Friday, October 9, 2009

Downtown Owl

This book had two of the saddest chapters I have ever read in it. It also had some of the funniest writing and best ear for conversation I have read lately. Klosterman can write - especially to have so much tragedy and comedy in one book. He can write how people talk and that has to be hard. This is his first work of fiction and I really enjoyed it.

The story is told by different narrators who each get their own chapter. This allows Klosterman some neat narrative tricks. Mitch's comments on "1984" (see? can't get away from this one this year) made me laugh out loud on the el. Horace's chapters almost brought me to tears on the el. And tears in an "Elegance of the Hedgehog" way.

I'm not sure I would like Klosterman's non-fiction writing. He was born in 1972 and the sample of his forthcoming book that was included in "Downtown Owl" was a little too cool for me. I enjoyed the inane teenage conversations in "Downtown Owl" as a work of fiction but don't know that I would want to read the same type of insights and ramblings in non-fiction. I hope he writes another fiction book because this one is in the running for best of 2009.

Thanks to T. for bringing this back from BEA. I doubt I would have ever picked it up on my own. I have an autographed copy - it says "Sarah....Power! Chuck Klosterman".

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