Wishin' and Hopin'
Wally Lamb
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Buy *Wishin' and Hopin'* by Wally Lamb online

Wishin' and Hopin'
Wally Lamb
Harper Perennial
274 pages
November 2010
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Lamb proves once again that the release of one of his new books is a landmark event. Here he spills his unforced and naturallly flowing prose all over the pages of this book, which follows the young fifth grade exploits of Felix Funnicello, a distant third cousin of the famous Annette. Effortlessly and with breaktaking ease, the author takes us back to 1964 and the Beatles, adolescent innocence, and Christmas.

On page two, Lamb sets the scene in a beautifully detailed and extraordinarily written paragraph.

"Lyndon Johnson was president back then, Cassius Clay was the heavyweight champ, and John, Paul, George, and Ringo were newly famous. Our family had a claim to fame, too. Well, two claims, actually. No, three. My mother had recently been notified that her recipe, "Shepherd's Pie Italiano," had catapulted her into the finals of that year's Pillsbury Bake-Off in the "main meal" category and she was going to be on television. I was going to be on TV, too - a guest, along with my fellow Junior Midshipmen on a local program, Channel 3's "The Ranger Andy Show." So there were those two things, plus the fact that our third cousin on my father's side was a celebrity."
Simple, concise and stuffed full of everything you'll be experiencing in the book. Few contemporary writers can touch Wally Lamb. Pick up any of his books - She's Come Undone, I Know This Much is True or The Hour I First Believed - and you'll be amazed. And certainly Wishin' and Hopin' - its title taken from the period-specific Dusty Springfield song - will also blow you away.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2011

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