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Roam: A Novel with Music Kindle Edition

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Length: 338 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I loved the curious, adventurous spirit of Nelson. Roam shows some of the things I love most about dogs---their unconditional love, loyalty, instinct, connection to Mother Nature, and of course, their powerful noses! We can all learn and take something away from his journey." ---Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer

Review

“Musician Lazar’s debut is a thoughtful portrayal of the dog’s worldview, emotions, and nature, written largely from one dog’s perspective and tracking his walkabout adventures across the country after his nose leads him away from his first owner and 'Great Love,' Katey…. A touching page-turner for dog lovers.” —Publisher's Weekly

"I loved the curious, adventurous spirit of Nelson. ROAM shows some of the things I love most about dogs--their unconditional love, loyalty, instinct, connection to Mother Nature, and of course, their powerful noses! We can all learn and take something away from his journey." —Cesar Millan, "The Dog Whisperer"

“Alan Lazar knows dogs, and to know a dog is to love a dog. ROAM compassionately explores and celebrates the heart and mind of man’s best friend and the special bond we share” —Patrick McDonnell, New York Times bestelling author of THE GIFT OF NOTHING

"With the mesmerizing simplicity of a classic silent film, ROAM tells the heart-breaking (and yes, heart-warming) story of Nelson, an adventurous and brave little dog as memorable as John Grogan's Marley, Kate DiCamillo's Winn-Dixie and even Chaplin's Little Tramp . Without a word of dialogue, Lazar tells an epic tale almost entirely from Nelson's point of view, but his canine hero's stirring quest is no different than Quixote's--a death-defying, wonder-inducing search for love." —David Frankel, director of “Marley and Me” and “The Devil Wears Prada.”

"A canine version of Black Beauty." —Kirkus Reviews

“Lazar has crafted an adventure guaranteed to capture the interest of the reader—who hopes, like Nelson, that the dog will somehow make it home to Katey.” Bookpage

"Lazar's debut novel takes us on a harrowing canine journey where human beings can break the heart of a good dog---and yet the desire to live with and love humans is unquenchable." —Jacqueline Sheehan, NY Times bestselling author of Lost & Found

“Incredible journeys are a perennially popular subset of dog stories…and Lazar crafts a good one. He captures the interior and exterior lives of humans and dogs (and even wolves) with a sure hand." —Library Journal

“A sweet but simple tale, Lazar’s novel will appeal to animal lovers nostalgic for the stories of their youth." —Booklist


Product Details

  • File Size: 2715 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451632916
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004U7G76U
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,025 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alan lives with his family and three dogs in Los Angeles, California. ROAM is his first novel.

Alan has scored more than 30 films and TV shows, including Sex and the City and An American Crime, starring Ellen Page and James Franco, and for which Catherine Keener received an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Albert Jacobs on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really hope this book finds an audience. I don't know if I've ever read a book that snuck up on me quite like this. It's about more than a dog who one day "roams" and goes on an adventure. In a way I felt like this was a kind of fable about the journey we all go on in our lives searching for a love and security we once felt, whether it was in our mother's arms or a lover's arms. There was something almost primal about this dog's story that moved me so much.

I think there's plenty to enjoy about this book on the surface. Nelson's adventures are funny, sad, scary, romantic - all the stuff of life. But this book achieves what all great art strives for; it works on different levels. At the end I found myself in tears and I don't cry very easily.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Nelson the half beagle, half poodle lives with Katey and Don. The canine especially loves his Katey though he fears the marriage between her and Don is falling apart. When Don accidentally leaves a gate open, Nelson follows his nose and wanders outside the perimeter. However, he soon becomes lost and his frantic efforts to sniff his way back to his "Great Love" fail, but he never quits trying to find his Katey. Over the next few years, Nelson trucks with Thatcher and joins a wild wolf pack. As Nelson survives still seeking his beloved Katey, he loses a leg before a widower's young son saves him from state execution leaving his dream alive.

Roam is an engaging whimsical tale of lost love told mostly from the ultra loyal childlike canine perspective of charming Nelson. The hero is placed in several perilous situations, but his obsessive quest keeps him going. With seven songs (on the internet) enhancing Nelson's search, readers will never listen to Here Comes the Sun the same way again as we root for the determined dog to reunite with his lost Great Love.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Premiedonna on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nelson is more than a dog. He is a tender soul with enough curiosity to lead him into enough mischief then one can imagine. After his curiosity gets the best of him and he finds himself lost, Nelson's adventures begin. His tenderness humanizes him as his life connects with others. The musical compositions adds an artistic dimension which engages your soul.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cecelia A. Bon Jour on February 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was a great book. Different from other "roaming away from home" books. Intricate details of what it might be like from the dog's perspective. I laughed and cried and went away recommending to all my friends and Facebook fans. I do not think you will be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Glad on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually loved this book!! Couldn't put it down - just had to see what happens next in this courageous little dogs life!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RedRockMark on January 9, 2015
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful and moving novel about a wonderful little dog, Nelson, who gets himself into some big adventures. It also works as a fable and a cautionary tale about the dangers animals can face in the hands of troubled, neglectful people, and also what happens when those animals find themselves lost and homeless.

Like a cat with nine lives, our canine hero Nelson finds himself in one surprising and perilous situation after another, and has the wherewithal to survive and keep on going. And people who are familiar with the sad realities of the world of homeless pets and animal rescue will recognize and empathize with the plights Nelson gets himself into (while also recognizing that, unlike Nelson, so many other loveable animals are not lucky enough to escape these situations and live to see better days).

Nelson's story is suspenseful, adventurous, frightening, thrilling, heartbreaking, and ultimately fulfilling. The novel's suspense kept me engaged to the point that I found myself thinking about the book during my workday and looking forward to getting back home to read more. Normally an early bird, I ended up reading deep into the night without even realizing it, and finished the book all too quickly because I just couldn't resist reading on.

I also have to give special praise to Mr. Lazar's wonderful music which he composed especially to accompany this book. The pieces are delightful. They are brief (about a minute and a half each) pieces of mostly classical piano with a modern twist. "The Smell of Grass" in particular really evokes images of a puppy playing in a verdant landscape. "The Great Love," "Home," and "The Immense Magical Powers of Dogs" were favorites, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bernice melnyk on March 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It wss my first download on my new Amazon Kindle. I was happy to read this story, the author did a marelous
writing on feelings of the dog and the owner. It certainly in my opion, a turning page, I could hardly put
it down, the writer really gets your emotions going I felt I lived the experience. My dog loves the open
gate and will run till her heart has enough, but if she my dog knows the heartaches we feel and her own dangerous findings. She would curl up and stay beside me. It is a cruel world out there. I just loved the book.
Bernice/Pierrefonds,Quebec
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TheBoy on April 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I too was surprised by this book; I didn't think that I could get hooked so badly by it. It took me a while to start the book because I knew some of the events in the book from other reviews and I felt that I had to psych myself up first to be able to handle them. The writing style is addictive and I found myself reading way too late into the night. At times I had to stop reading because my eyes had filled with tears.
While reading, I felt myself trying to make deals with the author in my head, wanting everything to turn out all right in the end. I must admit that I didn't foresee the way that all the issues would be resolved, although I kept trying to figure out a resolution. The music was a surprisingly nice touch with some haunting melodies that I found myself humming quite a while after hearing them. I liked them so well that I downloaded them to my laptop in addition to my phone.
At times, a scene from the book will flash through my head and I remember the feelings and atmosphere of the time spent reading it. I remember wanting to hurry through the book to the ending, so that I knew that everything would be okay, while at the same time not wanting the book to ever end.
I also enjoyed the novel way that the author related the thoughts and feelings of Nelson, the main dog character. It was neither a first-person autobiographical style nor a childish sophomoric third-person style. It allowed the reader the leeway of interpreting the thoughts and feelings in a more personable manner, thus giving them more impact to the reader.

(Update March 2014) I already had two copies of the original printing paperback when I bought the newer one (to me) with the dog trotting down the lane. I also just got a new phone and was not happy with it until I downloaded the app and got the songs from Roam onto my new phone.
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