Started out being concerned about the quirkiness of the characters, but by the end was completely enchanted.
This book most definitely lives up to its hype...
This is a great "Americana" story that will both inspire and entertain you. I continue to think about the various characters in this book; this is one title that I intend to listen to again, in order to catch what I may have missed during the first listen.
While the overall story line for this book has potential, the author makes it hard to endure with repetitive narration. There is only so many times that a person can hear "my beautiful sister", about how the main character did not visit his neighbor, and about the "stupid things" the main character says, etc. I thought the story could have been told in about half the time and words. I had to force myself to listen to the end, which turned out to be very predictable.
First, if you like this book, you should also get "Nobody's Fool" by Richard Russo, narrated by Ron McLarty. This story is about a 40 year old man who's development seems arrested at a sophmoric level. The day after his parents' funeral, he heads off on a bicycle ride, one that just keeps on going. Along the way he meets a lot of brilliant characters with very interesting stories of his own. All of this seem to help him cope with his past and bring him closer to adulthood. The character has an obsession with the breasts of every woman he meets, which some might find offensive, but it's the obsession of a 15 year old boy, not a pervert. The story is very sweet with lots of different adventures.
A Wonderful story of a life freed from the pause button.
Everything about this book was wonderful. The characters were real, story fascinating, and the narrator perfect. I wanted the book to go on forever. I actually listened to it twice - and enjoyed the second listen as much, even more, than the first.
Artist living & working in the SF Bay Area
Its nice to see a story that is strongly tied to the Author's real life and has such depth. It creates sympathy and attachment to the characters and makes it that much more riviting.
I found this book to be funny, sad, and uplifting all at the same time. The main characters were very well drawn, and the people Smithy meets along the way on his bike trip to Los Angeles are all fascinatting.
The author is also the narrator and he does a great job. I highly recommend this book.
Based on the Stephen King Review I bought this book and I am glad I did! Smithy Ide is me ten years from now. It got me to thinking about the things in my life and how they parallel to the hero's own life.
It is not a tear jerker but it will make you cry at times. It is not a comedy but it will make you laugh a lot. It tells of a man finding himself at 47. It tells of predjudice, misconception and heartache over loving someone that you cannot help. I would call this a definite listen. I liked it so much I bought the hardback and made my wife read it.
I just drove around my block 20 times to finish this book. I loved it. The reading by the author was excellent! As a long-distance touring bicyclist, I was fascinated with the story of his riding across the country. However the book was not about the ride. Fascinating intertwining of lives and stories. I felt sad to hear "the end."