By Chuck Klosterman
(Scribner, Paperback, 9781416544197, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: , Hardcover
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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).
Chuck Klosterman is the author of Chuck Klosterman IV; Fargo Rock City; Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; and Killing Yourself to Live. He was until recently a columnist for Esquire, a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, and has also written for GQ, Spin, The Washington Post, ESPN, and The Believer. He lives in New York City.
"An astonishingly moving book, a minor masterpiece in the genre we might call small-town quirkiana."
-- The Boston Globe
"It's tempting to compare this novel with Sherwood Anderson's classic portrait of small-town American life, Winesburg, Ohio. But no one in Winesburg listened to Ozzy Osbourne. And Klosterman is much funnier than Anderson." -- The Washington Post