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The Wishbones

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  2,060 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Thirty-one-year-old Dave Raymond has an adoring girlfriend who's stuck by him since high school, and a steady gig as guitarist for The Wishbones, a New Jersey wedding band. He still lives with his parents, but that's a small price to pay for the freedom to play the music he loves. Granted, The Wishbones aren't the E Street Band, but all in all, life's been good to him so f ...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published May 5th 1997 by Putnam Adult
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I think I've had enough of hanging out with the guys, for awhile. Is there a name for this genre? It seems as if every third book I've read lately is told by some oblivious guy in the midst of wedding preparations who is challenged by the concepts of self control, responsibility and basic budgeting and planning. I was enjoying this book until it delved deeper into Dave's intimate relationships and his deliberate choice to leave every conflict unaddressed. I feel like I transferred on to the wron ...more
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I'm a fan of Tom Perotta. I especially admire his ability to get ahead of social trends in his books. He seems to sense the "next big thing" and he's there, several steps ahead.
In this amusing but not overly demanding novel, Perotta gives us the archetypal character of Dave, a boy-man of 31 still struggling to grow up. Since this book came out in 1997, that character has become the stock-in-trade of Judd Apatow and his ilk. But Perotta was there first.
Dave is a rock star-wannabe who plays in a w
God bless the cover. I usually have about 90 seconds at the library to find a read while the kids wreak unseen havoc on the children's section. The fiction shelves at McKinley though, are between the door and the play area and the resulting confidence that no one could abduct my brood without me at least being able to heave a hardcover classic at him allowed me to look for an added minute. I often look for contemporary books, and restrict my search to something with the size of a first edition h ...more
Abigail Hillinger
Apr 18, 2007 Abigail Hillinger rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wannabe Rock Stars
Shelves: fiction
Another good read by Tom Perrotta. And another man cheats on his significant other. Seriously, it makes me as a reader wonder why infidelity is consistent theme in Perrotta's books, and how comfortable his wife is with it.

The Wishbones are a wedding band. Don't think 'Wedding Singer' here, ala Adam Sandler. Think of what would happen if Rob, Barry, and Dick from Hornby's High Fidelity made a band. Dysfunction and mayhem, right? Of course. Because dysfunction and mayhem is what Perrotta does best
I'm in a band and this is a pretty good description of life in a band. The Wishbones are a wedding band fracturing on the shoals of alcoholism, marriage, infidelity and misguided ambition (bandleader Artie wants to give up weddings to start a Christian rock outfit). The setting is New Jersey reception halls and split levels. Les Paul-toting main character Dave Raymond is caught between his fiance, girlfriend and dreams he could have made it with a punk rock outfit that inspired bathroom graffitt ...more
So, I started a pretty thorough review of this book, but lost it to the ghosts of the internet. So, I'll do a briefer version. I just don't have the energy to bitch and moan about books any more.

Despite the wicked words I'm going to use, I actually enjoyed Perrotta's book. It was a fun, trashy, smooth read, and I'd read it again, if I hadn't read it already. Got it?

So, The Wishbones reminds me a bit of a poor man's Nick Hornby novel air dropped in New Jersey. It's so 90s-centric and dated, so fu
Another gem from the ever-dependable Perrotta who seems to be unable to write a bad book. This one is about a thirty-something, mild-mannered wedding band musician who seems to be content with living with his parents and is generally untroubled by his extended adolescence. But when he blurts out a wedding proposal during a weak moment to his high-school sweetheart, his life changes forever and the realities of conjugal responsibility and the end of bachelor carefree existence hit him hard.

As al
After LOVING The Abstinence Teacher and Little Children, I started reading all the Perrotta books I could. But it turns out his early work is not nearly as good. I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters in this one; they were all just sort of jerks.
Like High Fidelity meets The Wedding Singer, in a good way. This is early Perrotta - very early - and you can tell he's still working out the kinks in his writing. There's a clumsy plot device or two, some clunky dialogue, and things wrap up just a little too neatly for my taste. But its gentle riffs on life, love, and human nature are effortlessly engaging.
Allan Hough
This book sucks. It's just good enough to keep you reading through to the end just to see what happens, but in my book, a book like that is worse than a fully bad book. At least with a fully bad book you can just put it down right away and forget about it.

(Incidentally, this is just my exact review of Tom Perrotta's _Joe College_, cut and pasted. Fuck that guy.)
I like some of Tom Perrotta's books a whole lot, but this one isn't quite there. I just can't stomach books about reluctant man-children anymore. Whatever, dude. Anyway, it's his first book, so things got a lot better after this.
Darlene Rae
This is one of Tom's earlier books, and as I predicted, not quite as good as Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher, which I loved. All of his books could be movies though. Good stuff.
I think Perrotta phoned this one in
I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that I was reading a new version of The Wedding Singer. It was okay, but I wouldn't go out of my way to read this one.
Mary Beth
It seems that we all have to settle down and become adults at some point. It just doesn't have to be as depressing as we think.
I really like Little Children and was hoping this book would be as engaging as that one, but I couldn't relate well.
I was let down by this one. I thought it would be more of a send up of band culture and less of what it was.
This is basically the same story as High Fidelity, except High Fidelity does it better.
This was my lesser favorite between this and Little Children. It just wasn't that interesting.
I can't decide if I liked it or it was really bad.
Not bad, not good, just kind of... eh. 2.5 stars
This book was the poor man's High Fidelity.
Ben Hess
I was thrilled to find a Perrotta I somehow hadn't read ... The Wishbones reminds of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity with a flailing male hero obsessed with music, but it's sappier - featuring a wedding band afterall - and a classic Jersey / New York tale. You want to shake protagonist Dave for making juvenile choices about career and love but you root for him to get his shit together nevertheless. Perotta's a fantastic writer, and The Wishbones only hints at his future skill with Little Children an ...more
Jayne Charles
If it wasn't about a bunch of 30-and 40-somethings, this could almost have been one of those teen reads I used to get out of the library twenty five years ago. I could feel the gravitational pull of a happy ending from very early on, it was just a matter of how schmalzy it was going to be, and whether it was going to make me want to throw up.

Top marks to this author, he managed to pull off a really witty story with enough going on to make it interesting, peopled by characters with plenty of bad
I finished my last book and walked over to the library during my lunch break to get a new book, but I didn't have one reserved, and I figured they'd have, like, Little Children or something by Tom Perrotta, because my sister is a big fan and so far I haven't read any of his preferred works, but NO. ALL THE LIBRARY HAD WAS THIS BOOK.

I mean, it's a fine book. Tom Perrotta is such an impressive writer in so many ways of which I'm completely jealous. It's the story of a man stumbling into a delayed
I have been reading all the Tom Perrotta books and I think this one might be the saddest, in terms of what it reveals about the nature of dreams and in this case, not knowing when to let them go. Many of the later books involve some middle aged person undergoing a crisis (with the exception of Joe College, which is about a 20-something) but this one is about a somewhat younger character and has the funny yet depressing theme of growing up and getting over your adolescence. This is the story of D ...more
Carly Thompson
31 year old Dave Raymond stills live at home in the New Jersey suburbs with his parents while playing guitar in a wedding band called The Wishbones. Over the course of a summer, he becomes engaged to his high-school girlfriend, has an affair with a New York city wannabe poet, and questions his life choices (will he ever achieve rock stardom?).

The Wishbones is a great example of humorous male fiction. Strongly reminiscent of Nick Hornby’s work, Perrotta’s characters are guys who relate more stron
This was a very believable and entertaining novel about a guy who plays guitar in a wedding band but can't bring himself to commit to his longtime girlfriend. Dave is hardly a model citizen--he has flaws to spare no matter what standards you're applying. Still, Perrotta portrays Dave's inner conflicts and choices in a way that feels so true, it's hard not to hope that things will work out for him in the end.
Dennis D.
I sought out this early Perotta book (his first novel, I think) after enjoying "The Abstinence Teacher."

It tells the story of 30-something Dave, whose escapes from his work-day reality on the weekends by playing guitar for a respectable-if-going-nowhere band for hire. He's been dating the same girl forever, and can't seem to pull the trigger on either proposing OR breaking up with her. He dreams of becoming a rock star, but doesn't really do anything that might make that happen. He's stuck in th
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Tom Perrotta (born August 13, 1961) is an American novelist and screenwriter best known for his novels Election (1998) and Little Children (2004), both of which were made into critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated films. Perrotta co-wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film version of Little Children with Todd Field, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay ...more
More about Tom Perrotta...
The Leftovers Little Children The Abstinence Teacher Election Joe College

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