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Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon (Lake Wobegon Novels) Hardcover – September 11, 2007
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A fresh and funny Lake Wobegon novel about a woman with a secret life
In Lake Wobegon lives a good Lutheran lady who is quite prepared to die and wishes to be cremated and her ashes placed inside a bowling ball and dropped into the lake, no prayers, no hymns, thank you very much. Meanwhile, the Detmer girl returns from California where she has made a killing in veterinary aromatherapy to marry her boyfriend Brent aboard Wally's pontoon boat, presided over by her minister, Misty Naylor of the Sisterhood of the Sacred Spirit. Brent arrives on Thursday. On Saturday, a delegation of renegade Lutheran pastors from Denmark come to town on their tour of America, their punishment for having denied the divinity of Jesus. And Barbara Peterson, whose mother, Evelyn, left the startling note about cremation and the bowling ball, is in love with a lovely fat man who slips around town in the dim light and reconnoiters with her at the Romeo Motel.
An the then there is Raoul of the cigars and tinted shades and rainbow sportscoat and his long phone message ("Hey, Precious") after the angel of death has already come and gone.
All is in readiness for the wedding--the giant shrimp shish kebabs, the French champagne, the wheels of imported cheese, the pate with whole peppercorns, the hot-air balloon, the flying Elvis, the pontoon boat, and the giant duck decoys--and then something else happens.
It is Lake Wobegon as you've imagined it--good loving people who drive each other slightly crazy.
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Still, I liked the book and would recommend it for fans of Keillor.
Short on humor and very LONG on sad, down content.
Do not recommend unless you enjoy sad, downer content.
I'm going to give my copy away. So disappointed. :(
Lake Wobegon is a stultifying, puritanical, narrow-minded place, but there is nostalgia for its small-town middle-American virtues. Those who leave it, for California, New York or London, are liable to lose their solid Lake Wobegon characters and become flamboyant eccentrics or depressed losers. Barbara Peterson's central conflict is about leaving or staying. This conflict lurks in the background while Keillor manipulates his marionettes to form farcical events or arbitrary tragedies.
I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining book, although Keillor evidently has trouble constructing a plot, and resorts to bumping off characters or flipping them in and out of mental illness.
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!