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November 17, 2008 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | November 17, 2008 |


I’ve got a fairly love/hate relationship with Chuck Klosterman, much as I did with the Sports Guy before he started repeating himself. I love the works of Klosterman — who was once thought to be the voice of Gen X — but I hate the guy for doing it before I could. I mean, come on: There’s nothing in any of his books that most of us haven’t already thought before, he was just the first guy to put them in print. That’s probably what makes him such an easy read — sometimes, it’s like talking to yourself, except for the Billy Joel part. Billy Joel blows, though I will grant that, as far as guilty pleasures go, Joel at least makes for some interesting copy.

To the point: Now that Klosterman’s star has faded (partly because bloggers have replaced his voice), Hollywood has decided to option one of his books for a movie. If I were going to choose one, I’d probably pick Fargo Rock City, just for an excuse to revisit glam metal, but Hollywood has chosen, instead, a book that’s a little more unwieldy in terms of translating it to the big-screen: Killing Yourself to Live. The book is about an “epic” road trip that Klosterman took to visit the death sites of a lot of famous musicians — it’s a great book, mind you. But most of the good stuff revolves around his idle thoughts, his digressions, and his thoughts on his past relationships. It’s kind of like High Fidelity without a plot. It makes for a great book, but whenever Hollywood tries to translate this to the big screen, they usually end up giving up before getting it off the ground (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) or ruining the book with a terrible fucking movie, e.g., Running with Scissors. Fortunately, David Sedaris has so far been saved from the cinematic treatment (though, there was even an attempt at that). Nice wordplay, humorous anecdotes, cool turns of phrase, and pop-culture ramblings often make decent books, but rarely do well as a feature film.

Klosterman’s idea is to turn it into a comedic road trip movie heavily based on rock n’ roll, but I’m guessing this will never make it out of the script stage. It’s a win-win for Klosterman — he gets the option money, but he’ll never have his words bastardized by a Hollywood hack.

Killing Yourself for a Movie / Dustin Rowles

Industry | November 17, 2008 | Comments ()




Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.


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