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Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 | [Garrison Keillor]

Lake Wobegon Summer 1956

Fourteen-year-old Gary, a self-described "tree toad" (lover of a perfect lawn, the soft-porn masterpiece of Carnal Cuties, his Underwood typewriter, and, above all, his rebellious cousin Kate), lives through one amazing Lake Wobegon summer. Gary preoccupies himself by spinning fantastic yarns about boogers, talking dogs, conversations between God and Jesus, and especially melodramas featuring himself as hero and Kate as distresseddamsel.
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Publisher's Summary

Fourteen-year-old Gary, a self-described "tree toad" (lover of a perfect lawn, the soft-porn masterpiece of Carnal Cuties, his Underwood typewriter, and, above all, his rebellious cousin Kate), lives through one amazing Lake Wobegon summer. Gary preoccupies himself by spinning fantastic yarns about boogers, talking dogs, conversations between God and Jesus, and especially melodramas featuring himself as hero and Kate as distressed damsel. When the real Kate makes a terrible mistake, Gary learns a lot about love, heartbreak, and what it really means to rebel.

In his latest novel, Garrison Keillor describes the making of a writer who comes of age in classic Wobegon style. It's just what his fans have been waiting for: trademark wit, brilliant humor, great storytelling, and an extended stay in "the little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve".

©2001 Garrison Keillor; (P)2001 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Vacillating between poignant, endearing, outrageous, and mocking, this thoroughly engaging, frequently hilarious bildungsroman is narrated by the libidinous, iconoclastic 14-year-old wannabe writer Gary." (Publishers Weekly)
"Keillor's deep voice and slow, deliberate diction transport the listener to this sleepy small town being shaken up by rock and roll....Heartwarming, poignant, and hilarious." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (97 )
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3.8 (16 )
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4.3 (16 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Muncy, PA, USA 01-20-05
    Michael Muncy, PA, USA 01-20-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Nice Surprise for Me"

    I am not what you would call a reader. I have a very long commute and my mother first got me hooked on audiobooks 10 years ago with Star Wars and then Stephen King. I have ventured away from that type of genre, but action adventure is my favorite. This book was a reach for me, but I ended up loving it. I never listened to any of his other stuff. I must admit, when his odd voice first started and he went into too many metaphors about everyday things, I questioned what I was in for. However, his voice grew on me quickly and his characters even quicker. This book actually had me laughing out loud as this early junior high aged "jesuit witness" battles the guilt of wanting to learn about sex and the guilty thoughts of his grandfather looking down on him from heaven shaking his head and saying things like what would your mother think about you looking at your own cousin like that. We've all been there and he brought that all back to me in such a fun way. Great fun and heart!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent HARTLAND, WI, USA 08-02-08
    Kent HARTLAND, WI, USA 08-02-08
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    "Spinning a fine web of tales of the lake"

    In his usual and customary droll Garrison Keillor leads us through a curious web of life for a teenager in Lake Wobegon. The "frog", Gary, at 15 is a wannabe writer who gets to write the sports column for the local baseball team while fantasizing his sexuality in stories written on an Underwood typewriter given him by his Uncle Sugar.

    Life can can be difficult in this small town of 1200 where everyone knows each other and the local gossip travels faster than the telephone. This is Gary's pivotal teen year as he becomes involved with his cousin Kate and watches the world come down around him.

    I found the story fascinating and have replayed it several times. A word of caution to readers with tender ears. The book in several places includes sexual content that could be disturbing to the "innocent minded". Please remember that this is written through eyes of a teenager. His thoughts are just like those of pubescent boys throughout the planet.

    I usually buy the unabridged audio books narrated by the author. I find that it creates the mood the author intended; and as I travel I have the audio books for listening pleasure. I hope you enjoy "Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 as much as I did.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Junk Pinehurst, NC USA 06-08-08
    Keith Junk Pinehurst, NC USA 06-08-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Not what I expected"

    Not at all what I expected. Couldn't finish the book even though I have been a "Lake Wobegon" listener for many years.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Jackson, MI, United States 12-01-11
    Larry Jackson, MI, United States 12-01-11

    Born again Christ follower since 1952. Enjoying the retired life and having someone read to me for a change. Very relaxing and informative.

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    "Not for everyone. Rated PG 14"

    Seems to be preoccupied, as a teenager would be, with the excessive sexual urges and innuendos the descriptiveness of which takes away from the plot. I have enjoyed Garrison's work on both the radio and in books, but would turn on the parental controls for this one. Many of the backgrounds are common to his work and a walk down memory lane for the targeted age group.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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