The Nineties: A Book

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To borrow a friend’s phrase, “I am the arrow through the bullseye target market” for Chuck Klosterman’s latest book The Ninetie. As a 1994 high school graduate who majored in English and became a high school English teacher, the social, political, economic, and musical research in the book scratched nearly every one of my pop culture itches.

What Klosterman gets perfectly right is identifying the moments that resonate from that wild decade thirty years later. He hits on the television and music shaping those days in a way that makes them seem fresh even for someone like me who remembers the moments in real-time. His breakdown of the Nirvana video for Smells Like Teen Spirit transported me back to my thirteen-inch screen television with its bootlegged cable box, tuning into MTV and feeling cooler and a little afraid for reasons I was too young to understand.

What The Nineties is doing, I think, is justifying and outlining a decade that can often feel like a joke. Low rise pants and wallet chains, Ross Perot as a presidential candidate, popular sitcoms like Seinfeld that were arguably about absolutely nothing—how could any self-respecting person take the nineties seriously? But Klosterman makes the case that even the most ridiculous elements of the age had, and still have, weight, and to know where we’re going, it would do us all some good to revisit where we’ve been.


Reviewed By:

Author Chuck Klosterman
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Penguin Press
Publish Date 08-Feb-2022
ISBN 9780735217959
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2022
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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