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The Wishbones

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  2,308 Ratings  ·  173 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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Nov 09, 2009 Kathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mitch Albom
Nov 18, 2015 Mitch Albom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you read Tom Perrotta's later work, this seems almost childish in subject matter. But his early novel about a wedding singer still living with his parents speaks to the love of music that freezes you in your development. Duke Ellington once said, 'Music is my mistress, and she's a jealous lover.' Perrotta's protagonist, Dave Raymond, is less elegant about it but just as torn.
May 13, 2008 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2009 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2008 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-novels
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
Feb 19, 2013 denmack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 liked it  ·  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
Jan 19, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 28, 2011 Alison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Allan Hough
Aug 07, 2009 Allan Hough rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.)
Onnica (I Love Romantic Fiction blog)
Some parts made me laugh out loud. The author really has a way with dialogue.
If you can get past the fact that Dave is a duplicitous, cowardly man-child, you'll enjoy the story. Too afraid to go after his life, he settles. In all aspects of his life.
Poor Julie - is there anything worse than being the one he settled for?
Sep 13, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jun 03, 2014 mcgob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 28, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, I was kind of pissed with Dave. I wanted Julie to find out and dump his ass. Then I thought, OK he wasn't happy, maybe this will make him happy. But at least man up and tell Julie the truth. In the end, I was still disgusted. But good story.
Mar 28, 2009 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Cait Poytress
Aug 12, 2008 Cait Poytress rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2009
Not bad, not good, just kind of... eh. 2.5 stars
Mar 26, 2016 Cheryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish the book as it was so slow and pretty boring.
Mar 28, 2013 Gretchen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the poor man's High Fidelity.
Mar 21, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is basically the same story as High Fidelity, except High Fidelity does it better.
Oct 23, 2008 Tiffany rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature, 2008
I really like Little Children and was hoping this book would be as engaging as that one, but I couldn't relate well.
Jan 24, 2008 Abby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 27, 2015 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think Perrotta phoned this one in
Jul 31, 2007 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my lesser favorite between this and Little Children. It just wasn't that interesting.
Jun 16, 2009 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't decide if I liked it or it was really bad.
Oct 13, 2016 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite from Tom Perrotta, but I see the seeds of future greatness there.
Mar 13, 2017 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Actually I thought "meh" seemed generous. There just is no point to this story. Unless you count what I took from it: Brooklyn is beautiful at night if you stand in the middle of the bridge. Also, the groom's family always feels shortshrifted at the wedding. Otherwise, if there's something that happens in this book, I missed it. But my husband thought it was a "sweet" book ... you decide.
Carlos Diaz
I enjoyed reading this quirky novel about a down-on-his-luck musician who wants to remain young and cool and the lead vocals of a local cover rock band. The book reads like an indie flick with its weird characters, simple story structure and oddball ending. Perrotta is one of my favorite contemporary writers. He's like the Anton Chekhov of Suburban America. That is all.
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
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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
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“Except for a small strip of shin that poked out from between the top of his socks and the bottom of his pants, his legs were purely theoretical.” 3 likes
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