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A Walk to Remember Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews Review

In the prologue to his latest novel, Nicholas Sparks makes the rather presumptuous pledge "first you will smile, and then you will cry," but sure enough, he delivers the goods. With his calculated ability to throw your heart around like a yo-yo (try out his earlier Message in the Bottle or The Notebook if you really want to stick it to yourself), Sparks pulls us back to the perfect innocence of a first love.

In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for Jamie and learning some central lessons in life.

Like John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, Sparks maintains a delicate and rarely seen balance of humor and sentiment. While the plot may not be the most original, this boy-makes-good tearjerker will certainly reel in the fans. Look for a movie starring beautiful people or, better yet, snuggle under the covers with your tissues nearby and let your inner sap run wild. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Sure to wring yet more tears from willing readers' eyes, the latest novel by the bestselling Sparks is a forced coming-of-age story concerning a pair of unlikely young lovers. In a corny flashback device that mimics The Notebook, 57-year-old Landon Carter spirits himself back to his fateful senior year in high school in Beaufort, N.C., when he was an archetypal troublemaking teenager of the 1950s, changed forever by an unexpected first love. Jamie Sullivan, the Bible-toting minister's daughter, with her drab brown sweaters, spinster hairstyle and sincere, beatific advice, is the obvious target of high school ridicule. Despite conspiring in Jamie's derision, class president Landon, desperate for a date for the homecoming dance, finds himself asking Jamie. Afterwards, Jamie asks him to participate with her in the metaphor-laden school Christmas play (Jamie plays the angel). Landon endures the taunting of his friends and forms an uneasy friendship with Jamie, which is carefully supervised by her father. The teens visit needy orphans, give Oscar-worthy performances in the school play and share dreams watching the sunset. Landon realizes he's in love with Jamie, but, of course, she is hiding a devastating secret that could wring her from Landon's arms forever. Now tortured by his knowledge of what will be her terrible fate, he must make the ultimate decision that catapults him into adulthood. Readers may be frustrated with the invariable formula that Sparks seems to regurgitate with regularity. Although the narrator declares, "My story can't be summed up in two or three sentences; it can't be packaged into something neat and simple that people would immediately understand," this is the author's most simple, formulaic, and blatantly melodramatic package to date. Agent, Theresa Park, Sanford Greenburger Associates. Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild main selections; 20-city author tour; movie rights optioned by Denise DiNovi at Warner Bros.. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446608955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446608954
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,001 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 65 million copies in the United States alone.

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 by Warner Books. He followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010), The Best of Me (2011), and The Longest Ride (2013), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His eighteenth novel, See Me, will be published on October 13, 2015.

The Choice, Sparks's eleventh film adaptation and on which he served as a Producer, will open on February 5, 2016. Including this year's The Longest Ride, along with The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels have a cumulative worldwide gross of over three-quarters of a billion dollars.

In 2012, Sparks and his publishing agent and creative partner Theresa Park, launched Nicholas Sparks Productions, with Park as President of Production. A film adaptation of The Choice, which Lionsgate will release in February, is the first independent feature from NSP. It stars Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer, and is directed by Ross Katz, with a screenplay adaptation by Bryan Sipe. Sparks and Theresa Park partnered with Peter Safran to produce and finance the film. A film version of The Guardian is also in development, as is a film based on football hall of famer Gayle Sayers's life and memoir.

Not only a film, but also a television production company, NSP currently have an overall deal with Warner Brothers Television and is developing a new slate of projects including a musical series, several comedies, a dark family cable drama, and a Young Adult book series for ABC Family. Most recently, the CW Network announced that it is developing a series based on Sparks's bestselling 1996 novel (and the 2004 New Line sleeper hit film) The Notebook. The project is a Nicholas Sparks Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Sparks will serve as an executive producer on the project along with Theresa Park. Todd Graff is the writer and executive producer.

Sparks lives in North Carolina. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. He co-founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina in 2006. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands. Click to watch the Runner's World video with Nicholas.

The Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages was launched in 2011. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of the Sparks family, more than $15 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because the Sparks family covers all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

Find out more about the authors and his works by visiting

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

137 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Setterfield on June 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Attention readers: Invest in Kleenex! After reading this book, you will know the reason. Nicholas Sparks has such a gentle, sweet way with words. I thoroughly enjoyed A Walk to Remember, this beautiful love story that pulled me in from the start and held me in rapt attention throughout. So pull out your hankies and sit down for an enjoyable, emotionally charged read.
There was only one reason for 17-year-old high school Senior, Landon Carter, to enroll in Drama - a chance to take it easy for an hour. Plus there was only one other boy in a class full of girls, a benefit of the highest degree. Also in the class is Jamie Sullivan, the unpopular preacher's daughter who no one wants to hang around. She is also the only girl left when it comes time for the homecoming dance. Although not his first choice and the fact that he's running out of time, Landon asks Jamie to be his date. Her agreement became the crucial moment, the pedal that got the wheel to spinning, the stepping stone to one of the most beautiful and courageous love stories ever written.
What a valuable lesson this novel serves to teach. Those who may be different from us, status or otherwise, can be the most wonderful people to know. Jamie Sullivan is a character that is pure in heart and would be such a joy to spend a day with. There should be more people like her, and like Landon, a boy who took a chance on her and found a love unlike anything he'd ever known. I applaud Nicholas Sparks for writing this bittersweet and uplifting story. The time and tears spent on this novel was well worth it.
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106 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Judith E. Pavluvcik on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful, romantic, heartwarming story that will sure to leave you crying at the end. But as the author states in his preface - "you have been forewarned". I don't read many fiction books, yet when I do, I tend to stick to favorite authors and Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorites. I was hooked after reading Message In A Bottle - another tearjerker.
I am a hopeless romantic and I usually don't read romance books, but this book is superb for all of you other hopeless romantics. This book will tear at your heartstrings and will linger with you for days. I could not put this book down and read it in two days. I was immediately captivated and transported into Landon Carter's world in the late 1950's. Landon does an incredible amount of "growing up" during his seventeenth year of life. The minister's daughter, Jamie Sullivan, helps him to transform from a selfish, self-absorbed "kid", to a young adult on the verge of manhood. Landon conveys traits of tenderness, and compassion, and learns about love and faith and how to forgive, while his love blossoms for Jamie. Jamie is able to bring out all that is pure and good from Landon. It is this innocent love that is all consuming that helps to foster Landon's growth and wisdom.
Jamie may be portrayed in the book as a "goodie two-shoes", but her innocence, her unnerving faith and trying to live her life as God wanted us all to live, endears her to the reader.
The book may be predictable in parts, but that does not deter from the beauty of this story. In the conclusion, Landon realizes what love is and what it really means to love another by helping your love's dream become a reality. Landon's heart softens when he lets his true nature come through and shine - and shine it does.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Tarah Meehan on November 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book A Walk To Remember is one of the most beautiful love stories ever written. Written with a typical high school setting, Landon Carter the popular "stud" was running out of time with no date for the Homecoming dance. Jamie Sullivan, the most unpopular preacher's daughter is the only girl left who has not been asked yet to the dance. Although not his first choice, and the fact that he's running out of time, Landon asks Jamie to be his date. She then asks him to participate in the winter play with her, where he first realizes how beautiful she really is. They partake on a journey of falling in love and doing many wonderful things together. Then Jamie shares her big secret with Landon, the fact that she has been fighting cancer for two years and has stopped reacting to treatments.

A movie was made after the book was released following the same story line as the book. There are many comparisons between the book and the movie but three major ideas stand out. The main points differ but still follow the same basic idea.

The first big difference in the book is how Jamie Sullivan and Landon end up talking to one another. In the book Landon is desperate for a date to his homecoming dance and Jamie being the only available girl, he asks her to go with him. In the movie it happens very differently from the very beginning. It starts with Landon and his friends playing a prank on a classmate, but in the process the prank goes bad and the student gets hurt. When the cops show up, all of Landon's friends bail out on him. Leaving him to take the fall and get in trouble. His punishments include participating in the school play, tutoring kids on Saturdays, and helping the janitor after school.
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