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Liberty | [Garrison Keillor]

Liberty

Lake Wobegon is in a frenzy of preparations for the Fourth of July. 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."
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Publisher's Summary

Garrison Keillor returns to the little town we love and continues to chronicle the lives of our favorite folks.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (318 )
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4.0 (175 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Christopher KillawarraAustralia 02-19-09
    Christopher KillawarraAustralia 02-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great for a long country drive."

    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.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Pearson Idaho 11-23-11
    E. Pearson Idaho 11-23-11 Member Since 2008

    Occasional Thinker

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Keillor's Essays are His Strength"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Castro Valley, CA, USA 07-19-09
    Richard Castro Valley, CA, USA 07-19-09 Member Since 2003
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    "A must-listen for the Prarie Home Companion fan"

    If you're not a PHC fan, no promises. However, if you love the News from Lake Wobegon, you'll eat this up.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Helgerson Lewisville, TX 06-08-14
    Leslie Helgerson Lewisville, TX 06-08-14
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    "Drive on past Lake Wobegon"

    I used to enjoy Garrison Keillor Lake stories. Dry, slow but funny. Now, just slow and dry and very little humor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alana 01-08-14
    Alana 01-08-14 Member Since 2011

    knittingnut

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Keillor's novels"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Bronx, NY, United States 02-26-11
    Beverly Bronx, NY, United States 02-26-11 Member Since 2010
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    "The Pursuit of Happiness succeeds with Liberty"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 01-02-11
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 01-02-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Liberty for Lake Wobegoen"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 10-27-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 10-27-14

    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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    "Sixty Shades of Liberty"

    Clint Bunsen's midlife crisis arrives a little later than usual, the day he turns 60. His prized position as committee chair of Lake Wobegon's over-the-top Fourth of July celebration is taken away despite being so successful that it's being covered for the second straight year by CNN. His car business is withering on the vine. He has to decide whether to accept an offer to run for Congress. He may have a health issue. He has just discovered via a DNA test that he is of Spanish ancestry rather Norwegian like the other Wobegonians.

    But more than anything else, his life is upended by a brief but torrid affair with the young woman who filled in last year as the Statue of Liberty in the Fourth of July parade. So much so that he regrets his long-ago decision to come home after leaving the navy and marry his high school sweetheart rather than staying in California and going to art school, and he is now considering the possibility of leaving his wife and Lake Wobegon to go to California with his new flame (a little too obviously named Angelica Pflame).

    Clint Bunsen is a mainstay of Garrison Keillor's weekly NPR radio show segment, The News From Lake Wobegon. In Liberty, he gets his own novel, in which various shades of the concept of "liberty" are at the heart of his various personal crises. As usual, Clint's story is really just a fulcrum for another look at life in Lake Wobegon, filtered through the lens of its renowned multimedia chronicler, Keillor. If you're a fan of the radio show and think you would enjoy a novel-length installment about Wobegon, Liberty will work for you, especially since Keillor narrates his own book in his inimitable style.

    Me, I really loved the first half of the book, when the focus was on the political machinations of the Fourth of July committee as they recap the previous Fourth and plan the next. I felt that the story lost steam when it shifted its attention to Clint's affair. I would argue that my flagging interest level was inevitable by definition once the story shifted focus because it became more about Clint than about Lake Wobegon -- fans of Lake Wobegon are fans of Keillor's satire of small-town life more than its individual inhabitants, except insofar as they interact with each other as part of the social fabric.

    Nevertheless, Liberty was an enjoyable listen, wry if not laugh out loud funny, cleverly built around the concept of liberty, with the Fourth of July as an apt and grandiose metaphor as well as framing device, and, to reiterate, benefiting in the best possible way by being narrated by its golden-voiced author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William J Mackey SNOQUALMIE, WA, United States 10-15-14
    William J Mackey SNOQUALMIE, WA, United States 10-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Garrison delivers!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Garrison and his style and message and the words he uses. It's a masterpiece.


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

    His intonation. He is marvelous! If you do not love Mr. Keillor you are missing something.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, it made me love life, truth and creativity.


    Any additional comments?

    Please write more books Mr. Keillor Sir.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    3dogs3 10-12-14
    3dogs3 10-12-14 Member Since 2012

    bunnymama

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny + intelligent = Keillor"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Liberty to be better than the print version?

    I don't read printed books and I wish this question would go away..


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Clint Bunsen, of course. He is the perfect person on which to build this story. He is put upon by most of the town, but suffers in silence and always gets at least a bit of revenge. I especially liked the reactionis of the usual participants in the parade when Clint outsted them. Mr. Berge and the bachelor farmers are priceless.


    Which character – as performed by Garrison Keillor – was your favorite?

    See above answer.


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

    Of course. All Keillor books keep you engrossed. I not only read it in one sitting, I read it twice. And I laughed just as hard the second time.


    Any additional comments?

    "Liberty" is the story of the 4th of July parade in Lake Wobegon. Clint Bunsen has had the job of putting the parade (and the living flag) together for many years, but this year may be his last. His ideas for updating the parade are not welcomed, but without his help, the committee finds itself in trouble quickly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 17 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Steven
    Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    12/8/09
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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