Saturday, February 1, 2014

Review: Shotgun Lovesongs ( Audio ) By: Nickolas Butler

Shotgun Lovesongs: A NovelShotgun Lovesongs: A Novel by Nickolas Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A unique voice telling the tale of small town Americana as told from different points of view. The intertwining of lives through the years, the complexity of the relationships each one holds with the other, the secrets, the pains, and the triumphs. Welcome to Little Wing, Wisconsin.
Henry, AKA Hank, is the strongest link of this group. A farmer, married to Beth, a father, generally happy with his hometown life…his life. The simple sunset, the milking of the cows, he has a sense of happiness and gratitude, a man’s whose treasures are not measures in gold, but who is truly rich.
Beth, married to Henry, mother, holds a secret, sometimes loses sight of what is for the road that wasn’t traveled. She knows how lucky she is and feels guilt because of this. Motherly to everyone within the group.
Leland, AKA Lee, the famous musician that made it big but always comes home. No matter what in life, Lee makes his way home, after a tour, making a new record, dating a movie star – it’s his and only his. He feels the emptiness of not having someone to share a life with, not having children, envious of the happiness he sees in his friends having in the simple things and he wants it, he thought he had it years ago once.
Ronnie, former rodeo star, alcoholic, and living with a brain injury. Currently in recovery, having a great sense of life, living, and perspective. He has Lee as a benefactor, best friends that watch after him, yet feels caged in and trapped and feels the need to be free.
Kip, the small town boy who went to Chicago made it big and returned. He was never that popular within the group, yet came back home to buy The Mill, make it into something. He tends to be more worried about how things appear to others, but over time and a few stories (especially Harvey Bunion) you see a deeper complexity.
The town itself is also a character and a metaphor for each one of the characters. Symbolic as each one speaks and shares a moment, a story, a secret – and as the words unfold, so does the town, as a separate entity each time.
I really enjoyed the tone of the story, the weaving of tales, the characters that were so well developed. The only thing, there was so much jumping around – so much, back and forth, that sometimes it felt a little whiplash and that you missed something, but you didn’t. Really good, take your time with this one, I think this is an author’s voice that has been missing in novels lately.

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