In the course of creating our list of New York’s 100 Most Important Living Writers, we reached out to a few of said figures to ask them a couple questions, including the query of the hour: “How do you feel about Philip Roth retiring?” We got a lot of responses — some quippy, some heartfelt, some sad, some glad (it’s true), and more than one with a theory on Roth’s true plans, which any of you in mourning will be glad to attach yourselves to. See what writers like Junot Díaz, Gay Talese, A.M. Homes and Gary Shteyngart had to say about the great man’s retirement after the jump — and if you’re so inclined, share your own, less famous feelings in the comments. … Read More
Thessaly LaForce and Jane Mount’s My Ideal Bookshelf celebrates the favorite reads of notable figures from David Sedaris to Rosanne Cash, creating a portrait of each icon in books.… Read More
We’ll admit it: The first thing we did when we found out Amy Poehler and Will Arnett were breaking up was Google to see if Adam Scott was married, because wouldn’t it be adorable if Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt were a real-life couple? At the time, we were disappointed to learn that Scott is… Read More
Last week in this space, we invited you to share your pop culture “cold spot” — the thing that everyone, it seems, loves but you. Come to find out, boy oh boy did a lot of you want to get that little nugget off your chest; the comments were voluminous, as previously-closeted detractors of Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, the Grateful Dead, Buffy, Bjork, Twilight, the Black Keys, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Lady Gaga, Dylan, and The Wire (okay, c’mon, seriously?) proclaimed their distaste for the tastemakers’ faves. For this week, we thought we’d turn the idea on its head. There’s plenty of stuff out there that you’re supposed to dislike; which of those trends do you buck? … Read More
With Inventory, the Onion‘s pop-cultural critics at the A.V. Club provide a hilarious compendium of their ultra-specific weekly lists.
From a dozen songs about how much public transportation sucks and ten movie franchises that never were to 25 sure signs that a sitcom is terrible, Inventory provides an exhaustive collection of esoteric knowledge. It also includes special book-only sections and lists penned by non-Onion funny people like John Hodgman and Amy Sedaris.
Additionally, there’s an intro by the always engaging Chuck Klosterman (who recently revealed to us his own list of albums to beat writer’s block). The best part: The book’s full of recommendations and forgotten titles that will send you to Amazon or Netflix with a quickness. … Read More
Considering Chuck Klosterman kicks off his new book of essays, Eating the Dinosaur, with a piece about the inherent lack of truth in interviews, especially his own, it only makes sense to skirt the straight-up Q&A and angle for something the man might not want to lie about. Sure, there’s a risk Klosterman might not take the bait (“I don’t feel it’s my obligation to respond to anything…”), yet 99 times out of 99, he probably will (“still, I provide answers to every question I encounter, even if I don’t know what I should say”). So, instead of asking him to answer questions, per se, and risk a variable truthiness, we thought we’d get a better bead on the word-worker at work if he told us what music he plays while he’s reading and… Read More
If anyone other than Chuck Klosterman had attempted to get Eating the Dinosaur published, they would have failed. This inevitable rejection would not be the fault of the writer, but of two distinct realities that solidify Klosterman’s place in the cultural canon: the continued existence of Chuck Klosterman himself, and of the multitude of people a) who blog for free about whatever they want and b) who blog for money about whatever their editors want. It is because Klosterman doesn’t blog, and because everyone else does, that he got this book published. He established his persona pre-blog and remains that way, possibly making him the only living young writer who maintains that kind of… Read More
They may not look it, but few know rock and roll like Chuck Klosterman and Craig Finn. This in mind, we are reassured to know that the pair, along with Tom Ruprecht, a long time Letterman writer, will be joining task to produce the coming-of-age with rock-and-roll film Fargo Rock… Read More
Perhaps the most anticipated album of our age, Guns ‘N Roses’ long-brewing Chinese Democracy broke its 15-year gestation period with a bit of a whimper. While the media’s incredulous exhortations of the album were unrelenting in the weeks before its release, sales and radio response have been somewhat less stunning. The critical reaction is similarly mixed: Paste called the record “a bottomless pit dug by disposable income, a persecution complex, and egomania,” while Rolling Stone maintained that it was an “audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record.”
While his guest review for the Onion addressed a number of shortcomings, best-selling author, acclaimed music critic, and general Axl enthusiast Chuck Klosterman ultimately came out in heavy defense of the album. After the jump, Klosterman goes one-on-one with Flavorwire’s resident hair-metal hater and Unpopular Opinions aficionado, The Beard, on the album itself, the reasons for its muted reception, and the underpinnings and larger implications of his outlook.