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Downtown Owl

Average Rating 4
( 60 )
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5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Seinfeld-esque

If you are looking for a novel with a beginning,a middle and an end that leaves you feeling your main characters have resolved a problem or grown in the course of the story's events, then this book is not for you. Simply put, this is three separate slice-of-life storie...
If you are looking for a novel with a beginning,a middle and an end that leaves you feeling your main characters have resolved a problem or grown in the course of the story's events, then this book is not for you. Simply put, this is three separate slice-of-life stories running concurrently about three individuals and an interesting cast of secondary characters who all happen to live in a very small town called Owl, North Dakota. It offers an inside glimpse of how narrow life can be in a small town when some little thing you said or did at one insignificant moment in your life becomes the standard by which you are defined for the rest of it. The novel is hilarious and sad, pointed and pointless--and something I could not put down. Interestingly, everyone seems to know everything about everyone in Owl, but only superficially. The problem is that superficial knowledge is all that matters in Owl. What I was left with at the end was the question, and the question is this: Is it better to be defined and remembered (probably incorrectly) for one single incident in your life, or not to be remembered at all?

posted by Anonymous on September 22, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Protentious Fluff

There is no mind or matter incorporated into this work of fiction. It is obvious Chuck didn't take to much time trying to find an original concept for his themes in this novel. It reads just like 'Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs', except with a whole handful of badly developed...
There is no mind or matter incorporated into this work of fiction. It is obvious Chuck didn't take to much time trying to find an original concept for his themes in this novel. It reads just like 'Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs', except with a whole handful of badly developed characters thrown into the pot. The ending of the book is a poor attempt at a Scorsese-esque build up, that fails worse than a Carrot Top production.

posted by Anonymous on July 13, 2008

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  • Posted January 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Klosterman's first novel is pretty much truth!

    I always read Klosterman's work with great intersest. I've always felt that his essays are either right on, or pretentious and reaching. When I found out that he was writing his first novel about small town North Dakota life, I was greatly intrigued. I know it's where he came from, and since I came from there as well... I felt I could be a fair judge. What success! It's like he took notes on my life and wove them into characters. The most accurate descriptions come as he describes the feeling of being a small town quarterback. This novel made me appreciate Chuck Klosterman more than I ever thought I would. A great book, by an even greater observer!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Klosterman Attempts Fiction

    I have read Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman. Now I will a) write a review of it here and b) attempt to write said review in the style of Chuck Klosterman. When I picked up this book I was (mostly) excited to read a new work by Mr. Klosterman though (somewhat) apprehensive about his taking on of the fiction novel genre. I was 85% happy with the final outcome.

    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 Klosterman IV I didn't believe he could really make me enjoy a full scale novel. I was wrong. Downtown Owl was pretty good. Klosterman sticks to what he knows. Pop culture observations this time done through the eyes of ficticious characters. So even if the book is not a literary masterpiece, it still is an honest solid work by the well established author.

    My biggest qualm with the story (and it's not a major point of contention) is that on the whole the story seemed to lack a point. We follow three different characters from the same small rural town of OWL living three different kinds of existences but never crossing each others paths. A sort of three seperate stories united and seperate at the same time. The ending was paradoxically unnecessary and necessary at the same. The ending is truely the part of the book that warrants discussion and debate.

    All in all another good (and different) effort by Chuck Klosterman. I look foreward to his next book.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    dramatic Change in Klosterman's work

    This is a well written book. The 3 main characters are well developed as are the supporting characters. There are many lines in the book you will enjoy sharing if you read this in a book club. The plot is not a very concrete one. I didn't know where the story was going and it didn't really go anywhere. This will be fine for many people. This book should not be read by those who read for escapism, though.
    If you have some decent disposable income, go ahead and buy it.

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