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."
"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)
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Every bit as good as Lake Wobegon
Garrison Keillor is the only person to recite his works. He gives a great sense of being there, of wistfulness, of a liberal minded person who has to endure the rage of others who are judgemental without them realising how much they upset him.
This is not a book for kids. It is about the 'male menopause', a time which happens in the life of many men as they settle into middle age. It carries a sense of a wasted, unfulfilled life and a desperate urge to do something, anything, while you are still hale and hearty. This book captures it very well. While it is certainly humorous and amusing, there is a serious side to it, and Clint's state of mind is not a laughing matter. There is pathos and sorrow, and regret, and if you have known this state, it can also be painful. Its about coming to terms with what you have, and trying to wrestle with the reality that you are not as happy as you would like to be.
There are no 'big' scenes, but a series of vignettes all connected by the 4th of July event.
Not at all. There is not a strong narrative thread, but a series of interactions accompanied by Clint's internal monologue. You can pick it up and put it down easily.
A very American book, in that it deals with feelings very openly. It would be rare to find a UK author who is as self aware.
- P. G. Foxe