“Downtown Owl”November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Fiction | 3 Comments
I loved this book! I loved it! I loved it so much! If I found more fiction like this, I’d read novels a lot more often.
Gush gush gush.
Downtown Owl is Chuck Klosterman’s first work of fiction (after four nonfiction books), and if it’s any indication of his talents, then I hope he’s working on another one right now.
How would I describe Downtown Owl? I thought of it as Northern Exposure written by Douglas Coupland, with maybe a touch of Ghost World. It’s one of those stories where pretty much nothing happens except for some fantastic, fascinating, quirky conversations. I kept following Rocket Scientist around reading bits of it to him. We went to bed when I still had about 30 pages left, and after tossing and turning for a while, I got up and finished it in the guest room. That was the part where, suddenly, all the action happened! It was one of the more dramatic endings I’d ever read in a novel, and I hadn’t seen it coming at all.
One of the things I liked about this book was that I had to work to figure out what the cover design meant. Those white dots are actually cut-outs. As I was reading the book, I kept playing with them, peeking down behind the plastic library cover to see if there was something inside, wondering if I was going to be prompted to put my fingers through them or something. Then, when I put the book down, I thought, Ah, I get it now! It was like staring at the cover of R.E.M.’s Green album and wondering why it was orange, then suddenly looking up at the wall and understanding. Only, not quite.
Anyway. Downtown Owl is quite the story. I enjoyed it tremendously and I hope you do, too.