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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Run Nathan Run!!

This story is highly entertaining and it held my interest throughout. As the publisher's summary provides, Nathan is on the run for his life. Nathan is the underdog (wrongly accused, etc) and I root for children and underdogs, and against scum-bags and greedy relatives. This story is told in a way that's entertaining and suspenseful. As described by one reviewer, Nathan will steal your heart. His grief over the death of his parents and his struggles to survive abuse by the adults in his life, have taught and "schooled" Nathan to the point that he's become "street smart." However, when Nathan's dilemma comes to the attention of "the bitch", a radio host, he stole her heart and all of her listeners' heart as well.... the tide begins to slowly turn in Nathan favor.

George Guidall's outstanding performance brought the story and characters to life. A great read. Highly Recommend.....

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 04-02-18

3.5 Abrupt Ending

Fun, quick read that kept my interest and had me rooting for Nathan to evade the folks who were trying to capture him. He was such a sweet kid, and I liked his interactions with Denise, the radio host. What I didn't like was the abrupt ending. I went to the author's website and read the alternate ending, but wasn't crazy about that one either. I also wish there was more detail about the destruction of the career of that idiot politician, Petrelli.
I would have given this 5 stars as it had all the elements that I look forward to in a great escape/on the run type novel. But the ending was surprisingly abrupt. I felt there should have been some sort of epilogue or at least a few words regarding the other characters that played important roles in the story.

George Guidall was outstanding with the delivery of the story

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Young Nathan will win your heart!!

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!!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 03-24-18

John Gilstrap's best novel!

John Gilstrap is best known now for his Jonathan Grave series, but his 1996 release of Nathan's Run is his best novel and the one that established him as a top level suspense thriller author. Hearing the eminent George Guidall narrate this great novel makes it even better.

Nathan's Run should be on the must read list for everyone who likes the suspense thriller genre.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A terrific thriller. You will lose sleep over it.

This is a great book. I looked at the rest of John Gilstrap's books, and they seem to be about an agent named Graves, who works for the government in some kind of CIA/FBI espionage series of adventures. I don't really like those kind of books. I do like this kind of book. The protagonist is a twelve-year-old boy named Nathan Bailey, who is falsely accused of killing a guard in the "juvenile justice" center where he is being held. The killing is actually pure self-defense, but no one knows that in the beginning of the story. Nathan escapes and goes on the run, thus the title of the book. As Nathan is running, a woman named Denise Carpenter falls into a radio talk show host position, in which she is called The Bitch, a part which is not natural to her, but which she plays with panache. As soon as her program begins, the story of Nathan Bailey becomes news, and people start calling in to her with their ignorant, enraged voices, not interested in hearing the facts of the case but all too eager to be titillated by the idea of a mad, twelve-year-old cop-killing maniac. Soon Nathan himself calls in from one of his hiding places, and very quickly Denise understands the truth. She begins to defend Nathan, and the world gets enraged at her for taking his side. However, she uses the force of her personality and the rightness of the truth to persuade her audience that Nathan is in fact innocent. This is a great story, and you get pulled into it by both by the excellent writing of Mr. Gilstrap and also by the truly captivating voice and talents of the priceless George Guidall. This man has managed via his many talents to embody a number of fictional characters, to the point at which I just cannot imagine any other narrator trying to top him. Walt Longmire is probably the best-known of these. Craig Johnson has developed a huge fan club of people who cannot wait for the next Longmire adventure. The series of books has now been turned into a Netflix TV series, which for once is done with as much skill as the source material. The first TV series that I have really enjoyed since Deadwood.
In any case, Nathan wears out his legs and his stamina, running away from people who want to get him, the most dangerous of whom is a hit man who was hired originally to pay Ricky Harris, the juvenile center guard, to kill Nathan. I am not making the plot sound as entertaining as it is, which means that Mr. Gilstrap is a way better writer than I am. Also, he has about ten hours to pull you in to his story, plus the inimitable Mr. Guidall to portray the entire cast of characters. The ending of the book is a little weak, as another reviewer remarks, but that is about the only criticism that I can make. Read this book. I predict that you will lose sleep, as I have, and that you will enjoy this adventure immensely.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 02-18-15

Great World vs Kid Story Full of Suspense!

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!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Francis
  • BELLINGHAM, WA, United States
  • 03-17-18

I was unable to go to sleep until I finished it.

Any additional comments?

What a story, what a kid! John Gilstrap is a great story teller, and George Guidall is a
great narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SheriDoty
  • Holladay, UT, United States
  • 03-14-18

Worth the Credit

Some years a go I heard this in my public library, before I found audible, I would buy audio books directly from Recorded Books Incorporated as cassette tapes. This is one of those favorites. I am glad to find it on audible. As always George Guidall is the best narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorites

This book has long been one of my favorites. I've listened to it several times. I do wish there was a little more to the ending though.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Minnesota
  • 12-29-13

Loved this one!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Nathan's Run to be better than the print version?

Yeah, anything Guidall does is awesome.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee
  • 06-19-18

Suspense Galore

The suspense was amazing. Got to the stage where I would sneak off to listen to my book. Good storyline, the narrator was amazing, keeping in character. Well done to a very successful enjoyable story that kept the suspense and going until the end.