Eating the Dinosaur
Q: What is this book about?
A: Well, that’s difficult to say. I haven’t read it yet—I’ve just picked it up and casually glanced at the back cover. There clearly isn’t a plot. I’ve heard there’s a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don’t laugh when they’re inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and college football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women. Supposedly there’s a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I’m misinformed.
Q: Is there a larger theme?
A: Oh, something about reality. “What is reality,” maybe? No, that’s not it. Not exactly. I get the sense that most of the core questions dwell on the way media perception constructs a fake reality that ends up becoming more meaningful than whatever actually happened. Also, Lady Gaga.
Q: Should I read this book?
A: Probably. Do you see a clear relationship between the Branch Davidian disaster and the recording of Nirvana’s In Utero? Does Barack Obama make you want to drink Pepsi? Does ABBA remind you of AC/DC? If so, you probably don’t need to read this book. You probably wrote this book. But I suspect everybody else will totally love it, except for the ones who totally hate it.
Hear an Excerpt
Reading Group Guide
Chuck Klosterman has chronicled rock music, film, and sports for almost fifteen years. Through a variety of mediums and with a multitude of motives, he’s written about everything he can think of (and a lot that he’s forgotten). The culture keeps accelerating, and the pop ideas keep coming. In Eating the Dinosaur, Klosterman dissects, among other things, the boredom of voyeurism, the reason why music fans inevitably hate their favorite band’s latest album, and why we love watching superstars fail spectacularly. Eating the Dinosaur examines the relationship between expectation, reality, and living history.
Questions for Discussion
1. The first essay in the book features a conversation between Klosterman and filmmaker Errol Morris, in which they discuss the significance and nature of interview responses. Klosterman and Morris disagree about the importance of narrative consistency versus truth. If you were to be interviewed on a national stag see more