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Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged


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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (1 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400151708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400151707
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,099,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'I can't think of a more sheerly likeable writer than Chuck Klosterman... big-hearted and direct, bright and unironic, optimistic and amiable, self-deprecating and reassuring.' Bret Easton Ellis '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" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

'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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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I am not qualified to live here. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Sep 2005
Format: Hardcover
Chuck Klosterman's first two books were highly entertaining if sometimes exasperating melanges of pop culture and memoir. In this third book his writing is just a snappy and sharp, but there's a lack of focus that makes it several notches weaker than those. When his pop-culture addled wit and insight are aimed directly at something like '80s metal, or contemporary film, or breakfast cereals, the results can be amazing. However, he can also descend into weak or muddled rants, and when he becomes the main subject, it's just not that interesting. Unfortunately, the main subject of this third book is largely himself and his tortured love life.
The premise that Chuck's going to go an Epic road trip (on Spin magazine's dime) to tour famous American rock and roll death sites proves to be mere pretense for an extended trip into Chuck's head as he drives cross-country. Sure, he visits a lot of places where people died, like Skynyrd, VanZant, Buckley, Holly, Cobain, et al, but he rarely has anything interesting to say. Very occasionally he does, such as pointing out that Sid Vicious' inability to play the bass was what made him the perfect punk icon. The best part is probably near the beginning, when he visits the Rhode Island site of a club fire during a Great White show which killed almost a hundred people. He discovers a site of pilgrimage and reflection (and coke snorting), and embarks on an excellent diatribe against the prevalence of ironic distance in modern music fans and how the people at the Great White show were the most authentic music fans around.
However, despite nice bits like these, the focus is on Chuck's current and ex-girlfriends -- which gets annoying for a number of reasons.
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By A. Miles VINE VOICE on 17 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
I think that it's pretty obvious that rock criticism is a dead art, for millions of reasons. Here Chuck, under a shallow pretence of visiting the death spots of various rock stars, examines instead how rock mythology and the way that it is percieved by its consumers affects their perception of the world. I like the meandering, often irrelevant style, a seeming response to a realisation that pop music, et al, can only be seen as meaningful and important to the extent it affects the individual.
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Pauline Axford on 14 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
I thought this book had a good premise and it starts out quite good, but eventually got quite bored of it. As the book goes on the author seems to spend less and less time on his intended subject matter and more time whining about his failed love life. He had a few good thoughts on things, but overall this book is very boring, which is a shame because the idea behind it could be really interesting. Maybe it needs to be re-written by an author who doesn't waste the readers time moaning about his ex-girlfriends. Don't bother getting this book!
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3 of 31 people found the following review helpful By BellaMichelle on 1 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought a book, but have not read it yet. It is by a writer that I like though, so hopefully it is good. It is in good condition and smells new, so I have no negative things to say of the seller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 125 reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Lack of Focus Leads to Excessive Navel Gazing 15 Sep 2005
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Chuck Klosterman's first two books were highly entertaining if sometimes exasperating melanges of pop culture and memoir. In this third book his writing is just a snappy and sharp, but there's a lack of focus that makes it several notches weaker than those. When his pop-culture addled wit and insight are aimed directly at something like '80s metal, or contemporary film, or breakfast cereals, the results can be amazing. However, he can also descend into weak or muddled rants, and when he becomes the main subject, it's just not that interesting. Unfortunately, the main subject of this third book is largely himself and his tortured love life.

The premise that Chuck's going to go an Epic road trip (on Spin magazine's dime) to tour famous American rock and roll death sites proves to be mere pretense for an extended trip into Chuck's head as he drives cross-country. Sure, he visits a lot of places where people died, like Skynyrd, VanZant, Buckley, Holly, Cobain, et al, but he rarely has anything interesting to say. Very occasionally he does, such as pointing out that Sid Vicious' inability to play the bass was what made him the perfect punk icon. The best part is probably near the beginning, when he visits the Rhode Island site of a club fire during a Great White show which killed almost a hundred people. He discovers a site of pilgrimage and reflection (and coke snorting), and embarks on an excellent diatribe against the prevalence of ironic distance in modern music fans and how the people at the Great White show were the most authentic music fans around.

However, despite nice bits like these, the focus is on Chuck's current and ex-girlfriends -- which gets annoying for a number of reasons. Probably the foremost of these is how in all his writing he self-deprecatingly paints himself as an awkward music geek, and yet here he is describing these multiple smart, sexy, rockin' women he has to chose between. Poor baby. Of course he describes the rise and fall of his various relationships in relatively humorous fashion, but it still comes across like so much self-indulgent navel gazing. There are some nice parts, like an imagined fourway conversation with the women in question, and a bit where he compares each to a member of KISS that is probably pretty funny if you know anything about KISS (I don't). He's a pining romantic at heart, and as one with a somewhat similar composition, I could identify with bits and pieces, but it all gets tiresome by the end.

Stylistically, the writing is what one expects. Sharp, crackling stuff, with loads of digressions, asides, tangents, obscure references, and laugh out loud parts. Music fans will have plenty of little tidbits to keep them going, such as an interpretation of Radiohead's "Kid A" as unintended soundtrack for 9/11 (rather forced in my mind), the relative popularity of Pearl Jam to Nirvana when Cobain died (misguided analysis in my mind), the "truth" of Rod Stewart's voice (somewhat better: "Stewart may be a blond clown with bad judgment, but everything he says is true"), and the universal popularity of Led Zeppelin (ridiculous: "they are the only group in the history of rock n' roll that every male rock fan seems to experience in exactly the same way") , and best of all, a moving explanation of why The Replacements make him cry.

Overall, if you like his writing, you might as well read this: it's quick and there are enough good tidbits to keep you going. However, lets hope that his future books will find more focus. The only other thing I'd add is that for someone who spends a page explaining the difference between "pot people" and "coke people" (in a very funny way) and why he's a pot person, he recounts enough coke anecdotes to make you wonder about his self-classification.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Bearable Lightness of Chuck 31 Aug 2005
By R. W. Rasband - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Killing Yourself to Live" is Chuck Klosterman's latest motormouth rant on popular culture and it's an entertaining, fun read. Chuck sets out in a rental car across America to visit the death sites of some famous rock stars, and to ponder why for so many of them their demise was a good career move. Chuck also tells the stories of three of his girlfriends (these may be in part or in whole fictional; at the beginning of the book Chuck warns us that "romance is 85% illusion and 15% real".)

Chuck is a clever fellow so he anticipates most of the criticism that will be leveled at this book ("Why are you writing what people will call a non-fiction "High Fidelity"?) Much of the fun comes from following Chuck's invariably self-questioning interior monologue. He captures very well how a lot of people talk to themselves, with self-doubt and self-deprecating comedy.

The appeal of this book for me is how Chuck approaches heavy subjects like Death and The Meaning Of Life with just the right lightness of touch. Comedy helps you bear the unbearble, and Klosterman shouldn't be dismissed because he tells good jokes along the way. His lightness conceals some pretty profound musings, like on page 218 where he explains how his love of KISS helps him make sense of his life: "Art and love are the same thing: it's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you. It's understanding the unreasonable." Unlike a lot of critics, Klosterman comes from the heartland and doesn't look back with disgust; the folkways of the middle of the country are bred in his bones, so he has a lot of skepticism for the enthusiasms of the elites. On page 92 he shows how a lot of intellectuals have to talk themselves into liking something like the Allman Brothers that most people who are non-rock critics simply enjoy as "just real music." Common sense is paradoxically a rare thing and I detect it in Chuck.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good, but misleading 4 May 2006
By Robin/poppymom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Chuck's work for awhile and love his other books. This was my least favorite, mostly because it wasn't what I expected. From the press the book received, I expected it to be more about his visits to the death scenes, a la Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation". My disappointment wasn't a product of bad writing; it was a product of bad marketing. I might reread it in a few months to see how it fares with more realistic expectations.

That said, the writing could have been much better. I felt like Chuck couldn't decide if he wanted the book to be cohesive, or an essay collection. While he always has interesting observations, I felt like he phoned it in a bit with this one. It felt rough, fast, and disjointed.

What was good about it? The premise, and ultimately making the point that life is a progression of change and small deaths, were both worthwhile. Chuck's writing style makes for a fun, engrossing read. Narcissistic navel-gazing? Sure. That's a given with this genre.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The books is like peanut butter 4 Nov 2005
By Dentallica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It sort of sticks to everything. I'm not sure if this even makes sense, but then again I am not sure if this book is even good. I read the book summary and the scanned pages online and I thought it would be a cool book revisiting the life and deaths of various rock stars. I imagined that Chuck would delve into the history of these stories as only he could - then summarize with some grandiose statement about how it is better to die as a rock star because you can't put out any bad albums when you are dead.

I couldn't be more wrong. Sure Chuck takes a road trip to different places where rock stars have died and yes there are some funny anecdotes along the way, but mostly this book is about Chuck and his inability to maintain a good relationship with a woman. I didn't buy `this' book. I wanted to read how Layne Staley's death impacted people. I wanted to read about how / why he died. I wanted Chuck to elaborate on the cultural significance of Alice in Chains. I wanted to know why people think Kurt Cobain was murdered. I wanted some expose and insight into these various lives and deaths. I wanted all these things and more.

SO I feel cheated. If the book was marketed as a self-reflection of lost and missing love then I would not have read it. No matter that I enjoy Chucks wit, and his unique cultural slants - I still would not have read a book centered on love.

This book does have thoughts on rock stars and death but instead of elaborating on these people and the places he travels, Chuck becomes introspective and self-analytical. So in other words, Chuck could have wrote this book about his normal 14 days living in New York and marketed it to suggest he knows something about women. Instead, Chuck takes a road trip and uses that as a false pretense to sell a story.

On the plus side - I laughed out loud a bunch of times because only Chuck can make such unique cultural observations.

So is this book good? I don't know - just as Chuck claims he isn't qualified to live in New York - I don't think I am qualified to judge this book as good or bad. I do know that it wasn't the book I intended to read so to that end I was disappointed.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Klosterman=Hipster Jerk 17 Sep 2007
By Margarine Hype - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book after reading "Fargo Rock City", and I was still undecided about Klosterman as an author. This book cemented my opinion that Chuck Klosterman is an idiot. This book has nothing to do with the title, or even the supposed subject of the book.

This is supposedly about Klosterman's journey to places where famous rock stars died. He goes to these places, but his reaction everytime is the same. He doesn't care, he's unimpressed, he'd rather think, talk, and write about himself.

What this book shoud really be called is "I'm a Hipster Jerk Who Sucks With Women", because that is what you get. 275 pages of Klosterman explaining how he has three women, but can't decide between them, all the while talking about how he hates his life, and ripping on any band that has ever had anything good said about them (and proclaiming that Motley Crue is the best band ever). Don't waste your time unless you like guys who sound like eighth graders who think they know everything about everything.
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