Here’s the thing about Chuck Klosterman, he’s disarmingly unguarded. You see him do a reading and a Q&A and an autograph signing, and he reads it like he’s reading it to himself. His intonations have no signs of any overt control or self consciousness, they are just him having fun.
But why should Klosterman, who made Pop Culture Trivia Ninja a possibly respectable position in this country, be having anything but fun right now? He’s written 4 pieces of non-fiction pop cultural reportage as I’ll describe it, and this week released his first novel Downtown Owl, which I’ve started but am not quite enamored with yet. He damn well packed the Union Square Barnes and Noble reading area on the 4th floor to capacity, as well as the quasi holding pen area that the overflow arrivers like myself stood in. He has one fan rabid enough to bring him cupcakes from the bakery they work at, which he was ecstatic to recieve, but I did overhead that he’s rabid for cupcakes of the Red Velvet variety.
Said fan was about 4-5 in front of me on the line, and by the time I got up to Chuck, the girl in front of me was telling him how Killing Yourself To Live saved her life, which, interestingly enough, was one of the ideas I’d posited to friends about the weeks prior to the start of my senior year when I was meandering around Bard Campus during L&T. This left me with little to talk to Klosterman about with, especially as I used up my token stupid question “What publication wouldn’t you write for?” (Answers: Grit, Highlights for Children, but maybe he wants to …).
By the time I walked away with my signatures on my copies of KYTL & DO, I did learn one thing, Chuck Klosterman likes my headphones. Also, he also predicted earlier in the night that Obama will win in another nail biter and that the Eagles will win the Superbowl.