Godspeed by Nickolas Butler

Deep blue solid background behind side by side images. On the left is the cover of "Godspeed" and on the right is author Nickolas Butler in a blue denim shirt with his hands folded behind his back.

Childhood friends and partners in True Triangle Construction, Cole, Bart and Teddy, are offered a deal that seems too good to be true: A multimillion custom house is already under construction in the otherworldly mountains outside Jackson, Wyoming — finish it in a few chaotic months by Christmas, and each gets a $150,000 bonus. The men are flush with questions but strapped for cash, and so begins a slow rumble and the unmistakable sense that an avalanche is coming.

“Godspeed” is the fifth book for Eau Claire-raised, University of Wisconsin–Madison and Iowa Writer’s Workshop educated (and long-ago Madison Magazine writer!) Nickolas Butler. He is the internationally bestselling author of four previous books including 2013’s “Shotgun Lovesongs,” which was optioned for film and has been translated into ten languages. The origins of “Godspeed” can be traced back to 2014, when Butler and his wife had a house built on their 16-acre rural property outside of Eau Claire. An old family friend, who happened to work construction himself, stopped by to check things out. They got to talking, and the friend told Butler about a $2 million dollar house in town that he and his crew had fallen behind on. The homeowner had offered each member a $15,000 bonus if they could finish the house in three weeks. “My friend turned to me and he said, ‘Nick, if we had all the meth in the world, we couldn’t finish that house in three weeks,’” says Butler. It was obviously a joke, but something about it stuck. “I thought, whoa, that seems like a pretty good idea for a book.”

Senior Editor

Maggie Ginsberg is a senior editor at Madison Magazine. Her long-form features have garnered numerous honors since 2006 including from the National City Regional Magazine Association, the Milwaukee Press Club and the American Society of Journalist and Authors. In addition to helping edit the work of Madison Magazine's contributing writers, freelancers and essayists, she writes features and the monthly Looking Back historical photo department page. Online, Maggie conducts monthly author Q&As and covers the local literary scene with her Sunday Reads monthly e-newsletter. Her own debut novel, "Still True," was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in September 2022. 

You can also find her on Instagram.