You Gotta Read This: Shotgun Lovesongs


My dad walked into the room and dropped an open copy of The New Yorker Magazine onto my countertop. “You gotta read this.” he said. The article was a review of Shotgun Lovesongs, the debut novel by Nickolas Butler, an author out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin (which is the small town I lived for 9 years before moving to the Twin Cities…represent!) How had I not heard of this book until now?

It’s the story of 4 men. Childhood best friends who make their way back to their tiny, fictional, Wisconsin town called Little Wing for a wedding. Henry never left town. He married his highschool sweetheart, Beth (who also plays a pivotal role  in the story) and settled into farming and family life. Ronny joined the pro rodeo circuit, but eventually moved home to recover from his hard partying life on the road. Kip moved to Chicago and became a commodities trader who made millions. And Lee, the musician, became “America’s most famous flannel-wearing indie troubadour,” awkwardly living the Hollywood life. Fun fact: the character of Lee is “loosely based” on Eau Claire’s very own Justin Vernon, who you might know as the Grammy winning lead singer of Bon Iver. (Although, I couldn’t help but wonder exactly how “loosely.” Lee is Justin Vernon.)

I loved that different chapters of the book were narrated from the perspective of different characters. This book reads like a REALLY good movie. I promise you’ll appreciate the charm and humor it offers with its nod to small town Midwest living. It’s a down to earth blend of complicated friendships, drunken shenanigans, marital strife, and Hollywood fabulosity. It’s a quick read (mostly because you won’t be able to put it down.) And that’s a good thing, because the fantastically clever ending is well worth the wait.

Bottom Line: Thanks, Dad!


  1. I love this book and I have listened to it and like you I also love how it was narrated by the different characters, giving it more meaning and depth because it comes from the persons point of view.
    Miriam Lovelace recently posted…Who Do You Absolutely Trust… with Your Life?My Profile

  2. I have found this book when my friend told me about it. I find it really fun to read and fun to listen to again and again.


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    You Gotta Read This: Shotgun Lovesongs

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