Read Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor Free Online
Book Title: Lake Wobegon Days|
The author of the book: Garrison Keillor
Edition: Viking Penguin, Inc.
The size of the: 625 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: September 5th 1985
ISBN 13: 9780670805143
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2676 times
Reader ratings: 6.4
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Ah, I miss the old days, those innocent Goodreads days of pretzels and beer, Wittgenstein and Gertrude Stein, and of course, Celebrity Death Matches. So I'm reviving one of my personal favourites. I call it...
CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH No 83.
BOY GEORGE : Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen! Guten abend, bon soir, good evening! Wie geht's? Comment ca va? Do you feel good? Ich bin euer confrencier, je suis votre compere, I am your host! Leave your troubles outside! So -life is disappointing? Forget it! In here life is beautiful - the girls are beautiful - even the orchestra is beautiful! Outside it is winter, but here it is so hot every night we have the
battle to keep the girls from taking off all their clothing. So don't go away. Who knows? Tonight we may lose the battle! Ja!
THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA : Taa-daaah!
BOY GEORGE : So, you have come to see the fighting, ja? Okay, we get on with it. Yes, you do not have to throw fruit or panties at me, I know what you want. Tonight we have one of our much loved Celebrity Death matches - 0 yes, haha, you think maybe somebody famous will die tonight? Huh? You like that? Okay, ja, so do we! Ha ha! So, tonight's bout is …
Between in the blue corner much loved genial American humourist Garrison Keillor
(the 6 foot 9 Keillor stands up and sways like an oak. He wears a suit and large red boxing gloves.)
And in the red corner, not one, not two, not three – okay, I'll tell you – five separate opponents all of whom believe for one reason or another that he should die a painful death! We have Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen, Brett Easton Ellis, Don (the Don) De Lillo and, making a surprise comeback, Carson McCullers!!
Chicago Symphony plays a quick burst of the theme tune from Circus Boy starring Mickey Dolenz
The five authors strut about the ring, all dressed in evil looking leather outfits. DeLillo leans over the ropes and glares at someone he recognises. Easton rushes over and says "Leave it, Don, it's only one of those crappy goodreads idiots, We'll get them later."
BOY GEORGE : Okay, Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, seconds away, Round One!
Bell : Ting!
GK : Well, it has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, my home town, the little town that time kind of forgot to remember to forget. Turned cold around Wednesday, I'd say, kind of… colder 'n' it was in the two or three days it was before that. Monday, I should say, Monday wasn't terribly cold...
The red corner are working as a tag team one at a time against the towering midwesterner. First up, here comes Carson McCullers. She steps up to GK looking, may I say, very fetching in a kind of cut down Batgirl getup, I could bet that her friends of both genders are liking this a lot.
(Prematch dialogue :
Graham Greene : Miss Carson, I really don't know - you can see practically all the way to China!
Carson : Why Mr Greene. For one night only no mannish tweeds. I'm gonna strut my stuff!)
But alas, the mountainous Keillor, orating blindly, obliviously, flails his arm in a gesture to emphasise how felchingly cold it is in Lake Wobegon and he catches McCullers a glancing blow on the side of the head. It's Ali versus Liston 1965 all over again. The Southern gothic pinup girl hits the deck and is counted out. A disappointement for the feminists in the audience. But she was never in the best of health and I don't really think it was a wise idea to include her in the tag team.
GK : ... not that record breaking cold that er gets you in uh National geographic and all of that and the tv comes out to interview you and see how you're taking it, just a kind of regular Minnesota cold, kind of a fact of life in the month of January, nothing to complain about, like the fact that it's flat out here, really kind of uh flat. Yeah. Don't complain about that. But gee I dunno maybe some people do they come into the house and they say Well it's kind of too flat out there, I never seen it so flat out there. As it is today. Too flat. Somebody else 'll say Yeah but I hear it's suppose to incline a bit on Wednesday.
Next up, Jonathan Franzen – he squares up to GK who never stops talking and stares gloomily towards the audience, pretending not to notice any of his opponents, or actually not noticing them. Franzen winds up and socks Keillor as hard as he can in the solar plexus. Anything to shut this guy up.
GK : Ooof! So by Wednesday there was a little more snow on the ground which kind of absorbs sound and since Wobegonians are kind of quiet and don't really roar so much it makes for well a sort of dull uh dreary kind of existence even though below zero temperatures are if I remember physics that I was once taught makes sound travel better uh faster and yet it's still kind of real quiet here because
Franzen walks back disconsolately to the red corner. "This is not cool, you know," he says. "In fact this is even less cool than being on Oprah. I'm out of here." And he leaves in his Franzmobile.
GK : there aren't so many people out and those who are aren't in the mood to make much of it. Sound that is. And also should they have been in the mood still they would have had trouble because they're kind of all bundled up, swaddled if you will, and pretty much unable to emit any kind of cry. Light synthetic fabric such as Goretex has not yet found its way to Minnesota. People up there still believe in layers, a great many layers.
Don "The Don" DeLillo steps into the ring. He hurls a copy of Underworld at GK's enormous droning head but like that scene in Awakenings Keillor expertly catches the heavy volume with one huge mitt. Without breaking from his tedious Lake Wobegon yarn, he reaches down and cuffs DeLillo like a great grizzly bear and DeLillo's head flies off somewhere into the far corner of the room. The doctor climbs into the ring and checks his pulse. Yes, he's dead.
Michael Chabon is taken ill at the sight of DeLillo's head hurtling past him, so this means that Brett Easton Ellis is the last author of any literary merit still standing now. As he enters the ring he throws off his leather cape to reveal a flame thrower strapped on his back. He unhooks the hose and fires it up. Great gouts of flame shoot out.
GK : Of course something which can keep even a cold person alive and even warm em up a little bit, fend off death if you will, is a whole basketful of ancient creaking sentimental parlour ballads such as Love's Old sweet song.
(sings in beautiful clear baritone)
Once in the dear dead days beyond recall,
When on the world the mists began to fall,
Out of the dreams that rose in happy throng
Low to our hearts Love sang an old sweet song;
And in the dusk where fell the firelight gleam,
Softly it wove itself into our dream.
By now GK's right leg is completely on fire, Ellis is cackling madly and fighting off the ringside officials who are clambering into the ring.
Referee : Ellis, you're disqual---urgh…
I can't tell you what Ellis does to the referee.
BOY GEORGE : Well well well meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, it is my humble duty to declare that Garrison Keillor's unique ability to keep on talking in the face of considerable naughtiness means that tonight, he is our champion!
GK : Just a song a twilight, when the lights are low,
And the flick'ring shadows softly come and go,
Tho' the heart be weary, sad the day and long,
Still to us at twilight comes Love's old song,
comes Love's old sweet song.
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Read information about the authorGarrison Keillor (born Gary Edward Keillor on August 7, 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show "A Prairie Home Companion".
Keillor was born in Anoka, Minnesota, the son of Grace Ruth (née Denham) and John Philip Keillor, who was a carpenter and postal worker. His father had English ancestry, partly by way of Canada (Keillor's paternal grandfather was from Kingston, Ontario). His maternal grandparents were Scottish immigrants, from Glasgow. The family belonged to the Plymouth Brethren, a fundamentalist Christian denomination Keillor has since left. He is six feet, three inches (1.9 m) tall. Keillor is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. In 2006 he told Christianity Today that he was attending the Episcopal church in Saint Paul, after previously attending a Lutheran church in New York.
Keillor graduated from Anoka High School in 1960 and from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in English in 1966. During college, he began his broadcasting career on the student-operated radio station known today as Radio K.
Keillor has been married three times.
Garrison Keillor started his professional radio career in November 1969 with Minnesota Educational Radio, now Minnesota Public Radio. He hosted The Morning Program on weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. on KSJR 90.1 FM at St. John's University, which the station called "A Prairie Home Entertainment." The show's eclectic music was a major divergence from the station's usual classical fare. During this time he also began submitting fiction to The New Yorker, where his first story, "Local Family Keeps Son Happy," appeared on September 19, 1970.
Keillor resigned from The Morning Program in February 1971 to protest a perceived attempt to interfere with his musical programming. The show became A Prairie Home Companion when he returned in October.
A Prairie Home Companion debuted as an old-style variety show before a live audience on July 6, 1974, featuring guest musicians and a cadre cast doing musical numbers and comic skits replete with elaborate live sound effects. The show was punctuated by spoof commercial spots from fictitious sponsors such as Powdermilk Biscuits. The show also contains parodic serial melodramas, such as The Adventures of Guy Noir, Private Eye and The Lives of the Cowboys. Keillor voices Noir and other recurring characters, and also provides vocals for some of the show's musical numbers.
A Prairie Home Companion ran until 1987, when Keillor decided to end it to focus on other projects. In 1989, he launched another live radio program from New York City, "The American Radio Company of the Air" — which had almost the same format as A Prairie Home Companion's. In 1992, he moved ARC back to St. Paul, and a year later changed the name back to A Prairie Home Companion; it has remained a Saturday night fixture ever since.
Keillor has been called "[o]ne of the most perceptive and witty commentators about Midwestern life" by Randall Balmer in Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. He has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles and more than a dozen books for adults as well as children. He has also written for Salon.com and authored an advice column at Salon.com under the name "Mr. Blue."
In 2004 Keillor published a collection of political essays, Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America, and in June 2005 he began a column called "The Old Scout", which ran at Salon.com and in syndicated newspapers. The column went on hiatus in April 2010.
Keillor wrote the screenplay for the 2006 movie A Prairie Home Companion, directed by Robert Altman. (Keillor also appears in the movie.)
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