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Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews


“Exceptionally evocative writing and [an] engaging story . . . this is a book that can be read more than once. Inspirational and heart-warming.” (Library Journal )

“Lyrical. . . . rivetingly portrayed . . . [a] touching chronicle.” (Kirkus Reviews )

“Heartwarming, surprisingly suspenseful. . . . Part adventure story, part memoir, but most important, a love story . . . [an] entertaining and joyous book.” (Publishers Weekly )

“How can you go wrong with a cute little dog who braved the White Mountains’ highest peaks time and again…over the ice, snow and sometimes deadly uncertainty of wild winter altitude in New Hampshire? Far more than just a typical man–and–his–dog account…Ryan and Atticus have delivered on all counts.” (Manchester Union Leader )

“Need your faith in humanity restored? Read this book. It’s lovely to learn about our higher selves from an unlikely source like Atticus M. Finch.” (The Day (Connecticut) )

“Not your standard mountain adventure book. . . . Reading Following Atticus can feel like taking a long walk, or a series of walks, with a great storyteller. Why ‘follow Atticus?’ Because, [Ryan says], ‘Dogs, like mountains, bring you back to yourself.’” (AMC Outdoors )

#2 New England Bestseller List (NEIBA )

“Ryan . . . is an engaging storyteller whose humorous, self-deprecating descriptions evoke Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering American on the Appalachian Trail and John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley: In Search of America.” (Appalachia )

#5 Boston Globe bestseller (Boston Globe ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

A middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaper editor Tom Ryan and a little dog, Atticus M. Finch, are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter. Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. . . .

Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation: how a five-pound puppy pierced the heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman, opening his eyes to the world’s beauty and its possibilities. An unforgettable saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family, it’s an inspiring tale of finding love and discovering your true self.


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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 8 pages
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062097849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062097842
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,564 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Ryan is the founder of the Newburyport Massachusetts newspaper The Undertoad and served as its publisher and editor for over a decade. In 2007 he sold the newspaper and moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with his dog, Atticus M. Finch. Over the last five years, Tom and Atticus have climbed more than 450 4,000-foot peaks.

After raising thousands of dollars for Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, the pair was inducted into the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Hall of Fame as corecipients of the "Human Hero of the Year Award." Tom currently writes the popular "The Adventures of Tom & Atticus" column in the NorthCountry News and Mountainside Guide and the blog "The Adventures of Tom and Atticus." He and Atticus live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

187 of 197 people found the following review helpful By The Literary Lioness on September 20, 2011
Color: Hardcover
Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, And An Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is one of the most delightful books I have read in a long time.

Atticus M. Finch, partly named after the hero lawyer in To Kill A Mockingbird, is a Miniature Schnauzer who changes Tom Ryan's world. Tom's life publishing a muckraking newspaper in Newburyport, Massachusetts is only partly fulfilling. Tom loves his work but is lonely and his life has no real direction. Tom's mother died when he was seven, and he is not close to his father and eight siblings.

Tom had acquired a Miniature Schnauzer, Max. When Max died, Tom was determined to get another dog of the same breed. Tom looked at dozens of photos emailed to him from the dog breeder, and he chose Atticus because he was different. Little did he know just how different Atticus would prove to be.

One day Tom and Atticus went hiking with three of Tom's brothers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where they had spent some vacation time as children. Atticus proved to be a natural born mountain climber. When Atticus reaches the top of a mountain, he would sit and gaze at the stunning scenery around him.

The experience was so enjoyable that Tom and Atticus return to the White Mountains on a regular basis. At first, Tom and Atticus start to make a habit of climbing the mountains because they enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness. They also love being together and share a very strong bond, Tom always holding Atticus in his arms after they reach the top of a mountain.

When a friend of Tom's dies of cancer, however, Tom decides that they will climb all forty-eight of the four-thousand-foot peaks twice -- in the winter -- to raise money for cancer.
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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Janet Morse on October 4, 2012
Size: NA Verified Purchase
I purchased Following Atticus for my Kindle and I loved reading it. My daughter purchased it for her Kindle and we read along together exchanging notes. We laughed, we cried and we laughed some more. I purchased other books and had fun reading them but Atticus kept coming back to mind and when I was diagnosed with cancer in August I decided to read Atticus again. My loving caring sister doesn't have a Kindle so I purchased a paper back version of Atticus for her and we are reading the book together. I am getting so much more out of it this time than the first time because now I can relate to the cancer part. I am being treated by the Dana Farber Cancer Ins. in Lebanon and the Norris Cotton Cancer center in Keene. While reading the book again I feel like Atticus. I told my sister we can conquer the cancer just like Atticus--taking the journey of the highs and lows . What an inspiration that little dog has given me. His courage and his determination is unbelievable. I Love Him. Tom you are a wise man and you have renewed my faith. Thank you Tom for all of your charity work and for your beautiful and touching description of how you raised such an amazing dog. Atticus was so very lucky to have you or should I say Fate brought you two together and you have made a better world for all of us that have read your story.
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84 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Riley on September 24, 2011
Color: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We here in Newburyport (our fair city) have been very fortunate to be featured in three wonderful books recently. The first was Joel Brown's superb murder mystery "Mirror Ball Man," next was Andre Dubus' celebrated "Townie" and next up is Tom Ryan's "Following Atticus." Newburyport residents know Mr. Ryan as the provocative editor of the local political journal "The Undertoad." He was reviled by some and loved by many for his intrepid news reporting and his courageous stands against authority and power. Mr. Ryan and "The Undertoad" were by turns smart, petulant, insightful, caustic, sentimental, enormously funny and ALWAYS worth reading. In the days of "The Undertoad" you truly could not be considered "in the know" about Newburyport if you had not devoured the latest issue.
Those of us who got to know Tom Ryan knew he was a fine writer, great storyteller and immensely witty. Much like our local son's Joel and Andre, Tom simply knows how to write. In what I trust will be the first of many books, "Following Atticus" is now available. Newburyporter's will certainly delight in his characterizations of our fair city and his observations of some of its inhabitants, both named and un-named.
"Following Atticus" is best described as a memoir that really reads like a novel. As I got further into the book I would often forget that I knew Tom and much of the story and find myself just enjoying the craft, wit and heart of his storytelling. The core of the book is Tom's relationship with his amazing little dog Atticus and their adventures hiking in the White Mountains, but the story begins to unfold as family elements come into play and you soon realize that what you are really reading is a tale of redemption and discovery.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Robert Connolly on September 20, 2011
Color: Hardcover
Following Atticus is the real life tale of middle-aged newspaper editor Tom Ryan and an extraordinary and lovable miniature schnauzer named Atticus M. Finch. Facing questions about his life and following the death of a beloved friend, Ryan and Atticus set out to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's 4,000 foot peaks, twice, in the winter, to raise money for cancer. Can an overweight, tough-as-nails reporter and his twenty-five pound companion accomplish what most think to be an impossible quest? What follows is a series of remarkable adventures, covering the cannibalistic, mean streets of small-town politics to the treacherous, icy conditions of wintry mountain top terrain, which will test not only Tom and Atticus's endurance but the bonds that tie them together.

The adventures that Ryan and Atticus share together will delight, entertain, and inspire. Ryan writes with such passion and enthusiasm about his love for the mountains, the relationships between fathers and sons, the inner workings of small-town politics, the loyalty of friendships, and one man's unique relationship with a dog known as "the Little Giant". Rising above the plethora of dog books on the market, the story told is ultimately about one man's transformation as he seeks to understand his place in the world and the little dog who guides him on that journey. After getting to know Atticus, the reader will want to follow him as well.
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