Should Garrison Keillor fans say it's about *&^% time or profusely thank HighBridge Audio for finally releasing the early News From Lake Wobegon collections on CD? I am for the sending flowers option.
2008 is going to be a good year for Prairie Home Companion fans as many of the early recordings are going to be re-released.
One of these is Hope from the 1989 4-volume More News From Lake Wobegon set that includes Faith, Humor, and Love.
Hope contains the stories Truckstop, Smokes, The Perils of Spring, and Let Us Pray. The CD features a much kinder and gentler Lake Wobegon that what current NPR Minnesota Public Radio listeners are used to.
The More News From Lake Wobegon set includes all the stories originally on cassette but the CDs themselves do not have the same titles as the tapes. The cassette version of Hope included Alaska, The Perils of Spring, A Trip to Grand Rapids, and Author. The new line-up is a lot better as it puts connected stories on the same CD
Truckstop is the classic tale where Florian Krepsbach accidently forgets his wife Myrtle at a truckstop.
The truckstop story is one Keillor has often retold, sometimes making it autobiographical, and alluded to over the last twenty or so years but this is the original tale.
Smokes chronologically follows Truckstop as it begins with Florian wondering what retribution is in store for him for what happened the week before.
This is the story of how guilt can improve life: Lyle, Florian's son in law, ends up quitting smoking after a frantic search for a cigarette ends up hurting his daughter. Long-time Wobegon fans will wonder what ever happened to Lyle's daughter but the story itself is quite funny and touching.
The Perils of Spring is a very short, even by recent Prairie Home Companion standards, tale and the lesser of the three stories on Hope. In fact, it is very similar to Keillor's stories over the last few years that are simply about an incident of some kind in Lake Wobegon but does not rise past the anecdote level.
The closer, Let Us Pray is both a serious and very comical story and one of the more religious News segments ever told. The beginning, about Marilyn Tollerud being unhappy about her fate as family laundress is anecdotal.
Let Us Pray is the story of Pastor Inqvist sending out a newsletter advising the people in Lake Wobegon that he will call on one of them next Sunday to give the closing prayer. This sends everybody in a bit of a panic and has very funny yet touching results. Keillor attaches reference to the Book of Job -something he has often done-but the preparations for this public ordeal is what makes the story really original and humorous.
Long-time fans of Praire Home Companion will rejoice at this re-release. New fans will really enjoy the better told and kindler and gentler version of Lake Wobegon
Other Garrison Keillor Reviews
The Christmas Companion With Garrison Keillor: 2 comedy CD set great stocking stuffer
The Adventures Of Guy Noir: Fans of Prairie Home Companion will certainly enjoy this two sketch comedy CD set
Local Man Moves To The City: different from what you are used to on the Prairie Home Companion show.
A Prairie Home Companion It's Only A Show: Prairie Home Companion compilation from HighBridge Audio,
Comedy Theater: For those who remember a kinder, gentler Prairie Home Companion
Gospel Birds: This Garrison Keillor CD is definitely better than what we have heard in the last couple of years or so as News From Lake Wobegone
Guy Noir Radio Private Eye: Radio Private Eye is only one of two Garrison Keillor CD collections of Guy Noir stories
More News From Lake Wobegon: the stories from More News From Lake Wobegon are funny
Dusty And Lefty The Lives Of The Cowboys: 6 complete stories on this 10-track cowboy comedy CD
Songs Of The Cat: Any cat lover must have this very funny Garrison Keillor CD
Mother, Father, Uncle, Aunt: 2 Garrison Keillor CD set from when Wobegon was not political.
WLT A Radio Romance: How often do you get to suggest to a novelist to stick to the news?
A Prairie Home Companion Commercial Radio: great compilation comedy CD of Prairie Home Companion commercials
A Prairie Home Companion 10th Anniversary: A less preachy time in Lake Wobegon history.
A Prairie Home Companion - The Movie: Decent movie version of Garrisson Keillor Lake Wobegone radio show
Never Better Stories From Lake Wobegon: 10 News From Lake Wobegon on 2 CDs. Good stuff all around.
Lake Wobegon Loyalty Days: includes perhaps Garrison Keillor's best track ever: The Young Lutheran's Guide to the Orchestra.
Pontoon A Lake Wobegon Novel - Audio Book - Capsule Review: A bowling ball containing the ashes of a Lake Wobegon resident is scheduled to be dropped in the lake as another is having a wedding ceremony on it.
Pontoon A Lake Wobegon Novel - Audio Book Full Review: Better as an audiobook than as a paperback.
More News From Lake Wobegon - Faith: 4 News segments: Rotten Apples, O Death, The Wise Men, and A trip to Grand Rapids.
English Majors A comedy collection for the highly literate: Perfect gift for the college graduate and funny too.
A Prairie Home Companion - Duets: A who's who of music and the American songbook.
A Prairie Home Companion 4th Annual Farewell Performance: A 2 CD Prairie Home Companion set with more music and less talk.
A Prairie Home Companion 2nd Annual Farewell Performance: A few skits, lots of music including the Everly Brothers: a solid show
A Prairie Home Companion Final Performance: The first final performance. Good but not the best.
A Prairie Home Companion 3rd Annual Farewell Performance: Good stuff including a 2 part 40-minute News From Lake Wobegon
Tourists: Prairie Home Companion CD of esoteric music like klezmer, balalaika, and zydeco
Liberty - A Lake Wobegon Novel - Audio Book: One of the better Lake Wobegon novels, this Garrison Keillor audio book is darker and features some adult situations.
Lake Wobegon USA - Fertility: Prairie Home Companion CD reissue. Finally
Lake Wobegon USA - Patience: Features Aunt Ellie, Duke's 25th, and You're Not the Only One.
Lake Wobegon USA - Youth: Features Blue Devils, Nostalgia, O Christmas Tree, Pageant, and Messy Shoes
Lake Wobegon USA - Rhubarb: Includes Rhubarb, Yellow Ribbon, Sweet Corn, and The Sun's Gonna Shine Someday
Even More Pretty Good Jokes 2CD set: Best of the last 3 years of the Prairie Home Companion Joke Show
A Christmas Blizzard: A non-Lake Wobegon Christmas yarn is decent enough.
Prairie Home Comedy - Radio Songs & Sketches: Lots and lots of musical comedy plus some short skits.
Church People - The Lutherans of Lake Wobegon: Lots of Lutheran based humor the kids are not going to get.
Motherhood: Not quite as good as expected and very loosely about motherhood
Summer Love: A mostly musical record of the Prairie Home Companion 2010 tour in a country western vein.
My Little Town - Stories From Lake Wobegon: 3 CD set includes the story of the Inqvist s departure.