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The Longest Ride | [Nicholas Sparks]

The Longest Ride

91 year-old Ira Levinson is kept concious after a car wreck by visions of his late wife, Ruth, who recounts stories of their lifetime together. A few miles away, at a local rodeo, Sophia Danko, a senior at Wake Forest, meets a young cowboy named Luke. Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Romance, 2014

Ira Levinson is in trouble. At 91 years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward - even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans - a future that Luke has the power to rewrite... if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

©2013 Nicholas Sparks (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1032 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Hendie Canada 09-27-13
    Hendie Canada 09-27-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Understand!"

    Nicholas Sparks does it again. A heart warming story unlike most of his previous works, but still all about people, and the unexpected juncture at which they meet. At this stage of my life, this book reminded me again to appreciate the wonderful wife I have also been blessed to share a life with. It reminded me to treasure the time we still have together, and to make the most of every moment. I even had the privilege to listen to the audiobook with her as we worked our farm and prepare produce for the market. Without giving away anything specific, rest assured, this is one of Nicholas' feel-good stories!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Woodstock, ON, Canada 09-25-13
    Sandra Woodstock, ON, Canada 09-25-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another amazing book by Nicholas Sparks."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely. You won't be able to put it down because you are constantly wondering how the pieces will fit together. A fantastic, heart-warming story that proves our lives constantly touch one another regardless of whether we know one another or if we are complete strangers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They were all my favourite. Ira did stand out because of the story he had to tell.


    What does Ron McLarty and January LaVoy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They bring the characters to life. You begin to feel as if you are a part of the characters lives and they are sitting with you telling you about their lives.


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

    Yes, I was brought to tears near the end and don't want to spoil anything for anyone. I became so emotional that I had to stop my audiobook for a few minutes. This is one of Nicholas Sparks unique qualities though. His stories could be real life experiences which in turn elicits strong emotions from readers.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait for the next book, even though I know it will be awhile in it's making, I will be waiting anxiously. Another fantastic storyline! Thanks!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Spokane, WA, United States 09-24-13
    Kenneth Spokane, WA, United States 09-24-13 Member Since 2010
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    "All Time Best!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Longest Ride the most enjoyable?

    The detail of the relationships.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I felt like I knew the characters


    Which character – as performed by Ron McLarty and January LaVoy – was your favorite?

    Sophia was my favorite because of her simple loving heart, Ira was my favorite because of his deep love for his wife and Luke was my favorite because of his honest integrity and love for Sophia. Ruth was my favorite because of her love of Ira, her students and art she reminds me of my German grandmother who's name was the same and was also a school teacher.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I like the title of the book for this


    Any additional comments?

    There is so much I could say about this book. It embodies the love of a full life both of man to woman as well as the love of learning and the arts both on canvas and in the sports arena.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal Beeville, TX, United States 11-01-13
    Crystal Beeville, TX, United States 11-01-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Must read"

    There is not enough words for me to describe this book. Once again, Nickolas Sparks has done it again. This book is about 3 live coming together in 1 single moment. I couldn't put this book down from start to finish. How can 1 person love another so much? Read the book and you'll find out and be hooked just like I was. I hope they don't make this 1 into a movie :)

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bj Naples, ME, United States 10-13-13
    Bj Naples, ME, United States 10-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic story"

    This was such a great listen...it started a bit slow for me...but I was soon taken in by Ira. And then Ruth, and then their relationship. I LOVED this story. It brought out emotions in me that were different than other books...I think its because of the relationships....what a great turn of events... the narration of Ira and Ruths voices were so convincing to me. I loved how they were projected....it could be a very good movie.....

    I highly recommend this book to others....

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 12-08-13
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 12-08-13 Member Since 2001

    Letting the rest of the world go by

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sum of parts greater than whole"

    The author had two different stories playing in his mind and by telling both of them in one book made for a better book.

    This book was much better than watching TV. The different narrators make each story their own as the one is telling their story. My wife would sew and I would work on the crossword puzzle while listening. Sometimes, the story got so compelling at our bedtime we brought it with and kept listening for over an hour more. We seldom do that but the story is that nicely written and narrated thus compelling.

    I don't want to mislead. By Nicholas Sparks standards this story was only okay, but even a so so Sparks' novel is better than 90% of everything else (Sturgeon's Law as applied to novels with the Nicholas Sparks exception).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Glendale, AZ, United States 11-03-13
    Frank Glendale, AZ, United States 11-03-13 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

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    "One Word-- FANTASTIC!!!"

    The LONGEST RIDE is a work of ART in which Nicholas Sparks magically brings together two stories. The story makes a perfect circle. The narrators in the audio version is extremely well done. This is one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books to date. I read only nonfiction unless the author is Nicholas Sparks. He is not only gifted as an author but also has depth in showing what is truly important in our lives-- family, values and our spirituality.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anastasia Burke California 10-29-13
    Anastasia Burke California 10-29-13 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm not the right person for this book."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It is wonderful that there are so many authors in the world, because it means there's something for everyone. There are many books that I've given five stars to, but which might make fans of Nicholas Sparks wrinkle up their noses and go, "Are you crazy?"

    I fell in love with Nicholas Sparks when I read, by accident, his deeply affecting autobiographical book, "Three Weeks with My Brother." I loved this funny, sweet recounting of the whirlwind trip around the world Sparks took with his brother. I gave it to my then-teenaged son, my husband, and to many friends, all of whom gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

    I have since read three Sparks novels, this being the third. None of which I've ever completed.

    I have huge admiration for his ability to craft a story. And I was excited that this one had horses and bull riding and art (how many authors can do that?).

    Still, I just couldn't get through it. I know the ending because I hit the fast-forward button.

    I have finally decided that I'm just not the right person for a Nicholas Sparks novel. That doesn't mean it's a bad book. It means it's the wrong book for me.

    I think this book probably works best for fans of Kristin Hannah, Nora Roberts, or Barbara Delinsky.


    What could Nicholas Sparks have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Suggested I re-read "Anna Karenina."


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I must confess I did like the horseback riding scenes. I also thought the bull riding descriptions were accurate and well-written.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Longest Ride?

    If I could play editor, I would hand this off to the person in my office who specializes in romance. Because turning it away would be a really stupid financial decision. But I would not be the appropriate person to handle it.


    Any additional comments?

    Fans of Sparks will love this book. And they'll be happy, because I know now not to try another one. I've given it a good shot and it's just not a good fit.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Marietta, GA, United States 11-27-13
    Judith Marietta, GA, United States 11-27-13 Member Since 2010
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    "One of my favorites"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Longest Ride to be better than the print version?

    A great production.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Longest Ride?

    The final letter and the great twist at the end


    Any additional comments?

    He captures how love is the greatest gift to each other.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Whittier, CA, United States 09-23-13
    Frances Whittier, CA, United States 09-23-13

    It's all about romance in my library! I have a wonderful husband, children and my grandchildren they are my rock.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story - MUST buy!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes!!! The performance was excellent - I vision everything!


    What other book might you compare The Longest Ride to and why?

    I'm thinking the Notebook, how it took you back in time. But, the storyline is different.


    What does Ron McLarty and January LaVoy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They brought the story to life!!


    If you could take any character from The Longest Ride out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Ruth - I would like to learn more of her history. Trying to adopt to the new culture living in the US.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the fact, their were 2 stories and how they were combined together at the end. Beware - you will cry in this book, but don't we always with Nicholas Sparks books.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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