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Book report—Chuck Klosterman, ‘Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs’
Written by Sinead Stubbins — 4th June 2015

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Back in 1945 when I was still at university, my journalism teacher told me that there was absolutely no way I could make a living writing about pop culture, and that I should probably settle for a news reporter job at a regional paper. Ha, boy did I prove her wrong! Well, kind of.

But this book report isn’t about my depressing financial situation. This is about Chuck Klosterman, who is often cited as one of the best pop culture commenters of all time, ever. Klosterman is an American dude who cut his teeth writing about music for Spin, Esquire and GQ. You might recognise him from the LCD Soundsystem documentary, in which he becomes increasingly frustrated while interviewing James Murphy.

Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs was published in 2003. Klosterman has published eight books in total, and the fact that this one is still relevant is a testament to his mad skill. Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy pop-culture writing removed from its context, but Klosterman gets at a human TRUTH that makes his work super-relatable no matter what TV show / song / ’90s pop star he’s talking about. I’ve read a few of his books but SDCP is my favourite—because rather than just discuss pop culture, he explores the ways we consume it. He whinges about the affect When Harry Met Sally has had on our collective romantic psyche, explains the paradox of Saved by the Bell and argues that Luke Skywalker was the original Gen X-er. Funny stuff!

I don’t always agree with Chuck Klosterman; in fact, sometimes his arrogance really annoys me. But being able to critically engage with a writer you like is often an indicator of how rich and complex their writing is. That talented bastard.

Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs is available at The Good Copy shop.