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Extended Audio Sample But What If Were Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past, by Chuck Klosterman Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chuck Klosterman Narrator: Chuck Klosterman, Fiona Hardingham Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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We live in a culture of casual certitude. This has always been the case, no matter how often that certainty has failed. Though no generation believes there’s nothing left to learn, every generation unconsciously assumes that what has already been defined and accepted is (probably) pretty close to how reality will be viewed in perpetuity. And then, of course, time passes. Ideas shift. Opinions invert. What once seemed reasonable eventually becomes absurd, replaced by modern perspectives that feel even more irrefutable and secure—until, of course, they don’t.

But What If We’re Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who’ll perceive it as the distant past. Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or—weirder still—widely known, but entirely disrespected)? Is it possible that we “overrate” democracy? And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we’ve reached the end of knowledge?

Kinetically slingshotting through a broad spectrum of objective and subjective problems, But What If We’re Wrong? is built on interviews with a variety of creative thinkers—George Saunders, David Byrne, Jonathan Lethem, Kathryn Schulz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Junot Díaz, Amanda Petrusich, Ryan Adams, Nick Bostrom, Dan Carlin, and Richard Linklater, among others—interwoven with the type of high-wire humor and nontraditional analysis only Klosterman would dare to attempt. It’s a seemingly impossible achievement: a book about the things we cannot know, explained as if we did. It’s about how we live now, once “now” has become “then.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Klosterman is outlining the ideology of a contrarian here and reminding us of the important role that revisionism plays in cultural writing. What matters is the way he thinks about thinking—and the way he makes you think about how you think.”

    Washington Post

  • “[Klosterman] takes on the really big picture…He ranges far and wide over the realm of known knowns and known unknowns.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Inquisitive, thoughtful, and dryly funny… Crackling with the writer’s signature wit.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “Klosterman’s trademark humor and unique curiosity propel the reader through the book. He remains one of the most insightful critics of pop culture writing today and this is his most thought-provoking and memorable book yet.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A spin class for the brain…Klosterman challenges readers to reexamine the stability of basic concepts, and in doing so broadens our perspectives.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Full of intelligence and insights, as the author gleefully turns ideas upside down to better understand them…Replete with lots of nifty, whimsical footnotes, this clever, speculative book challenges our beliefs with jocularity and perspicacity.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Fiona Hardingham[‘s]…youthful, English-accented delivery is lively and engaging, and she proves capable with the quirks and pivots of Klosterman’s style…She communicates the points and captures the nuance…[while] Klosterman adds a bit more nonconformity and meaningful reflection, further enlivening the production.”

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times Bestseller
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