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Kevin Kling's Holiday Inn

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  169 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Celebrate all the holidays--and then some--with renowned storyteller Kevin Kling, whose sense of the ridiculous never gets in the way of his appreciation for human nature.
ebook, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Borealis Books (first published 2009)
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Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw Kevin Kling perform at the University of Minnesota Duluth less than a year ago. It was a spare set up, with just the storyteller with a microphone and an adorable accordion player accompanist who punctuated Kling's stories on the squeeze box, all whimsy and raised eyebrows. Kling, a native Minnesotan, tells his tales with the breathlessness of a neighbor kid who can barely get his "and thens" out fast enough. Sometimes his stories are funny, sometimes they are hilarious, sometimes they are ...more
Nathalie S
I have listened to Kevin Kling tell his hilarious stories at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. He is this very unassuming looking little guy who can just makes you roar with laughter. He was one of my favorites that year. The beginning of "Holiday Inn" is just as I remember Kevin's stories--good and funny family stories with of course the crazy stuff that goes on. Later, he tells going to a hospital for children to repair his little arm. This was typical Kevin Kling, both funny and poignant ...more
Linda Lipko
This is a delightful book of wonderful, down-home, folksy tales of love, laughter and family. If you like Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame, then you will enjoy this book as well.

Kling is a commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered."

He writes so poignantly of Minnesota with a humor and love of the state and the people that you can almost feel the crystals forming on the lake and hear the sound of the fish as they are pulled up from the ice. You can smell the summer blueberry pie
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holiday Inn is a delightful collection of stories by Minneapolis author Kevin Kling. Each chapter represents a holiday, presented chronologically through the year, with a story firmly or loosely associated with that holiday. They range from laugh-out-loud hilarious (e.g. running a marathon) to sentimental and touching (e.g. Valentine's Day). He comments on potentially sensitive topics (civil rights movement, war veterans) gently, with maturity and respect.

The writing is beautifully poetic prose,
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read with a side of insights into a life lived while throwing caution to the curb. And from life within hospital confines to life on the rails, Kevin is living! This book brought back memories for me. I was in the same college and class year as Kevin (our freshman year was not 1974 though), so the story about the goat, our school mascot, was especially revealing. Any Minnesotan worth their weight will relate to his story on the Minnesota State Fair experience. These recollections give good ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this collection of stories by Minnesota local storyteller, playwright, humorist Kevin Kling. The stories have holiday themes, or loose connections to holidays throughout the year. As good as an excuse as any to put a collection together, I guess. Liked best the stories that had ring of truth. Many connections to my own childhood memories of being raised up north, although I'd guess he's got a good ten or 15 years on me.

When he veered into wishful territory, or tall tale territory, he ki
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Kling was one of my favorite storytellers at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in 2011, which is why I first picked up this book and his other book The Dog Says How. Although his writing doesn't equal his incredibly funny and touching onstage performance, it comes pretty close. The books, however, allow me to savor his words and over and over again, so I can enjoy his insights on philosophy, history, personal faith, and how we treat each other as human beings. So many lessons gift wrapp ...more
I love to listen to Kevin Kling spin tales live. He makes me laugh until my sides split! This book reads just like he talks and is delightful in small bits.
This was the Plymouth Reads book for 2014. The citizens of the city are asked to read a book at the same time and then take part in a book discussion and other related workshops. It's a great promotion for reading and I was happy to take part again this year.
(0ne of the activities was to write a 6-word memoir. It's a fun exercise. Try one i
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully funny, nostalgic and true. Kevin is a wit and a charmer. Like the Last Comic Standing guy from MN (what was his name?) who did the bit on the "Christmas-paper-wrapping-paper-tube," Kevin's stories all ring true. And, well, the ones that might not, you wish they did. I particularly liked the bit about him traveling cross country to go to eat seafood in Seattle. Via freight car.
Each story is somehow related to a holiday, but not always in the way you might expect. There are some nice,
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
kevin kling is a funny, funny man. he says funny things. he tells funny stories. what he writes reads funny. as funny as this book is to read, it's funnier to hear him tell these stories. i'm glad he wrote these down, but i'd prefer to see kevin in person. so, if you can't see kevin, read one of his books. but do everything you can to see him perform live.
Ann Marie
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Kling, is a Minnesota humor writer who is as funny as Dave Barry and who can weave a fantastic short story like Keillor. Who would have ever thought. Kling wrote these stories about his family holiday memories in this book. I loved it. Especially in one essay when he changed his name to Sandy just because he liked the way it sounded. I'm only sorry I didn't find Kling's books sooner. His books will now sit in my permanent library next to McMurtry, Keillor, Black, Barry and Block.
Maybe I'd give it 2.5 stars if I could. Kevin Kling has lived an interesting life, and he tells a few of his stories in this book. I took my time reading it, here a little and there a little, which felt just right for this book. I had high expectations, and it didn't quite meet them, but there are some gems in there, like the State Fair chapter.
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I so love Kevin Kling. I wanted to take notes all through this book so that I won't forget some of the amazing things he says. Some reviews found it schmaltzy but I totally disagree. I would call it heartbreaking and inspiring instead. Others also find his written word less satisfying than his live storytelling. But I could hear him telling his stories in my head.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Kevin Kling as a storyteller. He is from Minnesota. If you ever get a chance to go see him, do. He is a better storyteller than writer but I still like reading his work. They are funny little stories from his past.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always enjoyed the comedy of Kevin Kling. This novel is brilliant. Kling is what Keillor used to be. He's subtle, poignant, and frankly, just a great writer. I'm anxious to read "The Dog Says How." This one is highly recommended!
Very sweet, seasonal stories. Something you could take out on each holiday throughout the year.

I sincerely think that Kling is an author you need to hear tell stories, rather than read. Too bad the audio book wasn't available at the library.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories. Dave Sedaris qualities, but not as dark. Quirky. Funny chapter on running a marathon, but nothing I hadn't heard before. Sarcastic look at American middle-class Minnesota.
Julie M
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laugh-out-loud recognizable stories from a Minnesota master storyteller!
Kathleen Hagen
holiday scenes. Very good with many laugh-out-loud moments.

May 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Not my usual kind of book but I did enjoy parts of it. Being from Minnesota the references to living here were a lot of fun. I also liked his descriptions of family holidays.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Kevin Kling. His writing just epitomizes Minnesota to me. I loved this book!
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just what you need to remember family and times long gone. I liked this book a lot.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several cute anecdotes about growing up in the Midwest; family stories that bring a smile or a chuckle.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Kevin Kling. Not just Christmas, but all holidays are covered in this book. Stories from his childhood and adulthood, touching and very funny.
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny and sweet. It's great to laugh out loud.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. The writing was tighter than his last book and seemed more insightful. I am really sad that I won't be seeing him perform next week.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelf-sitter
Kevin Kling is a sweetheart. Fun to read his seasonally-themed essays throughout this year.
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Funny read. He is coming to our town in April.

Some chapters were off the charts funny- State Fair and Thanksgiving were my favs.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories, though I heard him on MPR on New Year's and hearing the stories makes them just a bit better.
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Endlessly charming and surprisingly profound this one had me laughing and pondering and feeling grateful for life and its adventures. Great read by an honest and quality author.
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Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He lives in Minneapolis.

From the author's website.
More about Kevin Kling...