Pilgrims: Book summary and reviews of Pilgrims by Garrison Keillor

Pilgrims

A Wobegon Romance

By Garrison Keillor

Pilgrims
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

Margie Krebsbach dreams up the idea of a trip to Rome, hoping to get her husband Carl to make love to her—he’s been sleeping across the hall and she has no idea why. She finds a patriotic purpose for the journey. A Lake Wobegon boy, Gussy Norlander, died in the liberation of Rome, 1944, and his grave, according to his elderly brother, Norbert, is in a neglected weed patch near the Colosseum. So it’s decided they will go to clean Gussy’s final resting place.

Margie is unprepared for the enthusiastic response - fifty people want to go with her, including her nemesis, the mayor of Lake Wobegon, Carl’s bossy sister, Eloise, Mr. Berge the town drunk, and her treacherous mother-in-law. Margie fends off some of the would-be travelers with a graphic handout on the dangers of typhus and food poisoning and the seriousness of diarrhea, but ten applicants remain, though Carl is not sure he wants to go after all.

At this, a heartbroken Margie gets the motley crew to the airport and aboard the plane, and then discovers one of the secret pleasures of travel - safely away from Lake Wobegon, the pilgrims’ memories are quickened and they recall long-forgotten incidents. In the warm circle of kinship, as they enter alien territory, they tell stories of astonishing frankness and self-revelation all delivered with Keillor’s trademark humor.

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Author Information

Garrison Keillor Author Biography

Garrison Keillor was born Gary Edward Keillor on August 7, 1942, in Anoka, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. He was one of six children in the family.

Keillor graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in English in 1966. There he began his broadcasting career on the student-operated radio station, named Radio K. In 1969 he began writing for The New Yorker. On July 6, 1974 he started "A Prarie Home Companion" in a St. Paul college theatre before an audience of twelve people. In 1987, he moved to New York where, in 1989, he started "The American Radio Company", which after four seasons returned to the name "A Prarie Home Companion" in 1993, and is again based in Minnesota. From 1996-2001 Keillor authored an advice column, titled "Mr. Blue", on Salon.com. He ...

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