Downtown Owl: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: September 2008

Duration: 9 hours 0 minutes


New York Times Bestselling Author Chuck Kosterman's First Novel

Somewhere in North Dakota, there is a town called Owl that isn't there. Disco is over, but punk never happened. They don't have cable. They don't really have pop culture, unless you count grain prices and alcoholism. People work hard and then they die. They hate the government and impregnate teenage girls. 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. She gets free booze and falls in love with a self-loathing bison farmer who listens to Goats Head Soup. Horace Jones has resided in Owl for seventy-three years. He consumes a lot of coffee, thinks about his dead wife, and understands the truth. They all know each other completely, except that they've never met.

Like a colder, Reagan-era version of The Last Picture Show fused with Friday Night Lights, Chuck Klosterman's Downtown Owl is the unpretentious, darkly comedic story of how it feels to exist in a community where rural mythology and violent reality are pretty much the same thing. Loaded with detail and unified by a (very real) blizzard, it's technically about certain people in a certain place at a certain time ... but it's really about a problem. And the problem is this: What does it mean to be a normal person? And there is no answer. But in Downtown Owl what matters more is how you ask the question.


  • Renae

    I was enjoying this book and the development of the characters. I liked the way the author has a tendency to weave 80's music references into the story line and the " she said/she meant" dialogue that holds so much truth in the way people communicate, although the narrator who read that dialogue could have done a better job inflecting the dialogue lead-ins. I didn’t like the way the book ends "undone." Other than the climatic event at the end, there is no follow-through. It just ends as though all of the well-developed characters just hit a brick wall and remained that way. Downtown Owl is a very interesting book. But be prepared; just as with other owls, this book will sit patiently still and let you study it until you are fully engrossed in the story. Then suddenly, in a gust of cold wind, Downtown Owl takes flight into the night, leaving your curiosity unfulfilled. When that happens, be prepared to journal your own ending in a way that is meaningful to you.

  • Anonymous

    This book was extremely shallow with a very uneccessary(to the plot) and graphic description of animal cruelty. Readers and listeners, stay away.

  • Betty

    I enjoyed listening to this book. However, the characters were very unsympathetic at times. The shades of grey, in the character studies, nevertheless, was intriguing. Some of the descriptors in the book were unforgettable. Klosterman has a gift for phrasing.

  • Anonymous

    Good book, funny, kept me sitting in my car. I did not like the ending. Too vague.

Downtown Owl: A Novel

by Chuck Klosterman

has successfully been added to your shopping cart

Downtown Owl: A Novel, Chuck Klosterman