Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Intro: Shotgun Lovesongs

We invited him to all of our weddings; he was famous. We addressed the invitations to his record company's skyscraper in New York City so that the gaudy, gilded envelopes could be forwarded to him on tour - In Beirut, Helsinki, Tokyo. Places beyond our ken or our limited means. He sent back presents in battered cardboard boxes festooned with foreign stamps - birthday gifts of fine scarves or perfume for our wives, small delicate toys or trinkets upon the births of our children: rattles from Johannesburg, wooden nesting dolls from Moscow, little silk booties from Taipei. He would call us sometimes, the connection scratchy and echoing, a chorus of young women giggling in the background, his voice never sounding as happy as we expected it to.
Shotgun Lovesongs
by Nickolas Butler

I borrowed this book from the library and started reading on Friday. Soon afterwards, I realized there were multiple narrators in the audio version and downloaded that, too. (I'm a big fan of multi-narrator productions.)

"Friendship" novels almost always appeal to me and, so far, this one appears to be a gem. It's also a little out of the ordinary because the primary friendships are between men - childhood friends now in their thirties and reunited in a small Wisconsin town.

Want to know more? Here's the goodreads summary:
Hank, Leland, Kip and Ronny were all born and raised in the same Wisconsin town — Little Wing — and are now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers. One of them never left, still farming the family's land that's been tilled for generations. Others did leave, went farther afield to make good, with varying degrees of success; as a rock star, commodities trader, rodeo stud. And seamlessly woven into their patchwork is Beth, whose presence among them—both then and now—fuels the kind of passion one comes to expect of love songs and rivalries. 
Now all four are home, in hopes of finding what could be real purchase in the world. The result is a shared memory only half-recreated, riddled with culture clashes between people who desperately wish to see themselves as the unified tribe they remember, but are confronted with how things have, in fact, changed. 
There is conflict here between longtime buddies, between husbands and wives — told with writing that is, frankly, gut-wrenching, and even heartbreaking. But there is also hope, healing, and at times, even heroism. It is strong, American stuff, not at all afraid of showing that we can be good, too — not just fallible and compromising. Shotgun Lovesongs is a remarkable and uncompromising saga that explores the age-old question of whether or not you can ever truly come home again — and the kind of steely faith and love returning requires. 
What do you think of the opening? Would you continue reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

45 comments:

  1. This one totally worked for me, mostly because I grew up in the Midwest and it reminded me of going back home for weddings, etc. I bet the audio version is great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shannon - Have a feeling I'll need to stay up late and finish tonight... love it!

      Delete
  2. I've seen this one before, and I'm just not sure about it. I should probably pick it up and start reading and see if I stick with it! Enjoy!

    Today I'm featuring The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim - I think it'll take less than a chapter to know if this will work for you.

      Delete
  3. Picked this one up a while ago .... didn't tweek my interest at all, mostly because I didn't like the writing. Could have been a good story, but I put it down very early on. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JudyMac - I can see how this wouldn't work for everyone, but it only took me a few pages to know I'd like it.

      Delete
  4. I remember wanting to read this one when it first came out. Now that you've reminded me of it, my interest is rekindled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine - It's very good... should finish tonight or tomorrow.

      Delete
  5. I like the premise and would continue reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harvee - I really like the characters, too.

      Delete
  6. Yes, I would be interested. Adding to wishlist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Care - The audio is great, too!

      Delete
  7. Great opener! Now I am very curious about this one...the title caught my attention when it came out, so it has been on my radar. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - A few bloggers with taste similar to mine loved this last year. Glad I'm finally getting around to it.

      Delete
  8. I love the opening and the blurb, so I'd keep reading! I also love audiobooks with more than one narrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monica - Some of my favorite audiobooks have two or more narrators. The different voices seem to add another dimension for me.

      Delete
  9. I like the sound of this one. I'm off to check my library's website. I also like the multiple narrator audios. They often remind me of old-fashioned radio shows - only longer and more in depth. Continue to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot - This book almost makes me want to move to Wisconsin... although it sounds pretty similar to central NY, too.

      Delete
  10. You had me when you mentioned the focus was on male friendships. This definitely is going on the TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzie - I'm trying to remember another book that focuses on male friendships. I know I've read some, but am drawing a total blank.

      Delete
  11. I liked the beginning of this one. I'd read more, but it sounds promising.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay - Something about this book really speaks to me... so good!

      Delete
  12. I read this and enjoyed it a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love the intro and liked the book as well. enjoy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane - It's a great book... will finish tonight.

      Delete
  14. I've seen this on other blogs. It seems like other readers have enjoyed it. Here's Mine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paulita - With good reason, I think.

      Delete
  15. Yes I would continue. I've heard this one is Good. Go for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thecue card - It really is good! I'll read this author again.

      Delete
  16. I'm very curious about this one. It sounds good and that passage is intriguing as well. Cannot wait for your review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Athira - If all goes well, I'll have a review next week.

      Delete
  17. I like the sounds of this one. It draws you in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne - It really does... I was hooked by the end of the first chapter.

      Delete
  18. I like the sounds of this beginning and I'm intrigued by the multiple narrators in the audio. I don't think I've ever listened to one like that. Look forward to seeing what you think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - I've loved quite a few audios with multiple narrators. The Help stands out, and more recently The Invention of Wings and Calling Me Home.

      Delete
  19. I'm so glad you're enjoying this one and it was one of my faves last year! That first paragraph is a good one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah - This could easily end up on my list of favorites this year!

      Delete
  20. Yes, I would keep on reading. This one sounds like a winner! Just read your previous post on Anthony Trollope. Oh, I wish I had joined in on this reading project. Sounds like fun. When I saw the title of the post, I thought you meant Angela Thirkell who borrowed the Barsetshire setting from Trollope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunday Taylor - It's not too late to join in our #6Barsets project... the first three books are wonderful! Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire is excellent, too. I loved High Rising and Christmas at High Rising, and have Wild Strawberries waiting on my tbr pile.

      Delete
  21. I love this one. Hope you do as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nise' - I loved it too. Hope to get a review up next week.

      Delete
  22. I would love to keep reading this one, I'm intrigued that the primary friendships are male and I just loved that opening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cleo - I finished the book a couple days ago and ended up loving it. Fingers crossed for a review next week!

      Delete
  23. I like the bit you shared here & would be intriged to read more. I can see you liked it very much!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails