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Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship | [Tom Ryan]

Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

A middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaper editor Tom Ryan and a little dog, Atticus M. Finch, are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter. Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation....
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Publisher's Summary

A middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaper editor Tom Ryan and a little dog, Atticus M. Finch, are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter. Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home....

Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation: how a five-pound puppy pierced the heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman, opening his eyes to the world's beauty and its possibilities. An unforgettable saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family, it's an inspiring tale of finding love and discovering your true self.

©2011 Tom Ryan (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

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  •  
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 06-17-12
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 06-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A True Story of Personal Transformation"

    I have never had so many people recommend a book to me as I have had this one. There's a reason. "Following Atticus" is about a middle-aged guy who hikes 4,000 footers in the White Mountains alone with his 20 pound Miniature Schnauzer. I am a middle-aged guy who hikes 4,000 footers in the White Mountains alone with my 20 pound Boston Terrier. Although a lot of people hike with dogs, one hardly ever sees 20 pound dogs on the high trails. In fact, one of the few I've ever seen is Atticus himself, whom I met hiking the Mount Caribou trail.

    "Following Atticus" is a testament to truth being better than fiction. Dog lovers will all be captivated by the tale. But it's not a merely a dog book. It's a book of personal transformation on the part of the author. Some of that transformation is physical. You can look up photos of the author on the internet from his pre-Following Atticus days and compare them to recent photos to see this for yourself. Between the weight loss and the exercise, Tom Ryan looks like a different person. From "Following Atticus" we learn how the author became a different person on the inside, too -- a better person -- due to the influence of two great dogs in his life.

    The book is read by the author. This adds to the reality of the story and conveys a sense of feeling that one would not get from a professional reader. The author does an excellent job of reading, but the listener should be prepared for a strong Boston accent.

    There's a Youtube video trailer for the book, which I recommend for those who would like a glimpse of Atticus and Tom Ryan -- and the other great character of the book -- the White Mountains.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    1stpita OR USA 01-02-12
    1stpita OR USA 01-02-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Amazing Story"
    Would you listen to Following Atticus again? Why?

    Following Atticus is a story about an extraordinary hiking partnership between a schnauzer, Atticus, and his owner, Tom Ryan -- With Atticus, Tom Ryan hikes 48 high peaks, 4000 footers in winter yet, and in doing so discovers what life should be about. This is one book that has a unique storyline! Atticus is the only miniature schnauzer to do the 48 peaks in winter and he attempted to do them twice in the winter which is amazing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Following Atticus?

    I really liked that when they both arrived at the top of a peak they would dedicate the peak to someone who had cancer, passed away from cancer or was fighting cancer. Whenever they arrived at the top of a peak, Atticus, being unique, would also sit quietly and look at the view.


    What about Tom Ryan???s performance did you like?

    Tom's performance was easy to listen too and I enjoyed that he, the author, was the one telling the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Tom rescued


    Any additional comments?

    Even if my review is not the best since I have never really written one of these and I don't want to give too much of the story away, you should buy this book. You won't regret it if you love hiking, mountains, dogs and if you hate the rat race we all live in. Possibly it will inspire you to escape that race and take a chance to find what and who you really are.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Bergh NH 11-01-11
    P. Bergh NH 11-01-11 Member Since 2004

    There's always time for reading

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    "The Little Dog (and the Big Man) That Could!"

    As a NH resident and hiker, I've known about this book for awhile. I decided to download it because of its local interest, though I confess I had low expectations. I was surprisingly pleased. It is a fabulous book! While the book is, in part, like most "pet books" (a genre I usually avoid), it is also a book about a lost man who finds himself though the care and caring of one amazing animal. It is also about the power of community--how people come together to help, whether it is his readers in Newburyport MA, the hiking community, or Atticus-lovers from around the country. The author also writes much of his troubled relationship with his father and how, in his quest with Atticus, he comes to grips with his dad, and realizes that so much of what is important in his life he got from his father. The book is read by the author--and generally he does a good job. There are a few places where his Boston accent comes through pretty heavy, but, in my opinion, it lends to the story. Again, as a local author, his success with his book has been a news item in NH. My understanding is that it is in the Top 10 for New England Independent Book Publishers and has been selected for the local One Book/One Valley community read. If you liked "Marlie and Me," you will love "Following Atticus."

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 03-31-14
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 03-31-14

    SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More Than Just Man/Man's Best Friend!"

    I was so thrilled with this book! I often get a hankering for a good animal story as usually they're so wonderful and inspirational. Following Atticus did not disappoint!
    What I really liked about this book was that yes, it follows Tom and Atticus on their journey, but it also follows Tom as he discovers himself along the way and becomes who he's meant to be. And most of it is because of an adorable little dog, Atticus. (And I really love that one dog started it, Max, a dog that Tom was very leery of taking into his life but who radically changed it and showed him what true love is.)
    This book is also about looking at the past, and realizing that people do the best that they can and that they are who they are. And Tom has to figure out how to love and forgive and live with the wounds that coming from a lonely family, living with an abusive and neglectful parent, have caused. Forget about climbing all those peaks, and those are great, but the real work is done in his heart.
    I bought the kindle version of this also, and I'm very glad that I did because some of the prose is so lovely, so poetic, the descriptions and imagery are so beautiful and written with such insight that I'm looking forward to reading some passages over again. Truly well done.
    This is a touching, wonderful book, well worth the listen, well worth the time. You'll love Atticus, you'll root for Tom. And you'll be tempted to check out their blog. I know, that's cheating, but I really can't wait for the next book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank seekonk, MA, USA 07-30-12
    Frank seekonk, MA, USA 07-30-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Tom and Atticus my new Favorite book!!!"

    WOW !!! Tom Ryan had me totally captivated with his charming memoir of his life changing experiences with his little dog Atticus. I am hiker who has long abandoned my dreams of completing the NH 4000 footers and someone who always wanted a large dog only to have reluctantly accepted a small “yapper” named Chloe. Now, I am back on the trails again with a newly found enthusiasm and after listening to Tom describe his relationship with his little dog Atticus, I have given little Chloe another chance,I have gotten to know and understand her much better and I have come to love her. Though I really can’t see my dog on the trail with me, I have learned to truly enjoy her. Tom’s book has helped me to look again at many areas of my own life and to see it in such a different light.
    I found the book fun to listen to, entertaining and yes …..moving.
    Nice job Tom, if you are reading this !!!!
    I can't wait for the sequel !!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Pocono Lake, PA, United States 07-24-13
    Joyce Pocono Lake, PA, United States 07-24-13 Member Since 2012
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    "This is truely a Mini Schnauser!!"
    If you could sum up Following Atticus in three words, what would they be?

    There is nothing more LIVELY, ENERGETIC, OR LOVING than a mini schnauser!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main character is very interesting. His insitefulness and caring are very endearing. The way the dogs eventually turn his life around completely was, in a way, that dogs often turn people's life around. Knowing the personality of the mini schnauser, I can completely understand how this happens.


    What about Tom Ryan’s performance did you like?

    It was the perfect voice for the character.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There are parts that make anyone laugh and cry. The touching part is the way the dog adapts to people and the outdoor wilderness. The same as my mini schnauser, who looks just the same as the picture on the cover, will adapt to any invironment he finds himself in.
    He is happy just to "be" anywhere he is.


    Any additional comments?

    Could not put this book down!! I fell in love with it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike United States 07-15-13
    Mike United States 07-15-13
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    "What a wonderful friendship between man and dog!"
    What did you love best about Following Atticus?

    The friendship and respect between a man and his dog.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Atticus.....I had a schnauzer and could relate with his stubborness, but also with the love he shown to his owner.


    What does Tom Ryan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I read the book, and after I recently lost my beloved Schnauzer, I went back and purchased the audable. Tom Ryan brought Atticus to life in the book...it was just what I needed to get through my loss.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes....and practically did!


    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely would recommend this book to all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy United States 01-07-13
    Kathy United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "amazing"
    What made the experience of listening to Following Atticus the most enjoyable?

    I knew the areas and the story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Following Atticus?

    When Atticus went down the "red carpet"


    What does Tom Ryan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    whenever an author reads the book, it means so much more


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I cried and laughed and my heart raced throughout this book


    Any additional comments?

    anyone who loves dogs should read this...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Doral, FL, United States 12-19-12
    Steve Doral, FL, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2004
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    "This Book will change your life"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you like life, dogs, or family; then look no further. This is it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    You think the book is all about a guy and his dog who climb a bunch of mountains, but NO. The first 3 chapters throw you a curve ball but they are just setting you up for the fast ball right down the middle......swing away.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    June United States 12-11-12
    June United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "All Dog Lovers Will Fall in Love with this book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, dog lover. I have a schaunzer and know what love they can give and how you just want to give it back.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Following Atticus?

    Atticus reaching the summits


    Have you listened to any of Tom Ryan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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