(Not so) Simply put, this book is so amusing I couldn’t allow myself to read it in public after a semi-embarrassing display in Atlanta Bread Company involving me sitting alone in a corner laughing to myself. The scene was moved to the public library where I continued to sit alone, silently chuckling and turning red from keeping my laughter in.
Chuck Klosterman’s latest contribution, IV, is a three-part book including “Things That Are True”, “Things That Might Be True”, and “Something That Isn’t True At All”.
The first part is filled with excellent pieces concerning topics from U2 and Led Zeppelin (Bono is crazy/awesome, Robert Plant is hilarious) to McDonald’s (“ronald mcdonald is the harvester of sorrow”).
Part two is filled with insightful hypotheticals and opinions on everything from pirates to VH1 Classic.
Faithful Klosterman followers will probably be familiar with many if not all of the essays featured in IV, as they are reprints of articles that appeared in the likes of SPIN and Esquire magazines. However, Klosterman has annotated and/or expanded several of the essays, allowing for a fresh take on them. One of my favorites is in reference to a piece written in 1995 about Fargo’s rock scene, in which he responds to his own writing by saying “Fuck. I was a really, really wretched person.”
IV ends with a piece of short fiction about a journalist whose day is interrupted when a body falls from the sky onto the hood of his car. The plot reminds me a bit of something Chuck Palahniuk would come up with, though the style and tone are clearly that of Mr. Klosterman. The story, You Tell Me, contains the most memorable line from the entire book – “You lose, Anne Frank.” I’ll let you have the pleasure of finding the context from which it came.
You can befriend IV here.