Shotgun Lovesongs – Nickolas Butler /// Adult – Contemporary
Guy’s, I’m catching up…in that this book is sorta new and it hasn’t been on my ‘to read’ list as long as other titles.
This is a book I recommended to my mom, who loved it. That probably tells you more about it than any review I could give you.
The story is simply the tale of four childhood friends who are now grown and facing their very real world (kinda – one is a famous musician, here’s looking at you Bon Iver) problems. They all reconnect in their small hometown in northeastern Wisconsin and are able to seemingly pick up right where they left off. The story follows them over the years and really is a sweet tale of male friendship without being cheesy. I found this incredibly refreshing because we usually don’t get this development of friendship between male characters in an honest way. I think because I went to college in Northern Wisconsin (Go Pointers!) these guys reminded me a lot of the guys I went to school with. Being at separate schools, all heading home to their same small town, and picking up right where they left off.
My biggest problem had nothing to do with the story itself, but the structure as a whole. Every chapter was from a different characters point of view but they al had close to the same voice which made it hard to differentiate or form a strong connection to any singular character. They all blended together fairly easily and after finishing last week I cannot remember a single one of their names. As much as their voices were lacking they all did have development that felt true so I did appreciate that. Following their dreams is such a simple notion yet Butler was able to bring out the complexities of it in even distinguishing the differences in their dreams without any of them being “better.”
Overall a good read but I skimmed a lot more than I am proud to admit. Really, I think had this been a series of short stories I would have been love.
“In all my travels, only in the Midwest would someone spend their money in a place they hate simply because they feel bad for the proprietors. Also I suppose, because they know your name.”
“Winter in Wisconsin is the ideal time to avoid someone because our garments grow ever larger, ever thicker, and we go about the frozen world insulated beneath knit caps and mittens, our feet clad in mukluks or boots.”
ReRead? No…but my mom just bought his book of short stories which I think look awesome