Amazingly, from this mishmash of materials (including a fair dose of liberal platitudes), Lamb manages to spin a family yarn compelling enough so that you may not notice that the life-on-film conceit drops away about 100 pages short of the end ... his affection for these characters is so palpable, his intentions so palpably good, that it’s hard not to be touched by this sweet-natured novel.
In Wally Lamb's I'll Take You There, time travel feels more like a creaky gimmick than a well-oiled plot device ... By touching the screen, Felix can enter the film and relive his youth. That's all good, but it's a device the novel doesn't need. Lamb provides Felix and his family with a gripping story that effortlessly carries the novel without the need for a time travel contraption.
I’ll Take You There has a hokey plot and a setup that should carry a warning label: Baby boomer nostalgia alert ... this book is overstuffed with clichéd characters who can’t compare with the heroine of his stunning first novel ... not one of Lamb’s more memorable journeys.