The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

My first ‘read’ of the New Year, The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.

Wally Lamb

It was very random that I picked this one up…I had just finished Guy Vanderhaeghe’s collection of short stories, Man Descending.  Hard covered and 750+ pages, this one was tricky to read in bed (hard to hold up, if you know what I mean?), but Wally Lamb’s writing always strikes a chord with me.  I think that his writing is moving because he successfully cracks the psyche of his characters so that in some regards we feel his characters reflecting something back to us about ourselves.  When I read She’s Come Undone several years ago, I really wondered how a male writer could find his way inside a woman’s mind as he did.

It was quite by accident that I started reading a book that begins with a fictional school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, only weeks after the real shootings of Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, Connecticut…shootings that again, appalled citizens everywhere.  As a result of this,  the unfolding of the writer’s initial incident impacted me greatly and in a parallel fashion, impacted Lamb’s characters.  Gritty and raw, the exploration of relationship, family, family secrets and fortitude all struck a chord with me.

While Lamb does not spill it out for us in any literal fashion, we feel that Caelum is coming to a deeper and more acute experience of faith as he encounters and journeys the stream of his own life story.

A complex web is woven with the threads of characters’ lives in this powerful story.  I have no hesitation recommending this book to my readers.

A bit of a full interview that you can enjoy at  In fact, this is a great list of interviews with authors.  Scroll to the bottom of the resource for a menu of the complete list.  You will find Wally Lamb there.

David Hockney on Lucian Freud and Scale: CBC Interview Captured While Driving

Another wonderful interview on CBC radio today, David Hockney speaking of his relationship and his experience of being subject for Lucian Freud, as well as interesting views on art, life and most interesting to me today, the concept of scale and painting to scale.

David Hockney Interview

For years, Lucian Freud has been one of my top three portrait artists, the others being Alice Neel and Attila Richard Lukacs. There is something stunning about the rich combination of colours used within the flesh tones and the soulful ‘presence’ of these artists’ figurative works.

While I only caught the final twenty minutes of the interview, I’m attempting to post the entire interview from CBC with Eleanor Wachtel here, so that we might enjoy listening to it, sort of, together.

Freud’s nude subjects may be repulsive, surprising or uncomfortable for some, but one only needs work at figure drawing consistently for four years in life drawing classes to understand the nature of that activity and to be wowwed by such results as these.

I’m including a wee bit of background here.