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The Guardian Paperback – April 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On Christmas Eve, Julie Barenson, 25 years old and newly widowed, finds an unexpected present-a Great Dane pup that her late husband, Jim, had arranged for her to receive after he died from a brain tumor. On that melodramatic note, bestselling author Sparks (Nights in Rodanthe) begins his latest love story, one in which he combines elements of romance with those of a thriller. Julie's new dog, Singer, turns out to be a better judge of character than she, which is unfortunate because the dog nearly gives away the book's ending when he growls warily at Richard Franklin, the new man in Julie's life. On the other hand, the pooch loves to be around Mike Harris, Jim's best friend, who has grown to love Julie. Richard's increasingly bizarre behavior causes Julie to break up with him, and his subsequent stalker tactics make for compelling action, especially when he plots to destroy the budding romance between Julie and Mike. But the writing is lax at best, with multiple point-of-view shifts in the course of one page or even one paragraph. Secondary characters are two-dimensional, such as Pete, the dumb cop who is taken in by the scheming Richard, and Andrea, Julie's co-worker at the local hair salon, a low-class broad from the wrong side of the tracks who might as well have "next victim" tattooed on her forehead. Yet Sparks fans clamor for his brand of love story, and, with the added punch of suspense, this one will be another bestseller.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In his newest, the ever-popular Sparks, known for his romantic tales, combines an involving love story with the creepiness of an unpredictable thriller. Julie Barenson survived a negligent mother and is now trying to survive the loss of a loving husband. The man who rescued her by offering her in the small town of Swansboro, North Carolina, died far too young, leaving Julie with a Great Dane puppy she names Singer and a promise to look out for her. Now 29, Julie is starting to date again after four years of mourning and Singer is acting very strangely. He becomes possessive, and especially dislikes her new beau, Richard Franklin. Richard is the perfect gentleman, bringing gifts and always being thoughtful, but something isn't quite right and after three dates, each more lavish and exciting than the last, Julie reaches a decision about her dream man. In the background is Mike Harris, her late husband's best friend. Good old Mike has always been there for her, but she has to decide to risk a great friendship for the possibility of more. After Julie makes her decision, she finds true love and happiness, but ominous things start to happen and she soon realizes that she's being stalked by a deranged sociopath. Sparks' tricky tale of romantic suspense starts off slowly but builds steadily to an edge-of-your-seat conclusion that is well worth the wait. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Later Printing edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780446696111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446696111
  • ASIN: 0446696110
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,292 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,525 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 97 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) and The Best of Me (2011), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His seventeenth novel, The Longest Ride, was published on September 17, 2013.

Safe Haven, Sparks's eighth film adaptation and on which he served as a Producer, opened February 14, 2013, taking top box office honors for Valentine's Day. The ninth film adaptation of one of his novels, The Best of Me, will open in October and the tenth, The Longest Ride, will open next spring. Along with 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 and television production company, they inked a two-year, first-look, non-writing, Executive Producer deal at Warner Horizon. Just four months later, Nicholas Sparks Productions announced the first three television series to be developed under that agreement, in collaboration with three different networks: TNT, ABC Family and Lifetime. NSP recently announced the acquisition of Gayle Sayers's life and memoir rights for a feature film to be co-produced with Michael Costigan. Nicholas Sparks Productions, in association with Senator Films, anticipate moving forward with a local language feature film for the German speaking audience in the near term.

Deliverance Creek, which marks Sparks's television producing debut, will premiere as a special two-hour movie on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 on Lifetime. With an original script written by Melissa Carter, directed by Jon Amiel, Deliverance Creek stars Lauren Ambrose. From Nicholas Sparks Productions and Warner Horizon, Melissa Carter, Nicholas Sparks, Theresa Park and Jon Amiel are Executive Producers on the telefilm.

Sparks lives in North Carolina with his family. 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. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina. 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.

In 2011, Nicholas and his wife launched 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. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of Nicholas and Catherine Sparks, more than $10 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because Nicholas and Catherine Sparks cover all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 107 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've never written a review before, but I thought that this book really qualifies for one. I couldn't put the darn thing down! I am a college student, and for that day or two that I read this book I never got anything done. I could never find a good "stop spot" for the night. When I was near the end of the book I ended up staying awake until 3 in the morning finishing it. I absolutely love reading, but I have never cried or got so emotional over a book before. This one did me in at 3 in the morning. And that is saying a lot if you knew me. I highly recommend this book. It's an easy read, but if you are in college like me, sometimes you just want something that you can indulge yourself into without the analysis and critical thinking. Read this, and then read all of Sparks other books! Go, Now! Stop reading reviews! Shoo!
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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful By JGarpo@aol.com on November 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed with Nicholas Sparks' The Rescue and A Bend in the Road, and I wasn't sure if I'd read his next novel. I read Nights in Rodanthe which was very good, so I decided to read The Guardian. I am very happy to say that this is the best book he's written since The Notebook. It's an excellent read, that catches you off-guard and pulls you in until you just can't put the book down! The first half of the book is a bit slow in parts, but the second half of the book is exciting, engrossing, and very fast-paced. You will not be disappointed. In the Author's Note at the back of this book Sparks explains how difficult this book was for him to write. (It is quite different than his previous works.) The Guardian is not Sparks' typical love story but is unquestionably entirely successful. My only complaint is that sometimes his dialogue is a bit stilted and unrealistic. (This is true in some of his other novels as well.) It has a way of pulling me out of the story and kind of rolling my eyes. But even so, I liked this book very much, found it believable, and the characters well-defined and realistic. I strongly recommend it! :>
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "kblum12" on April 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Nicholas Sparks latest work The Guardian...It was absolutely fantastic! It was so different from his other novels in that it was new ground for Sparks...it was a bit of a thriller. I found myself turning page after page and could not tear myself away from this book....of course that is how all of Nicholas's books are for me....but this one had the added element of suspense and surprise. There was still a love story involved as well. This book just is an outstanding examlpe of Sparks talents and shows he is capable of branching out into new territory with success.
I found a bit of laugh out loud humor in this book which was a nice addition. Of course I also cried.....in the first few pages of the book if you can belive it....Sparks has a way of really getting to you with the crying.... and he didn't waste any time getting right down to business. I don't think I have ever read one of his books and have not shed a tear. I also found the characters to be so believable.
With out ruining your reading experience I must add.....what an exciting ending!!!!!
Buy this book as soon as you can and I trust you will not be disappointed whether you are familiar with Spark's works or not!!!!!!
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77 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on May 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Despite the eight major revisions discussed in the Author's Note at the end of this novel, the final version still doesn't work for me. The final revision should have been to turn it into a film script. Due to differences in the nature of print as compared with film media, I think that the key elements of this story could be an excellent movie (perhaps that is the eventual intention).
The storyline is very straightforward: Julie Barenson's best friend and husband Jim died of cancer when she was only twenty five years old, and four years later when the novel begins she is only beginning to truly deal with the grief which overwhelmed her. She has decided to stay in Swansboro, N.C., which is where Jim found her a job and they later married after he met her as a lost young woman on her own. While her presence in Swansboro is a painful reminder of how Jim's premature death cut short their time together, the town also provides the support of their friends and the comfort of her memories. Furthermore, she feels safe there, protected both by Jim's promise that he would always look down as her guardian angel and also by her constant companion Singer, the Great Dane who was delivered as a Christmas Eve gift from Jim exactly forty days after his death. This aspect of the plot is similar to other books by the author that examine the relationship betwen grief and love, but he chose to also make the book "a thriller' (this is his word for that aspect of the plot). Julie is at the point in her life that she has started dating again , but a meaningful romantic relationship still seems to be impossible given her emotional state combined with the paucity of potential candidates in such a small town.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Kiernan on October 2, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you ever wanted to decide whether it is better to fall in love with an exotic, handsome stanger or your best male friend, then this is the book for you. The plot twist with every page. It leaves you wanting breathless, excited, and scared with each new twist. A MUST READ!!
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