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May 23, 2014 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler Shotgun Lovesongs
by Nickolas Butler
Narrated by Scott Shepherd, Ari Fliakos, Maggie Hoffman, Scott Sowers, Gary Wilmes

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publish Date: March 11, 2014
Format: Audio, 9 hours | 58 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 4 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

There are five narrators in the novel, all friends that grew up together in a small Wisconsin town. Now adults in their 30s, they look back on their relationships with each other, their decisions in life, and what might have been if they had done things differently. Each has their own story, but the stories overlap and we see the same events from a different perspective.

Lee is a successful musician, a rock star. He now travels extensively, sees the world, but still feels the pull back to his home town. He envies his friend Henry’s life running the family farm with wife, Beth, and their children. But Beth has a secret. She had a brief fling with Lee before she and Henry were married. They never told Henry and she still wonders what life would have been like if she had stayed with Lee.

Kip has recently moved back to Little Wing after a successful career as a stockbroker in Chicago. He bought an old, deteriorating feedmill with the goal of renovating it and turning it into a restaurant. But things aren’t working out as he planned, he is running out of money and doesn’t want to ask friends for a loan. Ronny worked the rodeo circuit until a drunken fall caused a head injury leaving him unable to work. His friends feel it is their duty to watch out for him and keep him safe.

The story was pleasant, flowed well and held my interest. I enjoyed the setting and the depiction of small town, rural life. There was not a lot of ‘plot’, no twists or big reveals. It was a slow and steady exploration of the friendship between four young men and their uniquely different personalities and life choices – and Beth, who had a relationship with each of them. And while I could not relate to any of the characters personally, their eventual realization that you can’t bring back or relive the past resonated with me.

Audio Production:

I’m a fan of multiple narrators, and in this book the use of a separate narrator for each of the five friends worked very well. They did an excellent job in giving a unique voice to each character with just the right amount of feeling and emotion. I recommend the audio to everyone – new and experienced listeners alike.

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Source: Review copy
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8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Mary / May 23 2014 2:11 pm

    I’ll add this one to my Audible wish list!

    Like

  2. Sheila (Book Journey) / May 23 2014 3:20 pm

    I may have to try this one too! This was recommended at our last book club meeting but did not win the vote.

    Like

    • Leslie / May 23 2014 3:27 pm

      I’m not sure there would be a lot to discuss but I do recommend reading it.

      Like

  3. diane / May 23 2014 5:32 pm

    I hadn’t considered the audio version for this one. but still enjoyed it. Like the idea of diff narrators.

    Like

  4. BermudaOnion / May 23 2014 7:32 pm

    I like multiple narrators too. This book sounds like a winner!

    Like

  5. stacybuckeye / May 30 2014 10:28 pm

    The book sounded pretty good but then you mentioned the multiple readers and the success of the audio. Off to see if my library has it.

    Like

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