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Wishin' and Hopin': A Novel

Wishin' and Hopin': A Novel

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Wishin' and Hopin': A Novel

valutazioni:
4/5 (79 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
172 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 10, 2009
ISBN:
9780061968167
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Wally Lamb, the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed, I Know This Much Is True, and She’s Come Undone, delivers a holiday treat with Wishin’ and Hopin’—an unforgettable novella that captures the warmth and joy of the holiday season. Poignant and hilarious, in a vein similar to Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story and David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries, Lamb’s Christmas tale focuses on a feisty parochial school fifth grader named Felix Funicello—a distant cousin of the iconic Annette!
Pubblicato:
Nov 10, 2009
ISBN:
9780061968167
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Wally Lamb is the author of five New York Times bestselling novels: She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True, The Hour I First Believed, Wishin’ and Hopin’, and We Are Water. His first two works of fiction, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both #1 New York Times bestsellers and selections of Oprah’s Book Club. Lamb edited Couldn’t Keep It to Myself, I’ll Fly Away, and You Don’t Know Me, three volumes of essays from students in his writing workshop at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Connecticut, where he has been a volunteer facilitator for two decades. He lives in Connecticut and New York.


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Cosa pensano gli utenti di Wishin' and Hopin'

3.8
79 valutazioni / 59 Recensioni
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Recensioni della critica

  • Get ready to take a trip down memory lane in this "A Christmas Story"–esque novel about a Catholic school boy in the 1960s. You'll laugh out loud at his antics and wistfully reminisce about your own holidays past.

    Scribd Editors

Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    I have been a fan of Wally Lamb since I read his novel, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True. He has a way of getting into the heads of his characters and bringing them to life. He tackles serious topics, steeped in emotion and morality. I knew going in that Wishin' and Hopin' was a different sort of novel for the author, but I still eagerly anticipated reading it.Although I have never seen the movie A Christmas Story straight through (I watched the movie out of order--second half first and then caught the first half another time), the book reminded me a lot of that movie. Set in 1964, Wishin' and Hopin' is the story of Felix Funicello. His father runs a diner at the bus station and Felix is the 3rd cousin of the famous Annette Funicello. He is in the fifth grade and attends a Catholic school. Felix is the second smartest in class but is by no means a goody two shoes like the number one student, Rosalie. He gets into his share of trouble, sometimes unintentionally.It's a big season for Felix and his family. His mother will be competing in a cooking contest on national television, he will be making an appearance on The Ranger Andy Ranger Show, and the school term promises to be an interesting one with the long-term substitute taking over his class after his regular teacher has a nervous breakdown (helped along by Felix himself).Told from Felix's point of view, it was hard not to imagine being right back in the fifth grade again, a time between innocence and learning about the world. The characters are easy to love, especially young Felix. The author captures well the time period in which his story takes place, from the political and racial climate to the memorable pop culture--even for those of us born after that time.I started singing Annette Funicello's Tall Paul right alongside Felix as I read in the lunchroom at work one afternoon. And then I couldn't help but do the same when Felix described his Halloween costume, dressed up as an Alka Selzter. I've been driving my husband batty with that jingle for years. Wishin' and Hopin' is a delightful story. Author Wally Lamb shows off his lighter side in this novel. It is funny and at times sentimental, but never overly so. It's a great book to kick off the holiday season.
  • (5/5)
    Smart, funny tale of a 5th grader at a small Connecticut town parochial school. Felix is a third cousin to Annette Funicello who looms large upon the story which takes us from Felix's misadventures at Halloween through the Christmas pageant at St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Veterans of pageants know that anything can happen at them. This one is a laugh out loud adventure. Merry Christmas!
  • (3/5)
    Welcome to the early 1960's and the life of Felix Funicello, third cousin to the Mickey Mouseketeer Annette. This is a delightful walk down memory lane when antennas perched on roofs brought black and white tv reception into houses of hard working parents who raised their children with firm rules and a swat on the backside when needed.Harken back to The Beatles, JFK, LBJ, lunch counters that served cheeseburgers and cherry cokes, schools that contained Catholic nuns who were free with the smart smack of a ruler and Priests who drank just a little too much confessional wine.This is a laugh-out-loud snap shot of a small town containing a host of likable characters. Felix leans a convoluted perception of the birds and the bees via jokes that he doesn't understand, while goody two-shoes Rosalie Twerski brown noses the nuns, bosses the classmates and needles her way into the role of Virgin Mary in the school play.Cold War paranoia abounds when a new, feisty, no-nonsense Russian student navigates her way into the fifth grade environment of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School.There were instances when I thought the author made his point and then, like a bad comedian, didn't know when to end the joke. Still, I liked the book and recommend it to those who, like me, were born in the 1950's and experienced America's progression into the 1960's.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoy Wally Lamb's writing and I really enjoy Christmas stories...put that together and what do you get?

    Cute story about Annette Funnicello's fictional 3rd cousins...and nuns...and lay teachers...and living pictures. It's a cute story, I recommend it.
  • (5/5)
    I really wasn't sure how this book would go, as I had two completely different expectations from it. I thought either it would be sappy and sweet, or it would be a book that had me laughing my butt off. Wishin' and Hopin' definitely fulfilled the latter expectation and then some.Think.. A Christmas Story mixed with the Frank's story of growing up in Catholic Ireland. While Felix, the ten-year-old who is telling his own story, doesn't live in Ireland, he does live in the fantastic world of 1964 US of A - a world where Beetles, Beehive hair-do's, Bandstand, Catholic Schools and Annette Funicello reign.There are so many priceless moments in this book, and I don't want to ruin them all for you, but I have to say that one of my favorite moments was an appearance made on television (which, according to the epilogue, was based on a real-life moment). I seriously laughed until I cried and everything was written so well I could visualize it happening as I read about it. I wasn't alive during the 1960's, so this story wasn't a trip down memory lane for me. But I've seen enough movies, read enough stories and talked to my folks about the 60's enough to feel a connection with Felix's story and to appreciate it for what it was - a funny, insightful, nostalgic look at the world through the eyes of a 10 year old. And while things have changed today and classrooms have become completely different, there are still ten year olds out there experiencing the same wonder and living in the same innocence that Felix lived and experienced. That's what made this book such a beautiful start to the Christmas season, reading-wise for me. An innocent, heart-warming story filled with charm, family and life.
  • (4/5)
    cute and charming!
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book! It took me back to when I was growing up in the 1960's......classmates, old TV series, and the innocence of a young child. The main character, Felix Funicello, loves his family (although he hates when his sisters tease him - typical of a 5th grader), is joined at the hip with his best friend Lonny (who is 13 going on 30 and has the mind and mouth of a sailor), and is especially proud of the fact that Annette Funicello - the most famous of Mouseketeers - is his third cousin. I laughed out loud - waking my cats out of sleep - throughout most of the goings-on at the Catholic school. This really wasn't a Christmas-filled book (except for the planning and execution - albeit a miserable execution - of the school's Christmas program), but after reading it I appreciated the title and will likely read this before Christmas every year!! (Check out the chapter about the Russian girl - Wally Lamb was bang-on capturing and putting into words, the accent of Zhenya........hilarious!!)
  • (4/5)
    A sweet story, this is being billed as a Christmas story but it's really more of a story about childhood and being on the verge of growing up. Set in 1964, Felix Funicello, third cousin of the quite famous Annette, is in 5th grade at St. Aloysius Gonzaga. His family is warm and loving and his childhood is familiar ground. During the course of the novel, his mother goes on tv as a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off and Felix himself is on a local Connecticut show: Ranger Andy. The mishaps and entertainment sprinkled throughout the story are charming and funny. From Felix unknowingly hitting a bat with a spitball and causing his nun-teacher to have a nervous breakdown right in class to Mrs. Funicello sweeping into the Pillsbuy Bake-Off kitchens trailing toilet paper (what nerves will do to the intestinal tract!), to the penultimate scene at the out of control Christmas pageant, this will make readers of a certain age reminisce and chuckle. In many ways, it is a mash-up of Jean Shepherd's In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash (better known as the movie A Christmas Story) and Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever and all memoirs of growing up Catholic so it definitely doesn't break any new ground. But the gentle humor and the time of life Lamb has captured, that time when boys are still children at play but also growing into men who will shortly understand the dirty jokes they laugh at now knowing the jokes to be off-color somehow and in some way that they will eventually discover, is a particularly enchanted time, neither child nor man but an innocent bridging from the one to the other. The good news is that this quasi-holiday offering is not overwhelmingly sugary sweet. The bad news is that it is a very slight offering that ends a bit abruptly. But it is a nice book to dip into in between wrapping presents as it is breezy and quick and cute.
  • (1/5)
    Dull and disappointingThis book was hard to get into. I think I missed the plot. Wait, was there a plot? It dragged and just didn't do it for me. I managed to finish it without throwing it across the room. I literally felt like that child who threw their toy because he or she had not gotten the one they wanted. So disappointed. I wouldn't recommend this book.
  • (3/5)
    This is the story of Felix, a boy growing up in the 60's who is just going through his life, mostly focusing on a Christmas pageant at school. I thought this was a cute, enjoyable Christmas story with a lot of charm. It reminded me of Dave Barry's The Shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Miracle Christmas Dog, except it was longer and not as funny--which might be why I only gave it three stars. But definitely worth the read for a nice Christmas story.
  • (4/5)
    This is a very vivid telling of the fall of 1964, as lived by 5th-grader, Felix. Lamb, through Felix, successfully takes the reader back to relive this time, which comes alive in the re-telling. One difficulty I noticed with the writing is at the very beginning, it is clear that Felix, the present-day adult is looking back and re-telling this tale, occasionally interspersing comments about how he later came to understand things he didn't back then, but, as the tale progresses, the adult Felix disappears and it becomes more of the Felix the 5th-grader narrating his story. At the very end, it reverts to adult-Felix. But I'm not convinced this switch is deliberate and I don't see it as a feature. I think it would have read better if the voice had been consistent as either Felix the child, as it happened, or Felix, the adult, looking back.
  • (4/5)
    The interesting thing about Wally Lamb is that each of his books are very different from one another. In this one, he goes the humor route and again succeeds in writing another engaging story. Fans of the movie "A Christmas Story" will find lots of similarities in this tale. It reminded me a lot of that, as well as the children's book "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever", which I have vague memories of as a grade schooler. Though this book of Lamb's is subtitled A Christmas Story, it really can be enjoyed any time of the year and only toward the end is the Christmas season a really prominent part of the story. I found myself laughing out loud quite frequently.
  • (3/5)
    This book was 3.5 stars for me. I think it may have been a 4 star book that just wasn't quite what I was looking for.Felix just isn't my kind of kid, and while I could laugh at his hijinks, I never quite connected with him or any of the other characters in the book-- except maybe the teacher.If you enjoy stories featuring a mischievous (although well-intentioned) young boy, by all means check this one out. It's a fun romp.
  • (3/5)
    Unlike Wally Lamb's previous books, Wishin' and Hopin' actually was humorous. It is a short story about a boy growing up in the 1960's whose cousin is Annette Funicello. It expores the typical days of a boy who attends catholic school, helps his family's business and experiences life like most boys did back in the 60's.It was a quick and light read, perfect for the busy holiday season.
  • (4/5)
    A Christmas story told from the view of a young boy. Felix Funicello (a cousin to Annette) tells of life in the mid sixties in Connecticut. Johnson is President and, even though the assassination of President Kennedy is said to have put an end to the Age of Innocence, I don't think anyone in Connecticut got the message. At least not in the town where Felix lives. It's a great story, an easy read. Lamb does not bog his readers down with unimportant details in order to fill pages. It's a fun book. One that will have the reader saying, "Man, I wish I had lived in that town back then!"From his mother going to California and the Pillsbury Bake-Off (hosted by then actor Ronald Reagan) and running onto the set with toilet paper stuck to her shoe, to Felix in the audience of Ranger Rick and telling an off colored joke on live TV, the book will make you smile and occasionally chuckle.
  • (4/5)
    This simple yarn is sprinkled with many laugh-out-loud moments. Readers return to the mid 1960s as they peer into the lives of Felix and his school chums. Don't expect anything unusually heavy or complex, and you'll be rewarded with a delightful tale that's perfectly suited for the holiday season. I experienced "Wishin' and Hopin'" via audio book, and author Wally Lamb served as a wonderful narrator.
  • (4/5)
    Very cute, short book about a young Italian boy, Felix Funicello, (he's a cousin of the FAMOUS Annette!) who is the 5th grade. It's 1962. and it's the holiday season, and the annual Nativity program is being planned and practiced with the students in his parochial school as the main characters. This fun book reminded me of my years at a Catholic School of about the same era. Funny, clever, a great choice for a holiday read aloud or book club for adults.
  • (4/5)
    A charming and funny nostalgic holiday story wonderfully read on audio by the author.
  • (3/5)
    Wally Lamb tried to write a Christmas story a la Gene Shepherd, and while he didn't succeed, he still has written a heart-warming stoy set in the pre-Vatican II days of 1964 with a cast of characters replete with sadistic nuns, a United Nations school of kids, dipsomaniac priests and salt of the earth working class parents, and a "permanent" substitute teacher of every young boy's dreams.Everyone needs a nice Christmas story this time of the year and as this one can be polished off in a single afternoon, it seems to foot the bill.
  • (4/5)
    Felix Funicello, a fifth grader who attends parochial school at St. Aloysius Gonzaga, is the narrator of Wishin' and Hopin'. Set in 1964, the story is filled with humor, mischief, classroom and playground antics, and culminates with the highly anticipated Christmas pageant. It was a lot of fun to read!
  • (5/5)
    I laughed out loud several times and especially at the end. Lamb captured the voice of the fifth grade narrator along with his world view. Read this book!
  • (4/5)
    What a delightful book this is! Baby Boomers should enjoy the many memories of their childhood years in these pages. A charming tale told by a charming kid. Humor throughout. I recommend this if you need a lighthearted break from heavier reading. The author did a great job with the varied characters.
  • (4/5)
    A short-ish, humorous novel about the life of a ten-year-old Catholic schoolboy in 1964. It's reasonably amusing, but pretty slight. The main character is an extremely believable and realistic ten-year-old boy, so credit to Wally Lamb for that, but I'm not sure it's entirely a good thing, since ten-year-old-boys are kind of obnoxious.I was hoping that this would help get me into the Christmas spirit -- goodness knows I could use some of that about now -- but I think calling it a Christmas story is a little bit misleading, as it starts before Halloween and doesn't really get to the Christmas stuff until more than halfway through the book.
  • (1/5)
    I finally finished this one last night. I was not too impressed. It was slightly humorous throughout the entire book. I smiled a couple of times until I got to the end when he was wrapping up the story and the characters when, it seemed to me, that Lamb was taking the opportunity to solicit for a well known charity.

    The whole story is centered around a parochial elementary school in 1964/65 school year. I believe that our main character is in the 5th grade. So, there is a lot of elementary school humor and humor at the expense of a couple of the nuns.

    If Lamb was just wanting to do a lite hearted Christmas book, it did not work for me and I think that he missed the mark. I would not recommend this one. Save your money or make a donation to 'your' favorite charity.
  • (5/5)
    I adored this book! Set in the 60s in Connecticut, we meet Felix Funicello. He's of THOSE Funicellos, a cousin to the glorious Annette. Felix attends a Catholic elementary school, and this tale is set in the run - up to Christmas, specifically the Christmas program at the school. After indirectly causing a nervous breakdown in his regular teacher, Felix and his classmates must get used to a new substitute and a new exchange student, deal with the substitute's wacky ideas for the program, plus navigate the various complications of your standard fifth grade boy.But, as always, there's nothing standard in one of Wally Lamb's works. His characterizations have always been the best part of his work, and this is no exception. Felix, his classmates, their parents, siblings and teachers are all extremely well-written, and the story was utterly delightful. I have loved each of his books, and always eagerly await the next one. Bravo!
  • (4/5)
    Reason for Reading: Every December I drop whatever reading I'm supposed to be doing and read a Christmas book. The paperback of this came out just recently and the advertising made me choose to read it.I quite enjoyed this nostalgic look back at a year in the 1960's life of a 10 year-old Catholic school boy. The narrator takes us back to that fifth grade year and reminisces about his family and especially his friends and days at the parochial school. Obviously, I'm always attracted to a book with a Catholic theme (I'm Catholic) and I enjoyed the portrayal which allows Catholics to laugh at themselves and also to see the differences in communication between the religious and the lay from then to now. Felix Funicello, the narrator, is a third cousin to the famous Annette and he regales us with the shenanigans that he and his friend got up to at school and out of school, the various personalities in the classroom especially the stuck-up smartest girl in the class, the new Russian girl who arrives after classes have started (is she a Communist spy?) and the stories of his family including his mother's TV appearance on the Pillsbury Dough Bake-Off Competition. I found the stories nostalgic, amusing and fun, though not funny. I didn't laugh out loud.I was quite shocked by the vulgarity of the language that starts very soon into the book. It is not ever present but is quite frequent and not what I had expected to find. Once the shock of 10 year olds being so vulgar was over, it actually didn't bother me that much. But if swearing, dirty jokes and crude references to s*xual acts offends thee, this is not the book for you. The other thing I did not like at all was the Epilogue! It kind of ruined the whole good feelings I had about the book after I read it. It's one of those summaries that tells you where each character is now, or what happened to them. It was quite depressing to read the future lives of these characters, especially the children. I didn't see the point of it. But on a positive note the book ended with Annette Funicello's current situation and how you can make donations to MS Society.Overall, an enjoyable book. I'm glad I read it but not quite what I thought it would be. I certainly enjoyed the writing style and never having read Lamb before am interested in reading another of his works.
  • (3/5)
    Cute and funny little story about a fifth grade boy in the 1960's. Reminded me a lot of the movie "The Christmas Story".
  • (3/5)
    Wally Lamb is one of my favorite authors and almost all said that it was amazing that he wrote She's Come Undone with such feeling, since he was a man. That being said, Wishin and Hopin was written about young boys and I'm sure that men loved the book. As a female, I did not have too much to identify with. While I liked the book, it certainly didn't touch me. I'm sure there are many women who wouldn't agree with that. The humor seemed to be "boy" humor, not surprisingly. Looking forward to another Wally Lamb novel - and while I did like this one, it wasn't one of my favorites.
  • (2/5)
    I have to say I was a little disappointed with this book. After reading 'This much I know is true' and 'She's come undone' I was expecting another fantastic page turner but this book didn't deliver. It's mostly just a memoir of a young boy in the 1960s and his school days. There are some funny lines and I managed to get through the whole thing, but it just wasn't up to Wally Lamb's abilities.I recommend skipping this one.
  • (4/5)
    Loved this Christmas story of a young boy, Felix Funnicello, adventuries in school, his Mom's illness, his family's lunch counter business and the aura of cousin Annette Funnicello hovering over the whole family. Light, cute read.