The Book of Guys: Stories

( 2 )


"Guys are in trouble these days," says Garrison Keillor. "Years ago, manhood was an opportunity for achievement and now it's just a problem to be overcome. Guys who once might have painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling are now just trying to be Mr. O.K. All-Rite, the man who can bake a cherry pie, be passionate in a skillful way, and yet also lift them bales and tote that barge."

This brilliant collection confirms Keillor?s reputation as an ingenious storyteller and a very funny ...

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"Guys are in trouble these days," says Garrison Keillor. "Years ago, manhood was an opportunity for achievement and now it's just a problem to be overcome. Guys who once might have painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling are now just trying to be Mr. O.K. All-Rite, the man who can bake a cherry pie, be passionate in a skillful way, and yet also lift them bales and tote that barge."

This brilliant collection confirms Keillor’s reputation as an ingenious storyteller and a very funny guy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bewailing the lost grandeur of manhood and lambasting the half-baked perversion known as '90s man, Keillor ( Lake Woebegon Days ) brings wit, the gift of storytelling and marksmanlike satire to this collection of 22 short fictions dissecting the current predicament of ``guys.'' Invoking various archetypal guys--cowboy, sports hero, Greek god, Don Juan--he brings each into collision with contemporary values stressing sensitivity, openness, communication, monogamy, the empowerment of women and a healthy diet. The results are provocative and hilarious. Dionysus turns 50 and is forced to seek help for his sex and alcohol problems. Baseball legend Casey of Mudville is barraged with garbage at an away game. Cattleman Lonesome Shorty gives up the range to try condominium life. President George Bush goes fishing with an admiring Willie Horton while barbarians invade Chicago. Keillor takes delicious swipes at the media, fad causes, political correctness and American tabloid culture as he convincingly sketches the precarious state of his fellow males, longing for the days when they could just be guys. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In his latest book (after WLT: A Radio Romance , Viking, 1991), Keillor displays his offbeat humor and quirky worldview in 22 stories fashioned around male characters. Many of the tales feature cultural icons wrenched from their usual haunts and forced to live in the present: hedonistic Dionysus suddenly faces middle age; Don Giovanni philosophizes on marriage to Figaro as he works the ivories in a piano bar; Earl Grey overcomes his anonymity as a middle child and builds a tea empire. Others feature George Bush, Norman Conquest, and Casey at bat in a road game. Although each tale depends on a gimmick, Keillor usually makes them work. A few of the stories are flat, lacking the enhancement of the author's deadpan vocal delivery, but most are pretty funny, and a few are even touching. Buy wherever Keillor is popular. Previewed in Prepub Alert, 7/93.-- A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Kirkus Reviews
More from the master of the broadcast memoir (WLT, 1991; We Are Still Married, 1989; etc.). Keillor's attentions in this outing are loosely concentrated on the plight of the semi-competent male in today's world of can-do ladies. The 23 items (five previously published) in this latest collection include the other team's view of "Casey At the Bat (Road Game)"; a modern myth about "Zeus the Lutheran" and a pastor's wife; a very amusing high-school anecdote ("Gary Keillor"); a sendup of men's movement nonsense ("Address to the National Federation of Associations..."); a sharp smack at the TV talk shows ("The Chuck Show of Television"); one of the best letters-to-the-editor of recent times ("That Old Picayune Moon"); some business with "Don Giovanni"; and an updated fable of the "Country Mouse and the City Mouse." Liberal as public radio may be, there are still some words you can't say, so Keillor can be a little sharper in print than his listeners may be used to. Some of the pieces ("Buddy the Leper" and "Roy Bradley, Boy Broadcaster") cry out for commercial breaks. The shorter pieces ("The Mid-Life Crisis of Dionysus," "Omoo the Wolf Boy") do better, but even at his windiest, Keillor is more talented at the Thurber business than anybody since. Quite good. You don't have to be a radio fan to enjoy. You do have to be literate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140233728
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 665,218
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.85 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor, author of nearly a dozen books, is founder and host of the acclaimed radio show A Prairie Home Companion and the daily program The Writer's Almanac. He is also a regular contributor to Time magazine.


Garrison Keillor is the author of thirteen books, including Lake Wobegon Summer 1956, Wobegon Boy, and Lake Wobegon Days. From 1999-2001, Keillor wrote a column "Dear Mr. Blue: Advice for Lovers and Writers" on Keillor's popular Saturday-night public radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, is in its twenty-seventh season. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Gary Edward Keillor (real name)
      Garrison Keillor
    2. Hometown:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 7, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Anoka, Minnesota
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Minnesota, 1966

Table of Contents

Address to the National Federation of Associations Convention, Minneapolis, June 12, 1993 1
Lonesome Shorty 23
The Chuck Show of Television 41
The Mid-life Crisis of Dionysus 59
Buddy the Leper 73
Mr. St. Paul 95
That Old Picayune-Moon 101
Marooned 111
Don Giovanni 129
Roy Bradley, Boy Broadcaster 143
Gary Keillor 175
Omoo the Wolf Boy 193
The Country Mouse and the City Mouse 203
Casey at the Bat (Road Game) 207
Herb Johnson, the God of Canton 213
Earl Grey 225
Winthrop Thorpe Tortuga 247
Al Denny 261
George Bush 273
Christmas in Vermont 283
Norman Conquest 297
Zeus the Lutheran 317
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 4, 2008


    This book is geared towards the much maligned male. My wife read it and didn't get the appeal, but every man I've suggested it to thought it was hilarious. I read it on a plane to Florida and laughed out loud. This is the perfect gift for any guy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    Book of guys

    I think that in some parts of the book it was quite depressing. The book started off on a good note, but then ended with a bad one. I feel as though his humor is cruel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    Reasons for this book

    There are at least as many reasons why guys should feel foolish about their gender as there are reasons to leave your lover. Keillor makes a good start. Perhaps its best that HE do it, in the interest of education, which they so badly need. One of the reasons that they ARE so foolish is their eons long refusal to listen to anything a woman would tell them--like directions to the place they have gotten lost finding, why they don't want to make love tonight, why their kids aren't listening to them, how to make something work and other things guys can't stand to be told by anyone. So let Keillor do it. Maybe he can get thru.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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