I am promoting the softcover release of my last book, which is titled I WEAR THE BLACK HAT. You can buy that book here. I've also written five other nonfiction books (including SEX, DRUGS AND COCOA PUFFS, KILLING YOURSELF TO LIVE and EATING THE DINOSAUR) and two novels. I'm the Ethicist for the NYTs Magazine. I also write for the ESPN site GRANTLAND. You can ask me about that stuff, or anything else. Nothing is off the table. Enjoy work, robots.


Comments: 591 • Responses: 91  • Date: 

noshelter102 karma

Have you considered starting your own podcast? I regularly google "klosterman podcast" every couple weeks just to see if you were a guest anywhere recently. I love listening to your thoughts on modern television, current events, whatever. It seems like a medium that suits you very well and I'm sure there are plenty more people like myself that would subscribe so hard.

mkay025 karma

For those who are interested, Chuck occasionally makes appearances on the Grantland podcasts, and Bill Simmons BS Report. Chuck and Bill on the BS report is one of my favorite things in the world, they are so alike and so different at the same time.

ChuckKlosterman38 karma

I actually did a podcast with Simmons today, just before this reditt thing. They probably already posted it.

RD_Card44 karma

As an ardent defender of Kanye West, I often use an argument that he's a musical genius (ala Lennon, Cobain, etc) to defend his eccentric douchebaggery. This sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Do you believe Kanye West is a musical genius, why or why not? And are there any other living musical geniuses in your mind?

ChuckKlosterman123 karma

No artist has ever merged his musical output and his cultural persona as fluidly and profoundly as Kanye West. Not even Dylan. So he is a genius, but not in the usual way. He's not a genius like Prince. He's a genius like Salinger.

FrigOffCyrus36 karma

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs was a book that changed the way I look at pop culture. Thanks for a brilliant piece of analysis there. Would you consider doing a partner piece with updated pop culture (seeing as how the Real World is pretty much dead among others)?

ChuckKlosterman54 karma

My publisher thinks this would be a very, very good idea.

joeydball36 karma

I borrowed one of your books (Eating the Dinosaur maybe?) from a library in rural Georgia and it had this inside the back cover.

Does it mean anything to you? What's your reaction to it?

ChuckKlosterman41 karma

It does. In fact, that is the punchline to the greatest joke of all-time, which is also referenced in THE VISIBLE MAN.

sorryisuckatinternet33 karma

What is your favorite book, and why?

ChuckKlosterman134 karma

ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell. It has the most significant ideas within the shortest amount of space with the strangest possible narrative that's still delivered with the highest degree of simplicity.

CasonSUPERSTAR29 karma

I'm about to move to New York City next month - any advice for me?

ChuckKlosterman160 karma

During the next three weeks, try to make $15,000.

miamivt27 karma

Throughout this past World Cup, did you stick to your guns with your distaste of soccer?

ChuckKlosterman108 karma

Soccer is like punk rock: The product is not necessarily terrible. The problem is the fan base.

jklap23 karma

Who was your favorite person to interview over the years?

ChuckKlosterman40 karma

Marilyn Manson, Robert Plant and Donald Fagan.

theendtotheend23 karma

Our office answered burned through your questions over a few days, so we decided write our own. We’d love to hear your answer:

Let us assume, you live in a world where a scientific experiment has gone wrong, causing every person on earth to grow extra limbs, sporadic boils on their skin, and thick fur. Every person you know is still alive and will not die from this condition. They can still think, communicate, and act intelligently. The change is purely based on physical appearance and capability. In order to accommodate the new human form, society will change the way cars are driven to the width of walkways to the structure of a chair. Society will continue on with the modified changes for generations to come. In this world you are the only human to remain unaltered. There is no way for you to change or for them to change back.

You have two options. You can remain in this world or enter into a parallel dimension that is extremely similar to the world you previously knew. The parallel duplicate of yourself has lived the same life as you with the same family, friends, connections, and life experiences. There are only minor dissimilarities that you will notice, such as a different sports team winning in a particular year or the fact your mother picked up swing dancing a few years prior. However, if you decide to leave behind your newly changed world, it will be destroyed along with every person in it. You must also kill your parallel self immediately upon entering the dimension. You will not get caught for this.

Once you enter into the new dimension, no one will know of your decision. No one will know about your changed past, only you…

Do you choose to stay or leave?

ChuckKlosterman36 karma

if there are identical parallel dimensions, then no person truly exists as an individual. the people in the parallel dimension (my wife, my mom, myself, etc.) are no less "real" than the people in the previous dimension, and their espoused humanity is actually simultaneously shared across these planes of existence. so I would jump to the other reality.

LvilleCards522 karma

I doubt you'll remember this, but in a BS Report podcast where you and Simmons were talking about the last season of Breaking Bad, at one point you were going to ask him a really uncomfortable question. He cut you off and you never got to ask it.

What was that question?

ChuckKlosterman25 karma

It had to do with how he would have handled the Riley Cooper situation.

coconnection1217 karma

in 10 years, which rock band from the 2000's will be the most highly thought of, in your opinion?

ChuckKlosterman45 karma


BahamaBruiser17 karma

You said in a podcast with Brian Koppelman that your biggest fear is having an obvious defining characteristic that everybody can see except yourself. Does the simple fact that you have that fear make it impossible to ever come into fruition?

ChuckKlosterman24 karma

No. It just means I'm aware of the possibility that I am somehow unaware of my greatest flaw.

coffeetableboy16 karma

Is your wife in "Killing Yourself to Live"?

ChuckKlosterman17 karma

Yes. But only for a few pages.

JeffRyan115 karma

Who's your favorite fictional North Dakotan?

ChuckKlosterman31 karma


mrbananagrabber115 karma

Are you willing to tell us what "Chuck's 9/11" was?

ChuckKlosterman7 karma

I would guess you would be able to get a general sense of what happened via context. I mean, it seems pretty clear, no? If you expressed that same thought in that specific scenario, what would it likely mean?

catnamedjeffrey14 karma

How do you feel about porridge?

ChuckKlosterman14 karma

Like it.

caseyl13 karma

If it came out that someone in KISS did something horrible, objectively horrible like murdering a child, would it change the way you listen to them? Would you listen to them at all?

ChuckKlosterman28 karma

It would definitely change the way I listen to them. The context for many songs would be radically different. I guess if it was Peter Criss, I wouldn't listen to his solo work.

no_clue_blues12 karma

what was your most formative adolescent experience?

ChuckKlosterman28 karma

I would hate to discuss this.

mnemoniker11 karma

I love your work and Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs helped me feel less guilty about my interest in pop culture. Thanks for that.

Having said that, my question is who is the most "advanced" pop singer right now?

ChuckKlosterman19 karma

Maybe Lana Del Ray.

nightgolf11 karma

Hey Chuck, big fan for many years, thanks, etc. Few quick questions for you

1) Do you have another book project in mind? Fiction or non?

2) What is your "writing mode" like?

3) Do The Cure get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Why/why not? What about Pavement?

4) If you're hungry and on a long drive by yourself, where do you stop?

ChuckKlosterman35 karma

4.) Arby's.

_Luminaire10 karma

What is it like having Bill Simmons be your 'boss'? I'm assuming the Grantland offices have an insane amount of Boston memorabilia everywhere, and all you guys do is sit around and make fantasy leagues of every sport imaginable.

ChuckKlosterman20 karma

The Grantland offices are in LA. I live in NY. And I'm (technically) not on the Grantland payroll anymore. That ended last year. But I'm still emotionally involved.

dmacarro10 karma

Hey Chuck love your work and that you narrate your own audiobooks.

Do you have any plans for something like Chuck Klosterman IX or whatever number, an updated collection of your already published scattered pieces from print and internet since IV came out?

ChuckKlosterman22 karma

Actually, yes.

stillakitty9 karma

Do you think our culture is doomed? It seems that so many people complain about our culture, yet actively participate in the activities they are shaming. People hate to admit that they love it. Is there any hope left?

ChuckKlosterman21 karma

Culture has always been doomed. That's the one thing that has never changed throughout my lifetime. There will never be a point where it will not seem like the culture is doomed.

mherman399 karma

You wrote for the Akron paper when The Black Keys were starting their career. Did you know about and go to see them? Do you have any stories about them from that time?

ChuckKlosterman15 karma

When I was at the newspaper there, I worked with Jim Carney, who is the father of Pat Carney (the BK's drummer). Pat was still in high school and fronted a band with his girlfriend. He played guitar at the time.

adamvaudin9 karma

Who is your favourite film director, and why?

And what did you think of Boyhood?

ChuckKlosterman18 karma

I think the best American director was Kubrick. The best director currently working is P.T. Anderson. Linklater is actually my favorite director, but for reasons so personal it would take me 5000 words to explain. Yet I have not seen BOYHOOD yet, because I have a six-month old boy (which makes certain things difficult). I will see it next week, hopefully.

mad_men_enthusiast8 karma

Hey Chuck, you are probably my favourite writer and one of the major reasons I became a journalist. So thanks!

How does your creative process differ between writing novels and non-fiction?

ChuckKlosterman17 karma

Nonfiction is a reaction art form. Fiction is a creative art form. But the writing experience is the same (it's just that fiction is way harder).

MultipleMiggs8 karma

What has become of Diane, Quincy, and Lenore???

ChuckKlosterman12 karma

They are all living great lives. Two of them have children.

ajdevs307 karma

Hi Chuck,

While reading one your essays, I had one of the weirdest experiences I can remember.

Like you, I'm from North Dakota. At the time I was reading this essay, I was a student at James Madison University, and your essay was on your experience following a Guns N' Roses cover band's tour. Your essay specifically depicts their travels through Harrisonburg, VA, where JMU is located. Guns N Roses also happened to be perhaps my favorite band at the time.

My question is, how often do fans of yours tell you something along these lines - that one your essays intersect with their lives in a multitude of ways, simultaneously?

ChuckKlosterman12 karma

well, if you write about personal experiences (as I do), and your experiences are relatively normative non-events (as most of my experiences are), the odds that other people will relate to those events is high. so, sometimes.

smileyjps7 karma

How often do you return to North Dakota?

ChuckKlosterman9 karma

I was just there last week. Twice a year, usually.

JyprockJones7 karma

Have you got any new hypotheticals to float at us?

ChuckKlosterman13 karma

I'm compiling them. Maybe in two years.

tylerburton7 karma

I am a 29 year old single male. I go on lots of dates and on almost all of them I have asked the girl a few of your "23 Questions I Ask Everybody I Meet In Order To Decide If I Can Really Love Them" from Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs. Every woman loves these and most of them say "Ask me more!" Just wanted to thank you.

ChuckKlosterman24 karma

Glad it worked for somebody.

onefinelookingtuna6 karma

What's your favorite memory from your time at the Beacon Journal or in the Akron area?

ChuckKlosterman7 karma

Going to a bar called the Double Olive in the Merriman Valley.

ShakespearInTheAlley6 karma

What exactly is your "sleep machine"? Or do you actually own a bed at this point in your life?

ChuckKlosterman11 karma

I have a bed now. You can't be married while still sleeping in a sleep machine.

bigdaddytowers6 karma

Do you plan on writing any more books?

ChuckKlosterman50 karma

I fucking better.

atlanticrim6 karma

Hey Chuck, thanks for doing this AMA, I've been reading you for about a decade now.

I listened to a podcast with Bill Simmons a while back and one of you brought up the LCD Soundsystem Doc “Shut Up & Play the Hits.” You said that you believed that you thought that was what you would be best remembered for. Without blowing too much smoke, you’re a widely read, well-respected pop culture critic. Which of these is most true: you believe that documentary will become a "Gimme Shelter" or "Stop Making Sense" level Rockumentary, you believe that LCD would be remembered as one of the great american bands or that pop culture writing has a fairly finite life?

Also, how do I get into KISS? I've never been able to.


ChuckKlosterman4 karma

When I first saw that documentary, I really felt it was going to be the kind of film that represented something far outside of its literal content, and that the likelihood of the doc being shown on TV in 25 years was probably greater than the likelihood that my books would remain part of the cultural discourse. But I don't think that was the consensus opinion. I guess we'll see in 25 years.

asbomback6 karma

As the Ethicist, what are your thoughts about laying down a bunt against the shift in baseball?

ChuckKlosterman20 karma

I wish baseball involved more bunting. I wish the AL used the NL rules.

nouseforasn6 karma

If you could interview one person to write a feature on who would it be and what would be the first thing you asked them?

ChuckKlosterman17 karma

It would be Axl Rose. Who I've tried to interview since 1996. But he never says yes. So I guess my first question would be, "Why now?"

TanMan30306 karma

What is the best thing about Appetite for Destruction?

ChuckKlosterman12 karma

The end of "Rocket Queen" and the first half of "Night Train." And the overall aesthetic, really.

Mugtown6 karma

Can you go on the B.S. Report to discuss LeBron going to Cleveland? I just love listening to you and Bill banter!

ChuckKlosterman6 karma

That just happened, actually.

coconnection126 karma

You've been writing long enough that alot of your takes from your younger years could be different than how you feel now. Does the line, " No woman will ever satisfy me" make you cringe, laugh, or something else?

ChuckKlosterman11 karma

That was the correct sentence and sentiment for that book at that time.

wendallpinset5 karma

Dear Chuck,

How does it feel to be revered by a generation for voicing a collective state of neurosis, pretention, and passion?

Also is it creepy to refer to you as my intellectual soul mate?

ChuckKlosterman8 karma

I would feel better about the first question if it were true. And I'd feel more creeped by the second question if that were true, too.

NormanLewis5 karma

How much does Wahpeton influence the setting of Owl?

ChuckKlosterman7 karma

The main influences were Wyndmere, Lidgerwood, Langdon, Napoleon, and Ellendale.

coconnection125 karma

Has " Killing yourself to live" ever come close to becoming a film?

ChuckKlosterman7 karma

before the book even came out, it was optioned. I took many meetings with people who wanted to make that happen, but I freaked out when I realized what their version of the book would look like. 10 years later, someone else wanted to try, and I was like, "Go ahead. Leave me out of it." So we'll see what happens. Almost all of my books have been optioned, but the film never becomes real. It is my assumption that none of my books will ever become movies.

Frajer5 karma

Is there anything you've ever wanted to write about but it just never came to fruition?

ChuckKlosterman10 karma

Hundreds of things.

mrhines285 karma

Now that Paul Stanley has written a book, how would you rank the autobiographies of the four original members of KISS?

ChuckKlosterman7 karma

1.) Paul 2.) Peter 3.) Gene 4.) Ace

Nippleboy225 karma

Favorite spot to eat in Grand Forks?

ChuckKlosterman10 karma


chappy84 karma

What do you most regret, if anything, about what you've written?

For example, my wife and I have read a number of your books and my wife claims you could not possibly get married because you serially wrote about failed relationships and how you found it difficult to commit to a single woman. Did your wife ever read these books? Did you two discuss these feelings? Were you simply a different person that was in his sowing-his-oats youth? I guess I'm wondering if you feel that your documenting your experiences can limit you? Clearly you are married now and this isn't a problem.

ChuckKlosterman33 karma

The most complicated aspect of first-person writing is the fact that the books do not change, even as you become a totally different people. If you met someone you hadn't seen in 15 years, you would probably not ask them is they still believed the same things they believed when you last spoke. But this happens to me constantly. There are still many, many people who believe I spend most nights sitting by myself in the dark, drinking tequila out a coffee cup while listening to the second Ratt album. In reality, this only happens once or twice a year.

leiferiksen4 karma

Mark Ames' review of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs was probably the most personally hateful, and bizarre, reviews I've ever read.

Has he ever apologized for it? Have you ever spoken to him?

ChuckKlosterman5 karma

I've never encountered him. He might live in my apartment building, for all I know. Plus, why would he apologize?

chocosquirrel4 karma

Where are the most innovative people making media? Podcasts, TV, film, or somewhere else?

ChuckKlosterman5 karma

I truly have no idea. They're probably designing lightbulbs.

shane_darkknight4 karma

Favorite Prince album?

ChuckKlosterman11 karma

PURPLE RAIN. Certain cliches are true.

AdamLikes4 karma

What quality do your favourite athletes have in common?

ChuckKlosterman16 karma

The sense that they are the only people who could ever be who they are.

carlos_the_dwarf_3 karma

You had a really interesting piece several years ago about Survivor and Lost. Does Survivor still interest you? Why or why not?

ChuckKlosterman5 karma

Very, very much. I think it distills human nature down to its core elements.

bbeater163 karma

How has your CD collection adapted since "Killing Yourself to Live"? Has it morphed back to vinyl or does it continue to grow?

ChuckKlosterman7 karma

I digitized almost all my CDs and got rid of them. My wife made me do it, but she was totally right. I don't miss them at all. As it turns out, I like music; I don't like spiny metal circles. The only CDs I kept were the ones that were super rare or out of print, plus the artists I just couldn't bear to unload (the Beatles, KISS, Sabbath, Led Zep and Steely Dan).

jshow853 karma

Will you or would you ever want to have a TV show? I'd love to see a sports show hosted by you. What do you think a sports show hosted by you would be like, what would you cover?

ChuckKlosterman9 karma

I would do that, but only if I was totally out of other ideas.

Nippleboy223 karma

Saw you gave Carter Kretchman a shout-out during the B this past season. Do you watch the B every year? Also, what is your favorite part about North Dakota?

ChuckKlosterman6 karma

I watched the B tournament over the internet, which actually made me think the internet was awesome. My favorite parts of ND are my brother's farm and the bar Duffy's (in Fargo, just off University Drive).

miangro3 karma

Why do you hate The Doors?

ChuckKlosterman10 karma

I wish I hadn't written that. I liked them, and then I hated them (which is when I wrote KYTL). Now I kind of like them again. I heard "Peace Frog" two days ago at the gym. It sounded good.

PC333 karma

What advice would you give to an aspiring sports/pop culture writer in the 21st century?

ChuckKlosterman16 karma

The rain falls on the just and the unjust.

nevona3 karma

Chuck, how did you prepare to begin writing for The Ethicist? Were there ever any questions submitted you felt you couldn't answer?

ChuckKlosterman5 karma

I just woke up and started doing it. I mean -- yes -- the questions are often difficult. I take them seriously. But it's still just a newspaper column. I'm still just a guy. If I tell someone it's ethically okay to get elective surgery, I don't actually have to perform the surgery.

chocosquirrel3 karma

Is the Onion's new site "Clickhole" innovative or just a gimmick?

ChuckKlosterman12 karma

Innovative gimmick.

mauriellom3 karma

It seems like the last 5-10 years you have been trying to find various ways to challenge yourself. First it was Downtown Owl, then Grantland, the Ethicist, etc. Masked Man seems to have been and earlier project that you were intent on finishing. Is continuing to find new ways to challenge yourself actually the most difficult part of your career at this point?

ChuckKlosterman6 karma

I don't really think about this. I can only do what interests me (and logic suggests that what interests me will usually be different than whatever interested me in the past). Although I would like to believe that what you describe is actually happening to me subconsciously.

easybjennyb3 karma

What writer has influenced you the most?

ChuckKlosterman5 karma

My main influences have been non-writers. Which will probably seem obvious to people who hate my writing. But weirdly, I think my honest answer to this is Richard Wright.

bcamp123 karma

Did you ever read that Mobute article that destroyed you and Bill Simmons? I'm genuinely curious. His criticism is brutally accurate.

ChuckKlosterman3 karma

I was destroyed by the former president of the Congo? He's been dead for 15 years!

eduardonachocamacho3 karma

I have always loved your more lengthy profile pieces on various public figures (specifically Billy Joel and Val Kilmer) and I was wondering if there is anyone currently you would really like to talk to? Or to word it another way, your profiles always tend to reveal this unexpected variance on such a known personality, and is there anyone you feel would create such an effect to its upmost extent?

ChuckKlosterman8 karma

I would really like to interview Bill Clinton.

gerrardlfc3 karma

Chuck, what do you think in 50 years will be considered strange that is nowadays considered completely normal?

ChuckKlosterman3 karma

Eating pork chops.

67454083 karma

What is the most bizarre trivia question you've ever answered correctly?

ChuckKlosterman10 karma

What four colleges have generated both a US President and a Super Bowl-winning QB?

Ryno36393 karma

What is your drink of choice during an evening out? What about a night staying at home?

ChuckKlosterman7 karma

Beer in bars. Two bottles of red wine at home.

wendallpinset3 karma

Dear Chuck,

I have been in more arguments than i can count about the artistic integrity of the violent femmes' hallowed ground. What are your thoughts?

ChuckKlosterman4 karma

I guess I never thought "integrity" was a particularly significant part of the Violent Femmes ethos. That first record still seems pretty great to me (although I can't say I've actually played it in at least 10 years).

boobieaficionado3 karma

I think I saw you at the St. Vincent concert at Terminal 5 last February. Were you at that concert? And is Annie a great performer, or the GREATEST performer?

ChuckKlosterman5 karma

Was I there? I don't think I was there. Maybe I was. Did she cover a Shellac song, or did I dream that?

830Res3 karma

Do you enjoy writing non-fiction or fiction more?

ChuckKlosterman9 karma

Nonfiction is more enjoyable. Fiction is more satisfying. So I enjoy nonfiction while I'm doing it and fiction when I'm finished.

scootersy3 karma

what is one story or topic you've been dying to write about, but haven't yet?!

ChuckKlosterman10 karma


KeatonLamle3 karma

Do you ever worry that your characterization of David Foster Wallace's "This Is Water" (From "Black Hat") is unfair? As in, is it possible that his suicide doesn't actually reflect any inherently flaw in reasoning in that speech, but was just rather the result of a specific chemical problem?

ChuckKlosterman3 karma

I suspect your interpretation of that argument is not what I intended.

TexasRadical833 karma

What's it like having a style/"beat" that others emulate so frequently now? There's a "Chuck Klosterman" type it seems; do you feel flattered or a little uncomfortable or what?

ChuckKlosterman10 karma

That is simply a consequence of commercial success. How I feel about it doesn't matter.

ChuckKlosterman3 karma

That's simply a consequence of perceived commercial success. How I feel about it doesn't matter.

this_is_just_to_say3 karma

Hey Chuck,

I loved "I Wear the Black Hat" and cannot help but see tons of carry over between your cultural criticism and contemporary literary theory. Have you ever thought of writing about fiction?

ChuckKlosterman6 karma

Honestly? Never. I don't really write about other writers.

Africa_versus_NASA3 karma

Why does Gawker despise you so much?

ChuckKlosterman16 karma

Because that's the way it has to be.

carlos_the_dwarf_2 karma

When you sit down to write an essay, what's your thought process like? How much planning/development has gone into it beforehand? Where do your ideas come from? Thanks!

ChuckKlosterman3 karma

I just sit down and go for it.

TricycleGang2 karma

Hey Chuck! Love your work, been a fan for years. I recently reread your soccer essay in SDCP. Has your opinion on soccer changed? It is hard for me to envision current you writing that same article, but I may be projecting what I wish you'd write. How do you feel now?

ChuckKlosterman4 karma


throwz62 karma

When will The Ethicist Podcast return?

ChuckKlosterman6 karma

Was there one before? I had no idea.

DrChuckyLarms2 karma

How do you think the millennial's widespread cynicism and lack of trust (same thing...whatever) will affect popular culture?

ChuckKlosterman30 karma

I feel like millenials are much more trusting of abstract institutional authority than the generation that came before them.

MeldrumLaw2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. When will Axl Rose run out of money such that he feels compelled to either (i) rejoin the rest of GNR for a reunion, selling $350 tickets; or (ii) write a tell-all memoir? I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point in my life I went from desiring the former to desiring the latter. Also, would you write that memoir? Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

ChuckKlosterman5 karma

He owns the name of the band, and most of the songwriting. He has less of a financial incentive than most people in that band.

Foozmuck2 karma

What inspired you to write about cocoa puffs?

ChuckKlosterman4 karma

I was really just writing about cereal as a metaphor for something else entirely. I can't even remember what it was a metaphor for, because I haven't looked at that book since it came out in softcover (which was 2003). The reason I titled that book SEX DRUGS AND COCOA PUFFS was because my editor and my agent hated the original title (AMERICAN MINOTAUR) and convinced me to change. I still very much regret that move.

MinneapolisMike2 karma

Now that it has properly aged, do you agree that the 2013 Iron Bowl (Auburn/Alabama) was the single greatest college football game you've ever seen? I can't imagine a story with more drama or flair. Plus - a De La Soul sidebar!

ChuckKlosterman6 karma

It was right up there. the 2006 USC-Texas championship was also an amazing game. But Nebraska-Miami in the '84 Orange Bowl will always seem like a bigger deal to me.

TheCosby2 karma

Big fan, Chuck.

How were you able to transition into sports writing? I'm currently in a nonfiction MFA program, and most of my work is a lot of personal/narrative/imagery/flowery language, etc. That said, I think my dream career is writing about sports, and hopefully incorporating that style of writing, somehow.

Did you start with your pop-culture nonfiction stuff and transition to sports or vice versa? Or did it kind of all flow together?


ChuckKlosterman5 karma

I was actually a sportswriter first, in college. Then I did straight news for a bit. Then, when I graduated in 1994, there was an opening for a pop culture writer in Fargo. I got that job based on my sports clips, somehow. So I did that for 4 years, and then I become a rock critic and a film critic for 4 years in Akron. And somehow I got back into sports, partially because of the Celtics-lakers essay in COCOA PUFFS.

chocosquirrel2 karma

Do all Presidents become "black hats" in the second term?

ChuckKlosterman3 karma


nipplelickingbandit2 karma

Are you binge-watching anything right now? If not, what's the last show you did binge-watch?

ChuckKlosterman12 karma

Just finished OITNB.

datb2 karma

First, have to say - huge fan. As a sports/indie music enthusiast, I find I resemble you in most of my dream futures. I loved I Wear The Black Hat, my favorite work of yours so far.

Question: Would you ever consider writing an entire book/collection of essays on sports?

ChuckKlosterman8 karma

Would I consider it? I would consider it.

Mutombo_says_NO2 karma

Hi Chuck! Huge fan and can also be described as 'surprisingly tall' When can we expect your next release and can you say if it will be an essay format or novel? Thanks!

ChuckKlosterman4 karma

My next project is going to be difficult (or at least it seems difficult, at the moment). I'm guessing two years.

sethisan1 karma

A friend of mine wrote the following in a review of your work:

"It’s the type of book that entertains without being lowbrow; it provokes thought in an era when attention spans are diminishing faster than forests; it says a lot without saying much; in its pages profundity and shallowness coexist peacefully; it is “pop” and yet it is intellectual; it is intellectual and yet it is “pop”; it is both serious and facile; its satirical value is recognizable yet dubious; it ain’t no treatise on zeitgeist but to ignore it isn’t sound either; it will start good barroom conversation but won’t stoke public debate; its limits are matched in rigour only by its ambitions; it couldn’t fetch a six figure advance but ensured the writer’s kitchen fires burnt hotly; it was reviewed by NYT but LRB didn’t deign to cover it; it has many ideas, but lacks coherence; it is catchy but it is not – to use Klosterman’s frequently occurring phrase – “of import”; it will be read by many, but will never carry the “Penguin’s Modern Classics” logo; it has an “Acknowledgements” section but is far too unimportant and unscholarly to contain footnotes. "

What do you feel about this appraisal?

ChuckKlosterman4 karma

I guess I feel great about it? I don't know. Does it matter how I feel? And I assume he/she is writing about SEX DRUGS AND COCOA PUFFS? If so, he's right about it not fetching a six figure advance. I got $40,000 for that book, which seemed like more money than I could possibly spend.