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Extended Audio Sample Wishin’ and Hopin’, by Wally Lamb Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,508 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wally Lamb Narrator: Wally Lam Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Back in the beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin’ and Hopin’ barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.

A vivid slice of 1960s life, Wishin’ and Hopin’ is a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we’ve been—and how far we’ve come.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A celebration of life—flawed, goofy, wonderful life…Felix makes a hilarious guide through a story that whirs right along.” 

    Washington Post 

  • “In this short comic novel, the delights of a 1960s Connecticut Christmas come cutely wrapped in period cheer…A dose of well-crafted mayhem and tomfoolery.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Lamb’s rich panoply of details…render this novel first-rate escapism just begging for a comforter and a cup of tea.”  

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “A charmingly nostalgic tale for the holidays…Sweet and old-fashioned, Lamb’s Christmas yarn will appeal to readers wistful for more-innocent days.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the December 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Ashley | 2/17/2014

    " Ugh, Wally Lamb! I am so disappointed in you. You have been so esteemed in my mind with masterpieces such as "She's Come Undone" and "I know this much is true." And then you publish two books in less than a year, one about 9/11 and one with a Christmas-y theme. Although I can appreciate the fact that the writing skills are superior and the ability to delve into the human psyche is incredible, this books was a disappointment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jes Singer | 2/6/2014

    " Solid 3.5 stars - great story. Nostalgia, humor, coming of age in the 60s - what's not to love. Nothing spectacular or too original, but the middle school Catholic school dynamics were delightful - particularly the Russian new girl. I wasn't a Wally Lamb fan but I really liked this book - touching good fun, humor, heartwarming, nice easy holiday read with a bit more depth and better writing than most of that genre other than Dickens. For 2.99 on Kindle a real steal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Beth Davis | 1/31/2014

    " This is definitely Wally Lamb - light, not at all like his other novels. And personally I like his other writing much more. The story was slightly amusing -- reminiscent of Gene Shepherd's Christmas Story. If you you like that, you'll probably like Wishin' and Hopin' more than I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by April | 1/26/2014

    " Fast and fun Christmas read. "

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