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
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.
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.
Tom's performance was easy to listen too and I enjoyed that he, the author, was the one telling the story.
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.
Entrepreneur, marketer, Zen Buddhist.
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.
There's always time for reading
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."
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 !!!
I knew the areas and the story
When Atticus went down the "red carpet"
whenever an author reads the book, it means so much more
I cried and laughed and my heart raced throughout this book
anyone who loves dogs should read this...
If you like life, dogs, or family; then look no further. This is it.
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.
Yes, dog lover. I have a schaunzer and know what love they can give and how you just want to give it back.
Atticus reaching the summits
Unforgettable, heartwarming, and inspiring.
Of course it was the main character, Atticus. His friend the author, Tom, made him come to life as I listened to the story. I have a little dog that I walk every morning while listening to books on my ipod. My dog became Atticus to me.
It was heartfelt and loving towards his dog and his father.
I cried several times but the one I remember is when Atticus received his award.
Since reading this book I've searched the internet for more pictures of Atticus and wish I could meet him in person.
Listening to contemporary and historical fiction, mysteries/thrillers, and the occasional bio or memoir. Narration is key; nothing is more distracting than a poor telling of a good story! My rating scale: 5=Love It; 4 = Like It; 3 = It's Okay; 2 = Not So Good; 1 = Bad, Really Bad.
A great story about human and dog relationships told by a wonderful writer and narrator. I don't even have a dog, but loved the story of Atticus and his human companion, Tom. This is a terrific story about man's best friend and their amazing achievements together.
Yes whole heartedly. Tom Ryan has a great speaking voice, and has written a most heartwarming story with a happy ending.
This is a love story. Simple and true.
Tom and Atticus are the stars from beginning to end.
It made me laugh and cry, and want to read it and listen to it over and over.
This is a wonderful book and anyone that listens to it, will want to listen again and again.
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