Antof9's Reviews > Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon

Pontoon by Garrison Keillor
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Apr 01, 09

bookshelves: 2009-read, americana, charming
Read in April, 2009

I remember watching the movie Prairie Home Companion, and being surprised that what I perceived as "wholesome" was really just "small town", and coming to the realization that "small town" does not equal "clean". So not only is there a surprising bit of crude in this one, but the beginning was also very reminiscent of that movie. However, it's also got a quirky charm, and was fun enough to keep me entertained.

I think one of the reasons I liked this one is because I lived in North Dakota for a handful of years, among the same people described in the book as disposed to gloom, dark Lutherans who pitch down the rocky slope of melancholy and lie there for days ... waiting for someone, usually Evelyn, to ... comfort them with dessert. A people waiting for the other shoe to drop. Phlegmatists. Stoics. Good eaters who went for recipes that start out "Brown a pound of ground beef and six strips of bacon and in a separate pan melt a pound of butter".

There are also some great one-liners in this, like this one: Life is a feast and most people are starving.

And then there's both the charm of more midwest descriptions as well as the combination of exasperation and love most of us feel for our families: Our people settled out on the prairie because they like straight lines and neat corners. I know these people. I'm related to some of them. And sometimes I'd like to wring their necks.
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03/28/2009 page 73
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