Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor

About the book

Lake Wobegon Days is the marvellous chronicle of an imaginary place located somewhere in the middle of the state (but not on the map) and named after an Indian word meaning ‘Here we are!’ or ‘We sat all day in the rain waiting for you.’ From the narrator – a skinny Protestant kid fascinated by the Catholic church – we learn of the town’s beginnings and of the settlers who made their lives there.

Reviewed by Queen Mary’s College Library Reading Group

A fictional account of the history of a small town in Minnesota. Some of us had fond memories of hearing the author read this book on Radio 4 years ago. Reading it ourselves was a different matter – most of us found it pretty hard going, difficult to get into and tedious to wade through all the spoof footnotes, and large cast of Norwegian-American characters which padded out the book enormously. There was a general feeling that things improved from about the middle of the book, however, with lots of witty passages, but on the whole, we found it hard going.

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4 thoughts on “Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor”

  1. Reviewed by WI Reading Group (North Baddesley)
    Not one member of the group enjoyed the book. Very few finished reading it.
    Star rating *

  2. Reviewed by New Forest/Waterside U.3.A Theatre & Literature Group
    An excellent book to own. Richer than a traditional Christmas cake and as likely to make you sick if you eat too much at a sitting, Equally funny and very boring in parts. The frequency and length of the footnotes were deemed irritating by the whole group. Most readers chose to ignore them after page 47 (about 450 words) which was unfortunate since there is a great deal of wit and insight in the footnotes. A rare picture of the state that gave us Scotch Tape and was alone in not voting for Ronald Reagan.
    Star rating **

  3. Reviewed by Museum Book Group
    A nice slow read. Interesting look at 1950’s small town America. Lovely cameo’s of first and second generation Nordic settlers and their customs, farming and commerce. A young persons view of his world.
    Star rating **

  4. Reviewed by Wednesday Reading Group
    A deeply divided group. Two people loved it – the humour and descriptions, others gave up or found it boring. Many had memories of it being read on the radio.
    Star rating **

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