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Land of a Hundred Wonders Hardcover – 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: New American Library (2008)
  • ASIN: B001L834IU
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,707,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This is a good book and a fast read.
Kathryn G.
Both original and charming, Kagen created a wonderfully real feeling character.
Yolanda S. Bean
This book easily rates as my favorite of 2008.
Shana Schmadeke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Shana Schmadeke on July 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
Three years ago, Gibby McGraw was involved in a car accident that took the lives of her parents and left Gibby NQR or Not Quite Right. Now twenty year-old Gibby lives with her Grampa in the small town of Cray Ridge, Kentucky, bussing tables at his diner and reporting for Gibby's Gazette, which is available for free at several local businesses. Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen is the story of how Gibby tries to become Quite Right, and in the process discovers love, acceptance and that miracles do happen.

There is a lot going on in the little town of Cray Ridge, and in Gibby's life, for that matter. She sees this as the perfect opportunity to prove to herself and everyone else - including her mother who is restless in heaven, worrying about her daughter - that she is Quite Right. Her plan is to produce a superbly written, excellently investigated breaking news story about the murder of local politician Buster Malloy. Gibby found the body, and has pictures to prove it.

But things go awry when some shady local characters interfere with her plan. The disreputable county sheriff, Gibby's pot-smoking neighbor, and Sneaky Tim Ray Holloway, who can't seem to keep his hands of Gibby, much to her disgust. Thank goodness Gibby has plenty of good guys on her side. Her Grampa, gruff and wise, is completely devoted to making sure she is safe and well cared for. Her best friend Clever, despite being a little rough around the edges, would do anything for Gibby. And then there's Billy, not quite right in his own way after what he saw in Vietnam, but handsome, smart, and solid - and it seems his feelings for Gibby constitute a bit more than friendship.

This book easily rates as my favorite of 2008.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Ebratt on November 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Funny as hell while still heartwarming,sad and hopeful! Thank you, I needed the many laughs! A genuine story of love, hate, tolerance and acceptance. Very lovable and "hateable" characters. Lesley Kagen portrayed the true flavor of the south and the year (1973)! She truly has a gift to share! I highly recommend this book as another form of anti-depressants! Thank you!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wendy L. Deppe on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
After falling in love with Lesley Kagen's novel Whistling in the Dark, I was eagerly anticipating this one. I fully expected it to be as charming, funny, and poignant as her first. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and I had very high hopes.

Unfortunately I was sadly disappointed with this novel. It was nowhere near as clever as her first, and the plot seemed awfully contrived and rather unrealistic to me. There were funny parts, but most of it was just pitiable. The author did her best to give a realistic-sounding southern Kentucky dialogue, but the pervasive use of "ya" in place of "you" throughout the book just got on my nerves.

As much as I wanted to like protagonist Gibby, I just simply couldn't connect with her. Her strange behaviors and thoughts just made no sense to me, and I found myself re-reading passages just trying to figure out what she was talking about.

I really can't recommend this book. And I am really and truly sorry to say that, since I was so looking forward to it. I will continue to read Ms. Kagen's works and hope that they return to the glory of her first!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yolanda S. Bean VINE VOICE on February 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
After finishing - and being super impressed by - Kagen's debut novel, Whistling In the Dark, I anticipated the release of this, her second book with a lot of anticipation. And it lived up to it! I really enjoyed reading it - it's a lovely novel and absolutely filled with wonders - just as the title promised. Well-written, combined with Kagen's wonderful sense of humour and excellent plotting, Kagel truly succeeded here. The narrator, however, truly stole the show.Both original and charming, Kagen created a wonderfully real feeling character. She is such a talented writer, and I cannot wait to see what topic she tackles next! I am really looking forward to reading more of her work, as this was such an absolute joy to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy L on January 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Lesley Kagen, who has recently emerged on the literary scene, has once again drawn a vivid array of characters who immediately engage her audience with a sense of both familiarity and wonder. Like Sally, the main character from Ms. Kagen's first novel, Whistling in the Dark, Gibby, the main character from her second novel, the Land of a Hundred Wonders, is able to quickly draw the reader into her world - in this case, her "NQR" world - where she is seen as "not quite right." This is due to a neurological injury sustained in a horrific automobile accident that claimed the lives of her parents three years earlier when she was just seventeeen. Gibby's injuries left her with an often child-like view of the world and those who inhabit it, yet she will constantly amaze you with her novel insights, her wit, her wisdom, and her endless compassion. Ms. Kagen's ability to capture not only the setting, which in this case is rural Kentucky, but also the depth and breadth of her "cast of characters" is a gift to behold. Her use of jargon, colloquialisms, and poetic, descriptive words and phrases almost make you want to read out loud just to make sure you don't miss any of the rich flavor she is so good at conveying in her writing. Ms. Kagen is able to deftly combine sentimentality, suspense, stereotypes, and the element of surprise into one carefully crafted novel. I encourage you to venture into the Land of a Hundred Wonders - you won't be disappointed.
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More About the Author

Lesley Kagen is an actress, voice-over talent, former restaurateur, sought-after speaker, and award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of five previous novels. Her work has been translated into seven languages. A mother of two and grandmother of two, she lives in a hundred-year-old farm house in a small town in Wisconsin. Visit with her on Facebook and at her web site www.lesleykagen.com

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