Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let's Book Club!: Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman

Downtown Owl, Chuck Klosterman's first (I'm pretty sure) work of fiction, reads remarkably like his other (non-fiction, obviously) work, which, is probably a strange statement. Sure, he tells a story, the story has characters, but its the way that Klosterman goes about telling the story in this choppy, mulit-dimensional kind of way, and the use of a bunch of different literary devices(?) - I'm not a lit major - which just makes it feel (to me) a lot like Sex, Drugs and Coa-Coa Puffs. Although, this might be the most obvious statement in the world since I'm esentially saying that 'this thing CK has written is like the other stuff CK has written', so, duh... right.

On the whole, Klosterman creates some interesting characters and sets them in wholly uninteresting place (a small town, Owl, ND), and the book comes across more as a showcase for what CK can do as a writer rather than a compelling story, or, alternately, a story that tells us something about human nature, or the world, or something more profound. But, maybe that tells us something about Klosterman, who, while an interesting guy to listen to (I think he's been really interesting on the BS Report), he strikes me as an introverted dude that people must've kept their distance from in high school.

Grade: Compared to the other fiction I've read since the beginning of the year (The Road) its definitely not as good, but the characters were interesting and Klosterman is def. a creative dude. B

Up next: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which came up on my google search for 'best books 2008' and Kyle gave it an 'A', so away we go....

1. The Inner Game of Tennis | Timothy Gallwey (134 pages) | A
2. The Last Shot | Darcy Frey (240 pages) | A+
3. The Road | Cormac McCarthy (287 pages) | A+
4. Outliers | Malcolm Gladwell (299 pages) | C+
5. The Last Season | Phil Jackson (304 pages) | B-
The Sunset Limited | Cormac McCarthy (160 pages)| B-
7. The Education of a Coach | David Halberstam (288 pages)| B+
8. Downtown Owl | Chuck Klosterman | (288 pages)| B

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