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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Look!
The topics covered in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs are entertaining enough, but Klosterman's writing style is what really makes the book sparkle. The writing drips with an oily sheen of sarcasm and puffs itself up with a mixture of self-importance and self-deprecation. Each page is packed with dozens of pop culture references, juxtaposing topics as diverse as The Cosby...
Published on July 16 2005 by Derrick Hattem

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3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking collection of essays on pop-culture ( 3.5 *)
For his second book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Klosterman put together what is basically a collection of pop-culture based short essays in which he investigates American culture for the most part, and himself. In his first effort, Fargo Rock City the book was more or less linear and felt more united whereas this is a collection of essays that...
Published 21 months ago by Tommy Sixx Morais


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Look!, July 16 2005
By 
Derrick Hattem (Grass Valley, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (Paperback)
The topics covered in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs are entertaining enough, but Klosterman's writing style is what really makes the book sparkle. The writing drips with an oily sheen of sarcasm and puffs itself up with a mixture of self-importance and self-deprecation. Each page is packed with dozens of pop culture references, juxtaposing topics as diverse as The Cosby Show, Bridget Jones' Diary, Lloyd Dobler, and they way Coldplay manufactures fake love the way the Ford corporation manufactures Mustangs all within the space of a paragraph. It's a safe bet that no one is going to catch every cultural curve ball that Klosterman throws, but it's even more likely that every few pages you'll run across some obscure cultural nod that most people would scratch their heads at, and you'll feel a guilty sense of pride for knowing something so insignificantly obscure.
Granted, since this writing style goes on for almost two hundred and fifty pages, it can get a tiny bit grating. Klosterman occasionally comes off as too smug, as if he's trying to justify his hipper-than-thou attitude. The writing can feel a little too glib for some of the subject matter, such as when he explores America's obsession with serial killers. He also throws in a little too much "golly, I'm just a humble grown-up-nerd from Fargo in the crazy world of popular culture" confession. The first few times this attitude surfaces, it helps to establish where Klosterman's is approaching everything from, but eventually we just wish he'd get back to making fun of the over hyped from today's world and praising the obscure facets of our youth that we haven't though about in twenty years.
Fortunately, the whole book moves along at a very quick pace, and none of these minor flaws in the writing ever stick around long enough to get under our skin. The essays are the perfect length to digest in a free moment, whether it be waiting to head out to a movie, relaxing before turning out the lights at bedtime, or spending some quality time alone in the bathroom. It's like having access at any time to the mysterious guy across the hall in your college dorm who was in the middle of his seventh year and still hadn't picked a major yet, but could walk into any conversation in the hallway and raise the socio-intellectual bar two or three notches with his wisdom. And since it's just a book, you don't have to worry about him opening the door to your room at three in the morning looking for something to snack on.
It takes the right kind of person to appreciate what Klosterman has assembled here. Those born before 1960 or after 1980 might recognize the myriad cultural references, but they won't have grown up ingrained into their minds as part of the formative process. Those people will smile and say, "that's nice, but I just don't see the big deal here." To really appreciate the book, you have to be from the part of society that, as Klosterman says, "has more media than intellect." If you're one of the people that believe that all of life's mysteries are answered in the movies, and that there's a perfect song out there for every single moment in your life, this is a book you have to read. Never again will you have those lingering feelings that a life spent entertaining oneself has been a life misspent. But decide for yourself; pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend - very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an odd, lively little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Klosterman V: Satisfaction at last?, Dec 2 2007
This review is from: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (Paperback)
Mr. Klosterman opens by stating that no woman will ever satisfy him. By the end, he's put down half of America, wants to punch Magic Johnson, slams cover bands plus Kid Rock, and even takes a jab at Jenny McCarthy (but who can blame him on this last point!). Mr. Klosterman is a very angry man; he would say he's honest, I would say he's angry. In his defense, he's a very good writer, who's analytical, has an interesting take on things, and has a creative way of expressing himself. Overall, this is actually a pretty entertaining read that I also found a bit unpleasant due to his vitriol. Author of Adjust Your Brain: A Practical Theory for Maximizing Mental Health.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking collection of essays on pop-culture ( 3.5 *), Nov. 1 2012
By 
Tommy Sixx Morais (The Great White North) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (Paperback)
For his second book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Klosterman put together what is basically a collection of pop-culture based short essays in which he investigates American culture for the most part, and himself. In his first effort, Fargo Rock City the book was more or less linear and felt more united whereas this is a collection of essays that still shows unity to each other because they're all about the same thing essentially, pop culture. I always thought that the way he got through was by demonstrating a point relating it to his personal life, whether he uses the band KISS or MTV's The Real World TV show it works, make us think or laugh to ourselves and comes across as effective. Most of Klosterman's books are at the core of it all, an examination of society through social and cultural events that may or may not be of some relevance to you, yet the author manages to constantly make good points and references. There's just a real honesty about Chuck that makes him sympathetic as an author and that also makes you want to like him as a person which is ultimately his strong point (and his willingness to give readers details about his personal life also helps).

Some of the content may seem a little outdated by now because of changing times but some of the topics he covers are interesting and for the most part, reflective of pop culture or society at that point and that makes it relevant in itself. Personally, I can still relate or remember most of what is the book. Not everyone has played Sims or seen The Real World, but through Chuck's prose we understand them and the way he uses those pop culture references to examine either society, himself, or whoever it is he's talking about is always from an intelligent, well thought angle. He certainly provides enough to prove his points. The Pamela Anderson/Marilyn Monroe piece was somewhat striking and the angle he has on them and their impact on culture if you will, was dead onI don't think he will make every reader gain an appreciation for Billy Joel or that I agree entirely with his essay on the man but it doesn't mean it's not enjoyable and that he doesn't have strong points, kinda like most of the book come to think of it. . Like how he compares the 1987 Lakers and Celtics to the Democrat and Republican parties respectively, it's just a fun angle he has and it's entertaining.

It's not my favorite out of Klosterman's work but it's still a readable, fun, clever effort. I think the biggest problem is that although those essays are in their own ways all funny and good reads that make you evaluate society and how people think, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs isn't as effective as it could or should have been. Instead of linking the essays together or making them cohesive with each other so that we get the bigger picture, we have for the most part a collection of well-written essays but unrelated to each other. Unfortunately it reads as such because they're all clearly separated from each other and. But with that said, it's still an entertaining read and Chuck remains as witty and clever as ever . This time around the topics are not just music related and the author's pop-culture scope is expended which adds another dimension to Chuck's writing.

Klosterman himself in one his presentations on reading in North Dakota said that this was from an objective possibly his worst, because it was rushed and contradicted itself at times (like when he says that Pamela Anderson was the 1990's Marilyn Monroe and then proceeds to explain why but tells us that he hates when people compare the two, if that makes sense) etc. Yet it's also his best-selling work and many people enjoy it, and so do I. It's flawed but brilliant and if you're into Chuck's prose and his other books you'll love this one as well. If you're new to Chuck's work or something about pop-culture, it's still a good book but perhaps not the one I would start with. As a concept of a collection of cultural essays, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs works rather well and some of the points explained through pop-culture are undeniably brilliant or at least engage the reader. As I said it's probably not as effective as some of his other work (at least to me) because although the content is good and interesting, the content is similar but not connected so it really feels as if you're reading a collection of essays. Pop culture junkies will find a lot to like here; I like it very much myself and it's a good read. Much of the ideas Klosterman proposes are still engraved in my head and have made for interesting conversation topics and debates. Not his finest, although some would disagree with me but I'd say it's worth it. 3 ' stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most favourite books, June 16 2012
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This review is from: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (Paperback)
I highly recommend this book as required reading on pop culture. Chuck Klosterman is an amazing writer and the book is absolutely hilarious!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great reading!, Dec 29 2005
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This review is from: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (Paperback)
It is rare that a book actually makes me laugh out loud. This one did. Intelligent, interesting and downright funny, this book is an important part of my collection.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Meh, July 12 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (Paperback)
It was impossible to read these essays and not imagine that they were typed as spouted, realtime, by a smart, overcaffeinated english major sitting on a couch in a dormitory. You can almost see the (cheap, industrial) carpeting and hear the 'k-cchunk' of the vending machine in the background.
This can be fun, but what we all learned in college is that it's important not to take couch-speaker-guy's opinions as seriously as he takes them. That's the case here, too. Klosterman guesses at things when ninety seconds of googling would have given him the facts; he makes assertions and then, rather than backing them up, goes on to further assertions, possibly in hopes that you'll be too busy trying to keep up to start poking holes in his argument; and every now and then, despite his open contempt for people who use words without understanding their meanings, he does this himself (e.g. describing this collection as a 'manifesto').
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tasy Cereal....but with an aftertaste, July 10 2004
By 
Westley (Stuck in my head) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (Paperback)
"Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" is an essay collection that draws comparisons between popular culture and important social and interpersonal issues. It also happens to be extremely witty at times. Chuck Klosterman is a writer for Spin magazine, so he clearly knows pop culture and can write quality essays. The best of his work here truly encapsulates life. Who cannot relate to this quote? - "Every relationship is fundamentally a power struggle, and the individual in power is whoever likes the other person less." That profundity, by the way, is from an essay that discusses the merits of "When Harry Met Sally"; another section proffers the genius of Billy Joel. Yes, Klosterman is a bit of a hipster geek.
Pop culture references are sprinkled throughout the book, but sometimes it stretches a bit too much for the sake of a clever analogy. In the forward, Klosterman assserts that, at times, he feels as though "everything is completely connected." Unfortunately, he is not adept enough to make all of his essays into a cohesive whole (as other reviewers have noted). Ultimately, the book feels like a loose collection of unrelated but very funny skits. Although that debit doesn't sink the book, it does lessen its impact. In addition, Klosterman is sometimes too self-aware for his own good; several times, he makes reference to liking something "unironically" - such as "Saved by the Bell." His definitive goal seems to be achieving irony. While this credo certainly makes "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" a funny read, it can become rather tedious as well. Overall, I'd recommend this book, but with reservations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, June 30 2004
By A Customer
Klosterman's collection of essays never failed to be anything less than humorous, insightful, and thought-provoking. I literally laughed out loud while gaining a new perspective on everything from breakfast cereal, MTV's The Real World, serial killers, sports journalists and born-again Christians. I definitely think everyone should give this book a chance.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Elvis Lives...a tribute show, May 24 2004
By A Customer
Chuck Klosterman has obviously read plenty of Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis. He seems to be trying to write the next BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY. I think he tries too hard, though. He's not writing his voice, he's writing an attempt to emulate the voice of other writers. He does a good job and the stories are interesting, but there is the soul of the writer missing from the book that you get when it's a writer's authentic voice and not an imitation. Even the best Elvis Impersonator is still and impersonator. If you want to read the next BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY, buy MY FRACTURED LIFE because it has that authentic voice. I'm not saying don't buy SEX, DRUGS, AND COCO PUFFS, just know you're going to see a tribute show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of laughs from sex and drugs, May 20 2004
By A Customer
This book is an excellent read. Chuck manages to say the things we've only before thought with humor and insight. He has hilarious thought-provoking "interludes" after each chapter which briefly talk about everything from his loathing of punk rock to cats who steal his socks. If you enjoy sociology, pop culture, and a good book, buy Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.
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Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman (Paperback - July 2 2004)
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