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Wisconsin Book Festival Presents Nickolas Butler for Godspeed

Meeting Room 302
Saturday, Oct 23, 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Addressing timeless themes of The American Dream, friendship, loyalty, duty, Godspeed by Nickolas Butler, acclaimed author of Shotgun Lovesongs, balances sophisticated, beautiful prose with a page-turning, suspenseful plot.  Set in the stunning mountains of Wyoming, this is also new brand of Western. A 21st-century morality tale where the rugged landscape is as much a character as the uber-wealthy newcomers to Jackson Hole and the hardscrabble locals, hanging on, any which way they can.

Why is it being built here, and why so quickly? These are the questions Cole, Bart, and Teddy, the three principals of True Triangle Construction, ask themselves when they are hired to finish a project for a mysteriously wealthy homeowner. Nestled in the mountains outside of Jackson, Wyoming, the house is a masterpiece, unlike anything they’ve done before. Once finished, it promises to be the architectural prize of Jackson and could put True Triangle on the map. But despite the project’s lure, the owner is intent on having it built in a matter of months, an impossible task made irresistible by the exorbitant bonus that awaits them if they succeed. A bonus that could change the course of their business, and their lives. Up against the fateful deadline, and the looming threat of a harsh Wyoming winter, Cole, Bart, and Teddy are willing to do anything to get the money, even if it means risking life, limb, and family. And what becomes an obsession for all three quickly builds to tragic consequences for some. Struck through with heart-pounding danger and an arresting lyricism, Godspeed is a stark exploration of the haves and the have-nots, a cautionary tale of greed and violence that asks: How much is never enough?

Godspeed is an incisive portrait of working-class life, the meth epidemic, and the many stratified realities of this one America we all live in, separately. To capture the breakneck pace, exhaustion, and tension of the story, Butler put himself on the same deadline as his characters – forcing himself however he could to pull a crushing string of all-nighters in an attempt to see if he could actually finish this book in three or four months. The result is a novel filled with heart-pounding danger and arresting lyricism that moves like a shot. Godspeed is a cautionary tale of greed and violence that asks: How much is never enough?