I adore Wally Lamb's books, and found much of this book in keeping with his writing talent and storytelling skills, but I kept feeling that he was pouring waaaaaay too many themes and topics into one book. Adultery, child abuse, violence, Columbine, the civil war, addiction, Mark Twain/Louisa May Alcott, prison conditions, family secrets, dying and suffering young soldiers, women's suffrage, unwanted children . . . good grief! It's just too much for one story. Ambitious and clever, yes, but overwhelming and heavy with all the various themes and characters. The ending was as satisfying as it could have been, given the total human wreckage that preceded it, but it was just TOO much.
I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book with song lyrics in the title. i don't know if it would have made as much impact on me if i hadn't read about columbine (to fulfil the goal about true crime) as it was i was totally freaked out by this book. I don't think i could have finished it if my husband hadn't pointed out what i had overlooked "this is a FICTION BOOK!!" thank goodness, i was able to relax and enjoy it knowing it was just a story. warning this book could cause powerful emotions.
I couldn't put this book down. Quite a journey. Struck me as so real, so human. An excellent read in my opinion. Has me reflecting on my own life so far and the bits that I struggle with. Gives me hope.
I just finished reading this book. It is long, but worth the time! The Intertwining of real life occurrences makes it more interesting as well as the time spent delving into history. I highly recommend it.
I will certainly read more of his novels.
The writing was lovely, I just couldn't get into the story.
I enjoy Wally Lamb books because they are so real. I always learn so much from them, as he shows "the big picture", not just a tiny slice of life. Everything that happens in our lives has ripples that could affect thousands. This book gave me a much better understanding of PTSD and the American prison system. I would love to have been a student in one of his classrooms, but reading his books is probably the next best thing.
Another great Wally Lamb book. You can tell how much time he puts into his books, doesn't just spit them out one after another like many authors.
An excellent read altho apparently off into historical essays at times; it's worth preservering thru it all to get the full measure of the story. Some found it difficult to stay with the misery - I think that speaks to the nature of the beast and therefore to the author's skill. Depression does seem never ending when in its gripand the point is to bring the reader into that experience, however painful.. A tragedy followed thru many perspectives to a solid conclusion.
When I first began reading this book I had perused through a few of the other reader reviews that were on here. I was disappointed to find that there was quite a few negative reviews of the story. I continued reading as I had bought the book and had committed myself to reading it, and hey, I had loved his other books.
I was expecting the story to drag but it didn't. I loved this book. I loved the way that he looked at many different people and showed how trauma in life changed and moulded his characters in so many ways. I love the way that he reached back into the history of the protagonist, giving him 'roots', a new way to view his own life.
The whole butterfly/mantis opposing ways of viewing the world were so cool and I didn't really pull that together until after I finished. When I did see this link I appreciated the book more fully.
Mr. Lamb's characters are so real and fallible but at the same time they move through these situations, they find the good side.
I completely recommend reading this long, disturbing, wonderful, time and emotionally consuming book!
C lick on the title over iin shelves for plot. I found it easy to read but would not give it an excellent.
About a man's struggle to find out about himself after his world is torn apart by the Columine massacre,
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