo Rock City. The glam-metal bands of his time set out a full plate of crashing chords, easy women, and free-flowing booze. He (nor I,)never tasted any of those things personally, but the bands painted a vivid enough picture to focus on a better life in the wide world - after high school, when your mom could no longer dictate your hairstyle.
This is a light read, certainly. Mr. Klosterman's book is meant as no more than a remembrance of things past. Even his dissection of what separates "poseur" bands from the "real rockers" is a throwback - what is easily recognized as rock marketing today could get you in fistfights with your Slayer-loving brethren back in '88.
So scratch your itch for "serious" lit elsewhere - Fargo Rock City is meant for fun, and Mr. Klosterman does an admirable job of providing it.
Klosterman offers an analytical point of view on this music. He makes some strong points and some of them are very valid.Read more ›
ANYWAY, I have a dim take on this book; I didn't enjoy it, which is unfortunate because I was psyched to read it, based on the subject matter and glowing reviews up front (not counting Stephen King's accolade, since King has been known to love the CRAPPIEST of horror novels). Klosterman lays it all on the line. His style is severely rambling - thought to thought, group to group - but that's not even the biggest problem. I mean, I expected a rambling memoir about '80s metal when I bought the book. The author is passionate, no doubt, but passionate about what? I'm not sure even he could answer that question. The guy self-conciously changes his mind or condradicts himself nearly every other sentence, like some teenage girl who's worried what her popular girlfriends will think if she dates the class geek. (You know, like those Molly Ringwold flicks created during the years of Klosterman's discourse.)
Many of the author's observations are absurd, and I suppose that's his right since it's his damned book.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Funny, intelligent views of small-town life and pop-culture. Classic rock fans will enjoy it.Published 14 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
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
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