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The Long and Faraway Gone: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 467 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The Long and Faraway Gone is that rare literary gem-a dark, quintessentially cool noir novel that is both deeply poignant, and very funny...as hip, hilarious, and entertaining as it is wrenching, beautiful, and ultimately redemptive.-- "Huffington Post"
Berney takes you places you're not sure you want to go and brings you out again with a sure hand. It's a satisfyingly complete deep-dive into a complicated history, with not only suspense but a compelling resolution.-- "Carrie La Seur, author of The Home Place"
Berney's novel is most truly a thoughtful exploration of memory and what it means to be a survivor. Elegiac and wistful, it is a lyrical mystery...with a deep, wounded heart. Read it.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
Edgar Award finalist Berney will raise a lump in the throats of many of his readers with this sorrowful account of two people's efforts to come to terms with devastating trauma...The leads' struggles are portrayed with painful complexity, and Berney, fittingly, avoids easy answers.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Focused, very insightfully, on love, loss, and memory...fully realized creations that readers won't soon forget. A genuinely memorable novel of ideas.-- "Booklist (starred review)"
Multi-faceted, layered, intense, alive-if you read only one crime novel this year, this should be the one.-- "Sara J. Henry, Anthony Award-winning author of A Cold and Lonely Place"
The two key players in Lou Berney's superb regional mystery suffer from separate but equally crushing cases of survivor guilt...Berney tells both their stories with supreme sensitivity, exploring the 'landscape of memory' that keeps shifting beneath our feet, opening up the graves of all those ghosts we thought we'd buried.-- "New York Times Book Review"
With sharp wit and prose that brings the 80s to life in all its stone-washed glory, Lou Berney tells a complex story of characters struggling to make sense of life...Affecting, funny, and unfailingly honest, The Long and Faraway Gone is an extraordinary book.-- "M. P. Cooley, author of Ice Shear" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
About the Author
Lou Berney is the author of two previous novels-Whiplash River, nominated for the Edgar Award; Gutshot Straight, a Barry Award nominee, and the collection The Road to Bobby Joe, and Other Stories. He is also a television and film screenwriter whose latest credit is Angels Sing, which debuted at SXSW, and stars Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, and Willie Nelson. His short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, among other publications. He teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University, and lives in Oklahoma City.
Brian Hutchison is an Earphones Award-winning audiobook narrator and a professional theater actor who has appeared in numerous Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional plays.
Amy McFadden has narrated more than two hundred titles in many different genres. She is an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has acted on stage throughout Michigan for more than twenty years and in commercials and film for ten years. She is a founding member of Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- Publication Date : February 10, 2015
- File Size : 1499 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks (February 10, 2015)
- Print Length : 467 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00FOPS3XW
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #123,932 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Chapters alternate between the two lead characters—Wyatt and Julianna—as well as the future and the past. The mysteries in the past were the ones I found the most interesting, but when the author pulls everything together (past and present) the entire spectrum of events is riveting.
The last third of the book is spectacular, delivering twist upon twist. One of those I did peg early in the story, but it was expanded on in a way that added angles I didn’t expect. Even after finishing this novel I ruminated about it in my head for days. Well worth reading, especially given the stellar delivery at the end. I will definitely seek more from this author.
There is a lot going on in this book, in fact, three plots/subplots all woven together by time, place and a couple of characters crossing paths.
Wyatt, a Las Vegas private detective, is asked to help out a client by taking a small, short job in Oklahoma City. While flying to Oklahoma City isn't exactly glamorous, Wyatt has deeper reasons to try to pass on the favor. As a teenager growing up in OKC, he survived a traumatic incident which has effected his whole life. His family moved shortly after the incident and he hasn't been back since. Against his better judgment, Wyatt decides to help his friend unravel the mystery of who has been harassing his sister-in-law (sub plot #1); while dealing with unanswered questions from his past trauma (sub plot #2) and crossing paths with Julianna, a nurse who is still trying to come to grips with her older sister's 1986 disappearance (sub plot #3).
While Wyatt tries to figure out who has been harassing Candace, he and Julianna try to come to terms with their past trauma in order to move forward with their lives.
WHAT I LOVED
Loved Wyatt as a character. He was funny, quite a smart ass. At times he seemed to really have it together, other times... not so much. I think he was really good at pretending to have it all together. He was the kind of character you just want to pull for.
Loved OKC as a setting. You don't see that very often; most books are either based in either big, glamorous cities or small towns. I grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma, mid sized cities like that just seem left out of modern literature. I now finally feel represented. Lol.
I loved the way the three subplots wove together but without making each rely on the other. All three could have stood alone as a story, yet having the three together made the story richer.
The flashbacks to 1986 did a great job of representing teenagers of that time and teenagers in general.
Author, Lou Berney, kept the story going. There was never a dull moment and the wit and humor brought just the right touch of lightness.
WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE
I couldn't find much to complain about. I did the immersion reading with both the book and audio. I liked that there was a female voice for Julianna's chapters and a male voice for Wyatt, but the female narrator made everyone in her portion of the book sound completely Midwestern. No one from Oklahoma talks like that!! It really bugged me! It sounded like they were all from Minnesota or Wisconsin. There is nothing wrong with sounding like you are from those states but these characters were supposed to be born and bred in OK. I can understand doing no accent, but a heavy Midwestern accent? I think not. That rant was really my only complaint.
Great read. I'll be adding Lou Berney to my list.
The concept is fresh and fascinating. Wyatt Rivers is a Las Vegas PI. He is offered an assignment in Oklahoma City which he (very tentatively) takes. The reason for his hesitation is that he was involved in a mass murder there in 1986. He was working in a movie theatre that was robbed by masked gunmen; the gunmen killed every member of the staff but Wyatt (who has, actually, since altered his name in order to help efface the past). At the same time, Julianna Rosales is searching for her older sister, Genevieve, who disappeared from the State Fair, also in 1986. While she doubts that her sister is alive, she wants to know what happened to her; why did she leave her—Julianna—waiting endlessly for her at the Fair? Thus, both co-protagonists are in search of answers: why did Genevieve abandon Julianna and why was Wyatt the only survivor of the theatre heist/massacre?
While both of these quests involve apparent/clear crimes they involve ‘mysteries’ that are more human, more haunting and more profound than the sorts of mysteries which animate crime/detection/thriller fiction. Both quests are also about the past and the manner in which it casts long shadows over the present. In short, the narrative thrust of the book is that of the more or less conventional mystery, but the ethos is that of mainstream fiction. At its heart this is a deeply character-driven novel, but one whose plot is driving and unputdownable. It is what I would call a ‘carry around’ book, one that you carry with you, regardless of your other duties and responsibilities, so that you can grab a page or two here and a chapter or two there whenever the opportunity presents itself.
In terms of the author’s writing career, this is a standalone, framed by two previous novels featuring Charles “Shake” Bouchon and a third Bouchon novel to be released on October 11, 2017. I read THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE because of the awards which it has (justly) received and I immediately ordered/wishlisted the Bouchon books.
This is a superb and haunting novel, one that will be interesting and engaging for all readers, despite their specific tastes and general reading patterns. Do not miss it.
Top reviews from other countries
Lou Berney does a superb job of bringing Wyatt and Julianna to life. They became characters who I soon started to care about, people whose lives had been battered and scarred by their experiences, and I wanted them to succeed in their individual quests to seek some kind of resolution to the traumatic events in their earlier lives. It's also worth mentioning that there are a number of interesting, sometimes eclectic peripheral characters in this story who, dip in and out of the narrative, but each have their role to play in this cracking story. This is written by a relatively young author who is at the top of his game. Don't hesitate, get your hands on a copy ASAP. I've already placed my orders for Gutshot Straight, and the sequel, Whiplash River......
TOP TIP: If you don't like to read Kindle books, and you're on a tight budget, consider purchasing some of your novels second-hand from the independent booksellers on Amazon. I purchased this book in 'very good condition' for less than half the RRP (inc. p&p). It arrived a week later direct from the USA, and it turned out to be a signed copy in almost perfect condition!
Lou Berney is the latest queue jumper to make me sit up and go green with envy. His wonderful novel 'November Road' a few months ago sent me straight to Amazon to order his previous books. That can sometimes be a bit of a gamble because early novels in an author's portfolio don't always have the polish and self assurance of those that follow, but 'The Long and Faraway Gone' certainly bucks that trend. I know it's an easy thing for reviewers to trot out but if I didn't find this book impossible to put down and didn't really stay up all night to read it in one sitting, I certainly found myself trying to wring enough time from a busy schedule to squeeze in another chapter.
I shan't rehash the plot here because there are plenty of places a reader can find that sort of guide. What I will say is that, for all that one of its strands feels a little rushed in its resolution, it is multi-layered and masterfully controlled. The characters are so real you take them away with you every time you put the book down, and the dialogue is pitch perfect. I loved the humour in it, not just because it made me laugh out loud on occasions but principally because it was subtle - no finger pointing, 'here comes the punchline', just lovely, witty throwaway remarks and one-liners.
I still have 'Gutshot Straight' to read and will look forward to that with an even greater sense of anticipation. Definitely recommend this to anyone who loves quality writing and an intriguing mystery!
There are tentative connections between the two main characters, otherwise they both have their own ‘mysteries’ to solve around individual catastrophes that occurred 26 years previously.
Wyatt is a private investigator, returning to his home town of Oklahoma City, to investigate a harassment case. 26 years ago he was the only survivor of a theatre massacre there, when he was 15. He has been plagued with thoughts of why he survived and takes the opportunity to look into this matter and put his mind to rest.
Julianna was 12 when her beloved sister, Genevieve, disappeared without trace from a fairground in the City. Julianna has spent the last 26 years searching for her sister or for information that may locate her.
This is a literary novel- don’t expect thrills or excitement- relax with the well written puzzle of the storyline and the dark humour of the characters. Ultimately, readers will be drawn into wondering if Wyatt and Julianna can find closure on their pasts.
The two stories run parallel with each other throughout the book, two very different stories linked by loss and an unexplained event.
Lou Berney effortlessly takes the reader along on their journey to lay the past to rest.
This is an outstanding book, written by an author at the very top of his game. I cannot recommend it highly enough.