Book Review – I’ll Take You There

by Wally Lamb (Ex Libris) ISBN: 978-1-786-33066-6

I fell for Wally Lamb a few pages into I Know This Much Is True. Then all over again as I waded through his meticulous construction of unforgettable Dolores Price’s tumultuous teen life in She’s Come Undone.

Maybe that is why I’ll Take You There is rather a let-down. Felix Funicello, sexagenarian film professor passionate about his weekly movie club, is a fairly endearing protagonist. He is bright and with-it, attempting wit with varying degrees of success. Somehow he remains utterly unconvincing throughout the novel.

Upon meeting the ghost of an iconic female motion picture director in his beloved renovated movie theatre, Felix’s clumsy fumbling seems stylised. The setting flits sentimentally between retro Manhattan, glitzy twenties’ Hollywood, the 1959 middle-class Funicello household and gadget-filled, trendy 2016.

History of film, feminism, family secrets, including hushed adoption and anorexia all catalysed by a ghost, seem a tight fit for a mere 250 pages.

I do wish Lamb had not attempted this at all.

Michèle Meyer

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