Nickolas Butler – Shotgun Lovesongs

Shotgun Lovesongs tells the story of four friends from Little Wing, a tiny place in Winsconsin with a population of about a hundred. Lee, Kip, Henry and Ronny have led very different lives and this book tells the story of their reunion for a wedding.

Lee loves getting back to Winsconsin, seeing it as a chance to away from the showbiz circus and get back to his roots. He’s done incredibly well for himself and the the people know his songs and are very proud of him. He’s going out with a Hollywood superstar and reckons surely this’ll be a place he can be free of the paparazzi for a little while.

He really looks out for his good friend Ronny, covering his medical bills for the man who became a rodeo star. Henry fell in love with Beth and stayed at home for the duration and this gives Lee a look and what life could’ve been like for him if he hadn’t have followed his musical career.

The writing in Lee’s sections is absolutely gorgeous, really capturing the sense of place and the raw recording of Shotgun Lovesongs. The story builds beautifully across the book, showing the connections between these people and the heartache we experience in love and friendships. It’s an exceptionally beautiful book, given extra weight when I read it’s supposed loosely based on the life of Bon Iver.

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4 thoughts on “Nickolas Butler – Shotgun Lovesongs

  1. This was one of my books of last year. The writing is, indeed, gorgeous. I’m not a huge fan of short stories but Beneath the Bonfire is well worth a look if you’ve been left wanting more.

    1. Yes, think I read somewhere that he went to school with Justin Vernon. Definite similarities in the way the album was recorded here and there’s a character called ‘Beth’. They definitely have it in the library catalogue, remember seeing it there when the hardback came out. Having to use the library a lot recently to settle my buying habit.

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