Category Archives: Literature

Deconstructing cool: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

In taking a month to finish Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman, I have had the opportunity to read and reread the laudatory blurbs that adorn Scribner’s first trade paperback printing.

The Onion A.V. Club calls the book “one of the brightest pieces of pop analysis to appear this century,” and the book reviewer over at GQ notes that the work is “sometimes exasperating but almost always engaging.” The key phrase in the Onion’s comment is “this century.” his book was originally published in 2003; three years is not a very long time in which to accumulate mass amounts of pop analysis. Also important is the GQ book reviewer’s choice to equivocate his or her exultation of Klosterman by including the great attenuator “almost.” Continue reading Deconstructing cool: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

What’s the difference between choking and panicking? – What the Dog Saw

After seeing Malcolm Gladwell in an interview with Charlie Rose and receiving as a graduation gift a $50 gift certificate to Borders, I decided to pick up his latest book, What the Dog Saw (referred to hereafter as WDS), a series of essays collected from his work as a staff writer at The New Yorker. While somewhat disappointed to learn later that all of the essays appearing in WDS also appear free of charge on Gladwell’s website, I enjoyed the hefty, 410-page volume immensely, putting it down only for the occasional breath of fresh air or evening of Team Trivia. The book reads a bit like a greatest-hits collection, and like greatest-hits collections, it serves as a perfect introduction to the author. Continue reading What’s the difference between choking and panicking? – What the Dog Saw

The Malaise Inside Me: Thoughts on the Moviegoer

Throughout Percy Walker’s first novel The Moviegoer, narrator Jack “Binx” Bolling spends much of his time engaged in an intense inquest into the contents of his navel. He is a Walter Mitty wiling away his time (and the novel’s pages) with day-dreams, remembrances, and meditations on the mundane, movies, and the malaise. Continue reading The Malaise Inside Me: Thoughts on the Moviegoer