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Monday, October 10, 2011

Being Invisible Lets You Get Really Close to People -- Ask Chuck Klosterman

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 9:00 AM

It's rare to have a middling opinion of Chuck Klosterman. Among the New York City literati, among whom he once stood as pre-eminent cultural critic, Klosterman has become something of a pariah for his contrarian take on media in the post-Gawker age. To the frustration of his detractors, Klosterman remains a moving target, evolving from a smart-ass 1990s pop-culture critic into a probing personal essayist, cantankerous sports pundit, and part-time novelist. He appears Tuesday at Booksmith.

It's part of a book tour promoting the release of his second novel, The Visible Man. One very unusual thing about this novel? It has a video trailer. You'll see it in the clip above -- it looks like a movie trailer. The story itself is far more unusual: It's about a therapist's relationship with an invisible man who sneaks into the homes of strangers to observe what they do when they're all alone.

click to enlarge Chuck Klosterman: moving target - RICHARD FLEISCHMAN
  • Richard Fleischman
  • Chuck Klosterman: moving target

Klosterman explores a number of themes that will be familiar to longtime readers: the pervasive influence of pop culture, the malleability of identity, and the psychological wormholes of the solitary life. His debut novel, Downtown Owl, was one of 2008's genuine literary surprises, a rare example of a skilled critic and essayist successfully transitioning to fiction.

Whether you admire him, despise him, or are one of the few cultural omnivores who doesn't give a damn, Klosterman's sharp wit and restless mind ensure his work is always worthy of attention.

Chuck Klosterman appears at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 11) at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Belvedere), S.F. Admission is free.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Paul M. Davis

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"