Book Review: Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb


I loved Wally Lamb’s first book She’s Come Undone. During one reading session with the book, I was so swept up by it that I completely forgot I was lying in the grass in the Place des Vosges in Paris on a beautiful, warm, October afternoon.

I looked forward to Lamb’s second book I Know This Much is True. But I found it just so-so. I felt like Lamb tried to throw in way too many things and the unintended result was that I stopped paying attention to his work. But when I found this attractive volume at a Border’s liquidation sale I thought it was worth a go. But it wasn’t. I’ve read some really wonderful books lately and following it up with this phoned-in, first person fictional memoir was not only sad, but it made me crazy that I had nothing else to read on my commute.

And really, how many times do we have to hear the story of a young Catholic boys coming of age, getting boners and being afraid of nuns? Who cares?

(In looking for an image of the cover, I found out that this book has also been marketed as a Christmas tale. That makes it even more lame. Or maybe it would have helped if I had known I was reading a marketing tool rather than a novel.)

One thought on “Book Review: Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb

  1. Emily Barton April 2, 2011 / 8:16 pm

    Oh, I so agree! I got suckered into reading it at Christmas time when I was looking for good Christmas books to review for my local library. It was so lame, I found I just couldn't review it (couldn't even be bothered to write a scathing review).


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