Avid reader my whole life - addicted to audio. I listen to books & podcasts while working, driving, sleeping......
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - extremely well written and even better that it is narrated by the author. Ron McClarty does an excellent job of transporting you through the emotional and physical journey of the main character. Honest, authentic, and simple - this story will make you think about the adventure that may lie right outside your door if only you had the courage to go and find it.
I normally will finish a book just to make sure I don't miss anything. This book never really gets started and all the jumping around did not draw me in. Simple sentences and observations by the main character like "Bananas are really easy to chew and they fill you up." and "I was happy to discover bananas again, they are really good." just could not hold my attention for another four hours.
I kept hoping the book was going somewhere, and while it was an interesting journey, it was an anti-climatic book. I couldn't even like a single character no matter how much I tried.
If you are down on yourself, this book may change your perspective. I especially like the way the various episodes are broken up and intermingled with each other. Experience shows that books narrated by the author are usually a good bet, and this audiobook is no exception. Ron McLarty puts all of himself into the rendition. A great story and Highly recommended.
Very enjoyable, "light" novel. Had difficulty putting my iPod down throughout. Sorry it was over at the end. Interested in what happens in the main character's further life, and explorations of what happened to his sister in her many years of being disappeared. Looking forward to another book by the same author (everything else I could find was with him as a narrator only).
Smithson Ide is, at 43, obese, alcoholic, lonely, emotionally wounded and stuck in a monotonous job. This is the story of how he got that way, and his unlikely healing through an impromptu cross-country bike trip. "Smithy" narrates the the events precipitated by the deaths of his parents and his deeply disturbed sister, and interjects extensive flashbacks of his childhood and early adulthood.
The book is rich with cultural history, social satire, drama, tragedy, adventure, and geography. I found it hard to turn off once I started listening. I would rate this a five, but for two shortcomings: the constant switching between the main narrative and flashback, often at suspenseful points in Smithy's trip, can get a bit annoying; and Smithy's passivity concerning the safety of his person and property during his trip strains credibility. However, I would still heartily recommend it for those who enjoy books about people healing and growing, like Annie Proulx's "The Shipping News" and "That Old Ace in the Hole" or Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone".
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The voice of the narrator is sincere, modest and nostalgic. The story is told through a bike journey, flashing back to a series of anectdotes from the past. Listening to the sample will give you a good idea of the tone and progression of the book. You care about the characters and want to keep listening.
This was the best book that I've listened to in a long time. The characters were so vivid and real. He writes about you and me and everybody. I'm so sad that the book is over. I want to find out what happened to Smithy and Norma. Did they get married? Are they happy? You'll cry, laugh, and remember the book long after it ends...I promise.
To think that this title languished in the rejection boxes of this world's publishers is a crime. Thank you Thank you Thank you for unearthing this gem. McLarty's is a voice that breathes life into his already very human story.
This was a tedious book and I would not recommend it for the reader who expects the author to 'get to the point.' The story might have been good except for the endless ramblings of seemingly inconsequential information.