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November Road

A Novel
Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (272 ratings)
Regular price: $30.79
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Publisher's Summary

Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America - a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.

Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.

A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn - he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate - a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.

Guidry knows that the first rule of running is "don’t stop", but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.

For her, it’s more than a car - it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.

It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope - and find each other on the way.

Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.

Another rule - fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.

Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.

And it might get them both killed.

©2018 Lou Berney (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A new look at life after the JFK Assassination

There seems to be many books out, especially in recent years, about conspiracy surrounding the JFK assassination. You have Stephen Kings '11/22/63' and Stephen Hunters 'The Third Bullet', but all of those pale in comparison to what Lou Berney did with this story.

November Road takes the reader/listener on a magnificent journey that has mystery, intrigue, and characters that are put into extraordinary situations. This really takes the reader on this ride, using the JFK assassination as somewhat of a backdrop to what happens to Frank Guidry, who has been serving a New Orleans mob boss, and now he must run from him. He uses another fantastically designed character, Charlotte, to assist him in this process.

This book really was a nice, refreshing listen/read to your typical books that surround November 1963.

I thought this book was beautifully written, and it is glaringly obvious that Berney put so much time and effort into the design of each chapter, character, and page.

This book sucked me in, and I listened to the entire thing yesterday (the day it was released). It is easily going down as one of my favorites of the year.

Johnathan McClain was also the perfect narrator for this story. My only small critique was that at points when characters are whispering in the story, McClain would whisper as well, which caused me to have to ride the volume for parts of it. That's quite minor and nit-picking, because otherwise, the narration was superb.

I can't recommend this book enough!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Run out and get this book right now!

It is a thrill to review a book that is this great. I have liked Lou Berney's prior books, but this one is better than the other three or four combined, and they were excellent. The publisher's summary lets you know about the setting and the characters, but there is nothing like listening to the fantastic narration and getting to know the people and following along in their extremely romantic, funny, thrilling romance and adventure. Frank Guidry is a con man who knows too much about the assassination of JFK, and as a result his superiors in the mob are determined to track him down. He hits the road. And there he comes upon Charlotte Roy and her divine little girls, Joan and her sister, whose name I have temporarily blocked. In any case, Frank falls hopelessly in love with the three of them. They are on the road running away from a needy, alcoholic father and husband, Dooley. The family has been living in a small town in Oklahoma, which, as it turns out, is where Lou Berney grew up and still lives. His imagination is just a marvelous thing. The reassembled family hits Route 66, all the way through the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and on to Las Vegas, where they meet up with Moe Dalitz, a mobster in his own right. Moe hates Carlos, the opposing mobster who is Frank's boss. Moe hates Carlos so much that he is willing to send Frank all the way to Viet Nam to run his own new interests (read: gambling, prostitution, drugs and who knows what else). If only to spite Carlos. Moe has a stable of lily-white teenage boys and girls who laze around his mansion playing ridiculous, dangerous, drugged-out games for him. Confused? Don't be. Lou Berney pulls all of this off with supreme aplomb. You root for Frank and Charlotte all the way, even though Frank must invent an identity to protect himself from the cold killer Paul Barone, who will off anybody just for kicks.
I love everything about this book. I hope you do too. I cannot imagine what Mr. Berney and the delightful Jonathan McClain can come up with next. I can't wait.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Lou Bernie has his way with me again!

What a writer! How does he do it...so smooth, and so easily read! I love his characters, even the no good ones....I love their backbones and how he brings them in and out of the read! Wow, and thank you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Best of the Year

This is truly a great book and in my humble readers opinion, the best book I have listened to this year. Great story performed by an outstanding narrator. This is a must read and a can't miss.#UnlikelyHero #Inspiring #OnTheRoad #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One NEVER knows!

Great narration and even better story! I never gave much thought to this being a real possibility but damn! Finally an ending I could enjoy just not left wondering.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Failure to Launch

Nothing about this book grabbed me. It was a chore to slog through. I finally gave up and didn't finish it.

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High-stakes Thriller with Emotional Depth

The protagonist becomes a "loose end" in a New Orleans mafia organization after he provides the getaway car to Pres. Kennedy's "real assassin" (also a loose end, who's quickly fried).

However you might at first try to pigeonhole this novel--as a cat-and-mouse, a falling-in-love-on-the-road or a criminal/conspiracy suspense novel--I can assure you, it defies simple categorization and is ultimately so much more. The novel's neck-whipping pace, its cast of wholly believable and complex characters, a brief magnetic and moving love affair and a really bad hombre' giving chase make this novel the rarest of commodities in my book: a high-stakes literary thriller with emotional depth that is difficult to put down.

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This is the book to get

A lot of people are raving about this. Now I am one of them. WOW, crazy good, entertaining and narrated to perfection. Lou Berney has a new fan.

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Starts good

Great concept to start and a real page turner, it had me recommending it to people. Then it muddled and shriveled and eventually just died. Very disappointing last 1/3.

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Loved it!

Great story AND narration! I'll be looking for more books by this author. The narration really brought it to life