Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story

Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story

3.8 223
by Wally Lamb
     
 

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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

Overview

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!

Editorial Reviews

Kristi Lanier
Narrator Felix Funicello calls Wishin' and Hopin' his "act of contrition" for schoolboy transgressions. But in the hands of Wally Lamb, what emerges isn't an apology but a celebration of life—flawed, goofy, wonderful life…Felix makes a hilarious guide through a story that whirs right along.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal
In this charming departure for Lamb (The Hour I First Believed), feisty fifth grader Felix Funicello (yes, distant cousin to Annette) anticipates Christmas. It's 1964 in blue-collar Connecticut, and Felix worries that he's caused Sister Dymphna's mental breakdown. When the school's Christmas pageant rolls around, the school brownnoser and the new Russian girl duke it out over who gets to play Mary. Full of pop-culture references of the day (the Beatles, for example, as well as the Queen Mouseketeer), this will have broad appeal.
Kirkus Reviews
Lightweight holiday fare in the entirely predictable subgenre of What Else Can Go Wrong at the Christmas Pageant?Lamb (The Hour I First Believed, 2008, etc.) takes half the novel just to get around to Yuletide. Up until that time, he lays sometimes laborious, sometimes lighthearted groundwork at the Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School of New London, Conn., in the fall of 1964. It seems that Sister Dymphna has had a serious emotional meltdown in front of her class, necessitating the arrival of fearsome but charismatic Madame Marguerite Frechette, a Quebecoise whose gifts include directing plays-or in this case a set of tableaux vivants for the school's Christmas production. Fifth-grader Felix Funicello is both narrator and imp of the perverse. And yes, his family is related to the renowned Annette Funicello, whose posters adorn the walls at the bus-depot lunch counter Felix's father runs. (At one point the boy has to confess to a priest that he French-kissed the sexy poster of Annette in her How to Stuff a Wild Bikini phase.) Bad luck stalks Felix like an obstinate shadow, especially as three big events are beginning to intersect in his life: the aforementioned Christmas program, his mother's appearance as a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off (her recipe: Shepherd's Pie Italiano) and Felix's TV debut on The Ranger Andy Show. Readers obviously collude in the deal, for they know that nothing good will happen on any of these fronts. Sure enough, the pageant performers embarrass themselves and their parents with inappropriate off-the-cuff witticisms; Ma gets the trots during her appearance on Art Linkletter's show (the shepherd's pie burns); and Felix tells Ranger Andy an off-color joke that ofcourse is carried live on local networks. Our narrator has two foils here: the egregiously obnoxious Rosalie Twerski (aka "Turdski"), who desperately wants the part of Mary in the pageant, and the exotic Zhenya Kabakova, newly arrived from Russia and suspected (by Rosalie) of being a communist. Flimsy and barely entertaining.
Body and Soul
“Wishin’ and Hopin’ from Wally Lamb reminds us of what innocence was like.”
USA Today
“Lamb...proves he can be short, sweet and funny”
Columbus Dispatch
“Humorous and heartwarming…clever and well-written…A fun trip down memory lane from a skilled writer. The stocking stuffer might just become a cherished possession.”
Hartford Books Examiner
“Both heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny…a cast of characters that are both uproarious and unforgettable…a poignant reminder that family and friends are the greatest gift of all.”
St. Petersburg Times
“Lamb gets Felix’s voice just right, and he does a spot-on job of evoking the special joys and trials of parochial school in the ‘60’s”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Lamb’s rich panoply of details...render this novel first-rate escapism just begging for a comforter and a cup of tea.”
Miami Herald
“Lamb’s vividly detailed portrait of the 1960’s and the inner workings of a Catholic schoolboy’s mind puts his first Christmas book on par with his previous three novels.”
Houston Chronicle
“Lamb is a very good writer, and Wishin’ and Hopin’ is a charming read with a genuinely funny ending.”
Washington Post
“In the hands of Wally Lamb, what emerges isn’t an apology but a celebration of life...Felix makes a hilarious guide through a story that whirs right along.”
Kansas City Star
“Warmly, sweetly retro”
BookPage
We might as well call Wally Lamb the man with the golden pen...[Wishin’ and Hopin’] will leave you laughing and thinking nostalgically about your own school days and holidays past”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061968167
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/10/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
80,347
File size:
489 KB

Meet the Author

Wally Lamb is the author of four previous novels, including the New York Times and national bestseller The Hour I First Believed and Wishin' and Hopin', a bestselling novella. His first two works of fiction, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both number-one New York Times bestsellers and Oprah's Book Club selections. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Willimantic, Connecticut
Date of Birth:
October 17, 1950
Place of Birth:
Norwich, Connecticut
Education:
B.A. in Education, University of Connecticut, 1972; M.A. in Education, 1977; M.F.A. in Writing, Vermont College, 1984

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