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Raised in Captivity

Fictional Nonfiction
Narrated by: Chuck Klosterman, full cast
Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Microdoses of the straight dope, stories so true they had to be wrapped in fiction for our own protection, from the best-selling author of But What if We're Wrong?

A man flying first class discovers a puma in the lavatory. A new coach of a small-town Oklahoma high school football team installs an offense comprised of only one very special play. A man explains to the police why he told the employee of his local bodega that his colleague looked like the lead singer of Depeche Mode, a statement that may or may not have led in some way to a violent crime. 

A college professor discusses with his friend his difficulties with the new generation of students. An obscure power pop band wrestles with its newfound fame when its song "Blizzard of Summer" becomes an anthem for white supremacists. A couple considers getting a medical procedure that will transfer the pain of childbirth from the woman to her husband. A woman interviews a hit man about killing her husband but is shocked by the method he proposes. 

A man is recruited to join a secret government research team investigating why coin flips are no longer exactly 50/50. A man sees a whale struck by lightning and knows that everything about his life has to change. A lawyer grapples with the unintended side effects of a veterinarian's rabies vaccination. 

Fair warning: Raised in Captivity does not slot into a smooth preexisting groove. If Saul Steinberg and Italo Calvino had adopted a child from a Romanian orphanage and raised him on Gary Larsen and Thomas Bernhard, he would still be nothing like Chuck Klosterman. They might be good company, though. 

Funny, wise and weird in equal measure, Raised in Captivity bids fair to be one of the most original and exciting story collections in recent memory, a fever graph of our deepest unvoiced hopes, fears and preoccupations. Ceaselessly inventive, hostile to corniness in all its forms, and mean only to the things that really deserve it, it marks a cosmic leap forward for one of our most consistently interesting writers.

Read by Chuck Klosterman, James Urbaniak, Bill Wise, Eddie Huang, Jon Wurster, H. Jon Benjamin, Jon Dolan, Mike Birbiglia, Kurt Loder, John Hodgman, Sloane Crosley, Chris Gethard, Will Brill, Dennis Boutsikaris, Melissa Maerz, Jeremy Bobb, Scott Shepherd, Brent Musburger, and Vincent Kartheiser.

©2019 Chuck Klosterman (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“A multitude of clever scenarios. . . . In these 34 stories, most featuring a hilarious denouement, [Klosterman] takes on racism, diets, cults, white privilege, and life with Trump as president. . . . No matter the topic, Klosterman’s gimlet eye and trenchant prose bedazzle.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Klosterman, one the most distinctive contemporary writers of nonfiction and fiction, presents a collection of very short stories . . . a delightful grab-bag of ideas, characters, and fantastical plots, all in prose that jumps off the page. . . . [T]hese vignettes, often with Twilight Zone- or Black Mirror-like premises, are both profoundly weird and weirdly profound. . . . [Raised in Captivity] is moving, funny, and ceaselessly entertaining.” (Booklist

“Acidly funny. . . . Armed with everything from existential crises to a robot dinosaur, there’s really something for everyone in this crisp collection of imaginative snippets. A colorful, somewhat wicked collection of stories that are touching as often as they are laugh-out-loud funny.” (Kirkus Reviews)

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Profile Image for Austin Pierce
  • Austin Pierce
  • 30-07-19

Two Favorite Stories: Fluke & Of Course It Is

This is an odd one. I gave up on it and came back.

Most stories involve death. Many involve suicide. They are often humorous, but bleak.

At first it felt like these lyrics:

“Cool blue reason empties on the page. Your colleagues are in prison and your enemies enraged. Cool blue reason comes into your world. There's two more dead in Texas and it's probably your girls.” - Cake

Then it felt like Black Mirror.

Then, after reading it all, I’d sum it up this way:

“And something is happening here but you don't know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?” - Bob Dylan

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip Blackwell
  • 05-08-19

Random af, alot of ...."What?"

As an Alabama football fan I was shocked at how much I enjoyed hearing Brent musburger's voice again. Some good distractions, some what the hell did I just listen to's ...sure why not.

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Profile Image for Randal Hall
  • Randal Hall
  • 22-07-19

Pretty Good

I prefer when Chuck reads the entire book. But most of the performances were solid.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for D. R. Hooper
  • D. R. Hooper
  • 12-08-19

Thought provoking AND utterly stupid

I love Chuck and many of his strange stories but these were all so pointless that I sighed in distress after completing almost every one of them.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Fernando J. Infanzon
  • Fernando J. Infanzon
  • 04-08-19

painfully boring...

I'm a big Klosterman fan, but this is such a boring and poorly written collection of short stories. They're neither insightful nor interesting. Unfortunately this effort was clearly mailed in.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Spencer
  • Spencer
  • 19-07-19

love Klosterman!

Short stories that make you reflect on our modern age. I've liked some of his other books more, but this was highly enjoyable. There was a point in the book where either a direction or something can be heard talking instead of the narrator.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Goddess Beautii
  • 17-07-19

Makes you think

The stories are ridiculous but they make you think about the true possibilities of life

1 of 5 people found this review helpful