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Leaving Home

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,221 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Revisit the beguiling comic world of Lake Wobegon. In the first collection of Lake Wobegon monologues, Keillor tells readers more about some of the people from Lake Wobegon Days and introduces some new faces. "Leaving Home is a book of exceptional charm . . . delightful . . . genuinely touching".--The Wall Street Journal.
Paperback, 244 pages
Published March 2nd 1998 by Not Avail (first published 1987)
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As always with Keillor, my thoughts on his fiction are colored by being from a place pretty similar to the Lake Wobegone of his books. I always think of the people he writes about as "my people" and am therefore prepossesed to liking his work. Still, I don't think I'm way off base by saying this book has a lot of humanity in it.

If I have it right, all of the 30 or so chapters that make up Leaving Home are taken from Keillor's radio show and transcribed. As usual, they concern the small time goi
Garrison Keillor is my favorite storyteller. He has an amazing gift of calming and soothing and forcing you to think and remember and contemplate and enjoy – all in the half stupor of contentment. Most of these stories don’t even have a tangible point. There’s no moral. There’s no lesson to be learned or underlying archetypal subplot defining a genre and exploding with controversy. They’re just stories about a small town in Minnesota and the people’s lives who live there. And part of that is the ...more
'It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon'...I don't often re-read books as I've always got too many new ones waiting to be read, but I love Garrison Keillor's stories so much that I'm always happy to read them again. I first read Leaving Home back in the eighties, and, feeling the need for a warm, comforting sort of midwinter read, picked it off my bookshelf as I finished my last book and was soon lost in Keillor's wonderful stories of life among the Norwegian Lutherans of this forgotten corner o ...more

From my 1991 Journal:

I am reading Leaving Home, only it is more like sitting up and paying attention to life. Garrison Keillor captures the beauty in the most mundane of moments. Here are some lines I like:

Every summer I'm a little bigger, but riding the ferris wheel, I feel the same as ever, I feel eternal. . .The wheel carries us up high, high, high, and stops, and we sit swaying, creaking in the dark . . .[one year I had this vision]: little kids holding on to their daddy's hand, and he is me
A Return to Lake Wobegon (for me)

Originally published in 1987.

I stepped away from Garrison Keillor for a while. I don't know why, but I forgot about Lake Wobegon for about 15 years. But, I have returned for the occasional visit for a couple of years now and I find that I missed these stories. Having grown up Lutheran in rural Indiana I find quite a connection with these stories.

Keillor melancholy yet heartwarming stories of the people in and around the fictional Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon ar
I grew up in the Midwest, and were always taught that theres nothing special about us. Were raised to be humble. As such, I didnt really appreciate Keillor until Id moved away.
The reason I first read this book was that Id seen a dance performance based on one of the stories. Yep, a dance performance! It was so funny that I had to read the rest of the books, I havent stopped since, and it drew me to NPR. Moving to the East Coast, I discovered that yes, indeed there is something VERY special about
I enjoyed the amusing and stirring vinettes about the fictional town of Lake Wobegone. I listen to the Prarie Home Companion News From Lake Wobegone podcast (oh technology, linking the lost art of live radio with my interweb surfing), and I heard Keillor's slow, flat voice in my head the whole time I was reading this book. I had a little trouble telling who the narrator was at first - was it Keillor, a non-specific townsperson, someone else? - until another character mentioned the narrator by na ...more
I love Garrison Keillor. It's racy stuff and there are big changes in Lake Woebegone in this volume. Darlene leaves the Chatterbox Cafe and ... well, that's about it really. In fact I am considering moving to Minnesota, becoming Norwegian and joining to the Church of the Sanctified Brethren. However, I am not sure of the process of converting to being Norwegian.

The greatest compliment you could pay to Garrison Keillor is that he makes what he does seem so easy and effortless. Funny, charming, kn
What a wonderful way to begin a year of reading. Something light and funny in Lake Wobegon. A true feel good read where all the women are strong.......
Garrison Keiller's take on rural life is a refreshing blend of modern sensibility and nostalgia. He pits the denizens of Lake Wobegon against all the vagaries of life that keep us wondering who we really have on our side. Whether maintaining a livelihood, managing a household, leading a congregation, or nursing a relationship, the Lake Wobegon way of doing things always seems to be a makeshift way. His tales are bright with humor and warm with empathy.
Paul Cheney
Lake Wobegon is the place she the women are all strong, the men are good looking and the children are all above average. And in this small volume of short stories Kellior takes us back to this small town and the people who live there.

There are some entertaining stories in here, and other that are less good. But it is nicely written with some razor sharp wit.

Leaving Home was the first Garrison Keillor I'd read, and it's my favourite of his books. The stories still make me smile, laugh, and even tear up a little. Bits of them read like poetry to me.
My partner and I sometimes take our dog-eared copy camping with us, and we take turns reading the stories aloud while tucked up in our sleeping bags.
Lisa Rathbun
Although we didn't have a TV when I was growing up, my parents did let us listen to a Prarie Home Companion. I loved listening to the Lake Woebegone stories, so I'm so glad to have them collected in a book where I can reread them and enjoy their humor and poignancy. My favorite of all time is "Truckstop."
This is fun to read out loud, in my best Garrison Keillor voice -- not really, but I do read it out loud to my daughter and she invariably falls asleep. But, I love it and it makes me laugh. I do wonder, though, if you'd have to have lived in the Midwest to get all of the humor?
Katherine Eanes
Garrison Keillor has a unique brand of humor you either love or hate, I personally love it! This book is not a novel, but a collection of stories about hometown life in Lake Wobegon from an author with a unique voice. Don't miss it!
I'm a huge Garrison Keillor fan. So it's a bit funny that I didn't like this book more than I did. It's not a bad book and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's just that Garrison's monologues are so much part of my culture that it's difficult to read them, rather than to hear them. I found myself reading slower and actually hearing Garrison's voice in my head, reading the stories to me.

This book is basically a collection of monologues that were originally aired on the Prairie Home Companion radio show
It took me about a year and half to finish this book, because it was on the bookshelf at Potbelly's (sandwich place) near my work, where I'd read a few pages once a month or so. Nobody ever moved my straw-wrapper bookmark, so I guess it wasn't a popular item. At any rate, this book is very much like Garrison Keillor's radio program. VERY much. In fact, I happened to hear him on "A Prairie Home Companion" a few months ago telling one the same stories that is in the book--which was published more ...more
Lawrence Kelley
Liberal-Minded Contraband @ Fort Knox, during Basic Training? I love Garrison, and even followed his example by traveling to Scandinavia in 1986. But heck, I was learning to kill Commies, after all, and practiced shooting at the Red-Star pop-up targets on the firing range. Fearing it would be taken away from me and getting into trouble, I tossed this book into a barrel, just before beginning my (4) months of Cavalry Scout (19-Delta) training, just to be safe. It was still Reagan's U.S. Army. How ...more
If you are a fan of "Prairie Home Companion" and the unique characters who reside in Lake Wobegon, you will enjoy this collection of short stories, told with insight and wit by the man who created them.
Kathy H
As comfortable and humorous as always....maybe on has to be of Norwegian heritage and a small town to really get Garrison Keillor. I am, so I do.
A book of short stories. Garrison Keillor writes interesting little bits about life in small town America which he calls Lake Wobegon (MN).
"A Trip to Grand Rapids", one story in this book, is funny. Stopping at a restaurant, out of town, he leaves & forgets his wife there. He gets lost & takes forever finding his way back but she's gone--apparently she'd called their son & he picked her up. He begins stressing out, trying to find an excuse to give her for forgetting her.
Finally he ar
Dec 27, 2011 Nick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lake Wobegon fans
Recommended to Nick by: My dad
Shelves: fiction
It's good. The book is just a bunch of stories from the show in 1987, so it doesn't read the same way as the author originally said it. There weren't the same emphasis on certain phrases. I've listened to Garrison many times before, so I can fill in a lot, but reading it straight through takes away from the experience. Additionally, the story about Carla at Homecoming I remember before. It was mentioned a few weeks ago on a show. I can understand reusing material, and it wasn't the whole story, ...more
enjoyable. Heartfelt every once in a while. Classic Keillor descriptions much more often.

"[the] starting lineup included boys who joined the team expecting they would never have to play. Tall shy boys who had come to feel comfortable on the bench, whispering, kidding around, making fun of the poor saps out on the floor: the team satirists - Tuesday, there they were, warming up, passing the ball gingerly around the circle, trying not to drop it, trying to look as dignified as possible under the c
Sarah Jowett
Excellent stories! But not for quick reads, even thought they are short, the whole thing took me as much as a regular book to read.
Mark Clough
Comforting reading which contains some occasionally sharp observations about life in small-town America.
I really tried to like this book because it was our literary club book for this month and because I gave a 2 star to the last book I read. Am I just to critical? This book consisted of small vignettes that started each chapter with "It has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon." And it was. Every chapter was ramblings about the people of Lake Wobegon. I felt like I was watching grass grow. But occasionally there would be a funny chapter thrown in there just to see if I was awake. Thank goodness or I ...more
This is vintage Garrison Keillor. These stories of Lake Wobegon are all independent, but set sequentially. The two things I really enjoy about Keillor are his keen insights into people and his ability to weave multiple seemingly unrelated events into a single story. His characters are all fully human, with all the foibles and faults you could want. But, somehow, they are people we all grew up with and loved, from the pastors, neighbors, and interesting family members. It almost makes you wish yo ...more
Bri Wedge
A nice, light bit of humor for a change of pace. I enjoyed it.
Sep 08, 2008 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone wanting a feel good, short read
Recommended to Amy by: my mom
Shelves: book-club-reads
This was a fun book that was easy to pick up and read a little at a time. It is fun individual stories that were funny but also had a good message for most of them. They are set in a fictional small town in Minnesota so I especially enjoyed it because we took a trip there this summer and my family is from there. I could hear the accent in my head when the characters were talking. If you don't know Garrison Keillor he is charming in his books and radio show/audio books.
Aug 13, 2007 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People with some sort of connection to the Midwest
I admit that I'm a little bit biased when it comes to Garrison Keillor. His depiction of small-town Minnesota often strikes me as dead-on, and I enjoy the nuances of daily life which he is able to capture. That said, unless you have heard him before, you probably won't enjoy the book too much--his writing style is a bit rambling, which works well if you are listening to a story but can be harder to follow if you are reading.
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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 about Garrison Keillor...
Good Poems Lake Wobegon Days Good Poems for Hard Times Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon Lake Wobegon Summer, 1956

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