Virgil Wander: Book summary and reviews of Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

Virgil Wander

by Leif Enger

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger X
Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
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Book Summary

An enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart.

Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is "cruising along at medium altitude" when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals - from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil's oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a "formidably gifted" (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The focus of [Enger's] bright and breathing third novel feels mostly like life itself, in all its smallness and bigness, and what it means to live a good one." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Surprises and delights throughout; definitely worth waiting for." – Library Journal

"Enger's novel gives magical realism a homely Midwestern twist, and should have very broad appeal." - Publishers Weekly

"Like Garrison Keillor on hallucinogens, this novel has a lot more imagination than coherence." - Kirkus

This information about Virgil Wander was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Challis

It would not let me go!
This is not a book for someone wanting a predictable story. It also does not answer every reader’s question. This is what makes Virgil Wander great and not merely a story served up on a platter with a bow-tied ending. It is the journey of Virgil that matters and you won’t be disappointed. You too will not want to go.

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Author Information

Leif Enger

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel Peace Like a River, which won the Independent Publisher Book Award and was one of the Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, was also a national bestseller, No. 8 on Amazon's Top 100 Editors' Picks and a Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award Honor Book for Fiction. He and his wife Robin live in Minnesota.

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