Monday, July 29, 2013

"I was seduced into reading this book." ~ Jackie

Chuck Klosterman has walked into the darkness. As a boy, he related to the cultural figures who represented goodness—but as an adult, he found himself unconsciously aligning with their enemies. This was not because he necessarily liked what they were doing; it was because they were doing it on purpose (and they were doing it better). They wanted to be evil. And what, exactly, was that supposed to mean? When we classify someone as a bad person, what are we really saying (and why are we so obsessed with saying it)? How does the culture of deliberate malevolence operate?

In I Wear the Black Hat, Klosterman questions the modern understanding of villainy. What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don’t we see Bernhard Goetz the same way we see Batman? Who is more worthy of our vitriol—Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O. J. Simpson’s second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still haunted by some kid he knew for one week in 1985?

Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and imaginative hypotheticals, I Wear the Black Hat delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the antihero (seemingly the only kind of hero America still creates). I Wear the Black Hat is a rare example of serious criticism that’s instantly accessible and really, really funny. Klosterman continues to be the only writer doing whatever it is he’s doing.

Jackie says:
"I must confess that I have stayed away from Chuck Klosterman despite his popularity (or maybe because of it). He just didn't seem like my kind of author. But he seduced me with an outstanding form letter—brilliant, irresistible and memorably hilarious—into reading I Wear The Black Hat. This is a book about villains, and the list is very impressive. There are many, many cultural observations in this book that really set me back on my heels and made me seriously think about the concept of 'villain' and also 'hero'. The conversation meanders a bit throughout the essays, but it's well worth reading. He knows what he's talking about."

Listen to the NPR interview with the author HERE.

Read the Esquire interview with the author HERE.

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