To be honest, WLT A Radio Romance doesn't really belong here. It is not a funny book. It is not really a good book. Garrison Keillor may be a great teller of funny stories about Lake Woebegone (Wobegon) and he most certainly can tell a funny joke as he proves annually on his Prairie Home Companion joke show, but as a writer, he is not that good. Perhaps, I thought, it is all in the delivery. Perhaps I was "hearing" the book wrong and that was why I disliked it so much. I got a hold of the audio book version of WLT A Radio Romance read by Garrison Keillor himself and, well, the book is just as bad when read by the author.
I wanted to like WLT A Radio Romance. I think Garrison Keillor is absolutely brilliant on his NPR radio show Prairie Home Companion and usually like his News From Lake Woebegone (Wobegon) stories -they are a hit and miss proposition but more hit than miss. I also like old time radio and stories about the golden days of radio. I know a little bit about old time radio and the golden days of radio so was more than open-minded when I got the book. It's not that good. The story itself is decent: a young boy gets a foot in the door at a local radio station WLT and works his way up until the advent of television. The problem is you get what sounds like a competent telling of the golden days of radio but the main character is not that interesting, there are more secondary and tertiary characters than you can shake a stick at or keep track of: Imagine a novel where every single Lake Woebegone (Wobegon) character appeared, including a dozen Krebsbachs and you have this novel. The characters that are set up to be comic are too numerous and also too weird to be believable. Every strange character in this novel is extremely bizarre and none is particularly interesting because one is as weird as the next one and so as uninteresting.
How often do you get to suggest to a novelist to stick to the news?
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.
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 - Hope: CD reissue of 1989 More News From Lake Wobegon set. A kindler, gentler time and stories
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.