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The Book Of Guys: Stories
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The Book Of Guys: Stories

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  693 ratings  ·  60 reviews
The American guy is in trouble, under siege, feeling foolish about his gender, and here to his rescue rides the bestselling author of WLT, A Radio Romance. In 20 stories--only five of which have been previously published--Keillor takes a knowing look at the sorrows and comforts of "guyness". Illustrations.
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published November 28th 1993 by Viking Books (first published 1993)
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Bryan
From the reviews I'm looking at on Goodreads, there are a lot of guys who think that this book has the guts to say what every dude is thinking, and there are a lot of women who are offended at what they perceive as a celebration of a patriarchal attitude. And they're both wrong.

This is a very good book. It's very good, because Keillor is doing what he's best at: parodying specific types of people who we all know and exaggerating certain characteristics to the point of caricature. But although Ke...more
Nathaniel
While I sometimes enjoy A Prairie Home Companion , I thought this book was absolutely dreadful. So dreadful that after reading the first several stories, I skipped to the last few in the hope that it would improve. It didn't, so I gave up.

In this book, Keillor is essentially the Midwestern Woody Allen. It's 300 pages of self-indulgent whining about obsolete ideas concerning midlife-crisis gender relations that's just badly unfunny. Most of the stories are somehow anachronistic in a way that's...more
Patricia
My husband read this on vacation and laughed and laughed. I just had to see what it was all about. Its a bookk os short stories. Imagiine that you are listening to Public Radio on Saturday afternoon and enjoy. My favorites are: Earl Grey, the only living American to have a popular beverage named after him, since Dr. Dave Pepper passed away. (Jan, my teashop owner muust rad this one); Gary Keillor (could this one be labeled a memoir?; and don't forget the introduction.
Amber
Keillor, I'm really disappointed in you and/or your editorial team. There's no reason to run with the cheap and easy anti-feminist backlash garbage that made up so much of the content in this book. Just write the damn stories about guys, and let the audience figure out that many male characters are ignorant, small-minded, and mean. You don't have to lay it on so thick.
Kayla
The Book of Guys is a collection of stories written by the great Garrison Keillor. Keillor does an amazing job of creating humorous male character's who speak with their own voice. These stories are all about guys during their life, some of the character's are young some are old. Some are normal men some are gods both former and current. Some are rich and some are wolf boys but all of these characters are funny and have their own thoughts and opinions on what it means to be a man.
If you like f...more
Steven
Loved it but it is dark. This is not the news from lake woebegone.
Webster Bull
I needed to laugh about ten days ago, and I trolled my shelves for medicine. It came down toPG Wodehouse and Garrison Keillor, and I went with the Lutheran.

I don't know of a popular American humorist with greater range than the host of NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion,” who writes reports from Lake Wobegon and pokes fun at his beloved home state of Minnesota.

The title of this collection of short fictions—several of which previously appeared in The New Yorker and Harper's—seemed to promise a comic...more
Elliot Schott
On the whole, these stories tend to be depressing, as they are mostly about guys getting taken advantage of, grappling with their own inferiority or inadequacy, or otherwise getting beaten down by some relationship or other. But Keillor's sense of detail and humor is very much evident, as he creates incidental information about his characters that are hilarious and incredible to imagine. He is a true storyteller, creating whole and realistic worlds around character that could be considered throw...more
Al Young
I've learned to love Keillor over the years. I used to put them in that category of things with new age music and Nancy Pelosi, of Liberal things that are as annoying as Conservatives have made them out to be.

In recent years, (largely due to articles that have been shared on social newssites) I have read and really enjoyed his work. I have even come around to his NPR radio show.

Reviews on Amazon of this book give it mixed- but generally positive reviews- with two recurring themes, it's weird and...more
Nick Jones
These stories are amusing...or, at first, they were...after awhile I found I was noticing the jokes, noticing the word plays, the comic strategies...and when that happens the humour tends to get flattened. One of Keillor’s common methods is the Flintstone strategy: taking a character from a historical context and placing them into modern America...or giving them modern attitudes: so we have Don Giovanni as a barroom pianist; the cowboy Lonesome Shorty buying Amaryllis patterned china and undergo...more
Chris
I quit reading after a few stories; I might pick it up later if I have nothing else to read. Each short story was a lesson in depression and anti-climatic storytelling--unless you count the first 3 paragraphs the climax.
Mr. Keillor writes as if his harpy of a wife divorces him for a younger man, and his lawyer caused him to lose possession of everything in his life, including his typewriter, old pickup truck, and faithful coon-hound. Needless to say, Keillor reminds me of David Sedaris--whose wo...more
Gerry
I've had this book for a while - so long in fact, that it has the original "not quite a bookmark" pull down strip on the front that gives Garrison's cartoon head a differnt body depending on your mood (or if you want to fit it back onto the shelf).

For the most part I chuckled, but I think what distinguishes Keillor's fiction that is beyond Lake Wobegon is just how dark it really is. A lot of people drinking, smoking, having bad sex, listening to bad music, it's as if David Sedaris (not yet out o...more
Brett
I'm pretty much the exact center of the target audience for this book: midwestern, male, reluctantly entering middle-age. I'm also an avowed fan of Keillor, and therefore there is no reason that I shouldn't love this book. Yet I don't.

Oh, I enjoyed it well enough. It has its Keillor-esque moments. The (presumably) autobiographical story about "Gary" Keillor and the one about the kid with leprosy where a couple of standouts. But many of these stories seemed to lack heart, and were ultimately forg...more
James Njoroge
Ok. i commend Garrison on his creativity, humor and wit in the stories. BUT the stories went from miserable to dreadful. Surely guy life isn't that miserable. At least not for all guys. I recommend a title change, 'The Book Of Miserable Guys'...hehe
Ross
A very dry collection of 21 stories, most told first person singular by the principle character. Keillor modifies his very effective wordplay depending on the speaker. Worth a read for a good laugh, but you'd have to be better read than me in the classics to get all the humour. The compilation is very easy to pick up and put down: ideal commuting reading and a very appropriate read for Movember.

You don't have to be a middle-aged guy to enjoy it all, because the subject matter is deadly serious u...more
William
Again I see the sex obsessed version of Keillor. I believe there is only one of these stories that doesn't include some type of sexual moment. He is probably the best storyteller that I have ever heard, yet I am repelled by his books that cover topics outside the wholesomeness of his radio show. I can see how books can give him a creative freedom that can't be had on public radio. After reading them, it makes me wonder why he even tries going away from his comfort zone. A short story must grasp...more
Adrienne Kiser
This book is a great example of why I have a non-sexual crush on Garrison Keillor. He's a wonderful writer!
Nick Mitchell
boy, it's been a while since I finished this book, so my memory is a little rusty. I think my favorite story out of the bunch involved the boy growing up with a dream of hosting a radio talk show. Because it's not as ridiculously flamboyant as some of the previous stories, it seems to leave one with the first sense of sobriety since the drunken campfire prologue. The full power of it comes upon reflection of the story as a whole, which is what makes a story great, is it not? Dionysus' debauchery...more
Stig
I came to this book expecting something along the lines of Keillor's Lake Wobegon stories. What I found was something quite different. Not disappointing, not bad, just different. Keillor covers more territory here than just small town America; in quite a few of the stories he veers into fantasy and allegory. Most of these stories are funny, but some of them are also really, really dark. The story of Herb Johnson, 1,800 pound former halfback, will stay with me for a long time.
Kathleen
What a downer! I listened to this audio book on the heels of Church People, which really made me laugh. This is not a companion piece, unless you relish having your highs and lows back-to-back. I don't see the merit in a collection of "guy" stories with such a negative, depressing tone. This seemed really uncharacteristic—at least of my experience with Keillor's works. (I don't listen to him to be depressed but to laugh or ruminate on simple truths.)
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina
I started reading this book thinking that I was going to gain some insight in how men think and why they act the way they do. The book was not a book of advice on men..It was a collection of stories about men, all written by Garrison Keillor. There was only one story in the book I really liked. Apparently, this book was a National Bestseller. I don't understand how this book got this award. I thought the book was horrible.
John Huyler
Not his best work. I actually put it down for a while and debated whether I wanted to continue reading it. I did decide to pick it up again because I don't like to not finish a book and I would have to say that there were a few funny stories but in all a disappointment.
Matthew Shepherd
This collection of short stories numbers among the funniest books I've ever read. The Book of Guys secures Keillor a place in the pantheon of great humorists such as Thurber, Parker, Benchley and Clemmens. From the introduction to his own version of Casey at the Bat (road game), "Guys" is engrossing and hillarious. I've given many a copy as gifts, and all were well recieved.
Marco
Sometimes it is hard to find a book about guys that doesn't make us feel bad for the mistakes of our fathers or the condition of society. In fact, it's basically impossible. This book not only makes you feel proud of being a guy, but explains that you can still address those past mistakes while taking pride in your heritage. It's a thin line to cross... but Keilor does it well.
Northpapers
This is a funny book by my favorite humorist.

Aside from a few duds (hence the three star rating), the stories are funny, poignant, and revealing as they explore what it's like to be a man in today's world. "Zeus the Lutheran" was a personal favorite, putting a Greek God in the body of a Lutheran minister, and rounding out a bizarre, distinct collection of stories.
Jim
Jul 18, 2009 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jim by: T & L, a Christmas past
This was a very 'different' book, Different from what I expected from Garrison Keillor. It had some good parts, was aptly titled, but then it ended somewhere in space. I probably shouldn't have finished it, but I am glad, to some degree, that I did. Life is short and we should be as discriminating with our use of our time.

Elaine
OK, "Garry Keillor" is a classic. I feel bad that the rising generation knoweth not Elvis, so they miss those allusions. Almost every line has something in it to make me smile, and having survived the 50s and 60s, this short story, my favorite in the book, is a walk down memory lane. (OH, GAD! What a cliche!!SORRY!)
Chris
The Introduction was well-written and hilarious.

It all went down from there. Lonesome Shorty was ok, as was the Mid-Life Crisis of Dionysus. Don Giovanni was an interesting read, and Zeus The Lutheran was an oddball read. Everything else got 1-2 pages of reading before I gave up on it.

Alice
I liked this book. Keillor's Minnesota, dry, low-key sense of humor is not for everyone. Sometimes I wonder whether if you have never lived in the Midwest, much of his "Prairie Home Companion" show and/or books won't make sense to you. They do for me since I lived in Wisconsin for three years.
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2014
Garrison Keillor (born Gary Edward Keillor on August 7, 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show "A Prairie Home Companion".

Keillor was born in Anoka, Minnesota, the son of Grace Ruth (née Denham) and John Philip Keillor, who was a carpenter and postal worker....more
More about Garrison Keillor...
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