Chucking It

These days, the memoir is arguably a hotter medium than the novel. So why did Chuck Klosterman, who made his name chronicling his experiences in books such as Fargo Rock City, decide to tackle fiction with Downtown Owl, an alternately amusing and grim book he’ll discuss and sign tonight? “I sort of wanted to find a way to talk about ideas that I could create but I didn’t necessarily have ownership over,” he says. “So someone else was saying it.”

Not that Owl is wholly unrelated to his own past. The book revolves around an imaginary North Dakota community very much like his home town, and it concludes with a lethal 1984 blizzard that he vividly recalls. He wanted to create a portrait of this era in part because he fears future historians will overlook it. “I feel like this period -- the post-punk, post-disco era up until the Clinton administration -- is going to be almost a forgotten time,” he maintains. “It’ll be sort of thought of as the time when Reagan was president and people used cocaine.”

Klosterman stops by the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, at 7:30 p.m. Get details about this free event at 303-436-1070 or -- and read a revealing Q&A with Klosterman at
Thu., Sept. 18, 2008

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts