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In Search of Lake Wobegon Hardcover – August 27, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
The composition of the shots are superb. The short prologue gives a first person retelling of how Keillor invented the town that "time forgot and the decades cannot improve." That introduction, however, is so short that it's almost unfair to say that this is a Garrison Keillor book. He essentially wrote the foreword (although it's not titled that way), and the pictures tell the real story.
My only disappointment is that there isn't any color. Certainly sepia tones give us nostalgia the way we'd like to remember it, but sunset on a farm is something you can't appreciate in shades of brown. Rural life has its monochromatic moments, to be sure, but there's enough color and life to help us remember that not everything is nostalgia.
This gripe doesn't detract from the beauty of this book, though. Thankfully we never see Lake Wobegon, only hints and shadows. It allows us to preserve our preconceptions, but gives us a deeper feeling of connection with the area. If you're a fan of APHC, you probably already own this book (or you should). If not, take a look at a lifestyle that might be foreign to you.
Now for the first time we can see the place and its people through the eye of Richard Olsenius, whose essentialist photography magnificently illuminates Keillor's words in their first collaborative book "In Search of Lake Wobegon."
Olsenius' 4x5 images provide deep and penetrating insights into people who, as Keillor writes: "...learned long before we are twelve that God loves us but God also says hard things that a person doesn't care to hear."
"Here," writes Keillor "the currency is character, as expressed in stories." As always, Keillor tells great stories. Olsenius marries character and image -- expressive, haunting, and essential. Together they bring flesh to the word and word to the flesh.
"In Search of Lake Wobegon" was on press long before September 11. Yet, its images are not only prophetically timely, but reflective of a durable and distant homeland.
Turn to page 44 and pages 64, 69, 74, 86 and 89 - images far from ground zero but deep in the heart. It is both reassuring and haunting to see our oneness from the remoteness of Avon, Holdingford, New Munich and St. Joseph.
There's the fishing hole, the fields, and the field of dreams, the homecoming parade, St. Rosa's church and on page 106, Gary Thelen at the bean-finishing machine. Keillor tells that Thelen's Swany White Flour Mill has been in the family since 1906. Through Olsenius I met, saw and let Gary touch me.
Keillor introduces the Holdingford High homecoming court on page 30 in the words of young Queen Tanya: "like wow" and "Cool" and the football game that wasn't.Read more ›
"Culture isn't decor, it's what you know before you're twelve. It sticks with you all your born days. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. You can try to wrestle free of it, like those geese who trail the V-formation, trying to look as if they aren't part of this bunch, as if flying south were a personal decision on their part, but your feint towards independence only makes it clearer who you really are. Some people like hot dish better if it's called cassoulet, or pot roast if it's pot-au-feu. Fine. Suit yourself. Same difference."
Whatever you call those culinary delights, you'll like this book. Come see Father Kleinschmidt's Annual Blessing of the Snowmobiles. Ja, you betcha! Reviewed by TundraVision.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Keillor is a latter day Mark Twain...., only funnier and more honest.Published 13 days ago by John E. Barry
This is a must-have for all you Keillor fans... You will be introduced to the various places that are part of the setting for Lake Wobegon - and to people who inspired its... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Gabriela Scholter
Excellent book for anyone looking for companion products and are Lake Wobegon fans.
Has a lot of "Lake Wobegon" area photos and commentary...
Yes this is a fictional place but the book is awesome. He went everywhere to research this group. Legion members, farmers. Read morePublished on May 18, 2013 by Amanda Abigail
this was a gift, so I haven't seen it yet, but I understand it was well recieved and is being enjoyed. This person has every Garrison Keilor book and lived in Minn. Read morePublished on September 21, 2011 by Amazon Customer
I discovered this book while on retreat. It was sitting on the coffee table and knew I had to have my own copy. Read morePublished on September 29, 2009 by Audrianne Hill
Keillor is probably best known in the Midwest where his tales of the imaginary town of Lake Wobegon are heard on many radio stations in that region. Read morePublished on January 29, 2008 by M. G. West
I was what you would call a "Noobie" to all of Garrison's work until recently. I picked up this book at a college library after speaking to my mother about the Minnesota... Read morePublished on December 8, 2003 by Justin Rosencrans