26 November 2009

Review: Love Me

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It's always one of my favorite holidays, because how can you possibly have too much delicious food? You can't. I stayed up late last night just to finish Garrison Keillor's 2003 novel Love Me. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. I love Keillor on Prairie Home Companion and his novel Wobegon Boy is one of my favorite novels. So I had pretty high expectations coming into this book. (Aside: I found the book in hardcover for $4 at Second Story Books on DuPont Circle. Bought it, got home, looked inside: it's signed by Keillor!)

The story follows writer Larry Wyler and his mid-life crisis after receiving a huge bonus for writing a national best-seller. He then moves to New York after being unfaithful to his wife (though he doesn't divorce her). What follows is a tale of mid-life angst that is at times amusing, but usually just too drawn out.

Wyler gets hired by the New Yorker and runs into writer's block. He can do nothing about it, and has a series of meaningless affairs and friendships. Somehow he gets tangled up in the mob (they own the New Yorker apparently), misses his wife, and debates leaving New York City. But for some reason, he loves the city that has given him so many troubles. Somewhere in the mix he gets hired as an advice columnist, which becomes his alter-ego "Mr. Blue."

The book had good moments. I always enjoy when Keillor writes anything pertaining to classical music (Wyler loves it), and his midwestern humor shines throughout. Nevertheless, the book dragged on, had too much sex (I mean, really... every 20 or so pages there was some sort of a sex scene. Never too graphic, but good God man.), and was just highly implausible (Wyler killed a mob boss? His wife gladly takes him back after his sleeping around in NYC? Sure, why not?). It's not a book you need to go get. If you really want to read Keillor (and I recommend it), pick up a copy of Wobegon Boy. That's some A+ writing.

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