Liberty, By Garrison Keillor
Sunday 27 September 2009
We are back once again in the droll world of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon – that small-town community of God-fearing grumps, descendants of either Norwegian Protestants or German Catholics.
Clint Bunsen is a 60-year-old garage mechanic, a staunch patriot and Republican who every year organises the town's Fourth of July celebrations, in return for little praise and much criticism. But this is his last year. In a cruel putsch, he's been voted off the committee. He's also taken a DNA test that has given him reason to believe his ancestors were not dour Lutherans but rather hot-blooded Spaniards – and he's thinking of leaving his wife and running away with a 28-year-old model he met on the internet.
This is a wonderful comic exploration of the crisis of late middle age, animated by Keillor's witty use of language. One character has a face so blasted by drink that "you'd think cougars had been chewing on him". Loans sent out to Clint's son Chad never come back, "like aircraft lost at sea". And in a melancholy moment, Clint reflects that his life resembles "a play written by someone who didn't like him".
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove