- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (February 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062292439
- ISBN-13: 978-0062292438
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 614 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Long and Faraway Gone: A Novel Paperback – February 10, 2015
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“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.” (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review)
“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’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))
“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))
“Will raise a lump in the throat . . . the leads’ struggles are portrayed with painful complexity, and Berney, fittingly, avoids easy answers.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“A tour de force built around two tragedies ripped from the headlines of this newspaper . . . should top the bestseller lists in our local bookstores, but is deserving of national acclaim.” (Oklahoma City Oklahoman)
“This is crime fiction at its absolute best . . . deeply insightful and beautifully written . . . squarely in the ranks of powerhouses such as Lippman and Lehane.” (Crimespree Magazine)
“So much to love here . . . easy to read yet difficult to forget. . . Berney is a mighty fine wordsmith whose name should be mentioned more often than it is during discussions of new bright lights in the literary world.” (Bookreporter.com)
“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)
“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)
From the Back Cover
In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were brutally killed in an armed robbery. Then a teenage girl vanished from the annual state fair. Neither crime was ever solved.
Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases continue to echo through the lives of those devastated by the crimes. Wyatt, the one teenage employee who inexplicably survived the movie-theater massacre, is now a private investigator in Las Vegas. A case unexpectedly brings him back to a hometown and a past he's tried to escape—and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie-house robbery that left six of his friends dead.
Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past—specifically the day her beautiful older sister, Genevieve, disappeared at the fair. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she'll stop at nothing to find answers.
As Wyatt's case becomes more complicated and dangerous, and Julianna seeks answers from a ghost, their obsessive quests not only stir memories of youth and first love, but also begin to illuminate dark secrets of the past. Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened and why they were left behind that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free—or ultimately destroy them?
Top customer reviews
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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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
At 440+ pages I thought the writer was paid by the word.Read more