Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October 11, 2014

Book Review: The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb

This article by Vol-E was originally published elsewhere. ~
April of 2009 marked the 10th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School.  Wally Lamb's novel, The Hour I First Believed, is a fictional account of one woman who was on campus during the shootings, and survived.  The story is told from the point of view of her husband.
If the story had been told with the wife, Maureen, as the narrator, I suspect the novel would have been much shorter and more manageable.  As it is, Caelum Quirk, Maureen's husband, has a story of his own to tell.  Correction:  He has roughly a dozen stories -- everything from early marital failures, Katrina refugees, Mark Twain and his dinner guest Nicola Tesla, the Cocoanut Grove fire, post-traumatic stress disorder, women's prisons, the Miss Rheingold contest, illegitimate babies, and abused teens, to addiction, and beyond.
Many of the elements that make this novel a success are the same ones that cripple it.  Caelum's story is told in …