12.29.2008

85 percent of my love

Still doing things Texas style. Rebecca and I head back to Chicago this afternoon where we'll enjoy a one-day respite before hitting the road again, this time to Iowa to see the other half of her family. It's like we're home, but WE JUST CAN'T STOP TRAVELING.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I did, and now I'd like to talk briefly about Chuck Klosterman.

Rebecca's mom remembered that I had put his book Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story on my list for last year but didn't receive it. I then, for whatever reason, completely failed to read it in the entire following year. This made it a lovely surprise come present-opening time.

(I also received some very sharp knives that will definitely not make it on the plane. They will be have to be mailed.)

Anyway, I've had some time to read quite a bit of it over the last two days. It's Klosterman being Klosterman - incredibly analytical and surprisingly self-absorbed about subjects that normally require neither of those things. Really good if you enjoy him.

My only beef with the book, and really the thing that I've thought the most about so far, is the blurb on the back cover. From author Bret Easton Ellis, it reads as follows:

"I can't think of a more sheerly likeable 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 - what a captivating lack of fuss or pretension."

This quote makes me seriously doubt whether Mr. Ellis and I have been reading the same author at all. Of the 13 descriptive terms used in that blurb, I see merit in exactly four.

I consider the following to be possible explanations:
a) Mr. Ellis made this quote ironically.
b) Mr. Klosterman used this quote ironically.
c) The publisher liked it.

I'm leaning toward option c at this point. Options a and b are unlikely because there is a small kernel of truth in the quote, or at least 4/13s of one.

The final option is that everyone is being sincere and it's actually intended to be 85% of an ironic back cover blurb.

And really, the entire purpose of writing this was to get to that last sentence because it was so clever of me to think of it. You're welcome, Internet.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

When I was on tour for a children's theatre, my partner and I read this book to each other to pass time while driving through boring parts of the country. It was perfect for that sort of thing. I never saw that blurb, but I think I'd have to go with option c as well. I hate Chuck Klosterman, but I love him just as much.