Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story (Paperback)

Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story By Chuck Klosterman Cover Image

Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story (Paperback)


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Building on the national bestselling success of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, preeminent pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman unleashes his best book yet—the story of his cross-country tour of sites where rock stars have died and his search for love, excitement, and the meaning of death.

For 6,557 miles, Chuck Klosterman thought about dying. He drove a rental car from New York to Rhode Island to Georgia to Mississippi to Iowa to Minneapolis to Fargo to Seattle, and he chased death and rock ‘n’ roll all the way. Within the span of twenty-one days, Chuck had three relationships end—one by choice, one by chance, and one by exhaustion. He snorted cocaine in a graveyard. He walked a half-mile through a bean field. A man in Dickinson, North Dakota, explained to him why we have fewer windmills than we used to. He listened to the KISS solo albums and the Rod Stewart box set. At one point, poisonous snakes became involved. The road is hard. From the Chelsea Hotel to the swampland where Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane went down to the site where Kurt Cobain blew his head off, Chuck explored every brand of rock star demise. He wanted to know why the greatest career move any musician can make is to stop breathing...and what this means for the rest of us.
Chuck Klosterman is the bestselling author of many books of nonfiction (including The NinetiesSex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, I Wear the Black Hat, and But What If We're Wrong?) and fiction (Downtown Owl, The Visible Man, and Raised in Captivity). He has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostGQEsquireSpinThe GuardianThe Believer, BillboardThe A.V. Club, and ESPN. Klosterman served as the Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine for three years, and was an original founder of the website Grantland with Bill Simmons. 
Product Details ISBN: 9780743264464
ISBN-10: 0743264460
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: June 13th, 2006
Pages: 272
Language: English
“Mr. Klosterman makes good, smart company.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Sometimes when you're the co-pilot on a road trip, you're having such a good time talking to your buddy, gazing out the window, and listening to awesome music that you're a little reluctant to stop and get out when you actually reach your destination. That's what reading this book is like.” —Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly

“[Klosterman] writes with real articulacy and feeling about the relationship between rock music and the non-alpha males who worship it. . . He's ferociously clever and ferociously self-deprecating, which makes him a superb companion. . .I absolutely loved it. I don't suppose those guys in tight trousers and makeup have any idea they have such a great chronicler.” —William Leith, Evening Standard (London)
“One of America’s top cultural critics.” Entertainment Weekly
“As entertaining as it is unpredictable, as madcap as it is occasionally maddening. [Klosterman] is funny, sad, tormented, insightful, ludicrous, and occasionally precious in a way that is all his own. And his observations on American culture, pop and otherwise, are often trenchant and thought-provoking.” —Joe Heim, The Washington Post
“An affecting meditation on classic rock, mortality, and girls.” —William Georgiades, New York Post
“Klosterman is like the new Hunter S. Thompson. Only it’s as if Hunter were obsessed with KISS instead of Nixon.” —Kyle Smith, People
“He’s killing his artform, in hopes of reviving it.” —Noel Murray, The Onion A.V. Club
“Full of sharp observations and dry wit as well as clever musings on society and personal failings.” —Eric Fidler, The Miami Herald
“Reading Klosterman is like hanging out with your favorite drinking buddy in college and riffing all night on your pop culture obsessions.” —Will Crain, San Francisco Chronicle
“An amusing gazetteer of modern America.” —Mark Rozzo, Los Angeles Times
“Riveting and poignant, both side-splitting and stirring. . . Nobody understands identification through pop culture like Chuck Klosterman. . . Killing Yourself to Live is terribly funny, astute, canny and yet incredibly sensitive. I read it. Then read it again. Chuck Klosterman is a fucking genius.” NOW Magazine (Toronto)
“A nice meditation on rock, living fast, dying young, and leaving a pretty corpse.” Chicago Tribune
“With immense affability, [Klosterman] welcomes you into his world from the start. . . It’s hard not be instantly won over. . . When you learn that Klosterman is proposing to take you with him on a 6,557-mile road trip across America, all you want to do is leap into the passenger seat, duffel bag in hand, and sing along to ‘Horse with No Name’ on the car stereo. . . And what a trip it is. . . Even if your world is not exactly his world, it’s a pleasure to be along for the ride. Despite his morbid leanings, Chuck is helplessly, hilariously stuck in the land of the living.” The Guardian (UK)
“Dude, better than another fucking Gang of Four reference.” The Village Voice
“Thanks for the ride, Chuck. It was a pleasure.” The New Orleans Times-Picayune
“No one can pull off that particular hybrid of Americana, rock ’n’ roll history, and stream-of-consciousness cultural commentary better than Chuck Klosterman: Call it Klostermania.” Radar
“Though undoubtedly enthusiastic about rock ’n’ roll, Killing Yourself to Live maintains its integrity, and isn’t afraid to knock over a few of music’s sacred cows.” Time Out New York
“Strangely compulsive . . . The secret of good journalism, as Twain demonstrated, is tone. Get the tone right and the reporting falls into place. Killing Yourself to Live is an exquisite exercise in tonal control.” The Observer (London)

“If you think about rock music way too much, this book is more fun than a weekend’s worth of VH1 specials. It’s the literary equivalent of hanging out in a bar with good friends talking about dumb stuff, which is ultimately the only stuff that matters.” San Antonio Express-News
“Filled with stunning, simple little snakebites of truth.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Klosterman [can] convincingly argue for enjoying Rod Stewart, KISS, and the Olive Garden. A Midwest native, he treats his late subjects—which include Duane Allman and Sid Vicious—often with humor or exasperation, but no hipster snobbery.” The Boston Phoenix
“Funny and often insightful . . . you’ll definitely want to read him.” The Hartford Courant

“An inspired postmodern travelogue.” Philadelphia City Paper
“Although this sounds like a recipe for the worst kind of navel-gazing literature, Killing Yourself to Live is, in fact, hilarious.” The Tampa Tribune

“Thank God Chuck lives the life he does and writes the way he writes about it. It’s not just autobiography; it’s a vital form of truth, and he’s the real thing.” —Douglas Coupland
“I can’t think of a more sheerly likable writer than Chuck Klosterman and his old-fashioned, all-American voice: big-hearted and direct, bright and unironic, optimistic and amiable, self-deprecating and reassuring—with a captivating lack of fuss or pretension. He’s also genuinely funny and I pretty much agree with everything he says.” —Bret Easton Ellis