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Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny | [Garrison Keillor]

Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny

On the 12th floor of the Acme Building, on a cold February day in St. Paul, Guy Noir looks down the barrel of a loaded revolver in the hands of geezer gangster Joey Roast Beef, who is demanding to hear what lucrative scheme Guy is cooking up with stripper-turned-women's-studies-professor Naomi Fallopian. Everyone wants to know, and Guy faces them one by one, as he and Naomi pursue a dream of earning gazillions by selling a surefire method of dramatic weight loss.
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Publisher's Summary

On the 12th floor of the Acme Building, on a cold February day in St. Paul, Guy Noir looks down the barrel of a loaded revolver in the hands of geezer gangster Joey Roast Beef, who is demanding to hear what lucrative scheme Guy is cooking up with stripper-turned-women's-studies-professor Naomi Fallopian. Everyone wants to know - Joey, Lieutenant McCafferty, reporter Gene Williker, Guy's ex-girlfriend Sugar O'Toole, the despicable Larry B. Larry, the dreamboat Scarlett Anderson, Mr. Kress of the FDA - and Guy faces them one by one, as he and Naomi pursue a dream of earning gazillions by selling a surefire method of dramatic weight loss. In this whirlwind caper Guy looks death in the eye, falls in love, and faces off with the capo del capo del grande primo capo Johnny Banana.

©2012 Garrison Keillor (P)2012 HighBridge Company

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (195 )
5 star
 (50)
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3.4 (176 )
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Story
4.1 (175 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 07-13-14
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 07-13-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    475
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    "funny noir spoof"

    while I generally tire of Keillor's voice rather quickly, this is more of a radio play, i suppose taken from the Prairie Home broadcasts, and so has sound effects and several other players.

    I thought it was very funny at times, and enjoyed it, though I do think that it goes on just a little too long, which sounds odd given that it is only a few hours long, but I think in many instances certain stories that rely on a joke premise or odd setup, need to get to the "punchline" quickly as length only dilutes the premise and drains away the fun in favor of continuing for another episode, much like TV shows that go on too long after the initial creative surge runs out.

    but, in general i had fun with the first 2/3 for sure.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen Chicago, IL, United States 06-23-14
    Eileen Chicago, IL, United States 06-23-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Laugh out loud funny!"
    Would you listen to Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny again? Why?

    I would absolutely listen to this book again. The main story line was so ridiculous that you had to believe it possible in this day and age. Anything that makes us laugh at ourselves is good for the soul.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I don't think it kept me on the edge of my seat....comedy doesn't do that. I just wondered what crazy character was around the next corner.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Guy of course, but the entire cast was excellent. I laughed out loud at so many parts but I particulary loved his land lady.


    If you could rename Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny, what would you call it?

    Now why would anyone do that?


    Any additional comments?

    I am a big fan of old radio detective stories which this story reminded me of. I would say this book is a cross between The Thin Man, Jack Benny and a PG-13 sex farce. Loved every word of it.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Coyne 10-17-14
    Chris Coyne 10-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Guy Noir not the greatest detective."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny to be better than the print version?

    Never read the print version. I preferred to listen to Garrison Keillor speak the words.


    What other book might you compare Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny to and why?

    I would compare it With Dirk Gentry. Because they are both funny detectives, who have strange adventures.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Keillor is the best narrator of all time. I think he can make anything he reads funny.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes I did read it in one setting.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Keillor in Prarrie Home Companion. I will listen to him read anything.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 12-28-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 12-28-14

    People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Skinny: Shoulda Played It Straight"

    Guy Noir is a popular segment on Garrison Keillor's weekly radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. He even appeared in the movie adaptation, played by Kevin Kline. He is a satirical version of the hard-boiled detective who appears throughout the pulp fiction and film noir canon of the mid-20th century. He makes for a great skit.

    He cannot, unfortunately, carry a novel. Certainly not an audiobook in which the entire length of the proceedings is backed by cheesy organ music. Who's idea was this? It is truly awful, unlistenable. It's worth a chuckle or two in a skit measured in minutes, but it's an annoyance of epic proportions when stretched out over a span of hours (even if four hours is short by audiobook standards).

    That's too bad, because otherwise, Keillor has written some good riffs and, as is his way, expertly narrated his own writing (though aided here by two actors doing the voices of other characters, which are OK). Some readers have been turned off by the bathroom humor and stomach turning premise. I agree that Keillor could have made some better choices in those areas, even in the vein of satire and parody.

    What we're left with: a) distracting soundtrack, b) distasteful plot elements, and worst of all c) Keillor allowing some good rants and observations and narration to be swamped by items a) and b). There are better alternatives available within Keillor's Audible library as well as the well-filled racks of pulp fiction by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and dozens of others, including plenty of satire and self-parody.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 12-21-14
    Susan 12-21-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Garrison Keillor has taken leave of his senses."

    Garrison is my hero. I live in Lake Wobegone. I understand this wonderful man. Or at least I did until this book. It is just....well, even with an English degree, I can't think of a better word than gross. Second choice would be stupid. There was something about eating tapeworms as a diet aid that just shut me down within the first few pages. Sorry Garrison. Please try again soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobbie CORVALLIS, OR, United States 12-04-14
    Bobbie CORVALLIS, OR, United States 12-04-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Frankly...Boring"
    Would you try another book from Garrison Keillor and/or the narrators?

    No, I found the plot very similar to old gum shoe books without much interest.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Garrison Keillor again?

    No. This was not a good experience for me


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Couldn't get through it.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Patty 12-03-14
    Ms. Patty 12-03-14
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    "Could have been a five"

    I started out loving it, then liked it, then was grossed out, then liked it again. It was a fun noir spoof and could have been really good except for the potty humor. All narrators were good, kept me interested, then not only spoke of bodily functions but added sound affects. It was difficult to rate because at various times all ratings were on the table. More good than bad, but could have been way better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Lindberg 11-29-14 Member Since 2013
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    1
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    "Juvenile bathroom humor"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A person more entertained by farts and gross bathroom images, cartoon humor


    What was most disappointing about Garrison Keillor’s story?

    the whole plot turned on farts and bathroom functions


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I did not listen enough to find out


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lunarchi Trenton, New Jersey 11-28-14
    lunarchi Trenton, New Jersey 11-28-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining!"
    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The performance was great. However, the audio had a lot of bass and was difficult to hear in the car at times.


    Any additional comments?

    Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny was a great audio book. Read by Keillor himself, it was nonstop FUNNY!!! There are more than a few one-liners that kept us laughing all the way from New Jersey to Virginia. The Audible version is four hours and eight minutes. The time goes very quickly as Guy Noir finds his way through a series of misadventures with a very unusual cast of characters and a tapeworm. Very entertaining!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheri 11-19-14
    Cheri 11-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What I Learned About Guy Noir"

    I learned that I like Guy Noir much better in small doses. I'm a fan of Garrison Keillor but I guess this much Guy is just too much for me to enjoy.

    Good performances, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Philip
    HATFIELD, United Kingdom
    5/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny and humane"
    What made the experience of listening to Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny the most enjoyable?

    Part.performance, part narration, this is a wild mix of humour, sharp observation and a zAny plot.


    What other book might you compare Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny to, and why?

    If you enjoy Lake Wobegon Days, you will likely enjoy this. But to be sure you are going to like it, do a search for Guy Noir on YouTube. There are quite a few segments from the famous Minnesota Public Radio Prairie Home Companion radio show on there, including some of the Guy Noir sketches. This audio book is taken from the characters and setting from the show.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    Sue Scott in her wide range of comic voices is a joy to listen to - from the bitter landlady of the Shropshire Arms to Guy's on/off girlfriend, Sugar, she brings a unique dimension of humour all of her own.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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