Monday, October 15, 2007

Pontoon by Garrison Keillor

If you like Garrison Keillor's monologues on his radio program Prairie Home Companion, you will like his newest novel Pontoon. It is very funny, and like those monologues, the story takes place in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. It includes a few characters that radio listeners will recognize. The most familiar is Pastor Ingqvist of the Lutheran Church, who has to worry about a visit from 24 agnostic Lutheran ministers from Denmark at the same time he is trying to help a dysfunctional family with an nontraditional celebration of death. Fans will also know Dorothy, who is waiting tables at the Chatterbox Cafe, and Clint Bunsen, who helps the pastor haul some donated champagne, French cheese, and shrimp back to the church. Fans will also recognize the statue of the Unknown Norwegian, the Whippets baseball team, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery.

If you are puzzled by the title, just let me say that there is a boat in the plot. It is mentioned about half way through the book and reappears near the end. Knowing this does not spoil the ending. You can not imagine what's going to happen. The plot also involves a wedding that is not really a wedding and a funeral that is not really a funeral.

Keillor must have had a lot of fun writing Pontoon. It's as much fun to read.

Keillor, Garrison. Pontoon. Viking, 2007. ISBN 9780670063567


nonizamboni said...

Thanks for the review. I was fortunate enough to see GK when he was at the Minnesota St. Fair and booksinging for Pontoon. He can be sighted around St. Paul occasionally. Anyway, now I have to read favorite is still his first novel of Lake Wobegon.
Pontoon boats are big on the lakes around here. . .hmmm.
Anyway, thanks for sharing.

Going Crunchy said...

I *LOVE* GK. I *LOVE* reading his books and hearing PHC. I was just checking on tickets the other day......the show tours here and there. Shannon