|Publication date||September 16, 2008|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 1-4165-4418-6, ISBN 1-4165-4419-4|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.6 22|
|LC Classification||PS3611.L67 D69 2008|
|Preceded by||Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas|
|Followed by||Eating the Dinosaur|
The story describes the fictional town of Owl, North Dakota, in which three characters are intangibly connected. Horace is an old man who spends his afternoons in the local coffee shop with other old men, shaking dice to see who pays for coffee, and talking about politics, religion, and memorable Owl football teams of the past. Mitch is a stoic high school backup quarterback who is depressed for no apparent reason. Julia is the newest resident of Owl. She moved to the small town to teach history and spends much of her free time at the local bars (where she meets local celebrity Vance Druid). The town has about 850 residents and is semi-isolated from 1980s music and culture. As a climax, the three main characters are caught in a sudden blizzard--Horace and Julia stuck in their cars and Mitch outdoors.
In the end, Mitch dies of exposure in a vast field, and Julia dies of carbon monoxide poisoning in her car. Only Horace manages to crawl back to his home and survive. The novel ends with a newspaper article about the death of star athlete Chris "Grendel" Sellers, which inaccurately depicts him as a kind human being and overshadows the deaths of the other characters completely. Even he is marginalized as the article is cut off mid sentence by the phrase "continued on page C11"'
Possible film adaption
In October 2012, Gettin' Rad Productions, the production company owned by Adam Scott and his wife, Naomi Scott, optioned the movie rights to Downtown Owl. “It’s lovely and moving and funny. We just thought it’s a really great story about people that I relate to but also small enough that it would make a good first film out of the gate for us," Adam Scott was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter. However, no further updates on the film project have been released since then.
Film School Rejects writer Neil Miller said, "This book is rich with unique and interesting characters and situations that would be perfect matches for a Coen-esque romp through 1983 rural North Dakota."
- "Adam Scott and Wife Launch Production Co., Option Chuck Klosterman Novel, Add Adult Swim Specials (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
- "Print to Projector: Downtown Owl". Film School Rejects. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
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