Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman

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After a bestselling and acclaimed diversion into fiction, Chuck Klosterman, author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, returns to the form in which he’s been spectacularly successful with a collection of essays about our consumption of pop culture and sports.

Q: What is this book about?

A: Well, that’s difficult to say. I haven’t read it yet—I’ve just picked it up and casually glanced at the back cover. There clearly isn’t a plot. I’ve heard there’s a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don’t laugh when they’re inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and college football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women. Supposedly there’s a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I’m misinformed.

Q: Is there a larger theme?

A: Oh, something about reality. “What is reality,” maybe? No, that’s not it. Not exactly. I get the sense that most of the core questions dwell on the way media perception constructs a fake reality that ends up becoming more meaningful than whatever actually happened. Also, Lady Gaga.

Q: Should I read this book?

A: Probably. Do you see a clear relationship between the Branch Davidian disaster and the recording of Nirvana’s In Utero? Does Barack Obama make you want to drink Pepsi? Does ABBA remind you of AC/DC? If so, you probably don’t need to read this book. You probably wrote this book. But I suspect everybody else will totally love it, except for the ones who totally hate it.

About Chuck Klosterman

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Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; Killing Yourself to Live; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and The Onion A.V. Club. He currently serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine and writes about sports and popular culture for ESPN.
Published October 2, 2009 by Scribner. 306 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Eating the Dinosaur

Book Reporter

Like a Lego master, he takes each little issue apart and really looks at it, ending up with a snarky but intelligent creation, standing on its own as a little bit of pop culture enthusiasm to which we can all refer in 10 years' time when we're trying to remember why something made such a big impr...

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur

AV Club

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When he writes about how In Utero is an expression of Kurt Cobain’s guilt over Nirvana’s success, or how Ira Glass feels the popularity of This American Life has made him a less happy person, he’s also talking about himself.

Oct 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur

Entertainment Weekly

In cultural commentator Chuck Klosterman's previous books of essays, such as 2003's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, he leavened his abstract musings on entertainment with real reportage.

Oct 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur


I then read the book, loved it, and read Chuck Klosterman IV and Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.

Dec 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur

Book Forum

The author insists it isn’t: “When I am in the active, physical process of writing, I am writing literally.” Klosterman’s trademark hipster-baiting approach is best exemplified in “Oh, the Guilt,” where he compares successful cult leader and failed rock star David Koresh to failed cult leader a...

Oct 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur

"Eating the Dinosaur" (Scribner, 256 pages, $25), by Chuck Klosterman: Chuck Klosterman has a theory.

Oct 26 2009 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur

Under the Radar

Despite some successful moments—particularly essays on time travel and Garth Brooks, respectively—the book unsuccessfully tackles some pet projects rather than sticking with what's tried and true: the introductory essay on the nature of interviewing falls flat and belabors its point, and the auth...

Dec 07 2009 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur

Mass Live

AP Photo/Scribner "Eating the Dinosaur" by Chuck Klosterman.

Oct 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Eating the Dinosaur

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Michael Manley 18 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5