Downtown Owl

Downtown Owl

Book - 2008
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New York TimesBestselling Author Chuck Klosterman's First NovelSomewhere in North Dakota, there is a town called Owl that isn't there. Disco is over, but punk never happened. They don't have cable. They don't really have pop culture, unless you count grain prices and alcoholism. People work hard and then they die. They hate the government and impregnate teenage girls. But that's not nearly as awful as it sounds; in fact, sometimes it's perfect.Mitch Hrlicka lives in Owl. He plays high school football and worries about his weirdness, or lack thereof. Julia Rabia just moved to Owl. She gets free booze and falls in love with a self-loathing bison farmer who listens toGoats Head Soup. Horace Jones has resided in Owl for seventy-three years. He consumes a lot of coffee, thinks about his dead wife, and understands the truth. They all know each other completely, except that they've never met.Like a colder, Reagan-era version ofThe Last Picture Showfused withFriday Night Lights, Chuck Klosterman'sDowntown Owlis the unpretentious, darkly comedic story of how it feels to exist in a community where rural mythology and violent reality are pretty much the same thing. Loaded with detail and unified by a (very real) blizzard, it's technically about certain people in a certain place at a certain time...but it's really about a problem. And the problem is this: What does it mean to be a normal person? And there is no answer. But inDowntown Owl, what matters more is how you ask the question.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2008.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781416544180
Characteristics: 275 pages ; 23 cm


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Dec 12, 2014

Really interesting book with well-written characters and an ending that left me stunned. Would highly recommend if you're looking for something different, something that doesn't follow the standard formula.

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 26, 2014

Esteemed pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman’s first novel follows the lives of Mitch (a high school student), Julia (a young teacher) and Horace (an old man) in the tiny and fictional town of Owl, North Dakota. Set in the mid-1980s, the novel presents rural American life from three very different perspectives and is at once hilarious and thoughtful.

diesellibrarian Nov 16, 2010

A surprisingly competent debut novel from one of my favourite rock n' roll writers. Klosterman's obsession with music comes through a little too strongly at times, but other than that, it works well. A genuine pathos emerges as the novel takes a surprise twist toward then end. A nice take on the randomness of this life that we sometimes take too seriously.

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