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I'll Take You There

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  8,253 ratings  ·  1,357 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Wally Lamb weaves an evocative, deeply affecting tapestry of one Baby Boomer's life—Felix Funicello, introduced in Wishin’ and Hopin’—and the trio of unforgettable women who have changed it, in this radiant homage to the resiliency, strength, and power of women.

I’ll Take You There centers on Felix, a film scholar who runs a Monday night mo
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Harper
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Bonnie Walker I am only a few chapters into the book but I am out enjoying it. I have read all of the other Wally Lamb novels and liked them a lot. This is the sort…moreI am only a few chapters into the book but I am out enjoying it. I have read all of the other Wally Lamb novels and liked them a lot. This is the sort of book you know would not have been published if it were his first book. Sorry to say that. The plot is contrived. The writing flows nicely but so far nothing has happened of interest. (less)
Margo Ball I don't think it is critical, but "Wishin and Hopin" is a light, fast, and utterly delicious read. You could knock it off in one lazy afternoon--prefe…moreI don't think it is critical, but "Wishin and Hopin" is a light, fast, and utterly delicious read. You could knock it off in one lazy afternoon--preferably by a fire with a plate of cookies and a glass of wine.(less)

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switterbug (Betsey)
This is my first dip into Wally Lamb, and unfortunately, I’m staring at his earlier works, unread on my shelf, hoping that they contain the gems my friends talked about. Because this latest book of his did nothing to urge me on further. He checked all the PC boxes on feminism, family, dysfunction, loss, and other topical issues, so blatantly that I almost thought it was going to be satirical, but no, it was taking itself seriously. On the other hand, he writes with compassion, and the pages flow ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Halfway through, I thought this might be headed for 5-stars. Then, along came the second half and that's too bad. 6 of 10 stars
A Brief Q&A Between Myself and Myself

Q: Why did you pick up I'll Take You There in the first place, Natalie?
A: Well, Natalie, I had read Wishin' and Hopin' but had lukewarm feelings about it (cute, quick Christmas tale but didn't feel as Wally Lamb as other Wally Lamb books), so that did not push me to read this one. However, Wally Lamb is one of my FAVORITE authors. Even when I don't L-O-V-E his book, I love his writing. I also feel a lot of guilt when I don't L-O-V-E his book, but that's anoth
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of Wally Lamb's best books... fact, when considering the greatness that is Wally Lamb, who set the bare extremely high with works like "she's come undone" and "I know this much is true" this might have actually been his worst so far, that's not to say it was a bad book but I was expecting more.

I was really looking forward to this book when I heard it was out because Wally Lamb has been one of my favorite authors since I read "she's come undone" when I was 15 years old, and have sin
I gave up after 80 pages. I can get behind a good ghost story but this didn't qualify.
Erin Toland
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy this review visit my book blog: www.booksmusicallthingswritten.wordpr... or my blog's Official Facebook Page: or follow me on Twitter: @etoland16

Wally Lamb has been one of my favorite authors since I first read “She’s Come Undone” when I was 16 years old. One of my favorite books I’ve ever read is his book, “The Hour I First Believed.” I’ve read all of his books and he never ceases to amaze me with his ability to write female characters that
This had an interesting premise but it never really went anywhere for me. I could never really relate to the characters or care why this story was being told.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A unique reminder of American culture in the 50s-60s, brought together with current culture. The reading experience would be enhanced by reading Wishin' and Hopin' but not necessary.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore Wally Lamb and am in awe of his writing and knowledge about women. Be forewarned, this is a bit different from his longer tomes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Also love the title. More comprehensive review to come.
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Before I give you my opinion of Wally Lamb's newest book, I have to admit that I have read and loved everything he has written and he is one of my favorite authors. This wasn't my favorite book by him but it's still a fantastic book. The character of Felix Funicello (who we knew as a child in Wishin' and Hopin') is now 60 years old and this book is a reflection on his life helped along by a few ghosts who provide him with movies of critical points in his childhood. He could not only view the fil ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Imagine being able to go back and see parts of your life like a movie? This one did not disappoint.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Wally Lamb's writing and would read the phone book if he wrote that. I'm sure he'd find a way to make it fascinating. So it pains me to give him anything below five stars. However, when I get a Wally Lamb book, I expect an elaborate plot with lots of twists and turns. While there were some twists in this story, I felt there was very little plot.

I'll Take You There is mostly told in flashbacks, with some scenes from the present interspersed. Most of those scenes either take place in the m
Erin Clemence
“”I’ll Take You There” by Wally Lamb re-introduces us to the character of Felix Funicello (previously brought to our attention in Lamb’s Christmas story, “Wishin’ and Hopin’”). In this novel, Felix is a film scholar who runs a workshop for fellow film buffs, based out of an old theatre. While setting up for his film group, Felix comes across the ghost of a female film director from Hollywood’s silent film era. In her interactions with Lois (the film director), Felix gets a Charles Dicken’s-type ...more
Dec 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
I... hate this. I am starting to think Wally Lamb only had three truly great books in him (which, honestly, is 3 more books than most people get). Do yourself a favor and read his greats: I Know This Much Is True, She's Come Undone, and The Hour I First Believed.

This book cannot POSSIBLY be written by the same man who wrote those. The characters are forced, the dialogue is stiff, the narrator's corny outlook is revolting, the premise is boring - I actually abandoned this halfway through in purs
Lynne Bissell
Jan 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The narrator's voice never rang true to me. I have loved Lamb's previous work, and think he has been talented speaking from experience outside his own. But "grumpy old man" and "sex in the city" daughter aren't working here.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No clue what this book was trying to do. Lots of weird feminist stuff, but did not really make sense. Freaking out about The Rolling Stones under my thumb for some unknown reasons?!?? Anyway, almost stopped reading it which I never do, but it was short enough so finished it. Not quite sure why I wasted my time
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
So this started off great. I was really enjoying it and then about halfway through...I was over it. I mean I get what the book was about but, no.
Oct 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nada
The narrative voice drove me to distraction! I didn't mind so much when Felix was talking to me-as-the-reader with his ho hum golly gee ain't this modern world somethin' voice. But when he was educating me-as-the-reader by having a "conversation" with another, was it annoying! It reminded me of the patronizing way some doctors ask "How are WE today?" Felix's conversations with Lois were just an excuse to teach/lecture on film history.

I was surprised/disappointed that a celebrate
David Saliba
I started reading this book because I really liked "We are Water."

I abandoned this book a third of the way through, because the protagonist is unbearable.

We are told that the main character is sixty years old, but given Lamb's portrayal he seems more like eighty. I was starting to get over that when Lamb places us in the mind of the protagonist when he was six years old. Whether or not he accurately portrays a six year old is moot. What adult would want to read page after page of the minutiae
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Wally Lamb

2016; Harper Collins (272 Pages)
Genre: historical fiction, humour, fiction


The issue I had with the last two full-length novels by Lamb was that at times the book felt too long. When I saw that this book was less than 300 pages I thought this may be the next She’s Come Undone. I read the novella (Wishin’ and Hopin’) first as I knew it was a prequel in a way. I liked the character of Felix so was looking forward to an old
Mary Lins
Oct 31, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: complete
Wally Lamb's latest novel, "I'll Take You There", is about 60-year old film expert, Felix Funicello. It starts out great: his musings on aging are spot-on and his film references will delight film buffs. But in chapter two he meets two ghosts in the projection room of an old theater. Hmm...not my cuppa - but hey, I love Noel Coward's, "Blithe Spirit", so I hung on.

So these ghosts are Lois Weber and Billie Dove, both of whom were real people. Lois was a powerful film director in Hollywood, and Bi
Kelly Gladney
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Wally Lamb. How does he take such a fun idea and turn it into thoughtful insights into feminism, advertising, and dark family secrets. I loved it right off because the main character is a movie buff and has a movie club along with teaching. I'm hoping Mr. Lamb is also like his character so I have that in common with him. I also loved his idea of bringing a few ghosts to life in an old theater and learning about an amazing woman from the 20s that I'd never heard about. I like when a book engag ...more
Christopher Shawn
Lamb takes a somewhat unexpected detour into magical realism in his latest novel. Fenix Funicello is an aging film buff, who runs a small town movie club. He finds that the specters of old Hollywood are also attending his weekly meetings, leading him to revisit his past through supernatural means. Felix learns a new appreciation for the women in his life, as well as the silent film actresses guiding his journey.

The premise is overall a little lame, and the characters all seem unnatural. In a nov
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is a creative attempt to bridge the reality of past feminist ideals, struggles & pressures with that of today- to illuminate the path.. the ugly, and sometimes victorious path. I enjoyed parts of it- mostly Felix's childhood memories. Good story but not his best work. ...more
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
Felix Funicello is a film professor who lives in Connecticut. He is divorced and has one daughter, Eliza, who is currently working for New York Magazine. Felix also has two older sister, Simone and Frances who are an integral part of his life. Felix hold a movie club on Monday nights in the old Vaudeville theater in town. One night as he is setting up, he is visited by the ghost of Lois Weber, a renowned film director in her time. Lois shows Felix glimpses of his life along with the important wo ...more
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bound-book
Started off great, but alas...
Colin McEvoy
This was my first Wally Lamb book, and I get the strong impression it wasn’t the best one to start with for this author. While I Know This Much is True and She’s Come Undone appear to me to be ambitious and dramatic epics, I’ll Take You There honestly feels like something Lamb could have written up in a single weekend. I’ll still undoubtedly try out some of Lamb’s other books in the future, but this one was pretty weak, and felt more like a short story stretched out to novel length so it could b ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My first read by Wally Lamb wasn't quite what I expected. I thought I misheard at the beginning when Felix was seeing ghosts offering to show him "films" of his past, into which he could jump and relive the scenes. I didn't really buy it but went along anyway but was put off by the "twist" focusing on his sister. I wondered why the book wasn't just written from her POV. The more I asked myself that the more I thought using Felix as the container for HER story made no sense.
pages for breakfast 📚☕️ (formerly Readage)
What I read of this book was just incredibly dumb. Got to page 73 and decided to move on. Still like Wally Lamb, but probably won’t revisit this one. 2/5 for what I actually read.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was much shorter than the other Wally Lamb books I've read, but every bit as emotionally fulfilling. I really love the concept of being able to watch films of your own past and revisit them if you choose, and the supernatural aspect was really interesting as well. I don't recall this book receiving much fanfare when it was released, but it definitely should have, and if you're a fan of Mr. Lamb's other work, you should absolutely not miss this one.
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Wally Lamb is the author of She's Come Undone, The Hour I First Believed, and I Know This Much Is True. Two were featured as selections of Oprah's Book Club. Lamb is the recipient of the Connecticut Center for the Book's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Connecticut Bar Association's Distinguished Public Service Award, the Connecticut Governor's Art Award, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awar ...more

Articles featuring this book

Calling all movie buffs! The author of I'll Take You There shares his picks about Hollywood secrets, legends, and more.
7 likes · 1 comments
“why would white dudes want to change things when they held all the cards?” 1 likes
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” 1 likes
More quotes…