Pilgrims, By Garrison Keillor
Sunday 04 July 2010
Not everyone finds Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon tales as beguiling or amusing as I do, but even the most resistant would surely warm to this sharply observed exodus of Minnesotans to the Eternal City, where they find love, freedom and, er, the opportunity to stay exactly the same if they want to.
Margie Krebsbach's husband Carl isn't sleeping in their bed any more, and won't talk about it. The chance comes to go to Rome, courtesy of Norbert Norlander, who has to fulfil a promise to his mother that he'd lay an offering on the grave of his elder brother, Gussie, who died in Rome fighting the Germans during the war – and Margie grabs it. Carl accompanies his wife, along with some Wobegon friends and yet another exile, "Gary Keillor", the famous radio talk-show host and author whom nobody likes because he writes up all their little secrets and publishes them.
Keillor's work is always about home, but his conservatism is tempered by the notion of exile, which is never as frightening as it first appears to be, and which in this case actually does some good.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food