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Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Hardcover – Aug 26 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (Aug. 26 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743236009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743236003
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #530,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

There's a lot more cold cereal than sex or drugs in Klosterman's nostalgic, patchy collection of pop cultural essays, which, despite sparks of brilliance, fails to cohere. Having graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1994, Klosterman (Fargo Rock City) seems never to have left that time or place behind. He is an ironically self-aware, trivia-theorizing, unreconstructed slacker: "I'm a `Gen Xer,' okay? And I buy shit marketed to `Gen Xers.' And I use air quotes when I talk.... Get over it." The essay topics speak for themselves: the Sims, The Real World, Say Anything, Pamela Anderson, Billy Joel, the Lakers/Celtics rivalry, etc. The closest Klosterman gets to the 21st century is Internet porn and the Dixie Chicks. This is a shame, because he's is a skilled prose stylist with a witty, twisted brain, a photo-perfect memory for entertainment trivia and has real chops as a memoirist. The book's best moments arrive when he eschews argumentation for personal history. In "George Will vs. Nick Hornby," a tired screed against soccer suddenly comes to life when Klosterman tells the story of how he was fired from his high school summer job as a Little League baseball coach. The mothers wanted their sons to have equal playing time; Klosterman wanted "a run-manufacturing offensive philosophy modeled after Whitey Herzog's St. Louis Cardinals." In a chapter on relationships, Klosterman semi-jokes that he only has "three and a half dates worth of material." Remove all the dated pop culture analyses, and Klosterman's book has enough material for about half a really great memoir.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In Fargo Rock City (2001), Klosterman parsed the midwestern heavy-metal scene. Now he broadens his scope to include the cultural implications of subjects as diverse as the Dixie Chicks, Internet porn, and soccer ("'the sport of the future' since 1977"). Fargo Rock City fans may blanch at chapter headings invoking the likes of George Will and Lisa Loeb, but never fear. "George Will vs. Nick Hornby: Ralph Nader Interlude" isn't about Will's wordy conservative philosophy but about Klosterman's tenure coaching a kids' soccer team, among other things. And it's the other things that account for Klosterman's appeal as he makes unexpected connections. Inspired by an early '80s NBA rivalry, he opines that "everyone who truly cares about basketball subconsciously knows that Celtics vs. Lakers reflects every fabric of male existence, just as everyone who loves rock 'n' roll knows that the difference between the Beatles and the Stones is not so much a dispute over music as it is a way to describe your own self-identity." Well, of course. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Hardcover
(or think they are)
This may be a non-sequitur but Chuck's book jacket picture looks like Corey Feldman with blond highlights. (sorry, I just had to get that off my chest) An observation that's less off the wall than Chuck's fresh and crisp writing. He is also clever, funny, twisted, and articulate. His witty essays are full of non-sequiturs but skillfully manages to segue them all in a way that only this sharp Author can.
Chuck's vocabulary is to die for. He drops tongue-twisters such as "iconoclast" like I would use the word "like". I had my dictionary handy for his use of the words "byzantine" and "zeitgeist".
Unless you have been living isolated in a cave for these last 30 years, your feelings and passions will be affected by some if not all of his chapters. Each of these droll chapters are stand alone essay topics that are as various as the different channels on cable TV. I also enjoyed it when he shed light on some secrets of the famous and infamous that were either very juicy or just plain weird. Either way, very interesting.
His wickedly keen observations range from The Sims phenomena (the most detailed and passionate essay I've ever read about a computer game) to why "Sports reporters hate sports". He not only takes you behind the scenes but into the minds of various professionals and personas in an uncannily honest and original voice. Before I read this book, I knew nothing about The Sims. I had no idea why my nephew wanted me to buy him this game for his birthday. Now I think I know too much. I finished the chapter with thoughts of God, existence and materialism swimming in my head. (The chapter began with a topic on a game for kids!
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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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