Downtown Owl: A Novel (Unabridged)
by Chuck Klosterman
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Somewhere 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 to Goats Head Soup. Horace Jones has resided in Owl for 73 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 of The Last Picture Show fused with Friday Night Lights, Chuck Klosterman's Downtown Owl is 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 in Downtown Owl, what matters more is how you ask the question.
Another gem from Chuck...
This is a fabulous book, full of the same wit, humor, and keen awareness that CK uses in his non-fiction. It reads, like his other books, seamlessly and energetically, and, since it is set in a town simillar to which he grew up, his detailed description of small town life in North Dakota fascinated someone like me (a Californian). If you are looking for a life-changer, this isn't it. If you want to laugh and be sucked into a book, Downtown Owl definatley works.
What a waste of time
Chuck should stick to non fiction, pop culture musings. This book was a waste of 8+ hours, nothing happens until the end and even that is disappointing. I realize the book is about a boring small town but it did not need to bore me as if I lived there. Chuck, you owe me another book about 80's hair bands.
i love chuck but
this book really was a waste of time, and he is my favorite author