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Paperback Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon Book

ISBN: 0143114107

ISBN13: 9780143114109

Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Garrison Keillor makes his long- awaited return to Lake Wobegon with this New York Times bestseller The first new Lake Wobegon novel in seven years is a cause for celebration. And Pontoon is nothing less than a spectacular return to form'replete with a bowling ball-urn, a hot-air balloon, giant duck decoys, a flying Elvis, and, most importantly, Wally's pontoon boat. As the wedding of the decade approaches (accompanied by wheels of imported cheese...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Sumus Quod Sumus

I saw these words written on a gold shield on the back of the dust jacket of this book. It means "We Are Who We Are" and is the motto of the town of Lake Wobegon. That's perfect for this book. The small town folks are who they are and seem no worse for it. If you grew up Lutheran in a small town in the Midwest, as I did, the material is wonderful! It brings back so many memories of my home town although we didn't have a lake. I feel sorry for the readers who don't understand Keillor's sense of humor. It's good for what ails you---or is that in an ad for one of the products he advertises on A Prairie Home Companion? Read it and brighten up your day!

Never better!

Garrison Keillor is a fine and funny man, and I've always read his fiction with a great deal of appreciation. But in "Pontoon," he's outdone himself! It has places throughout where it is laugh-out-loud funny, but by the end, I was laughing so hard that I could hardly breathe! I read my public library's copy. Now I'm buying my own, because I'll want to read it again and again, whenever I need a reason so smile!

Keillor outdoes himself

The beauty of these Lake Wobegon books is that Garrison Keillor can let his hair down and be sexy like he never can on the radio. What is innuendo on A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION becomes full blown eroticism in these novels. Erotic like rural Minnesota; that is, slightly uptight--and so very hilarious. As the new book starts off we meet Evelyn. She has just died. Keillor pays exquisite tribute throughout the book to the memory and the secret life of this vivacious octagenarian. Evelyn's family assembles for the service she wanted. Her cremains are to be placed in a bowling ball and dropped in the lake. Keillor does a superb job of balancing a respect for the departed with the crazy shenanigans that unfold. His finale with 24 drunken Danish ministers on a pontoon boat is sheer genius.

An enchanting read from a master storyteller

Garrison Keillor, best known for his long-running radio saga A Prairie Home Companion, has created another memorable portrait of the Midwest in Pontoon. His fictitious farming town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota is populated by Scandinavian descendants whose lives revolve around church services and gossip, not necessarily in that order. The town's two religious beacons are the Catholic parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility and the Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church. The residents are proud of their Scandinavian heritage, including the town statue of the Unknown Norwegian and omnipresent lutefisk at church functions. I grew up listening to Garrison on A Prairie Home Companion and attempted (unsuccessfully) to watch the recent Robert Altman film adaptation, so when I saw Pontoon, I snapped it up. Part of my love affair with Lake Wobegon stems from my own immigrant background; my grandmother immigrated from Poland in 1913, and my youth was spent at Polish masses and social gatherings (in Polish, of course!) filled with pierogi and gossip, much like Lake Wobegonians (minus the lutefisk, thankfully). I also grew up in a small Midwest town, so I could appreciate Garrison's good-natured ribbing at the monotony of life in small towns. Garrison's characters are exquisitely drawn, and you can easily imagine them to be your next-door neighbors, full of idiosyncrasies and hidden wisdom. In Pontoon, the central character is Evelyn, an octogenarian with a passion for life who enjoys shocking the quieter Wobegonians with her forward ideas. Evelyn's sudden death wreaks havoc on her family, particularly on her alcoholic daughter Barbara, since her scandalous final wish is to be cremated and dumped into Lake Wobegon in a green bowling ball. Needless to say, this is unacceptable behavior in a conservative Midwestern town. As the novel unfolds in hilariously unexpected twists and turns, a number of Wobegonians' lives intersect. Exiled Debbie Detmer returns from California a millionaire for a "ceremony of commitment." No weddings for this New Age guru, thankyouverymuch, but a hot air balloon and parachuting Elvis impersonator share the bill with imported French cheese, champagne, and world-class chefs flown in from California. Meanwhile, Barbara's son Kyle is thinking about ditching his girlfriend and dropping out of college to start a business involving sprinkling loved ones' ashes from a parasail. Pastor Inqvist is playing host to two dozen renegade Danish Lutheran pastors. At the hysterical climax, these and other stories intertwine in the blink of an eye during Evelyn's fateful memorial service on Lake Wobegon. The writing is crisp and snappy, and I particularly loved the flashbacks to 1941 as Evelyn's secret lifelong romance with Raoul was revealed. Spunky Evelyn has many lessons to teach all of us about regret, seizing opportunity, and how to enjoy life to its fullest right until the end. By turns tender, philosophical, and laugh-out-loud funny, Pontoon is

Garrison has done it again.

Another beautiful book from Garrison. If you haven't read any of his works you are really missing out. I am such a big fan of his work that I like to read it first and then listen to the audio book. Garrison is one of the few authors who can read their own work. This is the best book of the year!!!!
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