cover image Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny

Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny

Garrison Keillor, read by Garrison Keillor and a full cast. Highbridge Audio, unabridged, four CDs, 4 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-61174-678-5

Garrison Keillor’s trademark dry humor and facility for recreating old-time radio shows—background organ music and all—are on display in this lighthearted, entertaining expansion of a popular skit from A Prairie Home Companion that parodies hard-boiled gumshoes like Sam Spade and Mike Hammer. St. Paul private eye Guy Noir, voiced by Keillor in an appropriately gruff and world-weary manner, is introduced in classic pulp fashion: he tells listeners he’s looking down the barrel of a gun and then explains how things went wrong. Character names like Joey Roast Beef, Naomi Fallopian, and Sugar O’Toole make the parody somewhat less than subtle, but Keillor is well-complemented by Tim Russell and Sue Scott, each of whom play multiple parts as they relate Noir’s experience with a new, radical weight-loss solution (a tapeworm that can be removed from the stomach after another pill is swallowed). While Keillor’s deadpan delivery, isn’t as hilarious as that of Leslie Nielsen, the result is a thoroughly enjoyable listen. A Penguin paperback. (May)