This raw and vivid portrait of juvenile detention centers and life on the run catapults John Gilstrap to the forefront of the crime thriller genre. Nathan Bailey is a 12-year-old juvenile-hall orphan with a problem. Covered in blood, he is caught on videotape fleeing from a murder scene. Will the boy evade the police long enough to tell the truth? Or will a hit man kill him before he gets the chance?
©1996 John Gilstrap (P)1996 Recorded Books
Although this book is listed as a Young Adult read, I found it thoroughly engrossing, thrilling, and heart reaching for this very adult reader!! It reminds me of C J Box's BLUE HEAVEN and the best of Charles Dickens' books about young orphan boys. Don't know how I missed this when it first came out, but am so glad I've found it now. I will definitely add John Gilstrap to my list of favorite authors!!
Nathan Bailey's Mom died when he was a baby, but he had a great life with his Dad, until his Dad was killed in a train wreck when Nathan was 10 years old. Unfortunately, things went rapidly down hill after that. He was placed in his drunken, scum-bag uncle's house. After much abuse, beatings and neglect, Nathan stole his Uncle's car in an effort to get away. He was caught, whereupon his uncle gleefully saw Nathan sent off to a Virginia Juvenile Detention Center for his punishment. After a miserable few months of fighting off bullies and abusers, he found himself in the tiny detention room, fighting for his life with one of the worst guards there. Sheer luck and stealth found Nathan surviving, running from the guard whom Nathan had killed in self defense. Now branded as a cop killer, the whole force of the police and politically motivated Attorney General's office comes down upon him. Continuing to run and hide seems to be Nathan's only hope.
"The Bitch" is a night time radio host who makes her living speaking to callers in shocking honesty. When the topic of "Nathan" comes up, everyone wants to see the "cop killer" caught, but should he be tried as a juvenile or as an adult. Opinions are strong for both sides. Hearing himself talked about, Nathan calls "The Bitch" to give his side of the story. Then it becomes ---is Nathan a murderer or a victim, and why would anyone want to kill a little boy?!? But the action has just begun. Nathan is definitely being pursued by police and a hit man, and the chase continues.
The characters were so well written that I felt like I knew who they were. The suspense drew me in from the very beginning and didn't slow down till the very last word on the very last page!! Nathan definitely won my heart. Great book, John Gilstrap!!
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Oh wow! This is a terrific story with characters that come to life through George Guidall's outstanding performance. From the first sentences it was clear this was going to be a page-turner (or all nighter for those of us who listen!) Imagine good cops and bad cops and a "tween" boy whose only living relative threw him to the dogs and now he is facing off with nearly the whole world in a life or death struggle. Nathan's Run is an excellent listen!
Yes, because George Guidall brings the story to life. If I had one choice for someone to narrate my novels - it would be this man. Nathan's Run is a well-written and developed story which will make you laugh and cry.
This is on par with the best of John Grisham and Randy Wayne White. It is absolutely a suspense thriller.
This narrator has no match since Frank Muller passed away.
The closing scene with the boy in the arms of the detective.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Nathan Bailey came to live with his Uncle Mark when he was 10 years old. His dad had been killed in a traffic accident. There were no other living relatives.
Nathan and his Uncle Mark did not like one another. His Uncle Mark was an alcoholic who was physically and mentally abusive to Nathan.
Nathan stole Mark's car in an attempt to run away. He was caught and ended up in the Juvenile Detention Center for 18 months. Uncle Mark figured that the time served would do Nathan good. He needed to learn the hard way. It may just correct his insolent behavior.
Mark was trying to make a fast buck. However, he was dealing with the mob and made some very stupid decisions.
Mark was to be paid a significant amount of money to kill Nathan. Instead of completing the job himself, he asked a guard to kill Nathan and when done, Mark would give him a substantial amount of money. The guard, feared by all of the kids, requested that Nathan come to the crisis room. Nathan feared for his life. Nathan was the smallest boy at the JDC and had been bullied from day one. His initiation was to have a broomstick shoved up his rectum over and over by the other boy's. He reported this incident to the same guard and was ignored. He continued to be bullied but never complained again.
Nathan arrived at the crisis room knowing he would be severely harmed or maybe even killed. Sure enough, the guard, drunk as usual, was waiting with the knife.
Nathan was a wiry kid and and smelling the guard's breath, knew he was drunk Nathan defended himself and was able to get the knife. Nathan stabbed the guard and didn't know what to do. He pulled the knife out and caused the wound to bleed more. He killed the guard with the knife that was supposed to kill him.
He took the keys from the guard, barefooted, dressed in the orange suit of the JDC, hanging below his ankles and ran like hell, unlocking doors as he went.
The next shift arrived and found the guard dead in the crisis room.
I read this book all in one sitting. The book caught my interest from page one. The narrator did a great job with each of the individual character's. The book was filled with suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat. There are characters that I would have liked to have gotten my hands on. The one character was taken care of by Nathan. It's a catch 22, kill or be killed. I would encourage others to listen to, Nathan's Run. I'm so glad I was able to raise my own children. However, there are still are good people in this world. There are some edgy scenes laced throughout the book. I don't think that you'll regret purchasing this book.
You can't help cheering for Nathan to get away. He's a great character. While the story might be a little predictable, it is still a wonderful read!
Yeah, anything Guidall does is awesome.
Okay let me first preface with, I do not like children in novels and movies. They always seem to get in the way and they are just down right annoying. (think that little brat in Jurassic Park) However, the author did something that no one ever does. He made the kid interesting, intelligent and Nathan didn't always have to have an adult there to...ahem.. "wipe his back side". Nathan was one tough little guy. I loved this story. It was one of the more entertaining ones that I listened to this year. He was not only intelligent, he was cunning, brave, independent and determined. All the qualities that make for a great thriller.
Guidall is the man. He is the master of the profession. In my opinion it doesn't get better than this guy. He was the reason I bought the book at first.
This book rates right up there with William Landy's Defending Jacob. Superbly written and narrated.
Everything! As usual, the narrator can either make or break a book. His performance was top of the line. He brought each character to life with their own personalities and the flow of each dialogue was perfect!
Absolutely!! And I did!!!!!
John Gilstrap and George Guidall make a dynamic team! Gilstrap's imagination combined with Guidall's ability to bring the story to life is second to none!
Definitly - I have waited for over 10 years to listen to this performance again - great writer - legendary reader - and a topic and setting that seems to catch the casual interest and drive the point home.
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