Review: Eating The Dinosaur

A week or two ago, I sat down on an LAX to IAD flight with a copy of Chuck Klosterman’s Eating The Dinosaur, and I left the plane in DC as a Klosterman fan, having devoured the book in the intervening couple hours.  I’d certainly heard interesting things about Klosterman as a thinking man’s commenter on popular culture, but I wasn’t prepared for how fast I’d take the hook or how deep it would sink.

Dinosaur is a collection of essays on a fairly broad range of topics running from the usefulness of time travel to the dichotomy of NFL football as the most conservative and liberal sport in America.  From the first few pages of the first essay, about what it means that people say anything at all in interviews, I was gripped by Klosterman’s serious approach to playful topics.  “Why would you ever talk to (say) Michael Moore?” is a question everyone’s asked.  Few people have interviewed Errol Morris and Ira Glass on the topic, and interwoven their own well reasoned thoughts into those interviews to form a compelling essay.

Klosterman is a man who takes ephemeral and sometimes frivolous things seriously, and then subjects them to a meticulous dissection under the light of a strong intellect.  Then he composes those thoughts in a way that is compelling and diverting.  He is, in short, a man after my own heart; more honestly, he is a man I would like to be.

Strongly recommended.

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