After You Finish Infinite Jest, You Should Read Chuck Klosterman

I have already pointed out here that while I love to read Chuck Klosterman, he annoys me a bit, because he is such a clear, engaging and relatable writer (for folks of my generation) that his thoughts immediately become my own -- and then I wonder why I didn't think of these things first and clearly articulate them in writing before Klosterman did . . . but, of course, he is a professional and has time to read The Starr Report and books on Hitler, and he has time to rewatch Airplane! and meditate on Kareem Abdul Jabbar and he puts this thinking to good use (along with his comprehensive musical knowledge) in order to write about villains, in his new book I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villians (Real and Imagined) which only took me a day and a half to read (same as his last book) and is the perfect book to read after struggling for two months on Infinite Jest (though I feel like David Foster Wallace and Chuck Klosterman would have got along smashingly), and not only is the book very clever, but it's also very funny . . . after much thoughtful discourse on Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr, and Sharon Stone . . . Klosterman then describes Slick Willie like this: "He's the kind of man you could trust to lead the world, but not to drive your wife to the airport."


Anonymous said...

You can take heart in the fact that he can't write fiction for a damn. 'Downtown Owl' is downright awful.

Dave said...

though i never read any of his fiction, i always assumed that. he can only be chuck klosterman.

zman said...

My thoughts became Klosterman's! I said long ago that I would happily have Clinton run my country but I wouldn't trust him to coach my daughter's soccer team.

Jerry said...


I had similar thoughts after reading Infinite Jest - it would've been great to have a Wallace/Klosterman running podcast.

Dave said...

too many analogies!

so am i post-plagiarizing zman's thoughts, channelled through klosterman?

klosterman should re-write infinite jest so that you can read it in a day and a half.

A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.