Jojo's Reviews > The Hour I First Believed

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
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's review
Dec 09, 2008

did not like it
Read in December, 2008

Disappointing, because I Know This Much Is True is one of my all-time favorites, and Wally Lamb uses a similar format for this novel.

Columbine, Hurricane Katrina, racism, alcoholism, the war in Iraq, feminism, PTSD, Mark Twain, the prison system, adultery, Theseus and the Minotaur, family secrets of all kinds, negligent homicide, theology, a little bit of 9/11...he just tries to do too much and connect too many things, and after a while you feel like he's just hitting you over the head with it.

Also, way too much telling, not enough showing.

Also, he does the Thing I Hate, the thing that makes you feel so cheated when you get to the end of a book: a major character dies suddenly and pointlessly. (But, you know, a baby is born, so it's all circle of life, yadda, yadda.)

Also, in a soap-opera-like way, there are highly unlikely coincidences, pieces that conveniently fit together.

Main character, Caelum, is just an ass...just a nasty, unlikeable character, humorless, unkind.

Tries too hard to be about LIFE but in the end is just cloyingly unrealistic.

IKTMIT did the same thing (even using some of the same characters) and did it so much better.
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