New York Times Bestselling Author Chuck Klosterman's First Novel
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....more
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1) I realize slamming Klosterman is fashionable, but I liked this book, esp. the first 250 pages, quite a bit. However, it's important to note that Klosterman loves North Dakota and parts of Downtown Owl read like mash notes to the author's home state. You could see him sitting in a bar saying, "Wasn't growing up in North Dakota weird, even if we didn't know it at the time? But still, I can't complain."
2) I laughed out loud at least ten times whi ...more
The fact that he’s never written fiction before is painfully, achingly, stupefyingly, annoyingly obvious. First, there is the problem with the adverbs, which I won’t go into again.
To start off Klosterman can’t even answer the question of who is telling this story, one of the main tenets of all fi ...more
I think, perhaps, had I read this several years ago, it would have been The Best Book I've Ever Read. However, Douglas Coupland got to the several-years-ago-me first and so I spent the course of Downtown Owl looking for the Canada references. (There aren't any. But explain ...more
"Why do we get out of b ...more
Regular readers might be confused at first over why I found Downtown Owl, the debut novel by famed Generation X memoirist Chuck Klosterman, so incredibly terrible, given how many tropes it shares with CCLaP Publishing's first original book, Ben Tanzer's 2008 Repetition Patterns; after all, both are e ...more
When I got that this time, I hesitated. "It's about ... a small town in North Dakota, I guess?" Which is true, but it's not really about the town, it's about the people ...more
Then one day I found Killing Yourself to Live on the street, and found that book to actually have a great mix of pop culture references with a real story. I thought, "Wow, he really writes with such honesty here, I can't wait for hi ...more
This is my review. My review is this. After having read his first published stab at fiction in the form of a short story in Chuck Klosterma ...more
I hate the ending so much, I can't give this book a decent rating, even though I enjoyed listening to about two thirds of it up to the end. The third I disliked was the n ...more
Downtown Owl is not the novel I expected it to be. I don't know what I expected it to be, but it wasn't what was delivered to me. I think I half expected ...more
In the novel "Downtown Owl" by Chuck Klosterman, set in the 1980's the author writes of three characters who are intangibly connected. Julia, a twenty something woman who has just moved into Owl and is less than motivate ...more
It's also a good thing I grew up in a small town in North Dakota. I know where each of the small towns (other than the fictional Owl) he references are, and have been to probably all of them. And I have known all of the people in the book, just with different names.
Speaking of names ...more
I enjoyed individual chapters of the book. Unto themselves, there were quite a few of them that told interesting stories about the main characters with Klosterman's snarky pop culture commentary. I especially liked the sections that focused on Horace, the 74 year old widower. It's in these chapters that it feels like Klosterman's created a living, breathing person that exists outside of his ...more
With all that being said,a two-rating Is mighty benevolent of me ...more