(Late) Book Review: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

The title says it all. Chuck Klosterman’s masterpiece, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs made its debut a decade ago, but it’s still one of those books that hang on the psyche for quite some time after the initial first read. At least that’s what it’s done for me.

For those of you who are skeptical of its somewhat-racy title, the book does not entirely revolve around the subjects of sex, drugs, and Cocoa Puffs (although I’m sure to some of you would find these three things fantastic.) Rather, it’s a book of short stories, all revolving around Klosterman’s experiences with either touring with a cover band, his late-night thoughts on life, what he thinks about when he can’t sleep (which is just a daydream about him being dead and hearing what his friends and family have to say about him when they approach his casket and say their final adieus,) and how Pamela Anderson is the modern-day Marilyn Monroe (this is proof that the world was still in its Baywatch phase – again, this is a late book review.)

I was privileged to have a good friend of mine loan it to me sometime back in 2006, when my sense of humor is just as dry as Klosterman’s. This guy virtually changed the way I looked at pop culture, primarily because he gives an educated and extremely thought-provoking point-of-view on just about any fad from the late 20th Century all the way through the new millennium. Granted, his millennium thoughts weren’t very in-depth, primarily because it was published in 2003. Nevertheless, his words seem to cross the time lapse and acknowledge the issues we are facing in Western culture today.

Along with his observations, Klosterman also influenced and therefore changed the way I write. Reading this book influenced me so much that, for an 11th grade paper, I wrote it entirely in his sarcastic, yet lyrically-challenging voice, and combined it with a somewhat-advanced yet argumentative theme that didn’t necessarily coincide with the rubric. This would’ve initially made me fail the assignment, if my English teacher hadn’t been so impressed with my “experimentation” that he gave me an easy B.

Needless to say, it’s a great book. Don’t take my opinion for it, though. I’ve had a few friends and classmates also go on about how stimulating this book is, and that it’s a real page turner. Indeed, the title may be interesting (in fact, the friend who so kindly lent it to me said that she “literally judged a book by its cover – and didn’t regret it”), but the content offers so much more that those five easy words.

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