Book Club Kits
by Keillor, Garrison
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1. What do you think of Evelyn and her secret life? Did she live a truncated life with Lloyd, a life full of regrets with only brief respites spent with a man she truly loved? Or do you believe she lived her life to the fullest? Do you find her secrecy admirable...or duplicious...or what?
2. What does Evelyn mean in her letter to Barbara about the need to "get away from the killers"? Who are the killers and what is Evelyn's objection to some of her neighbors?
3. How would you describe Barbara...and what was her relationship with her mother? If you were Barbara, discovering your mother's secret life after her death, how would you feel? How does Barbara react.at first.
4. Talk about the quality of Barbara's life? How does the knowledge of her mother's secret affair gradually change Barbaraand her understanding of her own life? Why does she decide to go along with Evelyn's wish to be cremated?
5. What do you think of Debbie's plan for her commitment ceremony with her boyfriend? Good idea..bad idea? Good guy...not so good?
6. What parts of the book did you find particularly funny? Read them out loud.
7. Keillor, despite his gentle and often rollicking humor, never lets us forget that sadness and hardship are just around the cornerit 's just the way life is, for all of us. How does Keillor portray life's disappointments in Pontoon? And how does he portray life's simple pleasuresthose small things that bring us moments of joy? Point out some of those passages.
8. What was your reaction to the endingdid you see it coming, and was it worth the wait? Was Keillor able, in your judgment, to pull of a hilarious farce at the end, or were you let down?
9. How would you describe the community and communal ties of Lake Wobegon? Would you like to live in Lake Wobegon ... or somewhere like it? Or do you already live in a similar town? What would be pleasurable about living in such a place? And what would be difficult?
10. Do you listen to Keillor's Lake Wobegon radio show? If so, how does this book compare to his monlogue in the second half of the show? If you've never listened to the show, does Pontoon inspire you to do so?
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