Lake Wobegon is in a frenzy of preparations for the Fourth of July. This being Wobegon, lives collide and relationships develop in the oddest ways. Take Clint Bunson, the treasurer of the Lutheran church and the auto mechanic who starts cars on below-zero mornings. For six years, he has run the Fourth of July parade, turning what was once a line of pickup trucks into an event of dazzling spectacle.
The town is dizzy with anticipation - until they hear of Clint's ambition to run for Congress. They know about his episodes with vodka sours, his rocky marriage, and his friendship with the 24-year-old who dresses up as the Statue of Liberty for the parade and may be buck naked beneath her robes.
In Keillor's words, "It is Lake Wobegon as you imagined it - good loving people who drive each other crazy."
©2008 Garrison Keillor; (P)2008 HighBridge Company
"Keillor's Lake Wobegon books have become a set of synoptic gospels, full of wistfulness and futility yet somehow spangled with hope." (New York Times Book Review)
I have been a great fan of Garrison Keillor for over 20 years. Listening to Prairie Home Companion on relay to Australia has been part of our family Sunday evening tradition all that time. Some of the episodes in this tale were familiar from the "News From Lake Wobegone", but it was really great to have them connected in a continuous narrative. Garrison Keillor reads his tale really well. But I think that a huge part of the success of "News From Lake Wobegone" is the brilliant rapport between Garrison and his audience. The absense of this spark is the difference between four and five stars in my opinion.
I do wonder if listeners unfamilar with the folk of Lake Wobegone might miss some of the background knowledge that gives an instant picture of pesonalities when a name is first mentioned.
The quality of the reading and recording are first rate. If you are familiar with Lake Wobegone I think that you would really enjoy this audiobook, especially on a long drive to the Back of Beyond.
I was into this story pretty well for a couple of chapters, but eventually faded out. This is my third attempt at reading Keillor's fiction, with identical reactions. It's as though his self -imposed "family-appropriate" style with essays is utterly forsaken in his fiction, and the resutlt is that the otherwise delightful story is sacrificed for the freedom of being just a little bit "naughty" with his language and characters. I can handle rough language, sex and the meandering throughts of senility-bound men as well as most readers,, but if I'm to sacrifice this much time to a novel, I feel there must be a reasonable point or artfulness to the content. It strikes me that Keillor has not yet managed to devise a reliable style of writing fiction where he can inhabit both the worlds of great story-telling and edgy content. When he does, I will be an eager reader.
If you're not a PHC fan, no promises. However, if you love the News from Lake Wobegon, you'll eat this up.
I used to enjoy Garrison Keillor Lake stories. Dry, slow but funny. Now, just slow and dry and very little humor.
Garrison Keillor is a great storyteller, but this skill doesn't a novel make. I thought because this novel took place in Lake Wobegon it would be as entertaining as his short stories, but this concept turned out to be simply not the case.
After awhile, Garrison's narration sounds whiny and I didn't want to hear him drone on.
I couldn't finish the book.
There is no one better to read Garrison Keillor than Garrison Keillor. This is a great book for a road trip or for stay at home entertainment. I've been a fan of A Prairie Home Companion for decades and listening to an extended adult tale about my favorite Minnesota town was a delight. This is a story I will certainly revisit.
I have been a fan of Keillor for some time. Anyone who has a chance to see his radio show in person, should do so. I have enjoyed his books and have met him once to my delight. This is not one of his better books, but it is very entertaining nonetheless. The characters are familiar to readers who know him and his insights into human thought and behavior are stimulating as always. Anyone who has not heard of or read after Keillor would, perhaps, better start with another of his volumes. Also, if you are listening to this book in the car with others or around children, there are some mildly graphic segments which you may want to avoid. Otherwise, Keillor fans enjoy. The book is a grood driving across the country listen and, of course, Mr. Keillor's reading is wonderful.
in all honesty i am not a Keillor "fan" as his drawling voice gets on my nerves and so I never got into the show.
however, I tried this on a friends recommendation who is a fan of the book and GK in general and my trepidation over his voice didn't come into play. I thought he read this very well and the story itself was very funny at times. as I said, i do not listen to the show, so there may be characters and such that will be familiar to fans, i do not know, but it didn't matter to the story for me.
I enjoyed the odd small town characters and situations, though I think he missed a couple of opportunities for some real wacky incidents in the parade that would have been totally in keeping with the story. but i had fun with it, it did what it was supposed to and i may try another of the Wobegon stories.
GK does have a great funny short baseball story in the funny shorts collection that he also narrates, so maybe he's better, at least for me, in this format as opposed to the slow paced radio show. though i think his readings of poetry with billy collins is hit and miss.
Funny. Uncomfortable. Odd.
I love Garrison Keillor, but for me it was a bit disturbing having this book read by him. Yes, I know he wrote it, but hearing him utter phrases like "do it, do it, Jesus just do it" was a bit more than I needed to hear. I'm not a prude I swear, but it was like my grandfather was describing his affair to me. I just did not want to hear it. Usually I listen to books while I do things around the house; cooking, cleaning and taking a shower. I did NOT take this book to the shower with me. I just couldn't do it.
This is really a good book, but I would have preferred to read it.
Yes because Keillor reads his work so very well.
I'll pick an unusual one, Ladies of the Club, for its similar attention to the fine details of human existence and interaction. However, unlike Ladies (which I love), Keillor goes after all the humor embedded in humanity. This was a laugh out loud listen.
Hard to pick, but maybe Art, an irascible, insane actually, old codger.
Again, Art, or maybe Irene, the wife of the main character, who doesn't have a lot of speaking lines but whose essence is pivotal to the whole story.
"Every bit as good as Lake Wobegon"
To begin with I didn't find this quite as easy to get into as Keillor's 'Lake Wobegon' but, once I did, it was excellent. As with Lakewobegon,the story is about a town populated by likeable eccentrics and yet the characters and the story itself are entirely plausible.There's a tremondous warmth to this book and I would strongly recommend it.
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