IN STOCK: Nickolas Butler's The Hearts of Men

Local Store Shopkeep , photos by Luong Huynh

Nickolas Butler at The Local Store on Monday, March 6.
Nickolas Butler at The Local Store on Monday, March 6.

We've never seen anything like it. Last Monday's reading and book release from Nickolas Butler was one of the biggest events The Local Store has hosted – the place was packed with readers and fans eager to get an early taste of Butler's second novel, The Hearts of Men, which was nationally released the following day. Butler treated the audience to selected passages, offered insight on his craft, and followed up with a thoughtful Q&A session. (See photos.)

After selling out that night – of basically everything we had with Butler's name on it – we're stocked back up with the brand new novel, which is currently People Magazine's "Book of the Week."

➜ Buy The Hearts of Men

The Hearts of Men is an epic novel of intertwining friendships and families across decades, set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, much of it at a beloved Boy Scout summer camp. Here's what The New York Times has to say …

The Hearts of Men has much to say about goodness and its opposite; about honor; and about manhood, its difficulties and precise texture. How it equivocates, how it can protect or maim. It’s not news that we’re shaped by events. But the dealt cards make for only half the game; the other half is how we play them. We are bullied, our father abandons us, our spouse up and dies. Do we give up, fall to bitterness, become stronger? That determines who we’ll be. Do we do good or do we do bad? Moral choice is the spur that sends this novel on its forward gallop. But, in a neat and difficult trick for an author to pull off, the characters’ ethical decisions are as thrilling as adventures of the flesh.” – Darin Strauss, The New York Times

MORE: Read about the book in Volume One. Butler's first novel, Shotgun Lovesongsis a New York Times bestseller. Beneath the Bonfire is a collection of Butler's short stories.