Elaine's Reviews > Lake Wobegon Days

Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
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's review
Jul 22, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics-or-should-be
Recommended for: Everyone, but especially those who survived the 1940s and 50s.

As a child of the 60s, I have gotten used to books having to be dark and meaningful. Happy endings are rare and suspect. So it is with pleasure that I discovered Garrison Keillor's books. He makes me smile, sometimes nostalgically, but sometimes just out of clear enjoyment of someone saying what I've always felt but never knew how to put into words. I encourage readers to give this book a chance. How anyone can read about Lake Wobegon's citizenry and not love this book is beyond me. A church named "Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility"...you KNOW that's hysterically funny and right on the mark.
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message 1: by Jeaneane (new) - added it

Jeaneane After I read this review it came to me that these are the kind of books I love, those that can say what I have wanted to say, but couldn't find the voice to do so. I can't wait to read this! I have watched Garrison Keillor on PBS and enjoyed that also.

Elaine I was introduced to him one day going to my sister's house in the middle of winter--must have been close to Christmas. He was singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" with different words: "I wish I was sorta smarter, I wish I was sorta smarter, I wish I was sorta smarter and lived in Duluth." I laughed my guts out. I have a quote or two of his in my scriptures-I typed them out and taped them in there because I think I need to read them as often as scripture!! Here they are:

"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known." (last page of L.W.D.)

"Thank you,God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough."

"May his soul be forever tormented by fire--And his bones be dug up by dogs--And dragged through the streets of Minneapolis."

I hate drippy sentimentality. Keillor's books are sentimental without being drippy, and just when you think you've heard it all, he comes up with something like the last quote about the bones. He's a genius. The addition of the last line about Minneapolis (of all places) adds the guffaw!

So, then I get our sophomore level anthology and what's in it? "Gary Keillor," a short story about his youth. Fiction or not, it's hysterically funny. You have to find it and read it. It's just so cute, nostalgic, and funny until you get to the last line: it's pure magic. That line takes you from a smile to a big laugh-out-loud-and-scare-the-dog laugh.

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