Sebastien Ranes’s single mom and her feckless boyfriend can’t be bothered to take care of a stuttering 12-year-old. Banished to live with his grandmother on the far side of the country, the boy can barely understand a bus schedule when he gets dumped at the Greyhound station in Stockton, California. Given $35 and a one-way ticket to Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sebastien must cross the country - alone, without a clue how to fend for himself.
Filled with youthful anger and naïveté, Sebastien heads out into the "Morning in America" of Ronald Reagan’s 1980s, encountering temperamental bus drivers, charming, shifty, and downright dangerous strangers, the music of Daryl Hall and John Oates, and an ex-con named Marcus, who takes the boy under his wing. In an unforgettable trek that evokes Oliver Twist and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the unlikely pair lurch from one misadventure to another, tumbling toward an elusive understanding of where and how, in a troubling world, to look for light.
©2012 Steffan Piper (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Greyhound is a story about a 12 year old boy sent from Stockton CA to Altoona PA alone by a self absorbed mother on a Greyhound bus. He had very little money. It is set in the 1980's. The boy is being sent to live with his paternal grandparents and sister. It is ultimately about a friendship with a recently released prisoner(and others) along the way. It is also about disappointment and how it is handled, It is really a simple story about life's lessons well learned. The big question is, "What is in his two large suitcases?" This is one I would definitely listen to again. Nick Podehl does a great job of narration.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
That "Greyhound" is based on a true story is both tragic and wonderful. Cold and fragile, young Sebastien is a lonely boy shunted off to live with his grandparents. And apparently it's not the first time his unloving mother (and absent father) have tossed him aside. Through his journey and his friendship with the ex-con but also grieving Marcus, he learns about life, he learns about how to live with the hand that was dealt him, he learns what it is to be a man.
This is a great little book, filled with spicy tacos in Albuquerque, a man who defecates on himself in Phoenix (oh, the joys of bus riding...!), hijackings, and Hall and Oates. Plus, no spoilers but, there's an action taken, a choice made, and possible consequences that add suspense to the latter half of the book.
Mostly it's the wisdom of the warmhearted Marcus to the note-taking Sebastien.
I see no similarities really to "Huckleberry Finn" and the like, but it's a sweet tale and Nick Podehl, who sometimes falters when he does nonfiction, narrates this really, really well, capturing everyone from Sebastien and Marcus, to a grouchy waitress, to the loudspeaker at the bus station.
Sometimes you just need a nice, good book about broken people reaching out, reaching within. "Greyhound" is it...
As I began listening to this story, I had an instant kinship to Sebastian Raines, an almost 12 year old boy abandoned by his mother at a Greyhound station in California. And so begins a heartwarming road trip across America with a sweet young boy entirely dependent on the kindness of strangers. Narrator, Nick Podehl, perfectly captures the voices of the never-ending array of strangers Sebastian encounters drivers, waitresses, convicts and pedophiles. He does them so well that I had to check that this was not a dramatized book with numerous narrators.
I wanted to much to LOVE this story. But in the end, I only ever liked it. Author, Steffan Piper, almost gets you there, and you, the reader believe you are on your way to something like a modern-day Huckleberry-Finn. But he never fully delivers. The story is at its best when the author shares vignettes with varying strangers. But as the story wore on, and the strangers all disembark, and the story transitions toSebastian`s back story. This is where the author lost me. In a typical novice writer's flaw, he failed to show me the story. Everything is told. In fact, it is over-told, as though the author did not trust his reader to get it - Sebastian has a terrible mother. Sebastian stutters. Sebastian needs to become a man.
I wanted very much to LOVE the interracial, intergenerational story of Sebastian and Marcus (a kind-hearted convict who teaches Sebastian what kind of man he can choose to be), but then it just fizzles out. What began as a tale I could not wait to return to, ended with an adolescent`s self analysis that I was just as eager to finish.
Almost perfect. But the distance between perfect and almost perfect is equal to a Greyhound bus trip that ends in Albequerque, and one that ends in Altuna.
Yes, He is an amazing narrator. His different voices are so good and really sound like different people. He draws me so deeply into the story. His performance is just unreal!
This book was such fun. I immediately bought and downloaded the sequel. Ready for more entertainment. It's a nice break from daily stress. I think I'll break my lifelong rule and listen to this again--it was that good. A new favorite.
The writing was well done, the story carried, never seeming to drag. The characters rounded out nicely, it captures the era accurately and reminds us of a time and place without cellphones and when this country was a different place (for ill and for good) to be in.
This is one of the best books I have read this year. Not only is it wonderfully written but the person who reads it is a genius plain and simple.
It was a joy listening to this creativ work while painting.
This was an excellent read or in my case listen. The story was brought to life and I was spell bound by the story. In writings such as these I almost hate to say I loved it, because it was real; it happened. The good and the bad, so in that since, I would just say thank you for sharing your story. For the readers/Listeners, it is well worth your time. I am on to the next chapter (Fugue State) to catch up on the future.
What an enjoyable tale! 11 year old oddball Sebastien is put on a Greyhound train by his no-account mother to go across the country alone to live with his grandparents. On the way he meets Marcus, a thirty-something black man returning home after a prison sentence, who acts as a sort of father figure and protects him on his journey. Lots of strange things happen on the journey, and they become true friends, each other's experiences and perspective enriching the other's in their three days together. It's a little bit sad, often funny, and overall heartwarming. Set in the late 70's, complete with cassette tapes and payphones.
A very touching tale of young, forgotten, naive Sebastion, taken under the wing by thoughtful Marco on the most strangest bus ride acoss the U.S. 3 days filled with life changing lessons for this young boy who wasnt dealt the best family but ultimately he learns to deal.
"A wonderful story which works very well as audio"
Probably not - it is a great story but there are too many books around to repeat read/listen.
Marcus - I wish he was someone I could chat with often, perhaps over dinner... a wise and fun person to know.
A delightful journey into friendship, wisdom, life.
Read the Amazon reviews as they sum this book up well. I wanted to add that it makes a great audio book, especially if being used as I do - accompanying my daily walks. I skipped a few weeks whilst on holiday and it was like a friend to return to, with no issue about remembering where the storyline had reached.
Story just perfect!
Had me hooked from the start!
Listened to the last 6 hours in one evening!
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