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Love Me Hardcover – August 18, 2003

3.0 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An obscure Minneapolis writer is touched by the "kiss of fame" in Keillor's latest, a sly romantic comedy-cum-literary satire that begins when Larry Wyler's first novel, Spacious Skies, takes off and hits the bestseller list. Wyler longs to accept an invitation to go to Manhattan and work for the New Yorker, but his earnest, stodgy wife, Iris, is content to stay in St. Paul and continue her work with the elderly. The siren song of New York proves too strong for Wyler, though, and the writer reports to legendary editor William Shawn and rubs elbows with the likes of Updike and Salinger. But publisher Harold Ross has been succeeded by a mafioso called Tony Crossandotti, who forces Wyler into a deadly showdown after the hapless writer fails to get a poem published for the thug. In an equally cheeky storyline, Wyler begins writing an advice column for a Minneapolis paper when his work at the New Yorker flags and his second novel tanks, and Keillor uses the conceit to pen a series of running letters from various lovelorn characters who call on "Mr. Blue" to help sort out their lonely lives (reprising his real-life turn as an advice columnist for the online magazine Salon). The material on Wyler's up-and-down relationship with Iris is less successful, although Keillor's prose does turn touching down the stretch when they reconcile and put Wyler's numerous infidelities behind them. With his trademark droll humor, Keillor exposes the foibles of human nature and pokes fun at our more absurd conventions. The icing on the cake is the use of some obviously autobiographical material from Keillor's publishing experiences in this wry send-up of literary life.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Popular public-radio icon Keillor departs from his usual setting of Lake Wobegon. Our hero Larry Wyler starts out in St. Paul, living down the hill with the working class, married to his college sweetheart--the quasi-saint Iris--who pays more attention to the poor and downtrodden than to her lonely husband. But when Larry's first novel, Spacious Skies, hits number one on the best-seller list, he sets sail for New York, following his dreams to rub elbows with the literati. Larry even lands an office at the New Yorker, just down the hall from J. D. Salinger, and he engages in hallway conversations with Calvin Trillin. The good times begin to wane, however, when his follow-up novel, Amber Waves of Grain, flops miserably, and he is forced to accept the offer to be Mr. Blue in an advice column, "Ask Mr. Blue." (Keillor actually did write an advice column called "Dear Mr. Blue" for salon.com for several years.) Not exactly the sophisticated literary position of his dreams, but, hey, nothing else is getting written, and it helps pay the bills. What Larry never expected is how doling out advice to lonely hearts would help him realize what his own heart truly desires. Keillor, a natural storyteller, blends humor and compassion with just a touch of cynicism, cooking up a funny, insightful, and touching story of ambition, sacrifice, and love. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (August 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670032468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670032464
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,562,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Fans of Prairie Home Companion may or may not like GK's new book "Love Me," but to fans of his books it will not disappoint. It's definitely R-rated, but in his uniquely human and self-conscious way.
Not every action of the main character is likeable, but we're all flawed and fallen, which is a central theme of this book. In regards to a previous review, all of GK's books seem to be part autobiography, part fiction. I wouldn't assume that much of the book depicts real events from the author's life.
If you've already read a summary of the plot, be sure that there is much more to the story. It's a very rich and rewarding book, filled with GK's insights and unique humor, but it isn't the 'News from Lake Wobegon,' and may offend some more conservative readers.
I absolutely loved this book and recommend it without hesitation. If you're new to Garrison Keillor as an author, my personal favorite books are 'WLT: A Radio Romance,' and 'Wobegon Boy,' though I've enjoyed them all.
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Format: Hardcover
The book begins on a clever premise that just runs out of gas. By the midpoint I had the distinct feeling that Garrison was dealing with a severe case of "um, what do I do now?". His obsessive but dumbly implausible study of the inner workings of the New Yorker magazine struck me as an "in joke" between him and his buddies at that famous magazine.

And by the end, after leaving his wife in a fit of midlife crisis, and slogging through multiple sexual conquests (ultimately unfulfilling, of course) he worms his way back into his wife's good graces, where he slips into old age with little grace and less dignity. End of book.

Meanwhile, Keillor seems absolutely enamored with the premise that if you're a writer, even a very bad one, women everywhere want to sleep with you, no matter your marital status, how old you are, or how young they are. Of course, he might be right. I wouldn't know.

However, the fundamental implausibility of just about everything that happens in these pages left me continually shaking my head. It occurred to me more than once that this book was probably better for Garrison than it was for us.

Anyway, I started the book hoping to recommend it to friends and family. By the time I was done, I just tucked it away on the shelf, and quietly moved on to The Kite Runner.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading these other 12 reviews, I am disappointed in the reaction to this brilliant book. Granted, if you're already a Keillor fan, you're in heaven as you read the lines and hear Garrison's voice insinuate the pauses and hesitations, the stuttering and comic inflections, that make his radio show a 25-year enduring icon of compassionate comedy.
His theme is a bit odd -- a young writer dreaming of one day joining the New Yorker fulfills that dream, only to be beset by the Mafia, a "can't live with it, can't live without it" marriage, and terminal writer's block. Within the story is another story, that of the protagonist as lonely hearts editor. The letters he receives, and the replies he sends, are hysterical, odd, and clever.
Don't overanalyze the humor and hyperscrutinize the plot. This is just plain funny stuff, with the occasional poignant and touching revelation about what it means to be a human wrestling with one's devil of an ego. It's vintage Keillor, and vintage fun.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In addition to his wicked humorous insight, Garrison Keillor is a bawdy man with enough rein on his imagination so that his plot lines always sound quite plausible. I'm a fan and I was not disappointed in this book. I often laughed out loud and often appreciated his self-deprecating point-of-view, again so pleased that Keillor dares to write (and say) truths that I will only think to myself.
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Format: Hardcover
The first chapter is brilliant and laugh-out-loud funny (it got me several strange looks on the subway).

But "Love Me" has a huge problem: on the first chapter, Keillor tells the reader what's going to happen in the rest of the book. So after chapter 2, you know the plot. There are no surprises and not much incentive to keep reading. Also the writing is not nearly as good as it was on chapter one.

My suggestion would be to read only the first chapter; the rest of the book is a waste.
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By A Customer on September 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Keillor in his fifties knows first hand the struggles with the meaning of life, alcohol, silly sex, and why marriage is good for you. Larry Wyler's wife, Iris, does just fine, thank you very much, without Larry, but Larry spirals out of control without her steadying influence. And within this story is the wonderful satire of inside The New Yorker magazine, where all the famous writers display exactly opposite personalities of how they were in real life.
This sly book hides its serious core of midwestern values with hilarity and satire. "Love Me" is Keillor's best book so far. Unlike Larry Wyler, Keillor's alter ego in this book whose writing regressed in quality and quantity, Keillor's seems to just get better.
I giggled out loud reading this book. Garrison never hits you over the head with with obvious humor. If you slow down and read every word your attention is rewarded with puns, call backs, oddities and intelligent humor.
This is a delightful book. Read it.
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