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WLT: A Radio Romance: 05/22/08
WLT: A Radio Romance by Garrison Keillor covers the maverick days of radio much as The Rocky Mountain Moving Picture Association by Loren D. Estleman does for the early days of filmmaking in Hollywood. With all his years in radio, Keillor excels at pointing out the oddities of running a small radio station and the dangers of competing against the big networks. WLT's history is believable even down to the detail that the call letters stand for "with lettuce and tomato."
Where WLT falters is in the telling of the romance. The romance is focused on Frank White, né Francis With and his long time love of WLT and how he builds his life and career at the station. He also falls in love with one of the less popular employees. Unfortunately Frank's story is buried under all the long tangential stories about WLT and the folks who work there and how the station affects the community and so forth.
Imagine if you will, a 7 hour Prairie Home Companion broadcast (normally the show runs 2 hours). That's how WLT reads. Even though I love listening to Keillor's broadcasts and love the film that was inspired by the radio show, WLT was too much of a good thing.