Monday, January 2, 2017

I'll Take You There

by Wally Lamb
Dec. 15-25, 2016

Waiting for a new Wally Lamb novel is like waiting for Christmas. So exciting and always curious as to what subject he will tackle next. But for the first time, I admit I was a bit disappointed. He's a master storyteller, no doubt, but this was not what I expect from him. He writes women better than most female authors, but this time he lacked depth, seriousness and even length. The reason I wait patiently for his next release is because they are usually quite heavy – in subject matter as well as page-count. Greatness takes time.

So when I found out that we were revisiting the life of Felix from Wishin' and Hopin', I wasn't overly excited. I just read that short (for Lamb) story and mentioned that I felt it was a bit gratuitous. Of all the characters in all the novels he's written, why choose this one? As an adult, Felix looks back on his childhood through the help of ghosts in a theatre. Really?! I have trouble suspending reality with no real explanation if the book isn't advertised as a "ghost story" in the first place. This made zero sense to me. Even famous people returned from the dead to speak to Felix. The whole thing felt too gimmicky and honestly unnecessary. The story would have been much better told if Felix was simply reminiscing about his childhood and his relationship with his sisters. And I never thought I'd even utter a word like this when describing a Wally Lamb book, but the dialogue was corny. It pains me to say this.

Because of my devotion to Lamb, I'm going to give him a pass on this one. I've said many times in this blog that I've read She's Come Undone at least five times, so that in itself is reason enough to let this one go. I'll just have to eagerly await the next great book. Like Christmas.

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