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O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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Half the “Masters of the House” (of light verse) to whom Keillor dedicates this collection—Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Roger Miller—are great song lyricists, and Ogden Nash wrote, albeit as a sideline, rhymes for Kurt Weill, among others. Keillor has sung plenty of those bards’ works on A Prairie Home Companion; his guests on the show, more. Unsurprisingly, then, music permeates his comic verse, contributing the melody the words sometimes lack (Ira or Cole he ain’t quite, as he might admit). It’s full of out-and-out song parodies, such as “Home on the Plains (instead of ‘Range’),” “Nikolina” (same title as, wryer story than the Swedish American vaudeville standard of the same name), “Dark (not ‘Blue’) Skies,” and cleverest, perhaps, “Episcopalian,” to be sung to “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Besides tunefulness, formal variety abounds. Keillor writes excellent limericks, most not dirty, and while he wisely never essays Nash’s trademark, wildly irregular couplets, he often loosens meter to the point of blowsiness. As in his best-selling fiction, the subject matter is the (very funny) stuff of the lumpen-bourgeois blues. --Ray Olson
"Keillor is very clearly a genius. His range and stamina alone are incredible . . . he has the genuine wisdom of a Cosby or Mark Twain." Slate
"America’s foremost humorist and social pundit . . . Keillor’s running commentary about the human condition has the uncanny ability to home in on the pulse of America." PBS
"Keillor has a way of reconciling seeming contradictions. A purveyor of all things folksy and down-home, he is a highly cultivated, worldly man." AARP
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Top customer reviews
The man loves New York and the Midwest in equal amounts and if you have any love whatever for mankind and the foibles we wallow in, you'll think it was money well spent.