Book Review: Shotgun Lovesongs

Shotgun Lovesongs
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me years to read this book. Well, 17 days to read it, but years to begin reading it.

It’s been sitting there on the pages of Volume One for what seems to me like Ever, and I have, for mysterious reasons, scorned it. Somewhere in my stubborn and sometimes misguided brain, Mike Perry is the only local author worth reading. This is, of course, ridiculous. I have not tried any other local authors, for one. And for two, I aspire to one day BE a local author, and a damned good one at that. But still, reason is weak when confronted with decided points.

For reasons I do not remember, I finally broke down and ordered it (from the library; let’s not get crazy optimistic), and by page three I remarked to my husband, “I think I see why folks like this guy.”

Shotgun Lovesongs was a delightful read. It was fun to see Nickolas Butler bring Eau Claire, and small town Wisconsin in general, to life on the page, and I enjoyed his story, but mostly he is just a gifted writer.

The story was real and raw and touching, and gave me a slightly better understanding of the relationships and tendencies around here (and there, and probably everywhere) that I dismiss as asinine. Did not change my opinion, but compassion is always a good thing.

But the words. The words were beautiful. His voice somehow wove backwater hick with deepwater poetry seamlessly, bringing depth and reality to his characters, to his world. So many layers, simply cast.

I may gush too much, but conversion usually does that. I’m glad I finally picked it up, despite my petty and irrational reservations.

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