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The Keillor Reader Hardcover – May 1, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-0670020584 ISBN-10: 0670020583 Edition: First Edition

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The Keillor Reader + Lake Wobegon Family Reunion: Selected Stories (Prairie Home Companion)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (May 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670020583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670020584
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Keillor Reader:

“Our bard of small-town melancholy and nostalgia . . . Keillor is terrific, as always, at describing man’s ability to wince in the face of hardship or boredom. Also winning in this book are the behind-the-scenes glimpses that Keillor gives us of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ . . . one is moved to beam back at Keillor the amount of charity he has beamed at all his characters.”
— The New York Times

“Wry, wistful, nostalgic . . . by turns cheerful and fatalistic, homespun and outrageous.”
—Chicago Tribune
“Keillor spin[s] his entire life experience into tales that may be fantastical but are always . . . true to life . . . honoring it, in all its wild permutations and possibilities. . . . This gem of a book will resuscitate you.”  
—Minneapolis StarTribune
“What really appeal[s] about Garrison's work[s] . . . is that they're so human . . . so wonderfully specific and funny that they become universal, and manage to move across generations.”
“Heir to Mark Twain, James Thurber and E. B. White, Keillor offers more than laconic, sometimes-rueful, reports from the fictional Midwestern town of Lake Wobegon. Besides selected Prairie Home Companion monologues—written in an adrenaline rush on the morning of each show—this collection contains poetry, fiction and assorted essays, each introduced by autobiographical musings. . . . Lovely.”
Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Garrison Keillor:
“Keillor is very clearly a genius. His range and stamina alone are incredible—after 30 years, he rarely repeats himself—and he has the genuine wisdom of a Cosby or Mark Twain. He's consistently funny about Midwestern fatalism  . . . and he's a masterful storyteller.”
Sam Anderson, Slate

"Keillor has always been a great cataloger, equal parts Homer and Montgomery Ward, . . . as aware of life's betrayals and griefs as [he] is of the grace notes and buffooneries that leaven everyday existence. Keillor's Lake Wobegon books have become a set of synoptic gospels, full of wistfulness and futility yet somehow spangled with hope."
Thomas Mallon, New York Times Book Review

"A literary cartographer would find it necessary to trace, in forceful blue lines, tributary streams running from Mark Twain and Sherwood Anderson to the Wobegonian river of stories and novels that has issued from Garrison Keillor for more than 20 years."
Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Garrison Keillor is a Minnesota native living in St. Paul and New York City.

More About the Author

Garrison Keillor is the bestselling author of Lake Wobegon Days, Happy To Be Here, Leaving Home, We Are Still Married, Radio Romance, The Book of Guys and Wobegon Boy (available in Penguin Audiobook). He is the host of A Prairie Home Companion on American public radio and a contributor to Time magazine. He lives in Wisconsin and New York City.

Customer Reviews

He writes prose as if it were poetry.
Mary Kanz
This book is a compendium of forty-four stories, essays and poems from Garrison Keillor's radio shows and other writings and speeches.
N. B. Kennedy
I've read several books by Garrison Keillor and am always impressed by his ability to tell a story and his wonderful sense of humor.
Dan of the Suburbs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I sat down, curled up and read this book as soon as it was put into my hands. What can one say? Some are stories I've heard before, some I haven't, some such as `Pontoon Boat' are old standards. If you enjoy Prairie Home Companion or listening and reading stories and recollections, or the Midwest this is the book for you. This is for those who love the printed word, the tangible to hold and read and reread.

There are 44 stories in here, also a few photos of Garrison and mainly his mother. There is an introduction to each story, where the idea came from -what it is about.

The radio show, the live appearances, (if you are fortunate enough to see them) or the CD's have their place - to listen to that sonorous voice..."It's been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone". I'm sure Garrison Keillor would scoff at being called a national treasure, but he is. He captures a time and place and most of all a spirit about a people. The people that make up this country with stories that are comforting, funny and at times poignant. They are what was and is still the heart of America.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Corinne H. Smith VINE VOICE on May 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a terrific idea! Compile a volume of 44 of Garrison Keillor's best stories and poems. His admirers can then sit down with him and hear them again in person, this time with additional words of explanation. A few b&w photos are even sprinkled in for good measure; and at least one of them will generate a giggle or three.

If you listen to "A Prairie Home Companion" (APHC) on NPR on Saturday nights ... if you've attended a live broadcast ... if you've seen his one-man shows in person ... if you've read at least one of his Lake Wobegon books -- then some of this material will sound familiar. Nevertheless, It's all good, as the saying goes. Each story comes with introductory remarks from the author himself that give insights into the background, the characters, or even into the writing process. The selections venture well beyond the region of Lake Wobegon and Minnesota. As with most of his tales, the audience can never really be sure where the memoir ends and the fabrication begins. That's part of the fun. His people seem to get themselves into quirky situations that are all too plausible in real life. And yes, a shortened version of the pontoon boat story appears early on in the text.

Here we hear his voice rise off the printed page, in the style to which we've become accustomed. Mr. Keillor is one of the most creative and prolific writers of all time -- a true lover of language and a master of description -- and we are fortunate enough to share the planet with him. When we consider his career, we have to wonder how the man has time to do it all. He is constantly penning poems and stories for books, columns, live appearances, the weekly radio show, and more.
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Format: Hardcover
‘The Keillor Reader’ written by Garrison Keillor is remarkable collection of short stories, essays and other literary works of man who was (and still is) a radio host, columnist, poet, essayist and comedian, but most of all - a great storyteller.

Overall there are more than 40 stories inside this extensive collection on 800 pages, some of them already known, some unknown but those who are seeking for ‘Prairie Home Companion’ can be sure they will enjoy it completely. For all the stories, he included kind of introduction in which is explained background of the story – what it is about, how and why he came up with the idea.

It’s not easy to describe his style to someone who didn’t read his works, but in short he is able to convey with his words human emotions, spirit, time and place where he grew up.

Besides his inspiring and enjoyable to read words, reader can find also some Garrison photographs that picture both him and his family, mainly his mother.

So, if you’re fan of Garrison Keillor’s previous works, mainly ‘A Prairie Home Companion’, be sure to give a chance to this book, it will not disappoint you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gallura Gatto on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got an email Sunday night from 'A Prairie Home Companion - I am a listener to the show via repeat broadcast online - announcing publication of this book. Included was an opportunity to listen to 'Chickens' which dates from 1986. Listened & laughed my head off, one-clicked my order, which instantly arrived & I began reading.

For those, like me, who are already fans of Garrison Keillor & his long-running live radio show, or have seen Altman's film, American Radio, it won't take much urging from me to buy this book. But for any of you who might be reading this & are unfamiliar with Keillor's work, here is a chance to immerse yourself in the comings & goings of the inhabitants of Lake Wobegone, read his poems, his musings in pieces published in various magazines, etc. over the years. It's a marvelous & very welcome compilation by a great raconteur of Americana. I put him right up there with another favorite, Mark Twain.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kanz on May 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Keillor has the ability few modern-day writers possess: He touches your heart. He puts into words
what we are unable to express. One minute he has you laughing and before you know your eyes are filled
with tears. He writes prose as if it were poetry. I loved this book and plan on rereading it from time to
time because I want to remember that gentleness and beauty that is so rare these days. He makes the world
seem less harsh and that we need to see underneath the veneer because we are missing what's been
there all along.
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