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Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman
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Downtown Owl (2008)

by Chuck Klosterman

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7412812,575 (3.44)25
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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I love Chuck Klosterman. I regularly read his articles in various publications (his stuff in Grantland is particularly good) and his non-fiction books. This is my first time reading his fiction (and, as it happens his first published fiction.) I truly enjoyed this look at small town life, its joys and its limitations. I also enjoyed befriending the town denizens through whom this story is told. This is a little like Northern Exposure in North Dakota. There are not many deep truths here, and the end feels contrived, but it is a fun read (about deeply depressed people) and the writing is delightful.

I listened the audiobook, and heartily recommend it. The various readers are excellent and the story is well-suited to being read aloud ( )
  Narshkite | Nov 19, 2013 |
Super boring. He should stick to non-fiction. ( )
  lisan. | Oct 4, 2013 |
Slow read. I had a difficult time finishing it. There were a lot of interesting things going on with various characters in the book, so there was a lot of potential. I think if the author would have focused on one or two characters and created the book around them, it would have kept my interest better. It did pick up quite a bit near the end, in fact, I couldn't put it down), but at that point I had almost finished the book. If you stick with it, you might be glad you finished it. This is not your happily-ever-after kind of book, but the end is superb. ( )
  admccrae | Apr 3, 2013 |
This book left me not hating it, but not loving it either. Like everyone else notes, there are plenty of pop cultural references and parenthetical asides that every Chuck Klosterman fan recognize. But I feel like he could've done more with the characters and the ending seemed random. ( )
  Rincey | Mar 29, 2013 |
Throw away phrases make this book worth the read. ( )
  Ivegotzooms | Feb 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Melissa, and for North Dakota
First words
When Mitch Hrlicka heard that his high school football coach had gotten another teenage girl pregnant, he was forty bushels beyond bamboozled.
Quotations
The middle class does not exist. If you believe you are part of the middle class, it just mean you're rich and insecure or poor and misinformed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743573722, Audio CD)

New York Times bestselling author and “oneofAmerica’stop cultural critics” (Entertainment Weekly) Chuck Klosterman’s debut novel brilliantly captures the charm and dread of small town life—now available in trade paperback. Somewhere in rural North Dakota, there is a fictional town called Owl. They don’t have cable. They don’t really have pop culture, but they do have grain prices and alcoholism. People work hard and then they die. 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. A history teacher, she gets free booze and falls in love with a self-loathing bison farmer. Widower and local conversationalist Horace Jones has resided in Owl for seventy-three years. They all know each other completely, except that they’ve never met. But when a deadly blizzard— based on an actual storm that occurred in 1984—hits the area, their lives are derailed in unex- pected and powerful ways. An unpretentious, darkly comedic story of how it feels to exist in a community where local mythology and violent reality are pretty much the same thing, Downtown Owl is “a satisfying character study and strikes a perfect balance between the funny and the pro- found” (Publishers Weekly).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:52 -0400)

A tale based on a deadly 1984 North Dakota blizzard follows the experiences of a small rural community devoted to its high-school athletics and its citizens' minor scandals, until a dangerous storm impacts the town in unsettling and powerful ways.

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