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Following Atticus Audiobook

Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

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Publisher's Summary

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.

An Audible for Dogs Pick: Make your dog's day. Cesar Millan shares how audiobooks can make dogs happier and calmer. Learn more.

©2011 Tom Ryan (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (335 )
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  •  
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 06-17-12
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 06-17-12 Member Since 2017
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    "A True Story of Personal Transformation"

    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.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 03-31-14
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2017

    SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

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    "More Than Just Man/Man's Best Friend!"

    I was so thrilled with this book! I often get a hankering for a good animal story as usually they're so wonderful and inspirational. Following Atticus did not disappoint!
    What I really liked about this book was that yes, it follows Tom and Atticus on their journey, but it also follows Tom as he discovers himself along the way and becomes who he's meant to be. And most of it is because of an adorable little dog, Atticus. (And I really love that one dog started it, Max, a dog that Tom was very leery of taking into his life but who radically changed it and showed him what true love is.)
    This book is also about looking at the past, and realizing that people do the best that they can and that they are who they are. And Tom has to figure out how to love and forgive and live with the wounds that coming from a lonely family, living with an abusive and neglectful parent, have caused. Forget about climbing all those peaks, and those are great, but the real work is done in his heart.
    I bought the kindle version of this also, and I'm very glad that I did because some of the prose is so lovely, so poetic, the descriptions and imagery are so beautiful and written with such insight that I'm looking forward to reading some passages over again. Truly well done.
    This is a touching, wonderful book, well worth the listen, well worth the time. You'll love Atticus, you'll root for Tom. And you'll be tempted to check out their blog. I know, that's cheating, but I really can't wait for the next book!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    1stpita OR USA 01-02-12
    1stpita OR USA 01-02-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Amazing Story"
    Would you listen to Following Atticus again? Why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Following Atticus?

    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.


    What about Tom Ryan???s performance did you like?

    Tom's performance was easy to listen too and I enjoyed that he, the author, was the one telling the story.


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

    Tom rescued


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 02-01-16
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 02-01-16 Member Since 2008

    Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.

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    "So Much More Than Just Another Dog Story!"

    I had this book in my Wish List for a long while but figured it was just another dog story. However, after a few recent audio disappointments, I felt I needed to try something I had a better chance of enjoying.

    This book starts out a bit unexpectedly with the author setting the stage, that is, describing his surroundings and who he is. In actuality, he is really the star of the book and in my eyes, he somewhat eclipses his beloved little dog, Atticus. No problem, it works beautifully.

    I love hiking stories, have read many about the Appalachian Trail, and I also (usually) love books about special dogs. I also favor books that move me emotionally. This book by Tom Ryan has it all. I finished it in two days.

    Let me reiterate. This is not just a dog story. It is the story of a man who was put on the right road of life thanks to his love of a special little dog. Sure, there is a bit of anthropomorphism here, but it should be acceptable and understandable by anyone who has truly loved an animal. As the book progressed and I came to understand what it really was, I realized what a beautiful and moving story I had chosen. I laughed and cried, but not for the typical reason you may suspect given the nature of the story.

    Tom Ryan narrated his own story and it worked for me.

    Very highly recommended!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike United States 07-15-13
    Mike United States 07-15-13
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    "What a wonderful friendship between man and dog!"
    What did you love best about Following Atticus?

    The friendship and respect between a man and his dog.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Atticus.....I had a schnauzer and could relate with his stubborness, but also with the love he shown to his owner.


    What does Tom Ryan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I read the book, and after I recently lost my beloved Schnauzer, I went back and purchased the audable. Tom Ryan brought Atticus to life in the book...it was just what I needed to get through my loss.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes....and practically did!<br/>


    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely would recommend this book to all!<br/>

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Bergh NH 11-01-11
    P. Bergh NH 11-01-11 Member Since 2013

    There's always time for reading

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    "The Little Dog (and the Big Man) That Could!"

    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."

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank seekonk, MA, USA 07-30-12
    Frank seekonk, MA, USA 07-30-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Tom and Atticus my new Favorite book!!!"

    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 !!!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Jacob Port of Spain 02-20-16
    Deborah Jacob Port of Spain 02-20-16 Member Since 2016

    I am an author and a librarian, and I happily now live in the realm of audio books.

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    "Finally! A Dog Book with a Difference"

    Following Atticus turned out to be a surprisingly great listen on a number of levels. The narrator's voice was sincere and refreshing -- not always the case for writers who read their own books. There are surprises and a mix of unexpected emotions, with the heartwarmingly good ones winning out overall. I love dog books, but I usually feel set up by those books because writers of such books have a penchant for being cute and funny and then hitting you with something sad that ends up defining the book. This is not the case is this delightfully thought-provoking book with a message that we all can find find our calling in life. Can't wait for the next book -- and it's a long wait, quite October, I believe.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank 09-24-15
    Frank 09-24-15

    Coinmn

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    "A man and his dog...."

    or is it a dog and his man. This is the story of a dog and his friend, Tom Ryan. An unlikely dog owner who, by a twist of fate, got the best friend he could ever ask for. I think that if you are a dog person, that at some point , if you are lucky, you et to have the dog of your lifetime. This is that story! Atticus and Tom were the perfect match for each other. Together they made each other better and together they became what neither could have become alone. A heartwarming story that will make you laugh, cry and want to go spend some together time with your dog. Long live Atticus!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cheryl wachtel 08-10-15
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    "Best man and dog story. Ever."

    Lucky guy and lucky dog for finding each other. Such perfect words to describe their life, their love and their respect for all. Now I want to go out and get a little dog and hike.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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