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Land of a Hundred Wonders
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Land of a Hundred Wonders

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,258 ratings  ·  222 reviews
From the national bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark comes another funny, poignant, unforgettable story.

The summer Gibby McGraw catches her big break, the cicadas are humming, and it?s so warm even the frogs are sweating. Brain damaged after a tragic car accident that took both her parents, Gibby is now NQR (Not Quite Right), a real challenge for a fledgling news
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published July 1st 2008)
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Sep 20, 2008 Sandi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandi by: Borders Buy One, Get One Half Off
Shelves: 2008
I admit it, "Land of a Hundred Wonders" is probably only worth four stars. But, I gave it five stars because it made me cry. I had tears streaming down my checks and it wasn't from any cheap, cheesy manipulation. I rarely cry over books, but this one got me.

I'm not going to write a synopsis of this book, the back cover and the blurbs here and on Amazon sum up the story pretty well. What I am going to say is that this book is really well written. I heard Gibby's voice in my head, not my voice rea
Jeanine Marie Swenson

Gifted bestselling author, Lesley Kagen, has weaved another masterful yarn with her second publication, Land of A Hundred Wonders. Set in a small, rural town in Kentucky, we are quickly immersed in the dialect, culture and world of the 1970's. The heroine, Gabby McGraw, has suffered a terrible accident and family tragedy and struggles to rebuild her identity, memories, relationships and family network. Through the masterful use of metaphor, humor and intrigue, Kagen humanizes universal struggles
I really liked this book because it showed that there is hope, love and friendship for everyone despite or because of hardships. Nobody's life is perfect and the characters in this book have more than their share of problem's: Gib's brain damage, Billy's post traumatic stress disorder, Clever's emotional abandonment by her mother as well as raciscm, incest and the death of loved ones. Despite or because of their problems, Gib and her friends are able to draw closer and love.
Maybe I was looking for more, but I really couldn't get into or finish this book. . .
I rarely give up on a book, but I couldn't wait any longer for something to happen.
I know that Gibby was NQR and felt like the author wasn't willing to write an involved story line in order to have the reader get the sense that Gibby needed things to be simple.
catherine james
Though she survived the wreckage that took her parents lives one rainy summer night, that near fatal car accident left Gibby McGraw N(ot).Q(uite).R(ight).
While she spends her mornings working at Grandpa Charlie's Top o'the Morning Diner, her afternoons visiting the residents of Cray Ridge, Kentucky, running errands while Grandpa fishes, and gathering information to put in the stories she writes for Gibby's Gazette, Gibby also realizes everyone in town thinks she's diminished. Heck, even Sheriff
Oct 08, 2008 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lynne
Shelves: general-fiction
A light-hearted romp! NQR (Not Quite Right) Gibby, self-appointed editor-in-chief and the sole reporter of her one-woman newspaper is hot on the trail of a murder mystery. Gibby aims to solve the murder in order to cease the cloud pacing of her poor dead mama (or really wow the wings off her by winning the weekly Appleville Scrabble tournament.) Gibby is a charmer. Her pluck, determination, and tendency to be just slightly off (with comments such as dead as a store nail) and none too shy (she in ...more
There are not enough words to describe how disappointed I was, after finishing this book. I read the rave reviews and I thought it was going to be an exceptional novel, it as nowhere near that or anywhere closet to it. I could`nt follow the story, it was not very consistent, not only that but the characters were not as developed. The lead character Gibby had potential, as well as her grandfather, but the plot was not convincing enough for me and it left a lot of unanswered questions. ...more
A feel good book. I loved the colloquialisms ("Like in some of those Bible stories. Ya know how you got to ponder them some to figure out what the hell the Lord is really trying to tell you? Like when He uses that word 'smote' and you're not exactly sure what He means by that, but you get a sense that he's madder than a sprayed roach?") and malapropisms ("Miracles really are in the eyes of the beholden." And "Hope springs internal.) The writing was a delight!
I had a little more trouble getting into this than Lesley Kagen's first book, Whistling in the Dark. That being said, the central characters, Gibby, Grampa and Clever and Billy, are so charming they soon won me over and by the end I was reluctant to leave their company.
Great book! Reads a lot like Secret Life of Bees. The main character's attitude, ignorance and observations are similar to Lily's in Bees. I laughed. I was touched. Great read!
The is an interesting read -- part murder mystery, but also a great character study. The narrator, Gibby, has suffered a traumatic brain injury in ca car crash. The accident not only killed her parents but resulted in her being "Not Quite Right," a state she is determined to change. Set in rural Kentucky in the 1970s, the story is peopled with a variety of quirky personalities including Billy Brown, a Vietnam vet who came back from the war a different person than he had been before; Gibby's best ...more
Set in 1973, Gibby MaGraw has lost her parents to an automobile crash that she survived. But she did suffer brain damage that has left her NQR (Not Quite Right). This makes being a newspaper reporter pretty challenging.

While out looking for her next big story she stumbles upon the dead body of the next governor of Kentucky, Buster Malloy. She figures if she can solve the murder and write a fantastic news article she will show everyone including her mother in heaven that she is on the road to bec
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cat for

Though she survived the wreckage that took her parents lives one rainy summer night, that near-fatal car accident left Gibby McGraw N(ot).Q(uite).R(ight).

While she spends her mornings working at Grandpa Charlie's Top o'the Morning Diner, her afternoons visiting the residents of Cray Ridge, Kentucky, running errands while Grandpa fishes, and gathering information to put in the stories she writes for Gibby's Gazette, Gibby also realizes everyone in town thinks s
Christina (Reading Thru The Night)
"I'm knocked up," she says.
"I know how you favor those knock-knock jokes as much as Grampa," I say, swiping off eraser crumbs. "So I'm real sorry, but I don't have time to be honing my sense of humor right now. It's vital I get this story done."
"Being knocked up don't have nuthin' to do with a joke. It ain't funny."
"Well, what does it have to do with then?" I ask, fussy. Besides feeling like a full-out failure when I don't understand what something means, I fear Mama's gonna wear her pacing
This second book by Leslie Kagen is a treat! It is chock full of characters that surround, Gibby, a young woman who has suffered a brain injury in a car accident. She is trying to get back to being Quite Right or QR through being an investigative reporter. She is a special person who is a sweet good friend identifying situations (positive & negative) around her as best she can. She has trouble with language because of the brain injury and some hilarious interpretations ensue. I loved that th ...more
Gibby has been NQR (Not Quite Right) since she suffered a brain injury in an automobile accident that also made her an orphan at age 17. Her childlike speech, as she is unable to "filter" what she says, is often inappropriate or impolite, and makes the book more fun.

Gibby's doctors said she may improve if her brain is stimulated enough, but after three years, Grampa has nearly given up hope that she will ever be QR (Quite Right) and he just wants to keep her safe, which is complicated when a be
I found this book in the dollar bin at Borders and picked it up with no real expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. The story is about a young woman, Gibby, who is NQR (not quite right) after being in a car accident that killed her parents. She lives with her Grandpa in the backwoods of Kentucky and struggles to remember events in her life. When she finds the next governor of Kentucky murdered on the beach she sets out to solve the mystery of his death herself, so she can become QR (quite rig ...more
After finishing - and being super impressed by - Kagen’s debut novel, Whistling In the Dark, I anticipated the release of this, her second book with a lot of anticipation. And it lived up to it! I really enjoyed reading it - it’s a lovely novel and absolutely filled with wonders - just as the title promised. Well-written, combined with Kagen’s wonderful sense of humour and excellent plotting, Kagel truly succeeded here. The narrator, however, truly stole the show.Both original and charming, Kage ...more
Unique story with even more one-of-a-kind characters. A truly original protagonist who refers to herself as NQR, (not quite right). As a result of a horrendous car crash, she is left with developmental problems that she is clever enough to realize. She strives to become and prove herself to be QR someday. Part drama, part love story, part mystery. A delightful summer/beach read that will leave you truly satisfied at the end.

This is the second of Lesley Kagen's books for me and they've both pleas
Erikajean Jean
I really like this book! Though it was a little sad at times how people treated Gibby, the main character, I found this book to be a bit funny. She might be a little brain damaged,a little slow, and not quite remember everything, but she is certainly not stupid. This book touched on just about everything... family, relationships, secrets, miracles, abuse, love and race just to name a few. I got a little teary eyed in two spots on this book, and I think that any book that can spark emotion from i ...more
This is the first book I believe I've ever read where the narrator is "NQR" (not quite right). She's a young woman who has experienced a tragedy in her family and is now living with the results from a head injury. But, before you decide that it sounds too, too depressing to read, wait! It is a very funny book! My husband read it after I did and told me that he was having to be careful not to wake me up laughing at the character's descriptions of life being "NQR". Mrs. Kagen has created some wond ...more
I love books like this, that are full of characters brimming with goodness and love. The protagonist has short-term memory loss/brain damage from a car crash that left her an orphan. She lives with her Grampa in small town Kentucky in 1973, where she helps him run his diner and self-publishes a newspaper. She finds a dead body and wants to investigate the mystery to break the story, and all kinds of nasty characters (and golden ones) come out of the woodwork. I think this is the first book I've ...more
I loved the theme of the main character, Gibby, wanting to prove to her deceased mother, that she could become QR (quite right) instead of NQR (not quite right), by solving a murder case in the small town in which she lives.

Brain damaged after a tragic accident that killed both her mother and her father, Gibby has trouble remembering and focusing. While hard at first to follow her train of thought, the story gears up as little by little people, most notably the unbeknownst to her, love of her li
Michele Minor
This book is unique in that the story is told from the point of view of a character who had suffered brain damage as the result of a traumatic brain injury. The author catches Gibby's point of view correctly in that she wants to get back to normal and realizes that she isn't quite right. When she finds the dead body of Buster Malloy who is running for governor of Kentucky she decides to investigate the murder for her small paper in order to prove that she is back to normal. She discovers family ...more
This is one of those books that sound really crazy before you read it. And it is actually, but it's crazy in the best way. All of Kagen's characters are bizarrely endearing and somehow believable, even while they're doing the most outrageous things.

Is it possible for anyone not to love Gibby, the NQR (not quite right) heroine on a mission to become QR (quite right)? I'm betting not. Gibby is one those characters I wish I could chat with over a cup of tea. I missed her when I was finished reading
Julie Barichello
I wanted to like this book.

Last year I read "Whistling in the Dark" by Lesley Kagen and enjoyed it. When I came across "Land of Hundred Wonders" in a used book store during a vacation in Longmont, CO, I was more than willing to give it a try -- particularly since there is a journalism angle, albeit a loose angle.

The biggest disappointment of this novel lies in the emotion falling flat. The reader is supposed to care Gibby's parents died in a car crash, but the sentimentality of that is never sol
Gibby survived an auto accident that claimed the lives of both of her parents. She survived, but she's NQR (not quite right) and now lives with her Grandpa. This book is filled with Southern charm and characters. Set in the 1970s, you get a peek into the way of the world there and then. This novel has a little mystery, a little romance, and a lot of humor. Gibby's inside view of a head injured patient was fascinating to me. It was an easy read, a nice story, and a great way to spend a few hours.
Barb Heart
I loved Gib -- a brain damaged young girl from an accident that changed her life and that of others around her.... Set in early 70's this little book has small town issues, racial issues, those of dirty dealings (including the sherriff), a vietnam vet, a sweet grandfather, and it even has a slimy no good sex predator. What is so amazing is the way Gibs mind works and her sayings are a little off which causes many looks and leaves the reader with many smiles. Oh I would love to see this as a movi ...more
Sweet and totally unrealistic what with breaking people out of jail and assaulting a sheriff.....well, whatever.
It is the story of a young woman, 20 years old, who is NQR. That stands for Not Quite Right. Gibby was in a car accident in which both her parents were killed and she was left brain damaged. That was three years ago. Now she lives with her grandfather and works in his cafe and goes fishing with him and picks up the egg delivery for the cafe. She also writes a newspaper that she researc
Lesley Kagen is a new author. WHISTLING IN THE DARK, her first novel, is reminiscent of a LOVELY BONES genre. LAND OF A HUNDRED WONDERS is ten times better! The characters are all delightful, the plot is intricate, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I guarantee you will fall in love with Gibson, the protagonist, who is NQR, which stands for "not quite right" after a head injury in a car accident. Read it-I know you won't want it to end. I can't wait for Kagen's next novel.
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Lesley Kagen is a mother of two, a grandmother of two, an actress, former restaurateur, celebrated public speaker, essayist, and the award winning, New York Times bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark, Land of a Hundred Wonders, Tomorrow River, Good Graces, Mare's Nest, The Undertaking of Tess, and The Resurrection of Tess Blessing. Her novels have also been published in the Netherlands, Chi ...more
More about Lesley Kagen...
Whistling In the Dark Tomorrow River Good Graces The Resurrection of Tess Blessing The Undertaking of Tess: A Novella

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“So might I suggest at your earliest convenience that you pay a visit to the Okins Funeral Salon to make arrangements?"
"Why'd I wanna do that?" she says so damn snippy.
"Because on my return visit you can count on my beatin' the ever-lovin' shit outta you with a rusty shovel. Twice.”
“All my nose is picking up on is the smell of green alfalfa hay and baling twine. I check with Keeper to see if he's sniffing up either hide or hair of Sneaky Tim Ray since my dog can can whiff dubious intentions from an acre away. People can hide their badness from one another, but the scent of wrongdoing is pungent and unmistakable to our four-legged friends.” 1 likes
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