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A Christmas Blizzard: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, October 25, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
—Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly )
“Rife with imagination and humor.”
—Plain Dealer (Plain Dealer )
“In this manic lead-up to Christmas Eve, Keillor exhibits his brilliance for drawing spon-on caricatures.”
—The Washington Post (Washington Post ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This story contains a lot of Midwestern guilt and woe, but yet its' little continual gems of exaggeration keep the humor alive: " it wasn't like her to fall apart like that, she being a member of the National rifle Association".
James Sparrow needs to learn to love Christmas, as his wife Joyce does and also get over his fear of freezing his tongue to pump handles- their siren call where he has to force himself to keep his tongue in his mouth and not on car door handles or bronze busts of Studs Terkel. His past contains among other problems; a mother who was obsessed by worries of the Christmas tree catching fire. James flies home to Looseleaf, North Dakota where he encounters his past in the form of a dead friend who is now a wolf. A big haired airline ticket lady, a cousin who is plotting to overthrow the US government and is married to an undercover FBI agent who has married her to keep an eye on her.
Through all the humorous absurdities James is rescued from his fears, the blizzard, potential arrest, learns to love Christmas, but most of all discovers the moral of the story: that small kindnesses can create great good...as good a moral as any for a Christmas book
This tale follows James Sparrow as he leaves the stress of his job, his wife and the holiday season behind and rushes to be with his much adored Uncle Earl who is said to be lingering at death's door. He finds himself in Looseleaf, North Dakota, which appears to be just slightly north of absolutely nothing.
He is met at the airport to find that the claims of his uncle's impending death have been exaggerated and the area is quickly being closed in by a blizzard. His one-day visit to his dying uncle has now become a visit with his extended (and crazy) family, with no end in sight.
A Christmas Blizzard is much like Keillor's live show- slightly sweet, acerbic at times, and more mature and worldly than Powdermilk Biscuits.
My verdict: Read it! It is impossible to read this book without hearing the narration in Keillor's rich, mellifluous voice. Take your time and enjoy this sometimes surreal journey into Christmas with family. If you linger, you will surely find a paragraph that speaks to you. Here's mine...
The red throw on the old green sofa was straight, the copies of North Dakota Geographic were neatly stacked, the fish tank bubbled away, the goldfish manuevered through the plastic vegetation, and the carpet where Uncle Earl liked to strew his books was clear--the books were lined up on the bookcase, a sure sign that the occupant of the house was no longer in charge.
Sparrow has several somewhat disabling hang-ups developed during his childhood. He hates Christmas, although married to a woman who overly adores the holiday. He remembers how his mother put up a Christmas tree, but was constantly, without let up, fearful that the tree would catch fire, so she doused it occasionally with water. His father complained every Christmas that his wife, James' mother, was spending too much money on gifts. So James was given a five year old used book with its original inscription that showed it was a gift to someone else.
Somehow, although she denies it, James' mother taught him not to place his tongue on a frozen pole because the tongue would stick to the pole. This developed into an obsessive fear. James is constantly afraid that he will stick his tongue on a frozen pole. Once he stuck his tongue on a shower pole during his shower and burnt his tongue.
James wants to get away from Christmas by flying to Hawaii on his private plane. He owns a home in Kuhikuhikapapa'u'maumau. His wife catches the flu and is unable to travel. James decides to go alone, but stops in North Dakota during an usually fierce blizzard to see his uncle who he thinks is dying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mr. Keillor's story is about as realistic as a Looney Tune episode, but, oh, what a funny short fable it is. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Franklin the Mouse
Fun book to read. Chose this book for our Christmas read for Reading Group.Published 2 months ago by Traveler
I love Garrison Keillor but only straining to hear his cadence and inflection sustained me through this book. He is present but it needs more.Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
If you like Garrison Keillor things, this will not disappoint. There are many oddities and twists and idiosyncrasies.Published 6 months ago by T. Miller
This book was, per usual Garrison Keillor style, full of his fun descriptions and hilarious writing style. I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas Blizzard!!!Published 11 months ago by NINO
This story is bizarre and a little disturbing. Tell your book club to pick something else, and save your money. I gave it one star, but would have given it less had I been able.Published 13 months ago by Stephanie