I’ve been a fan of Prairie Home Companion for about twenty years. The show is a nice mixture of the silly, the maudlin, and downright brilliant. But I have never been able to sit down and read one of Garrison Keillor’s novels about Lake Wobegon-where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and the children are all above average. So I was a bit surprised when I saw a book, which on first glace-and many subsequent glaces- appeared to be a zombie story set in Lake Wobegon by Garrison Keillor.
It was not overly surprised by this book, by the possibility that Garrison Keillor was going to take his beloved creation and have a bit of zombie fun with it. Garrison is a genius and has made fun of just about everything that can be made of over the years. But this book isn’t by Garrison Keillor, it is by Harrison Geillor.
I was about half way through the Zombies of Lake Woebegotten, around the point where the dominatrix shows up, before I had any serious questions as to it’s authorship. It was the dominatrix that made me stop and think-would Garrison Keillor have a sex dungeon installed under the Chatter Box Cafe?
I was thinking that Garrison had done his research, as the book mentioned all kind of zombie films, books, comics, and lore as it went about the business of killing off the population of Lake Woebegotten and turning them into zombies. And there are a lot of laugh out loud funny bits here and there among the mayhem and madness. One of the running gags being that few people curse, even when faced with monsters, murders, and impending death.
As with Shaun of The Dead, it’s funny, but it’s still a zombie story-with all the death and killing that having a zombie outbreak entails. We have the usual no explanation explanation of something exploding in the sky and then dead things coming back to life. But these are Minnesotans and a little thing like having the dead come back to life is not going to upset most of them too much. Life, and unlife, pretty much go on as usual with the occasional break to disable the brain of a former loved one turned flesh hungry zombie.
I loved this story of a small Minnesota town fighting zombies, a serial killer, more zombies, desperate housewives, and a few more zombies. I have to admit that my favorite character was the dominatrix/Israeli solider/ short order cook.