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Eleanor [Kindle Edition]

Jason Gurley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.95
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $11.96 (67%)

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Book Description

"Haunting... if you liked The Ocean at the End of the Lane, you'll love Eleanor."
-Peter Cawdron, author of Feedback

"Ambitious, challenging... as original as A Wrinkle in Time."
-Michael Bunker, author of Pennsylvania

Time is a river.

1985. The death of Eleanor's twin sister tears her family apart. Her father blames her mother for the accident. When Eleanor's mother looks at her, she sees only the daughter she lost. Their wounded family crumbles under the weight of their shared grief.

1993. Eleanor is fourteen years old when it happens for the first time... when she walks through an ordinary door at school and finds herself in another world. It happens again and again, but it's only a curiosity until that day at the cliffs. The day when Eleanor dives... and something rips her out of time itself.

And on the other side, someone is waiting for her.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jason Gurley will be a household name one day."
-Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool

"Ambitious, challenging... as original as A Wrinkle in Time."
-Michael Bunker, author of Pennsylvania

"Haunting... if you liked The Ocean at the End of the Lane, you'll love Eleanor."
-Peter Cawdron, author of Feedback

"Gurley's masterful prose is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman... enchanting, magical and powerful."
-Ernie Lindsey, USA Today bestselling author of Sara's Game

"Jason Gurley is the kind of storyteller that makes you excited to sit down and spend a day reading."
-Ted Kosmatka, author of Prophet of Bones

Product Details

  • File Size: 4888 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1499570732
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K8IAZ68
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,647 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A coming of age story for parents June 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
There is a nasty little secret that each parent has, but thinks is theirs alone. The world wants us to believe that normal people never feel ambivalent about parenthood. That mixture of regret and joy, of resentment and overwhelming love. And above all the certainty that no matter how hard you try, you'll never be good enough. Or the terror that no amount of love will be able to cover your deficiencies. We don't talk about it. But Eleanor does.

Ostensibly, it's the story of a young girl who is overcoming grief. On the surface, Eleanor goes on a quest to heal her family. But underneath, it’s also a story about parental failure and growth. Eleanor is both the heroine and the grail. Through her parents and grandparents the story explores, in a blunt, honest way, the claustrophobia of marriage and parenting and just how powerful the idea of escaping from them can truly be. We sometimes fear we are giving up everything, even our very identities to remain a parent or a spouse. We are allowed to experience the imagined relief of leaving it all behind. Whether through divorce, death, addiction, or denial, the characters become unbound from each other, free.

But a child isn’t a house or a debt or a broken down car. And there are hidden prices to pay for abandoning Eleanor. The themes of inadequacy and abandonment run through the second half of the novel. As the loving actions of Eleanor work on those around her, freedom turns to regret, and then to guilt and resentment, then at last, into empathy and forgiveness.

The overarching message seems to be that we fail. Everyday. As parents, as spouses, as people. Sometimes we get pretty close to good enough. And other times we fail spectacularly.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Achievement May 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Tragedy has a profound effect on any family. A decision made by a family member in the past reverberates throughout time, reshaping possibilities, closing doors that should have been left open and opening ones that should have never even existed. A young girl, struggling with these consequences, finds herself torn from reality by strange forces that will affect her life forever.

A mesmerising mix of surreal fantasy, science fiction and beautifully written drama, Eleanor is one of those rare moments in a reader's lifetime when they start to remember why they love reading so much. A story that grips from the first chapter and never lets go. Exquisitely-crafted characters and breathtaking imagery fuse effortlessly with an ambitious and original plot, bringing to life a story so captivating it refuses to be put down.

While dealing with darker themes such as suicide and addiction, Gurley's greatest strengh as a writer is the empathy he shares with his characters, a decidedly human touch, neither glamourising their decisions or preaching against them but allowing the characters and their actions to speak for themselves. Conventions of genre are refreshingly swept aside. Many will try to tie it down, to quantify it, to classify it, but this book defiantly refuses to be pigeonholed into some obscure sub-genre.

Fans of Jason Gurley's other work will be pleasantly surprised. This is Jason as you've never seen him before. As brilliant as his other work is, this is his most confident and accomplished book yet, and being the culmination of almost ten years work it rightfully demands an audience.

Bravo.
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56 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, Visionary, and Heart Touching May 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Only rarely since I first read A WRINKLE IN TIME by (Madeleine L'Engle) as a boy have I read a fiction work as ambitious and challenging as this one. By "challenging" I'm not really referring that term to the reader. As a reader, I just enjoyed the ride and wondered at the complexity and beauty of it. It is great art. By challenging I mean that the author has obviously challenged himself to work outside of the usual bounds, strictures, or tropes of genre (not to mention time, reality, and space). It's almost as if he didn't care what the talking heads or publishing world thought about the book. It's as if he wrote it from his own heart and head, without regard to where it might fit in. That's one of the reasons readers are going to love Eleanor. At it's core Eleanor is just a fantastic story, told with passion by a man who NEEDED to tell it. It becomes much more than that when you realize that the allegorical or metaphorical (or perhaps theological and metaphysical) "laws" being busted in the story are mirrored in the genres and trite expectations being busted outside the story. I offer this book of evidence as exhibit #1 in the case that proves that agents and mainstream publishers are still not adept or flexible enough to seek out and find the gold until after authors and readers have already been making earrings and rings out of it. Perhaps soon Eleanor will be another shining example of a fantastic Indie snapped up by a big publishing house, but for now this book is all ours and readers are the biggest winners. I loved this book. I think you will too.

Michael Bunker
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The perfect country-western novel August 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel certainly wasn't my cup of tea. On the other hand, it's one of the best-written novels I've read recently.

Pro: Mr. Gurley is a very good writer and I thoroughly enjoyed his prose style. I was never tempted to put this book aside, even though the plot never captured me. I may try one of Gurley's other books to see if 'Eleanor' was an outlier. His dialog writing is better than average and his characters are pretty well drawn.

I only wish he'd written a story I'd been interested in, which leads me to...

Con: The never-ending gloomy, rainy atmosphere plus the focus on lives and loves lost reminded me of the final verse of David Allen Coe's 'Perfect Country-Western Song':

Well, I was drunk the day my mom got outta prison.
And I went to pick her up in the rain.
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned old train.

Now, spread that over a couple of hundred pages and you'd have something similar to 'Eleanor', though not as well executed as 'Eleanor' was.

James Taylor once introduced 'She Thinks I Still Care' this way: "Here's a song George Jones did. He did it so good it makes you weep. It makes your dog weep to hear this song. It makes your roof leak to hear this song."

And that's 'Eleanor' in a nutshell.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well written, engaging story
Man, this guy can write. I don't say that often. The last time was reading Wally Lamb's "I know this much is true. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Kevin C
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Haunting...
Beautiful & haunting at the same time, Eleanor is a story that will make you turn the pages nonstop. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Spiced Latte
3.0 out of 5 stars A different view.
Had to finish it once I stared but had a hard time with the theory behind the story........
Published 2 days ago by jkatz
5.0 out of 5 stars Off the beaten path
Such a deeply original and moving story. The character development is exceptional. My highest recommendation. Can hardly wait to read other books
Published 3 days ago by Edward J. Metzler
5.0 out of 5 stars So different and so good.
I enjoyed this book very much. I've read other books by Mr. Gurley and have never been disappointed. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Blizzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicately crafted and aggressively memorable
For a story that is rife with sadness -- oozing and gasping and heavy with sadness -- Eleanor is a gorgeous piece of writing. Read more
Published 4 days ago by S. L. Coyne
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and beautifully written
Absolutely captivating! I can best describe this as a coming-of-age story with Science Fiction themes. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Selina M
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful language, but...
Beautiful language, but... The story drags on, and on, and on... And no, there is nothing similar between this book and Neil Gaiman's The ocean at the end of the lane! Read more
Published 6 days ago by Reading Donkey (Bulgaria)
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid imagery
Poetic prose and vivid imagery make this a great read about the struggles of a family dealing with a horrible tragedy. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Diana Vincent
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book!
This is the best book I've read all year! I highly recommend it. I loved the way disturbing subjects were treated, through flashbacks, dream worlds, and real world events. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Angela Avery
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More About the Author

Jason Gurley is the bestselling author of Eleanor, Greatfall, and The Man Who Ended the World, among other books and short stories. His work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Synchronic. He lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.

Readers who subscribe to Jason's newsletter get advance copies of his books before they're published: http://jasongurley.com/free-books/

More about Jason:
Web: http://jasongurley.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/authorjasongurley
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jgurley
Newsletter: http://jasongurley.com/free-books

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