Review// Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman

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Author: Chuck Klosterman
Series: Standalone
Genre: Non Fiction
Release Date: July 20, 2003
Book Length: 272 pages 
Publisher: Scribner
Review: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don’t even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation.

Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry, Chuck will make you think, he’ll make you laugh, and he’ll drive you insane — usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about art, entertainment, infotainment, sports, politics, and kittens, but — really — it’s about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, “In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever ‘in and of itself.'” Read to believe.

My Review:

The synopsis isn’t wrong – Chuck Klosterman will drive you insane. However, despite the book having been published back in 2003, he also did raise some interesting points that are relevant to this day that made me think about how pop culture reflects in our everyday lives.

The more stimulating chapters for me were about The Real World, The Sims, serial killers, and Pamela Anderson vs. Marilyn Monroe. He completely lost me on the chapter about soccer, but that’s besides the point.

It’s almost impossible for me to put my feelings for the author aside from my feelings for his content, mainly because what he’s written is a direct extension of his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. With that said, sometimes Klosterman comes off as a little bit of an ass. His tone at times made me feel like the whole book was just him trying to prove a point that everything he did and said was so cool, and it had the opposite effect on me. Not to mention that at one point he unashamedly told a story about how he was dating two different women at the same time and sent them both the same mix CD which they ‘both loved’. I mean, nobody’s perfect, but clearly he has no shame or remorse of any kind to have included something so obviously cruel and personal in the book – the whole time I was thinking, “I hope at least one of those women either read, or was informed about this.”

Aaanyway, basically some chapters I liked a lot, and others I didn’t fully grasp, or care for. Overall though, it was a book that had its thought-provoking moments, and that definitely counts for something.

– Catherine

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