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Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon | [Garrison Keillor]

Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon

Garrison Keillor's latest book is about the wedding of a girl named Dede Ingebretson, who comes home from California with a guy named Brent. Dede has made a fortune in veterinary aromatherapy; Brent bears a strong resemblance to a man wanted for extortion who's pictured on a poster in the town's post office. Then there's the memorial service for Dede's aunt Evelyn, who led a footloose and adventurous life after the death of her husband 17 years previously.
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Publisher's Summary

Garrison Keillor's latest book is about the wedding of a girl named Dede Ingebretson, who comes home from California with a guy named Brent. Dede has made a fortune in veterinary aromatherapy; Brent bears a strong resemblance to a man wanted for extortion who's pictured on a poster in the town's post office. Then there's the memorial service for Dede's aunt Evelyn, who led a footloose and adventurous life after the death of her husband 17 years previously. Add a surprise boyfriend and a band of newly arrived Mormon missionaries, and the gently rendered chaos is complete.

©2007 Garrison Keillor; (P)2007 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2008

"There's plenty of fun to be had with the well-timed deadpans and homespun wit." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (813 )
5 star
 (261)
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (541 )
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Story
4.1 (538 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (75)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    10-01-07
    10-01-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Brillliant but not lighthearted"

    Did the person who wrote the "publisher's summary" even read the book? Definitely not. First of all, it is not about "Dede" (or Debbie as she is really called in the book), it is really about Evelyn (who is NOT Debbie's aunt. No relation) and her life/death/family/town/bowling ball. There were NO mormon missionaries, only Lutheran pastors from Denmark who were being sent on a tour of the USA to get them out of their Bishop's hair. It is terrific Garrison Keillor, I give it top marks. However, those looking for Mr. K's lightheartedness and endless chuckles, need to know that this one is dark. Terrific , but you will be crying more than you are laughing. As a former Midwestern Lutheran I certainly did. Very real characters. Very well done. Read by GK, as no one else could really do it justice. Check a synopsis somewhere else, though since Highbridge Audio couldn't bother to get someone to write one properly.

    100 of 101 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LB in Dallas Dallas, Tx United States 10-24-07
    LB in Dallas Dallas, Tx United States 10-24-07 Member Since 2002

    marlin515

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Offbeat Entertainment"

    I had to rewind and listen again a few times to follow the whacko story but it ends up amusing even if you don't catch every thread. Typical Keillor, but not his best. I enjoyed the northern midwest absurdity of it all. A few great laughs are always good for the soul.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Berri 11-01-07
    Berri 11-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "pontoon"

    Better than the rest of his stories and the ending is worth it all

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LJ Web CA USA 10-14-08
    LJ Web CA USA 10-14-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Vintage Keillor"

    Those of us who've been listening to PHC for several decades recognize as familiar old friends pretty much every thread in this story, but we don't mind. It's the human condition. Some people complain about Garrison's deadpan delivery on this audio book, but not those of us who love him...his mere voice reminds of us a generous, quirky view of life that comes along with it.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 01-16-12
    David 01-16-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "It's Lake Wobegon"

    If you like Gerrison Keillor you will like this story. He goes into much more detail of his characters than on his weekly raido program. I could listen to him tell stories all day long.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 05-28-14
    Linda 05-28-14 Member Since 2011

    Linda in Omaha

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An enjoyable look at life in a small town."

    I put off listening to this because I've listened to Garrison Keillor before, and although I have enjoyed him, I've been into more action/adventure lately and planned to listen to another one. While scrolling through my Audible books I ran across "Pontoon" and decided it was time for a change of pace. I'm so glad I did. Life in Lake Wobegon is quite interesting. The characters are carefully drawn and make you feel like these are people you could know. It was sad, happy, and funny. If you ever lived in a small town, this will bring back memories of those days. However, it is a story anybody can immensely enjoy. Loved it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Lancaster, PA 10-13-07
    Cynthia Lancaster, PA 10-13-07
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    "Laughed out loud!"

    Typical Garrison Keillor -- if you're a fan you'll like this one. Not necessarily for a road trip with the kids, though, due to discussions of sex and death. I really enjoyed it, and laughed out loud a number of times. Even though the end is predictable, the buildup to it is enjoyable and fun. I'll listen to it again.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Salem, MA, USA 01-21-08
    Sharon Salem, MA, USA 01-21-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Laugh out loud funny!"

    Keillor takes us on a wild and hilarious ride with characters who feel like people from my own home town. I smiled through the whole thing and laughed so hard I cried at the crazy and joyous end! At turns amusing and sweetly sad, this book left me feeling like I had just spent time with an old friend who had caught me up on the "goings on" back home. I can only hope someone picks up the movie rights - I'd love to see this on the big screen!

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ty King 11-12-12
    Ty King 11-12-12

    Ty

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another solid Keillor offering"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pontoon to be better than the print version?

    I have never read Pontoon's print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Keillor's classic combination of wit, wisdom and truths about human nature.


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

    His voice. I love it! Also, I feel as if hearing an author read his or her work allows the listener a better understanding of the author's intended style and tone.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a loyal G. Keillor fan and Pontoon was satisfying in all the ways I expect his books to be.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Sierra Vista, AZ, United States 04-02-09
    Kenneth Sierra Vista, AZ, United States 04-02-09
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    "I was expecting a bit more humor"

    I liked the book and I am a big fan of PHC but..
    I was expecting a bit more humor. I was also surprised by the adult episodes.. I would not recommend this book as suitable for all ages.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 57 results PREVIOUS126NEXT
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  • A. Rusbridge
    UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Worth it in the end"

    I could listen to Garrison Keillor's voice all day - he reads his books wonderfully and no-one else could do it as well. His descriptions are vivid and bring to life all the characters and incidents of Lake Wobegon. Some of it was very poignant and bits of it were excruciatingly frustrating as you wait for him to get to the climax of a story and he goes off on yet another long description about something else. If you can put up with this tendency to side track, stick with it as its worth it in the end.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    9/29/08
    Overall
    "A more succinct Pontoon might not have sunk"

    Looking to examine the Lake Wobegon effect I start from having seen my family become addicted to the weekly ?News From Lake Wobegone podcast? and hugely enjoyed the Audible offering which reflects Garrison Keillor?s weekly twenty minute monologues. Here again, unfortunately, I feel that the punchy, pithy, featherlight whimsy that is Lake Wobegon has become prey to ambition hence the four star rather than five stars. When'all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average,' all the novels are going to comfortably reach into that upper quartile ? but as with the film adaptation I was left with something of a Lutheran rapture feeling simply: ?It could have been worse.?
    Huge praise indeed, in its bachelor Norwegian way and if this review intrigues you then its time you ventured to Lake Wobegon.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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