Thursday, June 30, 2005

Garrison Keillor, Love Me, 2003.

I picked this up on remainder when I was at my unfavourite store a few weeks back. I'd read it before, but I always enjoy Keillor, and it's hard to turn down a book you liked when you encounter it at a remainder table. Once, that is, you've overcome your dismay to find it remaindered, and the thought that you're really being mean to the author by buying it from such a space. Poor Mr. Keillor.

At any rate, Love Me is the story of Larry Wyler, a nice enough Minnesotan novelist who becomes successful as a result of his first novel, and decides to move to New York even though his wife Iris won't accompany him there. Wyler gets an office at his beloved New Yorker, rubs elbows with Salinger et al., and generally lives a nice bit of debauchery, but is unable to write. He takes a job writing an advice column as Mr. Blue (as Keillor himself once did).

The plot's pretty slight. There's the idea that the New Yorker is now being published by a Mafioso, a showdown, quite a bit of sex, and general longing for being able to tell good stories, and more importantly, to know the love of Iris once more.

All in all, the highlight of the book are the letters to Mr. Blue and the responses Wyler sends--spoofing quite a number of people, including President Bush, in an amusing way.

The book's a decent enough read, but nothing to get excited about. It's taken me quite a few weeks to get around to blogging about it.