Radio Times

Culture critic Chuck Klosterman on villainy

July 25, 2013

Many of us want to read and see movies about bad guys. But “Why would anyone want to be evil?” our guest, writer CHUCK KLOSTERMAN asks in the preface to his new book of essays. From the act of tying a woman to the train tracks to murdering a crowd of innocent people, he writes about the presentation and perception of villains in our popular culture. The winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award 2001 for his debut novel, “Fargo Rock City” and The New York Times Magazine’s “The Ethicist,” Klosterman’s exploration into the nature of evil is part an exercise in his waning hatred for rock bands. He sees vigilantism through Batman, New York Subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz and the Death Wish and Dirty Harry films. Hitler is placed in the pages as a presence as Klosterman puts the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Newt Gingrich and O.J. Simpson through the villain filter in his new book, “I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined).”

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