Killing Yourself to Live
I am a huge fan of Chuck Klosterman - his articles in SPIN and ESPN 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.