Pontoon : A Lake Wobegon Novel, Paperback Book
2 out of 5 (1 rating)


In Lake Wobegon lives a good Lutheran lady who wishes for her ashes placed inside a bowling ball and dropped into the lake.

Meanwhile, a wedding between a veterinary aromatherapist and her boyfriend Brent is set to take place aboard a pontoon boat.

A delegation of renegade Lutheran pastors from Denmark has come to town, and there's Raoul of the cigars and tinted shades, come to visit his elderly lover.

All is in readiness for the wedding - the French champagne, the flying Elvis, the giant duck decoys - and then something quite unexpected happens.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780571217250

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Hmmm. I think Keillor's schtick is getting old. Either that or he's writing too much and the quality control suffers. Maybe he has bills to pay. Whatever, this was a most disappointing book. Keillor's schtick, for those who don't know, is to chronicle the doings of people in a dull hick town in Minnesota, wringing comedy from their very ordinary lives with sharp observation and dry wit. Remove the laughs, as in this book, and what you have is a litany of rather depressing life stories, each one a born loser. After about three of these, and only half a laugh in the lot, I got the feeling that this was not one of Mr. Keillor's best. Worse was yet to come, because, as was apparent almost from the start, he had in store for us a Grand Finale of unlikely farce. There are two problems with this; 1) farce is rarely very funny, and this one was no exception, and 2) unlikely farce sits very badly in Lake Wobegon, a town where nothing exciting or unusual ever happens. That's the whole Wobegon joke, and if you undermine that whole Wobegonian ethos for the sake of some cheap gags, what's left?Verdict: two Norwegian bachelor farmers out of ten.

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