Thursday, December 19, 2013

368 (2013 #52). The Christmas Companion

with Garrison Keillor

I don't listen to A Prairie Home Companion and am not that familiar with it, but I picked up this audiobook at the library as something short to transition me from audiobooks to the Christmas music I'm now listening to on my commute - the last day of work until 2014.

Subtitled "Stories, Songs, and Sketches," it's just that.  Musical performances are average; Christmas carols done, in some cases, by well-known actors, although I could only recognize the voice of Sarah Jessica Parker singing "The Christmas Song," and that only because her name was listed on the blurb on the back of the audiobook - liner notes either didn't exist or were missing from this library copy.  I've since found out that "December Waltz," and "Wise Man Blues" were perforned by Pat Donohue,"Count Your Blessings"  (very pretty) by John McDonough, and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Diana Krall.  There was also a bluegrass-style rendition of  "Christmas Time's A-Coming" that's now (annoyingly) stuck in my head, and a version of the traditional "Christ Child's Lullaby" (one of my favorites) that I did not care for (mangled Alleluias), as well as a version of "In the Bleak Midwinter" that I also didn't like.  Host Garrison Keillor also sings a very funny (but abbreviated) version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

The stories and sketches were the best part. A recurring character, the private eye "Guy Noir," is subbing at an office Christmas party for someone who works offsite and is not very well liked.  The Christmas Fire tells what happened when a house in Lake Wobegon puts up too many Christmas lights. "Twas the Night Before Christmas" (a parody of the original about a puritanical Baptist family), was quite funny; as was "Santa," about a modern-day Mr. Claus who operates Christmas like a business, and "Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie," on what happens when a gift-buying expedition goes wrong.  He waxes nostalgic (in a humorous way) on "Green" and "Four Christmases."

If you are a fan of "A Prairie Home Companion," you will probably love this collection.  For me, it served its purpose in moving me into the holiday spirit.

© Amanda Pape - 2013

[This audiobook was borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

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