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Gladstone | [John Miller]

Gladstone

Jack Saunders just wants a new start after a messy divorce. He doesn't bargain on a wrong turn and a breakdown in the Arizona desert. A beautiful girl coming to his rescue on a classic Indian motorcycle might mean things are looking up. Or, they might be turning really strange in a town that time forgot, with friendly people willing to die for a cause...to save a founder's statue.
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Publisher's Summary

Jack Saunders just wants a new start after a messy divorce. He doesn't bargain on a wrong turn and a breakdown in the Arizona desert. A beautiful girl coming to his rescue on a classic Indian motorcycle might mean things are looking up. Or, they might be turning really strange in a town that time forgot, with friendly people willing to die for a cause...to save a founder's statue.

©2013 John Anthony Miller (P)2014 John Anthony Miller

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (8 )
5 star
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4.5 (8 )
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Story
4.5 (8 )
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  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-09-14
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-09-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    135
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    203
    194
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Twlight Zone + Western"
    Would you listen to Gladstone again? Why?

    Yes, especially if I finish the series. It would be fun to go back and relisten to it in a few years.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gladstone?

    Susan and Jack under the stars.


    Which character – as performed by Deren Hansen – was your favorite?

    The Brit.


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

    No. It wasn't that kind of book.


    Any additional comments?

    This story caught my attention early on. Jack breaking down on a dusty road in Arizona really isn’t that odd. Lots of dusty roads in the Southwest. Lots of people break down. But once he gets to Gladstone, we start to see interesting little bits that let us, the readers, know that all is not as it seems. So while I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on with the townsfolk, I had fun watching Jack start to notice the oddities. The town is small, tucked away in a canyon. There’s one bar where folks go to drink and socialize and lose at darts. One man goes out every few weeks to bring in supplies. So no deliveries from the outside world. Yet folks have cell phones and computers. So these folks are not ignorant of the rest of the world. Indeed the set up is excellent, giving the reader plenty to ponder and keep them reading on.

    The middle of the story sagged a bit for me as everyone was way, way polite. While we do start to learn of Susan’s strange affinity with animals, that was pretty much the highlight of the middle. But the last third picked up again with Haskell, who use to live in Gladstone. He becomes the main antagonist. Of course, Jack isn’t aware of Haskell or his reasons for wanting to cause destruction to Gladstone, so the townsfolk have to make a choice of whether or not to trust the man. Will Jack help the town? Will they kick him out? Will they tie him up and lock him in his car until all the excitement is over and then toss him out? I wasn’t sure until the last quarter of the book how things would turn out for Jack – and that is one of the things I liked about this book.

    The plot starts off strong, but by the end I had some questions, mostly about the other main character, Susan. She is Native American, but we never learn her family name. And since she has this strong affinity for the animals, wild and tame, I wondered how she felt about the townsfolk eating meat. I can’t recall her specifically eating meat, but she did go to a dance where a pig was being roasted. Luckily, the author didn’t mind chatting on line and assured me that all meat was brought in from the outside (so, no the townsfolk were not eating Susan’s friends). And Susan has her Caucasian name because her Native American name is too hard for many people to pronounce.

    Also, my one real criticism is that Susan is the only non-Caucasian in this book. If you have read the book and know the ending, this doesn’t make much sense. SPOILER ALERT The canyon has some magical quality that has preserved Susan since the 1800s. Her family left her there to go finish business warring and never came back. So after a few years, she was lonely, and started taking in strays – like these sick, dying folks who couldn’t keep up with a caravan heading to California. But for some reason she never found any Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, or Native Americans that were sick or wounded or being chased by bad people to take in and help. Given the racial mix of the Southwest over the 200 year time period, you’d think there would be at least one or two other non-Caucasian’s taken in and who also decided to stay. END SPOILER. Still, perhaps this will come up in future installments in the series and we’ll see a more realistic cast of characters.

    The ending wrapped up the major plot points for this story, but also left the door open for the next book in the series. By the end, we have more info about the antagonist and his reasons for attacking Gladstone and we also know something of the magical qualities of the canyon. Jack still needs to find his spot in life, and the townsfolk may have found an ally in Jack. Oh, and part of this book takes place in the town I was born in, albeit I only ever visited the hospital – my parents living in an even smaller town that had no medical personnel whatsoever.

    Narration: The narration was very good, Hansen capturing Jack’s often questioning attitude as he tried to figure out what the hell was going on. Hansen also had very nice feminine voices, a British accent, and a Tennessee accent too (when it was required).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert lancaster, PA, United States 02-18-14
    Robert lancaster, PA, United States 02-18-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    2
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    0
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    "Great Book, I loved it within 5 minutes"
    What did you love best about Gladstone?

    Gladstone doesn't have any boring spaces in it. Right from the start it grabs you and makes you think.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story is real easy to listen to and the author didn't complicate things by being too mysterious. There are subtle hints throughout the book that give you some sort of idea what might happen but not so much that you know the ending before you get there.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Jack and Susan leaving town. It was a shift in the book because it went from Jack being in Susan's world to Susan being in Jack's and showed a whole other side of each of them.


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

    Change isn't always better!


    Any additional comments?

    I found myself wanting more Gladstone at the end. We only got a small peak into the history of a small tight knit town. Maybe the beginning of a series John Miller?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig R. Nystrom Seattle, WA USA 04-26-15
    Craig R. Nystrom Seattle, WA USA 04-26-15

    TrekDude

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sci Fi Western"
    What made the experience of listening to Gladstone the most enjoyable?

    A good story, suitable for all ages. This story should appeal to all readers, this story has mystery, suspense, romance, and dynamite!


    What other book might you compare Gladstone to and why?

    It read like a classic Twilight Zone story. It had elements of Cowboys vs. Aliens.


    Which character – as performed by Deren Hansen – was your favorite?

    The main character Jack was my favorite.. He ends up in a town full of secrets and he has to figure out what is going on.


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

    The day trip to Havasu was a fun scene in the book. From the swimsuit shop to riding "water motorcycles" made for a fun sequence. The final action sequence was great. All is revealed and John Miller constructs an action sequence like no other.


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melissa gardena, CA, United States 05-11-14
    melissa gardena, CA, United States 05-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    8
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    0
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    Story
    "A great read"
    What did you love best about Gladstone?

    i loved the family dynamics of the characters the fact they have each other best interest in heart even when an outsider come into their midst its like they never miss a beat


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    mom and susan mom shes just a funny she a tough cookie and susan is so energetic shes always wanting to see things she seem like a bright and funny character


    What about Deren Hansen’s performance did you like?

    it was great i enjoyed it immensely


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

    it made me smile i enjoys the charisma and seance of humor each character presented


    Any additional comments?

    i cant wait to hear the next book it was a joy to hear this one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Holly Bluff, Ms, United States 02-23-14
    Amazon Customer Holly Bluff, Ms, United States 02-23-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read"

    Great book I hope John writes a series . Was intrigued from the beginning loved the twist in the book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Garcia Los Angeles, CA USA 02-21-14
    Jennifer Garcia Los Angeles, CA USA 02-21-14 Member Since 2015

    itlnbrt

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    42
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    FOLLOWING
    5
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Historical Western? No ... It's just an illusion."

    This was a fantastic story. Set in current day, but feels like it goes back, almost historical. It's just an illusion and part of the mystery of the story. It's a wonderful plot with a great romance in the background. Truly had me hooked the whole time I listened.

    The narrator did a wonderful job with the narrating. Each character had its own voice and I enjoyed the pace in which he spoke. His voice was almost hypnotic.

    It's a small town, western, gun slinging, camaraderie, and take care of each other type of book. I truly enjoyed. There's not much more I can say without giving it away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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