I Wear the Black Hat

I Wear the Black Hat

Grappling With Villians (real and Imagined)

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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Klosterman questions the very nature of how modern people understand the culture of villainy. Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and limitless imagination, "I Wear the Black Hat" delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the anti-hero.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2013.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781439184493
Characteristics: vii, 214 pages ;,22 cm.

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CRRL_CraigGraziano Jun 25, 2015

Klosterman rarely fails to make insightful observations or propose complex ethical questions. He is also quite funny, such as when he conducts research as to whether anyone has ever committed the most stereotypical evil act: tying a woman to the railroad tracks à la Snidely Whiplash.

Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/i_wear_the_black_hat_klosterman

6
671books
Jul 07, 2014

While I didn't love this book, I didn't hate it either. Basically I picked it up because the premise interested me and I continued to read because I had nothing else more pressing. I give it a solid 'meh'.

Full review here: http://www.671books.net/non-fiction/i-wear-the-black-hat/

b
britprincess1
Oct 17, 2013

Chuck Klosterman's writing style is a pleasure to read. After having read SEX, DRUGS, AND COCOA PUFFS: A POP CULTURAL MANIFESTO, I instantly dubbed him one of my favourite comical nonfiction writers (in that he is writing the truth and it is funny, but he is not exactly being a comedian). Now, he has chosen to write about villains, all kinds, mostly nonfictional but a few fictional ones, too, using the argument that a villain can be boiled down to the person who knows the most and cares the least. You'll read about all kinds of things in this book, starting with Machiavelli and the notions associated with him to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, from the problem with the Eagles (and what that has to do with Taylor Swift) to a compare-and-contrast examination of how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and OJ Simpson are so similar yet so different. Perez Hilton, Kim Dotcom, and Wikileaks founder Assange are all discussed not long after the essay on Sandusky. You read about Nancy Botwin of WEEDS and Walter White of BREAKING BAD and learn why it is that suddenly we like drug dealers, but don't like drug users. What makes one villainous and the other innocent, or at least, neutral? The book starts off with an examination of how devious tying women to the railroad tracks became known as the ultimate evil deed, asking what makes other people evil or not evil, but it ends off on a self-reflective note, a perfect way to end frankly, short and sweet and slightly abrupt, but with the closure and finality that wraps up the details. Quite frankly, at a mere 200 pages, I wish I WEAR THE BLACK HAT was longer. Ultimately, the charisma stems from Klosterman's writing; his wit is most amusing. I discovered this was so as I realized that, had it been anyone else, I wouldn't care about sports commentary or music criticisms, but through his particular lens, I appreciate what I'm learning. For anyone who likes to learn and laugh simultaneously, Klosterman is the writer for you. I would definitely recommend I WEAR THE BLACK HAT.

m
mexicanadiense
Jul 24, 2013

Klosterman certainly amuses himself in this ill-conceived series of essays on villainy. After reading yet another list of bands he took way too seriously as a younger man, however, it became obvious that the author would stick to his own greatest hits and not go anywhere particularly new or exciting with this book. There's no denying the guy's got something to say, it just remains to see if he has anything ELSE to say.

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