cover image Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America

Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America

Bill Geist. Grand Central, $26 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5387-2980-9

Humorist and former CBS correspondent Geist follows up Way Off the Road with another enjoyable look at an offbeat corner of the U.S., the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Geist, as a teenager in the 1960s, spent summers working there at his uncle’s resort, Arrowhead Lodge. He recounts his summers in this “Midwestern Shangri-La,” where “frugal, middle-class Midwesterners could rent speedboats to ride on the water during the day and spend evenings on a midway where you could play Skee-Ball or shop for souvenirs.” Geist writes about the other young men and women he met while working at the resort who all enjoyed “an opportunity to be on our own and away from incessant interrogation about where we were last night.” Describing his most recent trip to the area, which he hadn’t visited since the lodge was demolished in 2007, Geist delivers a tenderhearted remembrance for “the whole menagerie of wonderfully bizarre eccentrics drawn by their own peculiar circumstances to this remote, unlikely destination.” Geist’s entertaining account of life in a resort town in the 1960s will certainly resonate with folks of his generation, and will offer younger readers a glimpse into a bygone era. [em](May) [/em]