cover image The Book of Guys: 2stories

The Book of Guys: 2stories

Garrison Keillor. Viking, $22 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-670-84943-7

Bewailing the lost grandeur of manhood and lambasting the half-baked perversion known as '90s man, Keillor ( Lake Woebegon Days ) brings wit, the gift of storytelling and marksmanlike satire to this collection of 22 short fictions dissecting the current predicament of ``guys.'' Invoking various archetypal guys--cowboy, sports hero, Greek god, Don Juan--he brings each into collision with contemporary values stressing sensitivity, openness, communication, monogamy, the empowerment of women and a healthy diet. The results are provocative and hilarious. Dionysus turns 50 and is forced to seek help for his sex and alcohol problems. Baseball legend Casey of Mudville is barraged with garbage at an away game. Cattleman Lonesome Shorty gives up the range to try condominium life. President George Bush goes fishing with an admiring Willie Horton while barbarians invade Chicago. Keillor takes delicious swipes at the media, fad causes, political correctness and American tabloid culture as he convincingly sketches the precarious state of his fellow males, longing for the days when they could just be guys. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)