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The Hour I First Believed
The Hour I First Believed
Author: Wally Lamb
When high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, while Caelum is away, Maureen finds herself in the library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed. Miraculously, she survives, but at a cost: she is unable t...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780060988432
ISBN-10: 0060988436
Publication Date: 11/1/2009
Pages: 768
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 185

3.6 stars, based on 185 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

kermitreads avatar reviewed The Hour I First Believed on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
I know Mr. Lamb has been sitting on a big pile of cash for the last ten years, but he should have written the four books he apparently started instead of shoveling them all into this one. I wanted to beat myself with this book half-way through in the hopes my husband would take it away and throw it in the trash. This was a complete disappointment. Lucky for you all you are getting it free rather than to waste your hard earned money on this train wreck of a book.
reviewed The Hour I First Believed on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
The critic reviews of this book were less than outstanding. I honestly don't understand why. Yes, this book covers several stories at the same time, and yes, parts of it seem to blast out unexpectedly. But isn't that how the real world works? Things you never expect come flying at you and the average person juggles several different concerns at a time. You have to pay attention to this book, it isn't a fluffy filler like a grocery store paperback romance. But Wally Lamb has always gone off on tangents, so this shouldn't surprise anyone. Worth the energy it takes to appreciate a good book.
reviewed The Hour I First Believed on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I love Wally Lamb books, and this was no exception. It is over 700 pages, but keeps your interest all the way through. There is the story of the couple whose lives are uprooted by the wife's being involved in the Columbine massacre and her PTSD, (the "main" story), the one about the husband's family life and illustrious heritage as the descendent of a crusader for women's rights and prison reform, the one about Velvet, another victim of Columbine,(but messed up before that), who comes to heal through her association with Maureen and Caelum, the protagonists in the "main" story. Then there is the story of family secrets and illegitimate birth, alcoholism and "love addiction", mores of the 19th century, and on and on. It is like life, ongoing and complex, with multiple influences intertwined and impinging on each other. Read it!
skywaywaver avatar reviewed The Hour I First Believed on + 148 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
If you didn't like Lamb's second novel and loved his first (She's Come Undone), give him another chance with this one. It is a long read, but well worth it. No, it isn't quite the greatness that Undone was, but it gets close.
Lamb definitely does travel some historical ground in this one, from the Civil War, abolition, suffrage to Columbine, the Iraq war and many other current events. As I said, don't think this is a speedy read that you will zip through. I definitely found it it a bit weightier than Undone.
Of course, now I am waiting for his next book. :)
TarynC avatar reviewed The Hour I First Believed on + 213 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I love the way Wally Lamb writes - he is amazing. This book was another well written book with great character development. However, it should have been broken into 2 separate books - he had some amazing tales to tell but it was way too much for one book. The Columbine shooting and the after effects could have made one really great book and the other story about the family history could have made another really interesting book. I was tempted to give up the story midway because it just didnt seem to know where it was going and I was getting frustrated, however, a friend told me to persevere and I am glad I did. So, if you are in the mood for a very a very long story with many subplots, twists and turns then you will love it. Also, if you have read his book about women in prison,Couldn't keep it to myself, you will find that that was a big influence on this book.
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reviewed The Hour I First Believed on
Though not as compelling as his other two books, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Hour I First Believed." Using fictional characters immersed in a very real tragedy was interesting and sucked me into their lives. There were little twists in the plot that I didn't see coming, which I love, and kept me reading far too late into the night. It was nearly a relief to be done with the book, so I could return to my normal sleep schedule! Wally Lamb is an incredible author not to be missed.


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