Virgil Wander

Virgil Wander

Book - 2018
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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: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, [2018]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781432858094
Branch Call Number: Lg Print Fiction Eng
Characteristics: 513 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print


From the critics

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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

Oct 20, 2018

Enger writes beautiful prose. This is a relaxing quirky story but the ending seemed disjointed from the feel of the novel. Not much of story, magical realism and nice characters.

Oct 19, 2018

If there weren't so many people waiting, I'd turn right around and read this book again and pay the overdue fine. But, I'm devoted to our library and try to be courteous. Maybe it's the time we are slogging through, but this book gave me hope, a good laugh, a sense of being in the hands of a thoughtful, reader loving writer, and a great story. I am so grateful to have read this wonderful book. Thanks Leif.

DCLadults Oct 18, 2018

A New & Noteworthy Best of 2018 pick. Written with love, care, and a bit of whimsy, the inhabitants of a small Minnesota town bordering on Lake Superior come to life. Enger’s first book after 10 years is a joy to read.

Oct 02, 2018

This book, with it's lovable quirky characters was a comforting and satisfying read. I would say it is perfect for anyone that enjoys the quirky characters and tone of Fredrick Backman's books.

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