Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Lake Wobegon, Summer 1956 [Paperback]

Garrison Keillor
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.00
Price: CDN$ 12.80 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 3.20 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually ships within 3 to 6 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Sept. 10 2002

Meet fourteen-year-old Gary. A self-described "tree-toad,"a sly and endearing geek, Gary has many unwieldy passions, chief among them his cousin Kate, his Underwood typewriter and the soft-porn masterpiece, High School Orgies. The folks of Lake Wobegon don't have much patience for a kid's ungodly obsessions, and so Gary manages to filter the hormonal earthquake that is puberty and his hopeless devotion to glamorous, rebellious Kate through his fantastic yarns. With every marvellous story he moves a few steps closer to becoming a writer. And when Kate gets herself into trouble with the local baseball star, Gary also experiences the first pangs of a broken heart.

With his trademark gift for treading "a line delicate as a cobweb between satire and sentiment"(Cleveland Plain Dealer), Garrison Keillor brilliantly captures a newly minted post-war America and delivers an unforgettable comedy about a writer coming of age in the rural Midwest.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With a four-year hiatus since Wobegon Boy, legions of Keillor faithful will likely hold candlelight vigils in front of their favorite booksellers awaiting the arrival of this long overdue episode in the ongoing checkered history of the fictional Minnesota hamlet. Vacillating between poignant, endearing, outrageous and mocking, this thoroughly engaging, frequently hilarious bildungsroman is narrated by the libidinous, iconoclastic 14-year-old wannabe writer Gary. Recounting the trials and tribulations of coming of age under the smothering influence of the Sanctified Brethren, a religious sect preaching unrelenting hellfire and damnation during the summer of 1956 in the tiny backwater of Lake Wobegon, the somewhat nerdy hero has a sexual fixation on his slightly older cousin Kate, abhors his geeky goody-two-shoes older sister, is obsessed with pornographic sexual fantasies engendered from reading a purloined copy of the verboten magazine High School Orgies, and is preoccupied by such intellectual pursuits as classifying variations of the 10 known categories of flatulence. Given an Underwood typewriter as a bribe from his uncle to tattletale on Kate's romance with a ne'er-do-well local baseball hero, Gary turns to writing pornographic stories about his imagined adventures with Kate before he is serendipitously handed the job of substitute sportswriter for the local paper. Game after game, he is forced to observe Kate's budding romance, until the affair predictably culminates in the age-old biological consequence and the family spins into crisis mode while our hero suffers a broken heart. Although the denouement is more fizzle than bang, avid Keillorites will be left shouting "more." 25-city author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Beloved author and radio persona Keillor (A Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book) returns once again to Lake Wobegon, the quintessential small town in Minnesota. It is summer, and as the denizens of Lake Wobegon sit on their front porches, listening to the radio and to the swish of sprinklers on their lawns, 14-year-old Gary struggles to find his own place within the community. Gary suffers from all the hormonally induced anxieties of an adolescent boy but bears an added burden his family belongs to an evangelical group of Brethren whose definitions of appropriate behavior are much stricter than those most parents impose on their teenagers. Gary has, by his own admission, been a good boy, but he is now exploring what it means to be bad as "bad" is defined in 1950s Lake Wobegon. Keillor's wry vignettes of Gary's summer of change and turmoil are laced with his trademark self-deprecating humor. This latest will undoubtedly appeal to Keillor's legions of fans and particularly to those with a nostalgia for both the small town and the follies of youth.
- Caroline Hallsworth, Sudbury P.L., Ont.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
Saturday night, June 1956, now the sun going down at 7:50 P.M. and the sprinkler swishing in the front yard of our big green house on Green Street, big drops whapping the begonias and lilacs in front of the screened porch where Daddy and I lie reading. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Rob Slaven TOP 50 REVIEWER
I found this book on the clearance rack for a dollar so most important of all, don't over pay for it. There are plenty of copies to go around.

On the positive side, this book was brashly honest. Keillor talks very frankly about the feelings of an adolescent young man and having been an adolescent young man... well, let's just say that he's being very honest. The author's dry wit for which he's famous is evident as he takes us on these boyhood exploits and unveils his early formative days.

On the negative side, and this may seem prudish and contradictory, it was at times almost too honest. To put it bluntly, a lot of what boys think about at that age is sex. And when they're done thinking about that they think about sex some more. And in between long protracted periods of thinking about sex, they think about how they're going to get some sex. While this is all very truthful and revealing, it just isn't the image I had of Mr. Keillor. Part of his appeal is his homespun squeaky cleanness and this... well, it just wasn't clean. It wasn't lude either, but it just wasn't quite what one expects.

In summary, I'm glad I read it but it has changed my image of the author forever. This is not a diminishment of his person or character, just a rather humanizing change. On the whole that's probably a good thing but it isn't what I would have predicted when I picked up the book that's a certainty.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Startling at the Same Time July 18 2004
I really enjoy Garrison Keillor's writing, and this book is no exception. What I enjoyed most were his moments of enlightenment. For example, when he realized his father didn't like to be around people crying because he was afraid he'd cry himself, I got a real sense of this boy growing up. His ability to perceive things going on around him, yet not letting these things get to him in a negative way, prove he is a true writer in the making in that Summer of 1956. In addition, Garrison's character development is superb. As a reader, you get a real sense of what these people are really like. In some ways, you wish you could know the characters...then again, maybe not...hehehe. The startling aspect of this book is the amount of sexual content, but alas, this is a teenage boy we're referring to, so I took it as a reflection of the character himself, not as an attempt to shock. All in all, it's a good read. Not excellent, but definitely entertaining.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Nerdy, horny teenager turns into writer July 14 2004
"I look like a tree toad who was changed into a boy but not completely."
Meet Gary. He's a geeky fourteen-year-old with self-esteem problems and an alarming crush on his cousin, Kate. Within the course of the book he discovers he has a love of writing. His first stories have talking dogs, incurable diseases and unpleasant weather phenomena, but as he grows up a little and gains some insight into his family, his friends, and himself, he realizes that there's more to write about.
At the heart of it, the book is a pretty typical coming of age story, but it's worth reading if you're a Keillor fan and love his kind of humor (though his jokes and descriptions are more explicit here than they usually are). For me there weren't a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, but I was smiling often and enjoying Keillor's unusual descriptions ("her big yellow butt like two pigs fighting in a laundry bag"). If you're a writer, or just interested in the writing process, you might also like the book because it will give you some wry insights into a writer's mind and also show you some of the development of a novice's work. Plus, there are also some truly touching moments that leap out at you unexpectedly. So if you want a quick, entertaining read that will surprise you sometimes (with funniness or poignancy) read Lake Wobegon Summer 1956.
Was this review helpful to you?
1.0 out of 5 stars Needs a PG-17 Rating! Feb. 25 2004
By A Customer
Please be warned: If you enjoyed family style listening to Keillor's older feel-good radio-style vinettes of Lake Wobegon, such as "Faith", "Rhubarb," and the like, DON'T play this for the family without reviewing it first. You are in for a suprise.
Garrison has made off-color jokes in his monologues to a degree before, but not to this degree, freely talking about erections and much more here.
And if he's not talking about the sexual awakings of boyhood, it seems he's giving a backhand jab to the "Sanctified Brethren."
I tried, I really tried to pass over those parts (as I was listening to it on CD,) but they came so frequently, I just had to turn it off and leave it alone.
Hopefully, Keillor will unburden himself in this CD, and get back to the family-oriented wholesomeness that I had come to love him for.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 Feb. 6 2004
LAKE WOBEGON - SUMMER 1956 is a delightful fictional autobiographical thigh slapper of a 50s summer in one boy's life in a very conservative Minnesota town, watched over by Jesus himself, standing side by side with the author's granddad while passing out judgments.
Although the main character in an autobiography is the writer himself, his intense focus however is on his cousin Kate and the trials and tribulations of her love life with the local hero, a talented baseball pitcher whose family puts hers to shame. The 14-year-old Gary, who composes pornographic poetry to fend off the school bully, adores the 17-year-old Kate for her boldness in standing firm against the conservative morality her overly religious family imposes on her. We sense a message that the author tailors into the story how both Gary and Kate use their individual talents to try to escape the rigorous boredom of the pious country life, each in their own way. Gary succeeds in becoming the town's paper's sports writer and Kate gets her lover to marry her.
Unclear is the symbolic presence of his self-righteous older sister who is unrelenting in tormenting him. But pleasant is the array of eccentric and hilarious individuals with names worthy to be called dickensian, that populate his forsaken Midwestern town.
In a story full of anecdotal historical tidbits of a summer with doo-wop and baseball and poems and family gossip, Kate represents the symbol of many a country bumpkin trying to shake off the restraints put on her.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Woe is me
Unfortunately, there's something a little disappointing about Garrison Keillor's latest book of Lake Wobegon lore. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2003 by C. Fletcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck
while there were instances of humor, mostly the book seemed rather gross. If Garrison's goal was to get into the mind of a sexually obsessed 13 year old (the main character seemed... Read more
Published on July 25 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet And Evocative, But Somewhat Tired
There are few authors alive today who possess the ability to seamlessly mix sweet nostalgia with bittersweet melancholy in their writings. Read more
Published on April 1 2003 by Michael Lima
2.0 out of 5 stars X-Rated Lake Wobegon
I was looking forward to the homey, innocent stories so familiar to G.K. fans, but he must have thought that, by injecting soft porn in the guise of the main character's sophmoric... Read more
Published on March 14 2003 by Michael Clahr
1.0 out of 5 stars A Real Dissapoitment
I've purchased Keillor's audio tapes for years. I haven't listened to the show lately and maybe I should. In the past I've found Keillor to be funny, poignant and nostalgic. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2003 by John A. Lefcourte
3.0 out of 5 stars He's written better...but this is still good
Without question, Keillor is one of our best "journalistic" literateurs. But this effort is a little thin in places. Too mawkish in parts. But read it, anyway. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Lake Wobegon: Summer 1956
Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 reminds me of when i was young garys' age. All he has on his mind is girls, naked girls. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2002 by Adam Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Are the puritans missing the point?
Several of the reviews mention that Gary's obsession with porn occupies too much of this book and that its depiction is too graphic. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2002 by Jen in Kansas City, MO
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category