Garrison Keillor: Lake Wobegon Days

After reading the first two Dune books back to back, I was left in a lurch for want of a light read. I reserved the third Dune book (which I’m reading now) from the library, and went to look at my bookcase.

Now, I own lots of books that I haven’t read — so many that Roosa sometimes jokes that I don’t read my own books, only ones from the library — but what I tend to buy is cheap used paperbacks that I know I want to read. And that means books that I’ve heard of. Famous books, classics. Not exactly quick, immersive reads.

But near the left end on the middle shelf of the bookcase, among the miscellanneous and inherited, I saw Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor.

I know Garrison Keillor is a voice from our kitchen. My mom used to listen to Prarie Home Companion while making dinner. It’s broadcast it even here, in Finland, during obscure times, on a channel that sometimes spouts German (“Dieses ist Deutschewelle!”), sometimes French, and sometimes, well, the mournful voice of Garrison Keillor.

I’m not sure what to make of Lake Wobegon. It’s a memoir, but there’s very little of “Gary” in it. It’s pleasant to read, but it isn’t really hilarious, or sad. The characters, well, they’re numerous and varied, but they just sort of live there, on the page, stubbornly unaware of the world around them, unconvinced that they need to be convincing.