Posts Tagged Wally Lamb
(Beacon News, Jan. 18, Teresa Budasi)
My favorite of 2008 is the latest novel by Wally Lamb. A decade has passed since Lamb was doubly blessed by Oprah and shot to literary fame. In 1997, the talk show queen chose his first novel, “She’s Come Undone,” as her fourth Oprah’s Book Club selection. His follow-up, “I Know This Much Is True,” was chosen a year later.
So now, 10 years later, comes “The Hour I First Believed,” which supposes the life of a couple trying to put back the pieces of their lives in the wake of the Columbine High School tragedy. Books like this are my favorite kind to read — novels with long, sprawling chapters, where characters are thoughtfully drawn out with multiple, interconnecting story lines — so that’s why it tops my list. It’s a hefty volume, 700-plus pages, and I look forward to every single page turn. (Editor’s note: Sugar Grove resident Greg Zanis, who famously and controversially built and installed crosses near Columbine after the shootings, is mentioned in this fictionalized account.)
So now, 10 years later, comes “The Hour I First Believed,” which supposes the life of a couple trying to put back the pieces of their lives in the wake of the Columbine High School tragedy. Books like this are my favorite kind to read — novels with long, sprawling chapters, where characters are (more…)
(LJWorld.com, Dec. 1)
Wally Lamb’s new novel, 450,000 copies of which have just arrived in bookstores, is big enough to threaten Thanksgiving and maybe even Christmas, as readers ignore turkey basting and tinsel tossing to turn the 723 wide-ranging, heavily plotted pages of “The Hour I First Believed.”
Lamb writes big books. And popular ones. Oprah Winfrey added the paperback edition of “She’s Come Undone” and Lamb’s 900-page second novel, “I Know This Much Is True,” in her Book Club, a bestowal that invariably sends the anointed novel on a rocket ride.
Although there are dozens of characters in Lamb’s new novel, it has at its center the cranky and disconnected Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen. Their marriage splinters over an infidelity. Seeking a new start, they move from Connecticut to Colorado. Caelum, a teacher, and Maureen, a nurse, each get jobs at Columbine High School. When Caelum is away, Maureen witnesses the 1999 rampage of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold that left 15 dead and many more injured.
The tragedies and trials faced by Caelum and Maureen are contemporary, even the nonfictional ones. Deciding to graft the actual event, including the names of the victims, into his fictional account, was tricky. But, Lamb said, “I felt that as a high school teacher for 25 years I could put myself in those corridors and empathize.”
See Wally Lamb’s signed books at www.vjbooks.com
(Dallas Morning News, Nov. 23, Joy Tipping)
Wally Lamb’s readers must be among the standard-bearers of literary patience: It’s been 10 years since his last novel, I Know This Much Is True, although he has edited two books of stories from the women of York Correctional Institution in Connecticut, where he teaches writing workshops.
The author’s experiences with women inmates strongly influenced the new book, The Hour I First Believed, 700-plus extraordinary pages in which he explores the ramifications of violence, from the shootings at (more…)