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15618139,233 (3.48)36
"Lamb" traces the self-discovery of David Lamb, a narcissistic middle-aged man with a tendency toward dishonesty, in the weeks following the disintegration of his marriage and the death of his father. Hoping to regain some faith in his own goodness, he turns his attention to Tommie, an awkward and unpopular eleven-year-old girl. Lamb is convinced that he can help her avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness and even comes to believe that his devotion to Tommie is in her best interest. But when he decides to abduct a willing Tommie for a road trip from Chicago to the Rockies, planning to initiate her to the beauty of the mountain wilderness, they are both shaken in ways neither of them expects"--Jacket.… (more)
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I first saw the film last year and found it to be one of the more unusual films I had ever seen. No famous actors, clearly a small quiet indie film. I liked it but it had my head and heart whirling around.

Now I've just finished the book today and my emotions and thoughts are all over the place, as the book is a bit more graphic than the film. I have feelings of revulsion, pity, disgust, shame, sadness, empathy, anger, etc all rolled up in one.

David is clearly a broken and troubled person who I do not believe for a second is evil or intended harm, but his sense of inappropriateness and behavior while not purely pedophilic, is clearly circling that drain, and the damage done to both him and Tommie remains to be seen.

A book that will anger you, but if you are tender hearted and an empath, will pull those strings as well. ( )
  REINADECOPIAYPEGA | Jan 11, 2018 |
This is a story of 54 year old David Lamb and his decision to take a troubled 11 year old girl, Tommie to a cabin in the mountains to show her what he thinks is a better, simpler life.

Reading this book, the narrator brings the reader so close to David Lamb and Tommie that you feel intimately connected to these characters as the story goes on because of this I really do feel it was David Lamb telling the story, perhaps as a way to justify his actions post-event. Before I read the book, the basic story sounded quite wrong and disturbing but as I read through the book, David’s motives seemed very sincere but ill-advised to me; he just wants to show a troubled Tommie a bit of happiness he feels she is missing out on at her city home. He is a very manipulative character, it feels like he also manipulates the reader as well as Tommie and everybody else in the book. I felt myself feeling as Tommie did, trusting this stranger one minute and then feeling not so sure the next.

I was left confused when I finished this book, there were so many unanswered questions for me. Was there a sexual motive in David taking Tommie? There was nothing implicitly implied from the story, maybe a few bits where it got a bit intimate but I felt it was always in a fatherly way. Of course the creepy thing about that is Tommie is not his daughter, and he took her without anybody knowing so it is inappropriate behaviour but it doesn’t feel that way from the way the story is told. The whole book feels like it explores a very grey area and it really makes you think differently from the black and white mind set you come with as you start to read this book.

I really thought this was a great book, I like stories that challenge the thoughts and perceptions of the reader, a book that makes you question yourself when you have finished reading it. It wasn’t too long either or bogged down with too much description, I finished it in a day.
( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |
This is the chilling account of a calculated kidnapping of a vulnerable child by a pedophile who manages to convince himself that their "relationship" benefits the 11-year old girl. I am horrified that one reviewer described it as "a love story" if one thinks outside the box. Equally disturbing is the consideration that it might be a consensual situation. No child is able to make a determination of that magnitude, and the kidnapper is well aware of his culpability during their trip across the Midwest. A sequel to this book would be interesting because Tommie's life is inevitably affected and David Lamb may well be inclined to turn his attention to kidnapping another child. ( )
  pdebolt | Sep 22, 2014 |
I had no idea what to expect from this book going in. It’s a thriller, but all emotional drama and definitely not action-based.

Middle-aged David Lamb ‘befriends’ an eleven-year-old girl and takes her on a camping trip without the consent or even knowledge or her parents.

The author builds suspense unrelentingly: is the inevitable truly inevitable? You be the judge of damage done.

Read this if: you enjoy a tightly drawn psychological drama that doesn’t involve espionage. 3½ stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jul 11, 2014 |
Lamb
by Bonnie Nadzam
Published September 13, 2011 by Other Press

WHO: David Lamb, a deceitful, delusional, aging and divorced man who is currently in a relationship with a much younger co-worker…
WHAT: seduces an eleven-year old child off of a parking lot…
WHERE: in Chicago and takes her to a ramshackle cabin in Colorado…
WHEN: and over the course of twenty days…
WHY: tries to instil the idea of ultimate truth and beauty and love…
HOW: by showing her a world far different from where she came from and providing her with memories that will carry her through her life.

+ As I was completing the WHO and HOW entries above, I realized that Bonnie Nazdam has created an interesting construct of paradoxes that creates an underlying tension of unease beyond the obvious one derived from WHAT David Lamb is doing.
- Though not graphically explicit, one senses the sexual undertones and it’s quite stomach churning, especially if you are a parent. Let’s make no mistake about this, David Lamb is a pedophile and there is no way to feel about him other than revulsion. It is no special writing skill on the author’s part to invoke this sentiment as there is no other way to feel about a pedophile. The usage of pedophiles (as well as child killers, child abusers, etc) are cheap and lazy shots by writers because it limits the reader’s response. Nothing that Nadzam has done here tempers that and you really have to wonder why she even tried.

OTHER: I purchased a print copy of Lamb (by Bonnie Nadzam.) I apologize, but I do not remember who I purchased it from! I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Aug 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I barely took a breath as I raced through this taut, compulsively readable book. “We’ll say this all began just outside of Chicago,” it starts, and from the off the tone is ambiguous and conspiratorial. Trust, though often invoked, is absent from this story... Lamb won prizes when it was published in America last year and it’s easy to see why. It’s a bold book and the unfolding catastrophe as its heart is as morbidly compelling as a car crash. More than half of this lean, pacy tale is told in dialogue, lending it the immediacy of a film script. Nadzam only gives us Lamb’s point of view and, with it, the unsettling feeling of being complicit in his actions....
 
Of late, intimate encounters between mature men and under-age girls have been much in the news. This debut novel by a young US author flirts with the possibility that such relationships might not always have dire consequences. It's a contentious line to take, but consider Tommie and David Lamb. Tommie is 11 years old, Lamb 54........Nadzam is harking back to the canonical work of this incendiary genre, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. If David Lamb and Nabokov's anti-hero Humbert Humbert are both over-blessed with verbal felicity, there are diverting points of difference. Humbert is a wretch, a sophisticated satyr aware of the black comedy of his dark compulsion, while Lamb is upright and innocent, laid low by his debilitating neediness. It would be unreasonable to expect Nadzam to match Nabokov's shimmering brilliance, but even so this is fiction of striking distinction.
 
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For Carrie, Chrissie, Mom, and Dad
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We'll say this all began just outside of Chicago, in late summer on a residential street dead-ending in a wall.
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"Lamb" traces the self-discovery of David Lamb, a narcissistic middle-aged man with a tendency toward dishonesty, in the weeks following the disintegration of his marriage and the death of his father. Hoping to regain some faith in his own goodness, he turns his attention to Tommie, an awkward and unpopular eleven-year-old girl. Lamb is convinced that he can help her avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness and even comes to believe that his devotion to Tommie is in her best interest. But when he decides to abduct a willing Tommie for a road trip from Chicago to the Rockies, planning to initiate her to the beauty of the mountain wilderness, they are both shaken in ways neither of them expects"--Jacket.

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Lamb traces the self-discovery of David Lamb, a narcissistic middle aged man with a tendency toward dishonesty, in the weeks following the disintegration of his marriage and the death of his father. Hoping to regain some faith in his own goodness, he turns his attention to Tommie, an awkward and unpopular eleven-year-old girl. Lamb is convinced that he can help her avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness, and even comes to believe that his devotion to Tommie is in her best interest. But when Lamb decides to abduct a willing Tommie for a road trip from Chicago to the Rockies, planning to initiate her into the beauty of the mountain wilderness, they are both shaken in ways neither of them expects.
Lamb is a masterful exploration of the dynamics of love and dependency that challenges the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood, confronts preconceived notions about conventional morality, and exposes mankind’s eroded relationship with nature.
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