Picks and Pans Review: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

updated 09/01/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/01/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Chuck Klosterman

If MTVeejays and the character Ethan Hawke always plays actually had something to say about pop culture, they'd sound like Klosterman. In the mad riffs of his essays and reported pieces (one about a Guns N' Roses cover band that loses—actually loses, as in can't find—its tour bus is priceless), he shows how The Empire Strikes Back created Gen X (Luke Skywalker was "incessantly whiny," "exhaustively educated" and had a repressive dad) and John Cusack's Lloyd Dobler schtick in Say Anything ruined the mind of every American female born between 1965 and 1978. And being on The Real World makes you "the kind of person who suddenly gets recognized at places like Burger King, but you will still be the kind of person who eats at places like Burger King." (Scribner, $23)

BOTTOM LINE: Dude, this rules!!!

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