Virgil Wander

by Enger, Leif,

Format: Print Book 2018.
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Summary
The first novel in ten years from award-winning, million-copy bestselling author Leif Enger, Virgil Wander is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart

Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is "cruising along at medium altitude" when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals--from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil's oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a "formidably gifted" ( Chicago Tribune ) master storyteller.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Virgil Wander, city clerk of Greenstone, a formerly industrious coastal Minnesota town that time forgot, has just survived a crash that sent his Pontiac screaming into snowy Lake Superior. After Virgil's accident, his apartment above the movie theater he owns and operates feels like someone else's home, and everyone he used to know most of whom he remembers wants to be sure he heard the rumor that he, in fact, died. In his convalescence, Virgil meets Rune, a Norwegian ostensibly arrived in Greenstone to teach its residents the joys of kite flying as he gathers information about his son, who just happens to be the town's most famously disappeared resident: a minor-league baseball phenom who took a solo flight in a Taylorcraft 10 years ago and never came back. Virgil's narration is a joy: he lost his adjectives in the crash, making for their gleeful insertion each time he remembers one. Enger (So Brave, Young, and Handsome, 2008) populates down-on-its-luck Greenstone with true characters charming Virgil, his love interest, friends, and not-quite-friends, and even some wily wildlife and gives them diverting plotlines aplenty, but the focus of his bright and breathing third novel feels mostly like life itself, in all its smallness and bigness, and what it means to live a good one.--Annie Bostrom Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The well-meaning sad sack who narrates this poignant novel from Enger (Peace Like a River) has just driven his car into icy Lake Superior when the book opens. Suffering from a concussion and possibly hallucinations, Virgil, the middle-aged town clerk and owner of a decrepit money pit of a movie theater, decides to take his emergence from the lake as a sign of rebirth. He's aided in that endeavor by a mysterious, kite-flying Norwegian stranger named Rune, who has just arrived in the decaying former mining town of Greenstone, Minn., with "a hundred merry crinkles at his eyes and a long-haul sadness in his shoulders." Rune is looking for information about a son he has only recently learned of, a gifted Minor League Baseball player who took off in a small plane a few years back and was never seen again, leaving behind a wife, "the tempestuous Nadine," for whom Virgil has silently pined for years. Greenstone is one of those folksy Minnesota towns just a little north of the literary territory of Lake Wobegon, full of characters doing their awkward best, with a touch of evil added by nihilist screenwriter Adam Leer, who has returned to his hometown for nefarious if not entirely defined purposes. Enger's novel gives magical realism a homely Midwestern twist, and should have very broad appeal. Agent: Molly Friedrich, the Friedrich Agency. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects City and town life -- Middle West -- Fiction.
Memory disorders -- Patients -- Fiction.
Middle West -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2018.
Edition First edition, First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
Language English
Description 300 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780802128782
0802128785
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