THE END OF THE ROAD by Tom Bodett

THE END OF THE ROAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A patchy collection of comic tales that can be justly compared to the similar work of Garrison Keillor. Bodett's ""End of the Road"" radio show, concerning the denizens of an imaginary Alaskan town, is syndicated on 120 National Public Radio stations. ""The Big Bazaar,"" the first sketch about End of the Road Days on Labor Day, introduces a number of characters who will reappear--including Mayor Richard Weekly, who can't stand pickled herring but must judge the contest; Ed Flannigan, who drives a dump truck; Doug McDoogan, who wins the salmon throw (""contestants pair off and throw a dead fish back and forth until they can't stand it anymore"") by wearing ""a full set of rubber raingear""; Reverend Saffire, a ""self-annointed mystic""; Bud and Angus, who ""haven't agreed on anything except cheap whiskey for forty years""; and Tamara Dupree, the ""local vegetarian activist."" For the rest of the book. Bodett runs riffs of these characters and introduces a few more: Ed becomes New Age, gives up Willie Nelson for ""Insight into Intimacy"" and gets together with Tamara, who puts her dog on a strict vegetarian diet; Doug, who lives ""in a driftwood shack out on the beach, where he goes from one ill-conceived scare to the next,"" gets ""A Lucky Break"" when an out-of-towner decides the animals Doug whittles are art; ""Emmit Frank,"" a minor Chicago bureaucrat, is hired as City Manager, and in ""The Expert"" decides ""There would be zoning studies galore."" Everybody then gathers at ""Clara's Coffee Cup"" and helps her celebrate the cafe's 20th anniversary--even though ""the only joy she seemed to get out of life was from the little toy poodle she kept."" Fans of Keillor should also enjoy Bodett, best known as the national spokesman for the Motel 6 chain. Here, he's sometimes acerbic and farcical, sometimes sentimental and silly, but almost always entertaining.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1989
Publisher: Morrow