Yes, I Love John Carter. Yes, I Love Chuck Klosterman. No, That Does Not Mean They Don’t Disappoint Me.

Published May 2, 2012 by jrm17

Maybe I’m just really good at picking out books the first time.  Maybe I’m so good at this that I am destined for disappointment every time thereafter that I pick up a book by the same author or in the same series.  Or maybe I’m not crazy and things just go down hill after the first book.  Okay, it’s probably that I’m just being overdramatic (shocker, right?)  but this is something that seems to be happening an awful lot lately.

It all started with Chuck Klosterman way back around Christmas.  If you’ve read any of my posts from around that time, you very well know how Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs changed my life.  If you haven’t, you need to go read them and the book because it is the most epic thing I have ever read and this is coming from a person with a small library in her house.  Anyway, I loved Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs like nothing else.  It was one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever had the pleasure of reading and it was pretty funny, too.  Let’s just say that at that point in time, upon first reading it, I would have married Chuck Klosterman no doubt.

Then a few weeks later came my encounter with Eating the Dinosaur.  I figured it had an awesome title–I mean, who doesn’t want to talk about dinosaurs and I may be a vegetarian but sure, what the heck?  Let’s talk about eating them–and it was by Chuck Klosterman, who I was still very much crushing on at that moment.  I could not fathom any way possible for this book to disappointment.  Boy, was I wrong.  I’m not saying it was a bad book.  The writing was still brilliantly snarky and satirical.  It was a great look at pop culture.  But it just didn’t affect me the same way Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs did.  And that led to a lot of disappointment on my end.  I am still standing by that someone with much more knowledge of the pop culture in Eating the Dinosaur would probably enjoy it as much as I did his first book I read.  I think that’s my problem.  I was familiar and well-educated on many of the topics in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs or, at least, they were things that I could quickly form vaguely intelligent opinions on.  So, I decided to give Klosterman another try…

That brings us to the third book by Chuck Klosterman that Barnes and Noble had supplied me with in a short period of time.  This time I went with Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas.  According to Wikipedia (My great source of knowledge on everything), this was supposed to be a collection of previously published essays and “a semi-biographical novella.”  Okay, cool.  Whatever.  Let me put it this way.  I got this book way back in the beginning of the semester.  The same semester that ends with finals next week.  I’m still not even halfway through nor am I looking to finish it anyway soon.

Don’t get me wrong.  We are still looking at the writing style from the first book that I loved.  He has a very distinct writing voice that I love and connect to really deeply.  I think we’re looking at the same problem as with second book: I just don’t care about the topics.  Okay, that’s not completely true.  From what I remember, there are two essays that really stuck out to me.  And that’s because they were about musical artists that I really like (or at least they were related to them in some small way)–Britney Spears and Led Zeppelin (Yes, I know that’s a weird combination but I am a child of the ’90s trapped with the musical mentality of a stoner in the ’70s.  Therefore, I can like both.  Deal with it).  Other than that, I remember things about the White Stripes and Metallica and some other stuff that I couldn’t care less about (However, there was something about REO Speedwagon, Journey, and Def Leppard or something.  I forget but they were three classic rock bands that I love and I still couldn’t get into it).  Anyway, that was run in number one with the slow decay of something that got me really excited at the beginning in the world of books.

Let’s move on to what makes this a recurrence (Or maybe a pattern.  I don’t know.  It’s something)–the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice

Seriously. Most adorable thing ever. Photo from http://www.vulture.com/2012/02/why-were-obsessed-with-woola-from-john-carter.html. Check out the link for a cute article about him.

Burroughs.  Now, we all know that the only reason I wanted to see John Carter in theaters was because I will absolutely marry Tim Riggins (Okay, I know he’s fictional but Taylor Kitsch will do in a pinch) in a heartbeat.  Turns out I loved the plot and it made its way onto my top 10 favorite movies list in a matter of seconds after ending (Plus, Woola is about the cutest thing I have ever seen…besides Taylor, of course).  Of course, the book is different from the movie.  No big surprise there, especially considering Princess of Mars–the inspiration for the movie–was published in 1912.  Well, I liked the book…a lot.  So much so that I quickly planned on not reading another book for myself until I finished all the books in the series.  Therefore, I made my mama and daddy buy me the second one for my Easter present.

Okay, it hasn’t been as big of a let down as the Chuck Klosterman fiasco.  The Gods of Mars is a good book.  It’s just a lot of unnecessary detail that I don’t need and a lot of exposition.  I know I have said that books can get the Stephen King Syndrome as I like to put it, where this is a reoccurring issue, and I think this is true for the Barsoom series.  That’s what’s taking me so long to finish this one.  I think the plot is really interesting.  I like that it picks up a little in the future from where Princess of Mars left off and the following book comes in directly after where this one finishes.  I don’t really want to give anything away but basically John Carter, Prince of Helium in the House of Jeddak whoever or whatever he says (Or as we like to say, Captain John Carter of Vir-gin-yah!  You can’t tell me that wasn’t one of the funniest things in the movie) is searching for Dejah Thoris, the hottie princess of Helium, with the help of some various secondary characters (including everyone’s favorite Thark, Tars Tarkas).  Anyway, the plot is cool but they must have really liked detail back in the day because that’s what’s killing it for me.  I’ve only got 50 pages left and those are going to done by the end of the weekend (Hopefully.  Finals may kill that plan).  I was really into the whole Phaidor (or whatever that chick’s name was) and Thuvia being in love with John Carter and his cute little Confederate butt trying to explain–unsuccessfully–that Dejah Thoris is the only woman John Carter loves.  Here’s hoping Warlords of Mars is not a let down.

I can’t say this happens with every series I read.  Clearly, I have loved Vampire Diaries enough to read all this time–even including the books LJ did not write (That may kill my love, though.  We’ll see.  I’m a little behind on them).  And let me tell you, Vampire Academy!  I love this series.  There’s been a huge gap between reading the first one last summer and the second one over Christmas break and the third one coming into my possession very soon but, nevertheless, they have gotten better and more enthralling with every page.  I may have been bad and not been able to handle not knowing and Wikipedia-ed the whole series so I know what happens.  However, it only made me more excited to finish the series (Plus, there’s a page on Facebook pulling for Taylor Kitsch to play Dimitri.  He would make a fabulous one in the movie and I am all for it.  But, heck, I’ll see anything that boy is in.  Battleship, here I come).

I won’t let this disappointment ruin my dirty reading habit.  I just think that either I’m on a very bad luck streak or I am making some weird decisions that have made everything…weird.  Anyway, maybe I’ll try to go finish John Carter now (Picturing Taylor the whole time really helps encourage me to finish 🙂 ).

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