Sunday, December 12, 2010

Books: Lake Wobegon Summer 1956

Lake Wobegon Summer 1956
By Garrison Keillor
Copyright 2001
Audio read by the author
6.5 hours

For some reason the stories of Lake Wobegon escaped me, I guess because they appeared during a time when I wasn't listening to radio much. A Prairie Home Companion is not something I listen to and so Keillor was an unfamiliar author.

I enjoyed listening to these stories of a young man's arrival to manhood. Gary is a teenager who's never kissed a girl, unless you count Cousin Kate, and he thinks a lot about things like wangers and hooters and how he wants to be a writer but his teachers put red ink all over his papers.

The year is 1956 and times are a little simpler - an Underwood typewriter is the big thrill for Gary, not an iPad or something. There's no such thing as texting (that's a book you read) and so he must interact with folks, especially his friends and family. He and his sister do not get along and, being a sister, I listened to these interactions with interest and with the design of perhaps gaining insight into my relationship with my brother. I don't think it helped much but it was fun to hear.

During some of the time I listened to this book my mother-in-law was in the car and I think she was not keen on Keillor's stories, especially with regards to sexual innuendos, but I found them amusing and rather mild compared to some I have read.

Keillor read the stories with a dry almost monotone voice and it added a good bit to the story. I will definitely check out more of his work.

1 comment:

  1. I like those kinds of stories--little slices of life. I get his Writer's Almanac e-mailed every day. They mention special dates like writers' birthdays and then do a short biography. I find it real interesting. I was surprised to learn I start a story like Grace Paley--she starts with just a line or a little snippet that pops in her head and writes the story around it. That's exactly what I do.


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