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
Abridged

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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