A retrospective of any lifetime of work allows an interesting insight into the thought process behind the work.  The Keillor Reader provides such insight. By dividing up the various styles, from satire to monologue, Keilor gives a brief glimpse into his thoughts on his own writing process. As a writer Keillor was noted for his featured work in The New Yorker Magazine, and his decades long Prairie Home Companion Radio Broadcasts. His deep voice, hesitating at times, whispering secrets over the airways drew millions of listeners into his reality over the years. But though we loved the voice, it gained its power from the power of his command of the language. Keillor knows how to tell a story. How to craft it so each word, each phrase, has the correct nuance. His ease with the language makes it look easy, but any who write know that what he does is artistry. He makes the difficult look easy because of years of practice, performance and creation.  In this book he gives the reader a brief insight into his writing process.  After each description of how or why he writes as he does, he pulls from his vast library that which he thinks best illustrates the style. What The Keillor Reader gives in these vignettes pulled from his lifetime are an introduction to his work, a remembrance the work as a whole, and lessons from one of the masters of modern satire for the everyday person. If you are an old fan of the Radio program, or Keillor’s novels, some of this may seem familiar but what a wonderful way to revisit. For those who have just discovered Keillor, this is a primer into his work. It serves as an introduction to the elegant prose and dry humor that has held the attention of his fans every Saturday evening. I enjoyed the collection as a long time reader and listener, and I envy those who are just now coming to the work. Past this introduction, you have many wonderful stories to go, but this is a good starting place.

Again it was the First to read program that gave the opportunity for this advanced review.

 

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