Wobegon Boyby Garrison Keillor
"Can it really be 10 years since Lake Wobegon Days showed that Keillor's hilarious and sometimes poignant stories about his imagined Minnesota town could please a multitude of readers as much as they delighted a huge radio audience?... Among all the fun and games [in Wobegon Boy] is a very real sense of abiding American character and more, a passionate/i>/i>… See more details below
"Can it really be 10 years since Lake Wobegon Days showed that Keillor's hilarious and sometimes poignant stories about his imagined Minnesota town could please a multitude of readers as much as they delighted a huge radio audience?... Among all the fun and games [in Wobegon Boy] is a very real sense of abiding American character and more, a passionate devotion to qualities of courage and compassion that makes Keillor's books salutary as well as delightfully daffy."-- Publishers Weekly
It has been 12 years since popular radio-host Garrison Keillor first published the number-one New York Times bestseller Lake Wobegon Days. Since the collection Leaving Home, written ten years ago, only a few Lake Wobegon stories have appeared in print. But the host of "A Prairie Home Companion" (a program heard by more than two million people on more than 400 national public radio stations) is sure to please his legions of fans with the eagerly anticipated novel Wobegon Boy. Set in upstate New York, New York City, and the fictional Lake Wobegon, this passionate '90s romance features the esteemed John Tollefson, who last appeared at the end of Lake Wobegon Days as he was ushered off to college with his elderly relatives. Wobegon Boy opens with John, now a 40-something bachelor, working as a public-radio-station manager at a small college in upstate New York.
In his quest for grandeur at midlife, John embarks on a love affair with Alida Freeman, an up-and-coming young historian. He plunges into this romance while attempting to deal with his gloomy and neurotic staff, his controlling boss, a disastrous speech at a public-radio award ceremony, the bankruptcy of a farm restaurant venture, and his bumpy relationship with his querulous father and his four siblings -- all while his romantic interest, the elusive Alida, is busy writing a book about a Norwegian naturopath who treated Lincoln, Thoreau, and Whitman back in the 1800s. As the romance blossoms, John looks back to his hometown, which he ends up visiting twice -- once when tempted to be unfaithful to his lover, and once for his father's funeral. It is during these visits home that John looks at himself and at the difference between the "Happy Lutherans" and the "Dark Lutherans."
In typical Keillor form, Wobegon Boy is also a vehicle for the author's jabs at some of the staples of today's politically correct, postmodern culture, from sexual manners to public radio itself. "One outright surprise is how bilious Tollefson (read Keillor) is about National Public Radio," writes The New York Times Book Review. The book also brings revelations about the essential Lake Wobegon Code, on which all of its children were raised: "Do Your Job, Don't Tell Lies, Don't Imagine You're Exceptional, Be Glad for What You Have, and above all, Don't Feel Sorry for Yourself."
- Cengage Gale
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