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Liberty

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  1,020 ratings  ·  198 reviews
Clint Bunsen is one of the old reliables in Lake Wobegon: the treasurer of the Lutheran church and the auto mechanic who starts your car on below-zero mornings. For six years he has run the Fourth of July parade, turning what was once a line of pickup trucks and girls pushing baby carriages that hold their cats into an event of dazzling spectacle. Blazing bands, marching u ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Viking Adult (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,520)
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Michael
With "Lake Wobegon Days" and "Leaving Home" Garrison Keillor took readers to the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, giving us memorable characters, some witty observations and some good natured humor. Those two novels are among my favorite books and I enjoy Keillor's monologues about "the little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve."

But in his last two Lake Wobegon novels, Keillor has the guy who could have been voted class clown to having a dark, meaner streak to his hum
...more
Kathy
When I read Lake Wobegon Days years ago, I was delighted. The people were so real and the stories warm and funny. I got nearly as much enjoyment from Leaving Home, but nothing since then has resonated quite as much. And now he really must be getting tired, because his last two books have been disappointing in every way. Pontoon was a rehash of things he had written before, with nothing new to say. And Liberty has only new, unpleasant things to say. The characters are all the same ones we have me ...more
John
Fine book in the Garrison tradition. Depressing in a healthy way, and very older guy-focused. It made me wonder how a young person and/or a woman would react to it.
Sue
Garrison Keillor’s great talent is the vignette, the brief look at human beings caught in defining moments, or perhaps in moments of utter triviality. The results are memorable.

Maybe the problem in “Liberty” is that he is much less skillful at linking those vignettes. In his zeal to create action, he ended up with a near potboiler.

The story centers around 60-year-old Clint Bunsen, whose greatest role in Lake Wobegon has been management of the July Fourth parade. But he has ruffled feathers and
...more
Tlnorz
I was originally going to give this book a 3 just because there is not a way to give a book a 3.5. It is a short, silly, book but I keep thinking about some of its themes so it must have affected me some. Any book that you think about days/weeks after you read it is worth more than a 3, or a 3.5. Maybe it's a 3.85. Heck, I'll just give it a 4.

Like all of Keillor's book, this one has plenty of laughs, plenty of dumb humor, and some potty humor too.

This book has a lot to say (in my opinion) on so
...more
MB (What she read)
While I really enjoyed Pontoon, this book lacked Pontoon's hilarity and just didn't do much for me. I felt kind of depressed when I'd finished it. To me, the book's humor seems slanted towards men, particularily men undergoing mid-life crisises??? Maybe it's just me...

Are there any women out there who enjoyed this book? I'm curious as to what you thought.
Tracy
Let's put it this way: if I were married to Garrison Keillor, I'd be a wee trifle concerned by his sudden fascination with adultery. This one (like the last) is pretty well focused there. C'mon, Garrison: this isn't what we read your books for!
Ann
great quick read. especially fun if you are a prairie home companion fan. warning though there are a few racey parts and it is a little weird to here garrisom keillor's voice narrating them in your head!
Tricia
I enjoy National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor's stories about Lake Wobegon. However, an entire book on the subject is a bit boring and, I am sorry to say, not very funny.
Holly
I admit that I didn't finish the book, but I really had no desire to finish it. There were a few hilarious moments, but then some turns to the story I really didn't care for.
Jim
What started off with promise, fizzled out quickly. Keillor is generally a good story teller and easy to read with his tales of small town Midwest. You can usually hear the melodic tone of those he writes about and his soothing voice as a narrator. Neither were present in this book. While he provided some reflective moments, most of his thoughts seemed random and not well intertwined with the story. Anyone who has given their heart and soul to a project only to be criticized, will appreciate tho ...more
Stephen Morris
This was the first book by Garrison Keillor I ever read. It is spectacular! His dry comical wit and storytelling ability make this book unique. I read this book in two days. Mostly because he had just did his "Stand Up" routine, I got a picture with him looking half asleep, and I brought this book to be signed and he said "To Stephen a Major Person in His own Right." If you listen to Prarie Home Companion, or just like quirky midwestern towns, this is the book for you.
For we all know Lake Woebeg
...more
Dan Ryan
Some people find Garrison Keillor annoying, and I suppose I understand that. i'm not one of them - I find his portrayal of average people struggling through life making horrible mistakes but muddling through anyhow to be both engaging and insightful. Garrison Keillor reminds me that the dumpy old lady on the corner might be harboring an old grudge and the young woman at the convenience store counter might be thinking about taking off for the coast. It's easy to forget that everyone lives in a st ...more
Vanessa Dang
Devoid of humor and needlessly vulgar. Disappointing, witless, and dull with unlovable characters -- though mercifully short. Not at all what I expected of a Lake Wobegon / Prairie Home Companion novel.

I'm all for Garrison Keillor writing in his own style, even if it's rambling and explicit, but if the novel's not funny, insightful, poetic, or family-friendly (in other words, the things we've come to expect of the PHC brand), then don't bill it as a Lake Wobegon story. There was no reason to ca
...more
Garrett Zecker
Keillor always manages to make me laugh and also think about an America that seems to be stoically magical and hard to pinpoint. It reminds me of an America that was once written about my Mark Twain, and like Twain it seems that Keillor's characters that are in the works always seem more real than many of the real people that I know. In this book, we meet the 4th of July organizers, most prominently following Clint Bunsen around as he tries his hardest to keep his wits about him. What is so gorg ...more
Doreen Fritz
Having just enjoyed an evening listening to Keillor's mellow voice tell stories on stage, I went out and got a couple of his books from the library. His voice emerges from the pages of this novel -- telling about good-hearted, hard-working people in a small Minnesota town that embraces "family values". Clint is the main character. A 60-year-old auto mechanic, he has for 6 years been the chairman of the committee that organizes Lake Wobegon's big 4th of July parade (it made it onto a CNN broadcas ...more
Donna
Unlike his other work, which is often bits and pieces of memorabilia or short stories, this is a novel, set in the home town he has made known to many of us. (If you haven't read or heard anything by Keillor, you may still enjoy it, but I recommend reading his classic material first. Lake Woebegon Days is a nice launch-point).

I laughed out loud on the first page. People often say, and tritely so, "I couldn't put it down", and what they mean sometimes is, I read it a lot until I was finished, and
...more
Jane
I was introduced to Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion by my sister in law on a visit to Tuscon in 1986. I loved listening to that radio show and took tapes of it back with me to Australia. I was excited to read his first book Lake Wobegon Days and it didn't disappoint with its laugh out loud moments. I also read We are still married and thoroughly enjoyed that collection too.
After a lull from reading Keillor of a mere 20 years, I picked up Liberty from my library recently and was eage
...more
John Wiswell
I picked up the audio edition as a big fan of Garrison Keillor’s tales on the radio. He is a master storyteller, speaking in a husky hush, as though he’s a giant whose proper speaking voice would shatter his listeners. It’s a little gossipy, and a little sweet, proper for telling us about this small town that never really existed. Oh, and he's hilarious.

Unfortunately this novel lacks much of the charm of his radio stories. Those are shorter, and so can be punchy. Maybe eight hours of listening w
...more
Gary
Although some of his sentences are long rambling narratives, Garrison Keillor writes his stories like he's speaking them, in his soft rambling Minnesota Lake Wobegon voice, and one gets the feeling of sitting in the Chatterbox Cafe listening to them. In Liberty, The Fourth of July is fast approaching and Clint Bunsen, soon to be the deposed chairperson of Lake Wobegon's 4th of July planning committee, wants this festival day to be more than a small town celebration; he wants it worthy of a minut ...more
Judith
This is the most delightful, fun, entertaining audio book. Nobody can project the characters like Garrison Keillor. I have always enjoyed Keillor. As he ages, his books get more sympathetic to the problems facing middle-aged people, and therefore, ever more striking the chords in my middle-aged heart. His characters are all too aware that they are ridiculous, and yet, they want what all of us want: meaning and dignity, integrity and wisdom. But being human, they also lust to commit all of the si ...more
Johnvano
Wonderful Keillor-isms, charming Wobegon moments, delicious humor, and a surprisingly sublime exploration of that furtive crisis when a man looks back on his life and wonders if he did it right. What if he could start again? Was he stuck all his life, or was it a good run?

I found my interest lagging midway through (after chapters and chapters of preparation for the Fourth), but it picked up considerably by the time we arrive at the pivotal parade day. Also there were a few moments when the jump
...more
James Gloriod
I was having trouble getting into this book. I almost abandoned it after a couple of chapters, but two things happened. First, the story started to take direction and thus began to hold my interest. Second, I decided to read the book as if listening to Garrison Keillor's voice on "A Prairie Home Companion". Although I think his unique storytelling ability is better suited to radio (i.e. audio), and to forms shorter than novel length, if you approach the novel as an extended short story or a seri ...more
David
I figured I'd heard enough people laugh about the Lake Wobegon books that I had to check out at least one. I figured it didn't matter too much which one, so I grabbed this one. It's a little fluffier than I would ordinarily pick, but it's definitely fun. Good humor, good characters, and solidly put together. A bit of schmaltz, but not as schmaltzy as I would have worried. I wouldn't mind reading other Lake Wobegon books if I run across them in the right mood.
Stephanie Pounds
After reading three depressing books in a row, I decided to cheer myself up with a Garrison Keillor book, so I picked up Liberty. The first chapter had me laughing--yea! I was listening to this as an audiobook, and then Garrison Keillor started reading me a sex scene. Ew!! Sorry, but I'm pretty sure no one but Mrs. Garrison Keillor wants to hear that. I'm sure she would have loved it.
Lisa Rathbun
I grew up listening to Prairie Home Companion on the radio on Saturday nights, and I loved the Lake Woebegone stories. This book has familiar names but lacks the homespun insight and gentle humor I expected. He was convincing in describing Clint's situation -- I believed in the quiet desperation he was experiencing -- but the way it played out in the story left me cold. Disappointed.
Sarah Jowett
Wow, this took me forever to read! I was okay with it, was really expecting more of the lighthearted "This Week in Lake Wobegone" thing but this got pretty graphic about mature things. I was totally with it until the last 3 or 4 chapters, then I pretty much saw what was coming and got bored with it.

I would definitely be interested in reading another full novel he does about the town, maybe it was the subject that didn't really entice me in this one.
D'face
Clint, Lake Wobegon's mechanic and Lutheran church treasurer is having a mid-life crisis. His kids have left home, his business is going bankrupt, he is not happily married and he has been sacked as the town's organiser of the annual Fourth of July Parade. He meets a young beautiful psychic and he think that rather than being a cold Norwegian he might be a hot Latin lover.

The stories from Lake Wobegon work very well as radio show monologues, I don't think they work so well as novel length prose
...more
Joshua
I love Garrison Keillor. I often listen to A Prairie Home Companion and have even been to a couple live broadcasts, but there is something about his Lake Wobegon books that make me uneasy. I had the same problem with Woody Allen films; they just hit too close to home for comfort. With Woody it was the problem that he new all about my neuroses and angst. He displayed it on the screen for all to see. I shrank away from his works for a very long time.

As I aged (and sought professional help), I bec
...more
Ron Arden
Will Clint Bunsen runaway to California to relive his youth? Will Viola Tors take over the 4th of July committee? And what is up with Art and the Governor?



I loved this new installment of Lake Wobegon and all its characters. Just what the doctor ordered for the middle of winter. From the normal lives of the Norweigan Lutherans to the nuttiness of Clint's new flame, it made me laugh out loud. A lot of it is predictable, but still great fun. The scene near the end with the Governor and Miss Liberty
...more
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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.
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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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