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Pilgrims: A Lake Wobegon Romance

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  507 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Wobegon goes abroad in this rousing and moving story of a group trip to Rome
Margie Krebsbach dreams up the idea of a trip to Rome, hoping to get her husband Carl to make love to her[he's been sleeping across the hall and she has no idea why. She finds a patriotic purpose for the journey. A Lake Wobegon boy, Gussy Norlander, died in the liberation of Rome, 1944, and his gr
ebook, 304 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Penguin Books (first published September 1st 2009)
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Jul 12, 2016 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
After being thoroughly disappointed by Keillor's last Lake Wobegon offering, I was hoping for something different with his latest installment. And while "Pilgrims" isn't nearly as cynical and jaded as "Liberty," it's still not same Keillor I liked so much in "Lake Wobegon Days" and "Leaving Home."

"Pilgrims" tells the story of a dozen Lake Wobegonians journey to Italy for a tour so Marjorie Krebsbach can honor the grave of a fallen soldier from Lake Wobegon. She's also hoping to rekindle a bit of
Emilia P
Apr 03, 2011 Emilia P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-books
I remembered why I liked Keillor, thank you very much this book. He has equal affection for a liason dangereuse as he does for dull sweet lasting married love. He skewers the ugly American as well as those who eschew their Wobegonian place in the world. Yes, we have to dream to stay alive, sometimes dreaming bigger than we can manage in any sustainable way, but, as he says, even the Pope has to go home and eat cheese sandwiches. And even the shy, obedient Minnesota attitude that one may long to ...more
Apr 24, 2013 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do not know why this book has not met with better reviews. This is the first book of Garrison Keillor's that I have read. I loved it, especially the bits about the Lutherans. I am Lutheran, and married to a Catholic so I get the humor. My husband and I have always enjoyed Garrison's radio show, so that is why I decided to buy this book. And, don't ya know, I was not disappointed.

I am looking forward to reading more books written by Garrison. Despite some of the harsh criticism written concern
Feb 14, 2010 Kathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: benicia, 2010
A dozen citizens (personal stories and baggage included) of Lake Woebegon undertake a pilgrimage to Rome to fulfill a mother's dying wish of embellishing the gravestone of her son, a local hero of WWII. You may expect this to be all feel-good folksy but it does have some punch, although it's never really mean or disrespectful to the alarmingly and comically conformist Minnesotans.
All she wants is for her husband to notice her.... but her efforts to get him to notice her takes her to Rome with half the people of Lake Wobegone...and Garrison Keilor with her. I didn't expect that little dalliance on the way! Use this book as a breath of fresh air betwen some more serious works....or when you have the flu and are confined to the sofa.
Oct 08, 2013 Jillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book I have read by Garrison Keillor whose radio program I have heard from time to time. His story-telling ability shines through, along with his sense of humour and sharp observation of humanity. I like his matter-of-fact descriptions of absurd actions and conversations; his portrayal of very ordinary life as pilgrimage.
Nov 11, 2009 Connie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I was reading, I kept thinking that this was a silly, little book that managed to hold my attention.

However, the ending was almost solemn and much more thought-provoking.

As I thought about this situation, I realized that this is how I often feel when I listen to his weekly radio broadcast, Prairie Home Companion.
I am a fan of Garrison Keillor and this is one of his best books, with all the hallmarks of his style and self-deprecating humor.
Doris Pearson
Jul 02, 2013 Doris Pearson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This read was so funny... plus a shocker, Garrison makes fun of himself and some very graphic "wow" scenes.. still laughing.
Jun 30, 2012 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have concluded that I (and a few other people) must have a strange sense of humor. This book made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe, as has some of GKs other books. And yet others find it just so-so or extremely tiresome. However, at the same time, I am TRYING to get through The Flying Troutmans, which supposedly has readers rolling in the aisles. Not me, not even a chuckle. All I think is 'Stupid'. I just don't get it.

I just love going back to Lake Wobegon where small problems and irritati
Ron Arden
This was a great antidote to the late winter, early spring weather and blahs. Garrison Keillor takes us on a trip with some of the Lake Wobegon characters to Rome.

Margie Krebsbach winds up meeting the brother (Norbert) of a man (Gussie) from Lake Wobegon who was killed in Italy during WW2. Norbert promised his late mother that he would go to Italy and put a plaque on Gussie's grave. The mother had been saving for years and Norbert gives Margie the money to do this deed for him; he's old and dyin
Jul 16, 2011 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Pilgrims, Garrison Keillor takes a dozen residents of Lake Wobegon, including himself, to Rome for a week of tourism and self-discovery. Although 12 characters figure in the journey, the focus (and the self-discovery) falls primarily on Majorie, who initiated and organized the trip in the hope that it would rekindle the flames of romance in her marriage.

Pilgrims follows a typical hero's journey, where the main character leaves the comforts of home to an unfamiliar place and then returns home
Carolyn Gerk
I spotted this book on the shelves of a used book shop and it caught my eye. Garrison Keillor, where did I know that name? Then it hit me, he was the author of a quote I had read on a blog I follow. " These are peasant boots, and I will be a pleasant peasant, not a grouser. " It goes on, I can't recall it now, nor can I find the page where I first spotted it.
None the less, I recognized the author's name and flipped this book open to a random page and read a random quote and thought to myself, y
Donna Davis
Mar 22, 2013 Donna Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous, reviewed
Oh my stars. Keillor is at his finest here. I've never read anything funnier.

By now you probably have an idea whether or not you are a Keillor buff. His appeal is largely (but not limited to) the aging boomer generation. His trademark capacity to satirize people from rural Minnesota, and in particular Lutherans and Norwegians and most of all himself, is legend. He somehow manages to tug the heartstrings occasionally and evoke bittersweet feelings that are experienced by those of us who grew up i
Jane Healy
Typical Keillor--Margie takes a band of pilgrims from Lake Woebegone to Rome, paid for by radio personality Gary Keillor. She hopes Rome will rekindle the romance between her and her husband. The pilgrims are going to decorate the grave of a local boy who died a hero in the war. Margie finds out the truth about him and about herself. The cast of characters mirrors us all. Adult language & situations contained in the book that would not be allowed on radio airwaves.
Nov 22, 2009 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most reviews of this book will start the same way I start this one: I love "A Prairie Home Companion", and count myself a faithful listener. Garrison's monologues are an American treasure. I so looked forward to reading this book.

Unfortunately Garrison's books don't work so well for me. I liked "Pontoon" OK. It was silly, but I liked the way it worked its way up to a crescendo of inanity. Still, I didn't plan to read another Keillor book, and I wouldn't have picked up Pilgrims except that the Wa
This book was more entertaining than I expected. Garrison Keillor really understands how people talk in groups. He captures the random stories that come up when people have lots of time together. It was one of these stories, towards the end of the book, that was laugh out loud funny. Of course, this had to happen when I was in public. While reading quietly on a flight home, I started laughing out loud. The woman sitting next to me started to laugh because I was laughing and asked what book I was ...more
Jul 08, 2010 Christi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean Taylor
Feb 26, 2014 Jean Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent visit with my favorite Lake Wobegonians. I wasn't crazy about how Keillor added himself to the story. It seemed completely extraneous and distracting. IMO, the story would have been better if he'd left himself out of it. Just sayin'....
Paula Hebert
Apr 11, 2010 Paula Hebert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is another wonderful story about our beloved lake woebegoners, twelve of whom find themselves on a plane to rome to honor a deceased town war hero, whose story is not quite what they have believed all their lives. they are accompanied by the author himself, who has, to his amazement, offered to pay for the trip! having garrison with them adds to the fun, especially since most of them are not fans, and are not shy about telling him how he could improve. each of the grouph has their story to ...more
How can one criticise an author when he does it so successfully himself - as Garrison Keillor does in 'Pilgrims' - of course, it is funny with wonderful observations on Rome but he still doesn't understand how women think!
Christine Irvin
Dec 31, 2015 Christine Irvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
True to his fashion, Keillor weaves an hilarious tale of adventure and misadventure. If you're a fan of the writer, then you won't want to miss this book of his.
Miriam Fitting
Jul 01, 2016 Miriam Fitting rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to book on managing discipline scenarios with a child without yelling, and also anger management. Some useful stuff, only a little fluff
Lori Duff
More like 3.5 stars. Engaging, funny, thought provoking. Not great, but very good and definitely worth reading.
Andy Walker
Mr Keillor's familiar Lake Wobegonians return in print, but with a twist. Pilgrims is his take on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with a dash of Twain's Innocent's Abroad added to the mix. High school English teacher Margie Krebsbach leads a party of pilgrims to Rome, ostensibly to honour a local boy who died in World War II, but in reality in an attempt to perk-up her flagging 35-year marriage to Carl. Keillor's unfailing narrative style, his cat-like ear for dialogue and well-hewn charactersation m ...more
Feb 01, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
I found it charming. I enjoyed the subtle humor and the romance. It was a fun and quick read.
Dec 05, 2011 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For years I'd heard Margie Krebsbach's name but had never really formed any opinion. As she is the center of this bit of metafiction, I will never forget her and her adventures in Rome; and what adventures...oh, my, Margie!!! And I enjoyed "Gary Keillor" as part of the story, too...taking notes as the "pilgrims" are enjoying their visit to Rome (or not). The book isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed the fast-reading diversion. It wasn't as goofy as "Pontoon" (which just made me laugh, so much slaps ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic. Love the way he wrote himself in and alls well that ends well. Makes one want to be happily married, middle aged & live in a small town in the North. Now that is art!
Nov 11, 2009 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must be a true fan because I liked this book more than many of its reviewers have. A group of folks from Lake Wobegon travel to Rome to put a photograph on their local, supposed WWII war hero, Gussy Norlander's grave. As one can imagine, some mild hilarity ensues when the group of Norwegians reach Rome.

The group leader, Margie Krebsbach, has some of Gussie's letters home to his brother, and these add weight to the book. I suspect the letters reflect Garrison Keillor's own view of war in genera
Oct 03, 2010 Debby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I began this book with the notion that it was supposed to be funny. I guess it could be if you were a Minnesotan who could relate to the characters in this book. Keillor's definition of plot must be very different from mine. This book was all over the place. There were times I had to go back and re-read portions to try to figure out what I missed only to find I didn't miss a thing - the story is what was lacking. I'm sure this story is to Minnesotans what The Great Gatsby was to the 1920s, but b ...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.
More about Garrison Keillor...

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