Lamb, Wally "I'll Take You There" - 2016
If you have followed my blog during the years, you will have learned that I really love Wally Lamb. His stories are always different and always interesting.
Well, this one is certainly different. But it really lacks the quality of his former novels. I liked the idea, a guy can see his life in a movie, every single scene if he likes, but I was distracted by all the "name-dropping", movies I had never heard of, probably because I didn't grow up in the same country as the author, not all the famous movies he mentioned made it abroad, but I doubt the younger US generation has seen all those movies that are mentioned or knows of all the actors he praises. There are far too many in the book, I don't like to read lists and lists of names and titles, especially if they don't mean anything to me.
You can still tell that the author is a great one, his language is fantastic but overall, this book is too short, it lacks the in-depth description of the characters, I missed getting to know them, or even the narrator through those films. It didn't happen.
Even though this is certainly my least favourite book by Wally Lamb, I will still give him the chance the next time he publishes a book. Compared to many others, this is a good novel.
From the back cover:
"Behind every good man is a great woman - or three
Every Monday evening, Felix Funicello sets up a new film at an old vaudeville theatre for his weekly movie club. But one night, as this sixty-year-old scholar prepares the projectionist booth, he is confronted by an unanticipated guest: the ghost of Lois Weber.
Once a trailblazing motion picture director from Hollywood’s silent film era, Lois invites Felix to sit back and watch a new feature on the big screen – scenes from Felix’s life.
Though unnerved by these ethereal apparitions, Felix comes to look forward to his encounters with Lois. And as these magical movies play before him, he begins to reflect on the trio of unforgettable women who have profoundly impacted his life: his troublesome yet loving sister; his Generation Y daughter; and Verna, a fiery would-be beauty queen from the 1950s.
An evocative and kaleidoscopic convergence of Hollywood, feminism and family secrets, I’ll Take You There is a radiant homage to a single life and to the resiliency, strength and power of women."