I recently attended one of the most interesting book club meetings ever. To be sure, the opinions are usually quite mixed but generally friendly. Last night’s discussion, however, was completely different.
I was about the only person in the group who enjoyed the book. I thought it a fun, light, silly poke at Christmas movies and mankind.
I was in the minority (not a new feeling, for sure). As the discussions heated up we noticed a few disturbing points and it seemed as if everyone had read a different book. We noticed discrepancies in:
- the main character’s hometown (Chicago or Minneapolis)
- the wealth of the main character (wealthy or not)
- an epilogue (have or have not)
- method of transport (commercial or private airline)
- own or not own a condo
- owner or employee of a power drink company
Are you starting to understand? Our discussion of the book turned from “I love how crazy gun toting Liz got her comeuppance” (me) to “wait a minute, Sparrow lives in Chicago not Minneapolis!!!” (everyone)
It turns out that the version I read, the first image, is the latest out in time for Christmas 2011. An original version published in 2009 the image in red, offers a slightly different story.
To be sure, Keillor’s found great success with A Prairie Home Companion and many Lake Wobegon tales.
So, if a writer is so successful, how did this book become such a hack? Did he slack off on purpose? Was it put together hastily? Did he have interns or assistants write it?
Or was it a prank, a very bad publicity stunt?
I don’t know the answer but as our book club wrangler said: you will probably never run into this kind of situation again.
I hope not.
What do you think?
I’m linking up to Serenity Now’s bloggy reading party.