Virgil Wander

Virgil Wander

eBook - 2018
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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.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Grove Atlantic, 2018.
ISBN: 9780802146687
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary


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Mar 22, 2021

Reviewed by Sunny in the Pioneer== sounds like a GREAT bood.

Sep 07, 2020

I can't really add much to what has already been posted about this book. I read this and Peace Like A River and I will comment that both stories contain a mysterious, kind of magical character in them. The character in Peace Like A River has religious and miraculous aspects that seem to be a saving grace, at times, for others in the story. However, the one in Virgil Wander is definitely a dark and sinister presence, but one whose essence and connections to events are mysterious and, perhaps, can only be suspected. Of the two books, Virgil Wander is my favorite. I read it twice.

Lmb9511 Sep 18, 2019

I echo the comments made -- this is a good read with chortles where you'd least expect them. Lake Wobegon in the rust belt, where all adults have two jobs, where teenagers are waiting to leave, (famous people, including Bob Dylan have already left) . Legends that may be true, mysteries waiting to be solved, a host of fascinating characters and surprises.

Sep 02, 2019

Highly recommended by BookBub & gets excellent reviews

Apr 27, 2019

Virgil Wander, the city clerk and theater owner in a small North Shore Minnesota town, tells the story of a few months when an unlikely stranger comes to town. Wonderful characters, pitch perfect prose. Deserves all the praise it’s gotten.

AnnabelleLee27 Mar 21, 2019

A dreamy, meandering, melancholy novel told in the style of magical realism. The novel is not action driven but rather explores the quirky and heartfelt characters. The prose is skillful and satisfying.

ontherideau Jan 08, 2019

I would love to have a conversation with this man of phrases such as "a magician's bouquet of vibrant regrets". The story could be ho hum written by anyone else.
"The surface of everything is thinner than we know. A person can fall right through, without any warning at all."

mko123 Dec 10, 2018

Virgil Wander wakes up in the hospital in Duluth after his Pontiac has careened into the icy waters of Lake Superior. He looks at his life anew now. Should he sell his beloved Empress theater that only draws a few teenagers a week , and leave this dying old mining town? Well, a mysterious kite-flying Norwegian, looking for traces of his long lost son, shows up and life take an almost magical twist. Leif Enger deeply loves the Mid-West: he has the ability to take ordinary, tough events in life and reframe them to reveal the marvelous and mystical. His book Peace Like a River is my all time favorite.

Nov 15, 2018

Mr. Enger has a gentle style with Minnesota stories that remind me of Jon Hassler. ( If you want to read one of the best books ever, choose "Staggerford".) His development of characters is excellent. I recommend this book. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Nov 15, 2018

Mr. Enger has a gentle style with Minnesota stories that remind me of Jon Hassler. ( If you want to read one of the best books ever, choose "Staggerford".) His development of characters is excellent. I recommend this book. Kristi & Abby Tabby

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