Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story


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For 6,557 miles, from New York to Mississippi to Seattle, Chuck Klosterman decided to chase rock n roll and death across a continent. 21 days later, after three relationships, an encounter with various cottonmouth snakes, and a night spent snorting cocaine in a graveyard, Klosterman started to order his thoughts on American culture and the meaning of celebrity.

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Emma P

Apr 11, 2013

Funny & isightful - a brilliant read!

I'm quite particular with my authors, and for a while I've been struggling to find someone new to read that really gets me immersed in their writing. This book achieved exactly that.
Chuck Klosterman is a brilliant writer; very funny and very relatable. I was with Chuck every step of the way in his journey across the states, and I was there in every romantic failing too. This book has the perfect balance of laugh out loud moments and heart-wrenching sadness. Absolutely wonderful.


May 10, 2007

Good but not his best

I am a huge fan of Chuck Klosterman - his articles manage to combine the best pop culture references (that is, accurate without being trite or overdone) with true knowledge about music, sports, etc. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs was a perfect example of this. So, I was pretty excited about his new book, Killing Yourself To Live: 85% of a True Story. It's a good book...but it falls well short of his prior work. The main difference is that this is a memoir of sorts, following Klosterman as he drives around the country visiting spots where musicians died. The marsh where Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane went down; the Chelsea Hotel (where, among other sundry activities, Sid Vicious killed his girlfriend and himself); Kurt Cobain's house in Seattle. Along the way, the focus of the book is less about this then about Klosterman's issues with the women in his life. It's interesting - at one point, he categorizes each into which member of KISS they would each be, and that actually works. But overall...I just didn't care enough about his love life. I mean, it's interesting and all, and he writes about issues that are understandable to all, but it feels like a half-step. There isn't any real analysis into his problems, and yet there isn't the witty pop-culture insight either, by and large. While he bills the book as 85% of a true story, it's more like 50% of the book it should be. Not a HUGE disappointment, but far short of what Klosterman can do.

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