Customer Reviews for

The Hour I First Believed

Average Rating 3.5
( 607 )
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(187)

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(114)

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(109)

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(64)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful

This book is a testament to our past and future.
From Columbine, 9/11, Katrina, Iraq, the story relates the collateral damage done that no one acknowledges. An emotional but fulfilling read.
Don't miss it

posted by maggieNJ on November 18, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Very Dissappointed

I could not wait for Lamb's new book. I was very dissappointed--I had to trudge through it. The main characters are not likeable at all. I never really felt for either of them, they are both extremely selfish. I perked up when I started reading about the other famil...
I could not wait for Lamb's new book. I was very dissappointed--I had to trudge through it. The main characters are not likeable at all. I never really felt for either of them, they are both extremely selfish. I perked up when I started reading about the other family ( with the divorced mom and 2 sons) but that part was too brief. I think Lamb's overall idea for a plot was good but this story is too long and too convoluted. I just kept asking myself " how much more can happen to these people?"

posted by MarefitzyMD on December 11, 2008

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Page 1 of 31
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2008

    Wonderful

    This book is a testament to our past and future.<BR/>From Columbine, 9/11, Katrina, Iraq, the story relates the collateral damage done that no one acknowledges. An emotional but fulfilling read.<BR/>Don't miss it

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    Brilliant!

    There are just not enough words to describe how emotional this book was for me. I read through my tears, hoped for the best and had to set it down every so often to let it all soak in. The Moment I First Believed is now at the top of my favorites list.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2008

    Wow! Wally Lamb does not disappoint!

    Just as everyone else did, I excitedly awaited the arrival of this book. Wally Lamb had done it again...he's written a riveting story! The characters were very interesting. I loved how Caelum learned about his family history. It was all fascinating. My eyes were opened to the PTSD the Columbine survivors experience. Thank you, Mr. Lamb. Nothing else I read this year will be this well-written.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2009

    Oh Well.

    I love Wally Lamb but I thought this book was a mess. I had a hard time keeping Lolly, Lydia and Lillian straight - I mean give me a fighting chance man! I didn't like either of the main characters and found the whole thing laborious. It gives me no pleasure to say this because I think Lamb is an exceptional writer and She's Come Undone has a place of honor in my permanent library. This book just missed all the marks for me. Sorry Wally!

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2008

    Very Dissappointed

    I could not wait for Lamb's new book. I was very dissappointed--I had to trudge through it. The main characters are not likeable at all. I never really felt for either of them, they are both extremely selfish. I perked up when I started reading about the other family ( with the divorced mom and 2 sons) but that part was too brief. I think Lamb's overall idea for a plot was good but this story is too long and too convoluted. I just kept asking myself " how much more can happen to these people?"

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Worth the Time

    I do not recommend The Hour I First Believed. I found it a painful experience to finish the book. I did not develop any emotional ties to the characters and therefore could not identify with their experiences. The plot rambles on leaving the reader crying out for some type of ending. Normally a series of events in a book contain relevance because they connect to the other events in the book. Not so for this book. The inside cover compels the reader with its connection to the Columbine High School shootings, but that only serves to put one of the main characters into psychological turmoil and more plot. And the ending is disappointing and ambiguous. It's as if the author is trying too hard to make this a great book.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't let negative reviews deter you...

    I am a HUGE fan of Wally Lamb but I was a little skeptical about purchasing this book after reading several negative reviews from readers. I finally caved in and literally could not put this book down. The Hour I First Believed is amazing! The characters are real, raw, and captivating. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is not offended by true human emotion. Excellent!!!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2009

    Masterpiece

    Wally Lamb has done it again. His book is a masterpiece. It held my interest throughout and kept me wanting more. Like the maze on the Quirk farm, the book takes you through many avenues and plotlines, but you will find yourself finally at the heart of the maze. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the book.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Stick to one plot

    Like others, I raced to the bookstore to buy this book. Very disappointed! Hurricane Katrina, Iraq veteran, Columbine, Mark Twain, civil war, even the Coconut Grove fire all in one book! Too much! The basic idea was ok and would have been great if the it could have stuck to one or even possibly two of these ideas. About 250 fewer pages would have made this a better read. I had to force myself to finish it. He is too good to publish something this bad. Connie Mae Fowler did the dead baby discovery much better.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome

    I could not put this book down. It was almost overwhelming. The events just keep rolling out in such a way that takes your breath away. It isn't that they are unbelievable. It is that they are reality. These circumstances could actually happen to real people and the fact that they all happened to one couple makes it sad, but poignant. <BR/><BR/>Lamb's style of writing is amazing. No other writer can capture me from the first page like he can. He pulls me in and wrings me out to dry by the end. Same thing happened in "She's Come Undone" and "I Know This Much is True". I only wish I did not have to wait so long in between novels, but if he wrote faster he would be on that "book-mill" circuit that has created all the other mindless, same story just change the names books that are out there. <BR/><BR/>Keep writing Wally - love it!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not my favorite

    I loved Wally Lamb's other 2 books.
    This book not so much. This book was 700 + pages & should have ended at page 400. Once the book focuses on the main characters family history, i totally zoned out. I skipped pages & pages. It made no sense to me at all.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved this book--I was so dissapointed when I finished it

    The character development in this book was ingrossing--As a women who has read many novels about women and their issues, it was refreshing to read s good and emotionally provacative book about a man's life journey and struggles. The setting of the Columbine High School tragedy was so well researched that you could forgot it was a novel as the author sliped his characters seamlessly into the actual events. I was totally engrossed in the development of the main protagonist and the ending was stunning. The writting was supurb and I have already begun to read another novel by Lamb--

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    Not as good as his other books....

    I had already read, "I Know this Much is True" and "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb before reading "The Hour I First Believed". I absolutely LOVE the first two. In fact, I have read them each three times over the course of about three years (and I am not one to re-read books no matter how much I enjoy them). I also don't keep books after I've read them, but I will NEVER part with these! They are like old friends I can turn to sitting right on my book shelf. I love the characters. I love the way Mr. Lamb grabs you from the very first sentence and holds on tight right to the end. Even after reading 900+ pages, I find myself wishing there were more! That being said, I then read "The Hour I First Believed". I was not impressed. I fell in love with a few of the characters, but there were too many characters and there was too much story to really get into the book. The beginning was great, as was the end, but the entire middle was quite boring. I was disappointed in this book after reading other two. I want to stress to everyone out there that has read this book, and because of it, will not read another Wally Lamb book, that you are missing out on his other incredible books. Please don't let your opinion of this book keep you from reading the others. They are truly fantastic. I constantly search for other writers similar to Wally Lamb until I can read another one of his masterpieces!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Too many digressions in this one

    The book's main premise, the Columbine tragedy and it's aftermath, was excellent. However, the main character's family history went on ad nauseum. I literally skipped hundreds of pages that included diaries and letters from the Civil War era. I don't feel that I missed anything of any importance by skipping this drivel.

    This is a book that could definitely benefit from an abridged version.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Not What You Think!

    In his introduction, Wally Lamb says this was a very difficult novel to write. Yes, and difficult to read--since it is about the fallout for one family from the Columbine rampage. But it is a book you cannot put down, just like his "I Know This Much Is True."
    It is the story of one man's journey from insidious emotional pain and cynicism to a belief in the possibility of hope. Like Lamb's previous novels, this one takes its title from a song lyric. Some readers may be put off by the religious implications of the title; in fact, religious redemption is impossible for this narrator, considering the terrible events that have shaped his life. So it's not about religious conversion, but about something we good cynics can all find: faith in the reality of hope and the ability to enjoy the good parts of life.

    Why should we read it, if it's so painful? Because we are all like Caelum Quirk, and to survive our constant bombardment from the gleeful disseminators of bad news, we need to find out how one man arrives at peace in spite of the evil in the world.
    I wouldn't have missed reading "The Hour I First Believed" for anything.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    Okay at best

    In the past Wally Lamb has written overall better novels. The Hour I First Believed was slow to start, the plot was predictable and the characters were cliche. While the concept of the novel was intriguing I would have cut out about 200 pages of dull repetitive writing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2009

    Don't Bother

    I was ecstatic when I heard Mr. Lamb had written a new book having read his other books. The storyline was very disjointed and I felt no affinity with any of the characters. Add to that the writer's liberal sentiments and this is a book just not worth reading.

    Recommended: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, The Time Traveler, Turtle Moon and Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman, Night by Elie Weisel

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just a little too much

    Wally Lamb has a fluid writing style that's easy to follow. The characters are likeable but hard to grow attached to. The intertwining plot lines are far from realistic, but unpredictable and captivating nonetheless. It's packed full of references to real events/movies/songs etc. to help place a timeline. That may work to pull some readers in, but I thought it was a little cheesy and overdone. The story is drawn out too long, and ironically, the ending seemed to too quickly wrap up lose ends. Overall, it was okay, but not a book you'd ever want to read twice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My first Lamb experience

    This was my first read by Wally Lamb. I thought it was a very emotionally gripping book. I didn't want to put it down or for it to end.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Well worth the read

    I was anxious to read Wally Lamb's new book and was thoroughly engrossed right from the beginning. Lamb's description of the Columbine tragedy was so poignantly depicted, that I felt a deep and emotional connection to the event and its victims.

    There are many twists and turns and surprises that are totally unpredictable and serve to make the book hard to put down. Its length is a bit daunting but Lamb expertly pulls you in and, before you know it, you're halfway through the book and looking forward to the second half.

    Readers beware...this is not a "feel good" book as it explores painful and difficult issues but well, well worth the read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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