Wally Lamb s two previous novels, She s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, struck a chord with readers They responded to the intensely introspective nature of the books, and to their lively narrative styles and biting humor In The Hour I First Believed, Lamb travels well beyond his earlier work and embodies in his fiction myth, psychology, family history stretchinWally Lamb s two previous novels, She s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, struck a chord with readers They responded to the intensely introspective nature of the books, and to their lively narrative styles and biting humor In The Hour I First Believed, Lamb travels well beyond his earlier work and embodies in his fiction myth, psychology, family history stretching back many generations, and the questions of faith that lie at the heart of everyday life The result is an extraordinary tour de force, at once a meditation on the human condition and an unflinching yet compassionate evocation of character.When forty seven year old high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his younger wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School In April 1999, Caelum returns home to Three Rivers, Connecticut, to be with his aunt who has just had a stroke But Maureen finds herself in the school library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed, as two vengeful students go on a carefully premeditated, murderous rampage Miraculously she survives, but at a cost she is unable to recover from the trauma Caelum and Maureen flee Colorado and return to an illusion of safety at the Quirk family farm in Three Rivers But the effects of chaos are not so easily put right, and further tragedy ensues While Maureen fights to regain her sanity, Caelum discovers a c
The Hour I First Believed Wally Lamb s two previous novels She s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True struck a chord with readers They responded to the intensely introspective nature of the books and to their lively nar
It truly pains me to give this book only two stars, but after struggling through it, I can t bring myself to give it There are definitely redeeming qualities about this novel, and ultimately I ended up getting something out of it But it was so hard to push through, and it was such a disappointment to me after loving his previous two novels This book is just SO all over the map, and after awhile it lost me Bottom line, I just didn t much care about the characters Everything ends up coming togeth [...]
When an author asks you to go on a 700 page journey, the trip should be enjoyable and or the destination should be fulfilling Unfortunately, I don t feel that The Hour I First Believed really offers either a good trip or a satisfying final destination Rather, it is joyless, self indulgent, and exposition heavy Lamb too often tells rather than shows in this book, and the telling is a little over done Also, the dialogue given to the teen characters and an early chapter written from the POV of the [...]
Unbelievably good I never thought I d say that about a book that incorporates Columbine, prison, drug addiction, Hurricane Katrina and troubled youth but it s the truth I had to stop and sit and think after I finished this long book After thinking for awhile, I realized that I would always think of Caelum Quirk, the main character and narrator, as a good friend even if he doesn t actually exist.
The Hour I First Believed By Wally Lamb Yeah, I read it Hey, I didn t say it was great or anything In fact, it seems like Mr Lamb was really inspired by that show Law and Order Yeah, you know the one where they use crappy dialog to push forward bizarre plot points and explain complex technical stuff so the audience doesn t feel dumb cause they re not lawyers Even though real people probably wouldn t talk like that in real life Yeah, it s kinda like that in some ways You know, I felt totally vali [...]
This was second time round that I read The Hour I First Believed and is no less a disquieting read for me first read in 2008 and again nearly six years later I think that the the blurb is detailed enough so I will forgo an outline of the story Lamb does what I most love in a novel he takes real people and events and fashions a fictional story alongside these very real moments in time The catalyst of the story is the Columbine shooting massacre of April 1999 but it also covers marriage disharmony [...]
post trau mat ic stress dis or der n a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.This book made my mind spin round and round I m still trying to connect all the dots days after finishing it Caelum Quirk and his wife Maureen suffer damaging effects after the Columbine shootings, where [...]
In the afterword to The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb says his long career in teaching influenced his decision to center his new book on the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, in which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher before taking their own lives H aving spent half of my life in high school four years as a student and 25 as a teacher I could and did transport myself, psychically if not physically, to Littleton, Colorado Could I have acted as courageously as [...]
SPOILERS This book is absolutely terrible, but well crafted It s like a well lit, professionally taken picture of a headless puppy Don t read it, unless you consider gratuitous constant tragedy to be the definition of depth Believe me, this is the worst example of the McDeep conceptual space that is so tedious in today s writing and general media.In it, the main character witnesses I kid you not ColumbinePTSD in a loved oneVicarious suffering over KatrinaLoss of limb in IraqViolent Suicide Murde [...]
For those in my book club, you will hear this in person eventually so just ignore.Here goes Why is it that in an era of Green being the new Black, of ADD being the new normal, and fast and snippy the new slow and steady, do otherwise talented authors suddenly feel the need to knock down innocent trees and waste our time in a most achronistic fashion With Lamb s new book, he successfully joins the ranks of Russo and Sittenfeld and I am sure others who follow up perfectly wonderful and sharp novel [...]
Say what you will about this book in my opinion it s a tour de force The author covers a wide range of topics starting with the Civil War, abolitionism, the Columbine horrors, 9 11, lost souls, death, alcoholism, the power of love, and so much that it s difficult to quantify I m sure this will become an Oprah book and all that jazz, but still, reading a book like this one wonders how an author can do it The main character is a sort of sad sack who always feels something askew in his life, from [...]
This was not an easy book to read For all the effort I put into it, Wally Lamb should have been standing on the last page offering me a sash, a trophy, and large sums of money It kind of turned into a joke as every night I would tell my husband what the new plotline was Some of the subjects were Adultery, Columbine, PTSD, Drug Addiction, Murder, Womens prisons In great detail , buried corpses in greater detail and a paper about civil war times in RIDICULOUS detail Not my favorite.
I picked up this book with some trepidation first, I wasn t sure how much I wanted to read about the Columbine shootings, especially since I remember being extremely distraught upon hearing about the whole tragedy and was afraid to revisit that Secondly, I ve read Lamb s two other novels and liked one but hated the other Well, I got about 60 pages in and decided to drop this book because long ago I d given up my neurotic need to finish a book once I ve started Lamb s narrator, Caelum Quirk, is e [...]
While I can understand why the reviews of this novel range from hot to cold, I loved it I can not think of the last time I read a novel that contained so many current events and issues, all under the same cover.I thought Lamb took a huge risk by weaving fictional characters in with the Columbine tragedy, but it worked Not many authors could combine the two with such sensitivity I thought his character development absolutely perfect.I do admit that some of the thesis was a bit long and tedious Bu [...]
Wally Lamb creates characters who become real as they are revealed on the page When thinking about the book between readings, it was like revisiting acquaintances I was getting to know intimately There are twists and turns, history that is revealed and unraveled like the labyrinth that he alludes to in the novel.It s a book that took ten years to write, and these pages contain those ten years Not only is does it delve into the family history of the characters for the past century, it revisits th [...]
It took Wally Lamb nearly a decade to come up with this book A decade I think he was traumatized by some events and under great pressure to get the next novel out, giving us The Hour I First Believed Lamb takes the major events from the decade Columbine, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq War, throws them into a literary blender with his leftover women s prison stories, adds a dash of Civil War and slavery, and blends Sadly, it does not mix well A chunk of fiction here, some non fiction there It is often u [...]
Ahhh Don t bother Too long Too many plots and characters, and it just drove me crazy I like this author alot I ve heard him interviewed, and he s a cool guy, and I give him credit for trying to address the Columbine thing, but there were just way too many other stories, and I ended up feeling really unfullfilled after a very, very, long book Where are the editors these days
As my choice of 3 stars says, I liked this book but didn t love it.In essence, this is a book about the aftermath of violence What do people do to thrive, or cope or not There are some very powerful aspects to this book everything from Columbine to life in a women s prison The first half captured me than the second half I think that s because the events in the first half are dramatized than the events in the second half By this I mean, a lot of the action in the second half isn t experienced b [...]
A great story is buried in Wally Lamb s avalanche of a novel, The Hour I First Believed, but only the most determined readers will manage to dig it out The author twice blessed by Oprah, for She s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True can be a captivating storyteller, and he has built this story on one of the most shocking acts of violence in modern history Sadly, though, his new novel becomes so burdened by diversions, delays, tangents and side plots that the whole rambling enterprise grows [...]
The book is not without merit, and there s no question that Wally Lamb is a gifted writer There were parts of the story that had me riveted, and that dealt with important contemporary issues When Lamb stays focused, the effect can be mesmerizing The big flaw, in my opinion, is that this is two novels blended into one There are two distinct, well developed, very compelling plots in the book The mistake was in trying to combine them into one story, thus diluting and obfuscating both stories And th [...]
Loved it I love this author Easiest 750 page book I ve read in a long, long, time He keeps you interested, jumping from Columbine tragedy, to Katrina tragedy, to mental illness, etc Lots of twists turns you never know what s gonna happen to the poor main character his wife next.
I have just finished The hour I first believed and I am sitting in front of the computer with contradictory feelings As a declared fan of Lamb s former novels, I still think he is a genius in portraying the human soul His grasp of emotional intelligence and his skill in exposing human nature and its inner ups and downs, are masterly laid out to the reader in both a crude and tender way The same as in his previous novels, you end up knowing each character as if it was a real human being, with its [...]
The oldest and perhaps worst writing advice you can get is write what you know If everyone did that, our bookshelves would be packed, even than they already are, with self indulgent memoirs about drug abuse, horrible childhoods, crappy parents, or, in my case, video games, cheap beer, and the great existential dilemma of whether to walk down to Sonic to get a chilli dog on the one hand, it might rain, and I ll get wet on the other hand chilli dog Perhaps the better advice is to write about what [...]
whoa I have to shake my head sometimes I have the strangest coincidences in my reading selections and as random as I think they are, there must be some subconscious reason I choose to read them when I do Here, for example, is the third book in a row in which Connecticut is mentioned significantly That in of itself is startling to me Connecticut is a small state and close to my home state of Maasachusetts But I rarely read about it While the main character doesn t go to prison in Connecticut, he [...]
This Lamb book was not worth the 10 year wait.I couldn t believe how much he tried to cram into the plot and the poor protagonist s life Virtual orphan, failed marriages and cheating wives, Columbine, mentally ill wife who ends up in prison after killing a young boy, secret mother and doctored birth certificates, mummified babies and Katrina refugee tenants All of this interspersed with the story within a story told by his ancestor s letters What Caleum couldn t have been at Ground Zero on 9 11 [...]
Finally finished with this eff ing book It wasn t bad really But you d think in 740 pages of tragic stuff happening I would at least once feel bad for the characters Instead it was like Yup, you had that coming, and that, and that, her too, she had it coming Apart from the Columbine massacre there really were no sympathetic victims I liked the ending but didn t love the book Still, well written and ambitious.
I am definitely on the fence with this one I was deeply moved by the first half of the novel The second half is what weighs heavily on my reason for giving a 3 star rating I actually considered giving it a 2 star rating but I didn t think that would be fair for anyone who plans on reading the book Most 2 star ratings are associated with bad writing, a meandering synopsis, or general dislike of the book overall I did not find this book fell into all of those categories, only some.Caelum and Maur [...]
Okay, I don t pretend to be an author of any kind or an authority on novel writing, but seriously, where was his editor on this one It almost seems he got to breeze through this publication process because he s written two previously good novels or because he s well known or something First off, the book is divided into two parts It s like two totally different books the first being about real history, etc than an actual work of fiction In my opinion, the first part should have been scrapped a [...]
I feel like my friends and I waited forever for this release of this book, and I planned ahead to buy it on its release date I didn t even leave the store before I started reading it It started out intense, dramatic and Caelum became a character I was dying to love like Delores or the Birdsey twins However after the initial intensity of the columbine incident, the story seemed to deflate and become either over dramatically predictable or completely just boring as hell I feel like I am betraying [...]
Like many of Wally Lamb s fans, I waited with great anticipation for this book to come out I had read his two previous novels, She s Come Undone just okay in my opinion and I Know This Much Is True a great read , and was wondering if this next one would put Lamb on the list as one of my admired authors Based on I Know This Much Is True, I knew he had great potential to be added to a list that includes such esteemed authors as Pat Conroy and John Irving Unfortunately, with this latest offering, L [...]
This is a heavy, but gripping read In the back of my mind I wonder how the people who were involved with Columbine will handle the inevitable media attention to the case but the novel has me hooked.Caelum is trying to live in the aftermath guilt because he could have said something about the two students guilt because he wasn t in the building at the time guilt because his wife was And Maureen isn t coping His life has turned 360 and he s struggling to see the future.So far about a third of the [...]