Long Way Gone
“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.” At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns to his remote home in the Colorado Mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it.A radical retelling of the story of the prodigal son, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

Long Way Gone Details

TitleLong Way Gone
Author
ReleaseOct 4th, 2016
PublisherThomas Nelson
ISBN-139780718084714
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Fiction, Christian, Contemporary

Long Way Gone Review

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, I had no idea I would like this book so much. It touched me in so many ways, it's taken me a bit to figure what I'm even going to say. I laughed and I cried and I loved. When Cooper finally made his way home to Colorado he was a changed man in many ways. His music career was over, or so it seemed. He had plenty of money and he fixed up the old Ptarmigan Theatre his dad bought years ago but never did anything with it. Cooper made it into a nice little theatre with recording equipment and he Wow, I had no idea I would like this book so much. It touched me in so many ways, it's taken me a bit to figure what I'm even going to say. I laughed and I cried and I loved. When Cooper finally made his way home to Colorado he was a changed man in many ways. His music career was over, or so it seemed. He had plenty of money and he fixed up the old Ptarmigan Theatre his dad bought years ago but never did anything with it. Cooper made it into a nice little theatre with recording equipment and he had local talent, schools musicals, touring choirs, etc that would play there. He also made a little apartment above that he lived in when it was winter since his cabin was way up on the mountain. The cabin his dad build years ago. He also secretly bought "The Rope" where they play music nightly and make money from plenty of tourists coming to drink and hear music. Cooper was magic on the guitar but these days he plays for the wonderful people at the old folks home. Big-Big (my favorite character) is a large black man that has been in Cooper's life since he was little and he plays piano and some of the old folks play some other instruments. Good times =)The story goes back and forth from the present to the past but the author does this in a way that is not confusing at all. <--That is saying a lot because it doesn't take much to confuse me. Cooper actually meets his old flame and singing/playing partner, Daley Cross in his home town. He couldn't believe it. Of course he found her in a bad way but you should never hitch hike! Anyway, they spend some time together and talk about the past. But then Daley is on her way, only for awhile though. It all works out in the end. There is a big, sad love story there. Along with Cooper's history of what happened to him. It threw me for a loop! When Cooper was kid his dad was a revival preacher so they went around a lot. And this is how his dad picked up Big-Big and he was a wonderful man through-out the whole story. Well, so was Cooper's father too. But when Cooper got older he set out on his own, got some fame, met Daley, got some more fame, had a very horrific thing happen to him and then he came home. The revelations that came out throughout the book really touched me and made me cry. It's one of those WHY?? moments. Anyway, I have rambled on too much so I'm going to leave with some excerpts. Because revivals occur mostly at night, Dad spent a lot of daytime hours in small towns where he preached, drumming up interest. He'd eat in the local diner, hamming it up with the waitresses; he'd get a shave in the local barbershop; he'd do a load of laundry at the Laundromat; and, given that the residents were a rather captive audience, he'd take his message to local prisons. That's where he met Big Ivory, who was serving a five-year sentence for assault-which, given his size, must have been easy to do. Big Ivory was about six feet six inches tall, probably weighed close to two hundred and eighty pounds, and while his teeth were the color of ivory, his skin was coffee black. He said when he got out, Dad was the only guy of any color who offered him a job. Dad had been waiting on Big-Big when he walked out of prison. The way Big-Big tells it, Dad rolled down the window of his bus and said, "You hungry?"Big-Big said, "I looked at this white man and thought, He crazy. But my stomach was growling." Their friendship started at breakfast.•••••••When Dad finished, Mr. Slocumb looked at me, then back at Dad, then at Big-Big, then back at me, and finally back at Dad. He tipped his hat back slightly and hung his thumbs in his belt loops."Let me get this straight. You happened to be trespassing one day on my land, where I've posted more than two hundred No Trespassing signs, and you happened upon my pretty little meadow up yonder. And you thought to yourself, this'd make a great site for preaching tent revival where you're gonna have a stage and some tents that will just magically appear. And this man here"-he thumbed at Big-Big-"who's bigger than any human I ever seen, is gonna play pianer while you-"He glanced at me, flipped the toothpick, and then stared back at Dad. "While you preach fire and brimstone to several hundred, maybe even a few thousand self-proclaimed and attentive sinners who are gonna miraculously appear with cars and picnics and umbrellers. And every one of them people, in order to get to your little revival, is gonna parade across my pasture here an then park on the grass that I intend to feed to my cattle before it snows this winter."He paused and swallowed. "And to top it all off, you're gonna do all this without passing the plate, without taking nothing from nobody and without talking once't about money or giving or how if they don't they's stealing from"-he pointed up-"the Lord," He nodded. "That right?"Dad nodded. "That pretty much sums it up."The man laughed. "Mister, you got bigger-" He glanced at me again. "Than my bull out yonder." He rolled his eyes and turned to Big-Big. "Fella, what size shoe you wear?"Big-Big never hestitated, "Fi'teen."It's funny, it's sad, it's a coming of age story, it's life. It's great! I never would have thought. I seem to find gems when I least expect it! *I got a print copy of this book through the BookLookBloggers Program.*MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Charles Martin’s writing is truly something special.It feels different somehow. Like the few others of his I’ve read, this story touched my soul on a deeper level. His words, throughout the entire story, had such substance and profound meaning. Things that made me sit back and think. This one combined two of my favorite things - a great love story and music. Music colors my world. I couldn’t imagine how gray and bland life would be without it. I personally have no musical ability, but for me the Charles Martin’s writing is truly something special.It feels different somehow. Like the few others of his I’ve read, this story touched my soul on a deeper level. His words, throughout the entire story, had such substance and profound meaning. Things that made me sit back and think. This one combined two of my favorite things - a great love story and music. Music colors my world. I couldn’t imagine how gray and bland life would be without it. I personally have no musical ability, but for me there is nothing more exciting than being in a crowd of people, sharing the sound and feeling of an artists words; singing along and living in the moment. Can you tell I’m a concert junkie? It was drawing on my own memories that made it easy to live in the experience that Cooper and his dad were creating. To feel the sparks Peg and Daley had on stage. “I’m giving you all that I have. All I’m ever gonna have. I’m giving you my song. Will you sing it back to me?" I love the thought of growing up with music so ingrained in your being, it’s like breathing. The passion Cooper’s father exuded was infectious. He pushed his son to realize his own gift and to let it out in a way that wasn’t boastful or being used for someone else to profit. While I could understand Cooper’s rebellion, I think at one time or another we’ve all thought our parents had no clue what they were talking about, it doesn’t mean I agreed with how he went about it. It broke my heart, actually. For some reason, it hit me pretty hard that he stole Jimmy. Somehow, in my mind, it felt like the ultimate betrayal. Worse than a punch to the face.Cooper lands in Nashville and it’s a tough road. I probably would have given up and crawled back home, but he let the fear of his father’s hatred and rejection stop him. He had to make something of himself first. In hindsight, he might not have met Daley if he could take it all back, but still. Why couldn’t he just be honest? His intentions were in the right place, but it cost him too much. “What if I loved you enough not to tell you?” I’m not sure what to say about the ending. I kind of wish things had played out a little differently. The last 3/4 of the book and the resurrection aspect was sort of lost on me. I’m not typically a Christian fiction reader, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I will say, this one definitely had more of a religious undertone than the others I’ve read from Mr. Martin, but I guess I should have expected that after seeing it described as the story of the prodigal son. Even if Christian fiction isn’t your thing, I still highly recommend giving this author’s writing a chance. It’s almost ridiculous how much of this book I highlighted, but I couldn’t help it. I loved the beauty of his words.*Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    I've been chomping at the bit to get a review written for Long Way Gone - which I was blessed to receive complimentary from the author via the publisher. I truly wish to honor both the powerful message of the story and the extraordinary talents of Charles Martin. In which a more worthy review WILL EVENTUALLY COME, when I'm able to expound at reasonable length. I'm currently tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visiting family, welcoming new grandbabies into the fold, and without altogether r I've been chomping at the bit to get a review written for Long Way Gone - which I was blessed to receive complimentary from the author via the publisher. I truly wish to honor both the powerful message of the story and the extraordinary talents of Charles Martin. In which a more worthy review WILL EVENTUALLY COME, when I'm able to expound at reasonable length. I'm currently tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visiting family, welcoming new grandbabies into the fold, and without altogether reliable cell/internet service. For now, let me just say, music is a universal language that crosses over any and all barriers and boundaries, uniting the masses. In which, this novel reached into the farthest regions of my heart and soul, touching me deeply. I am loved. I am forgiven. I am a song redeemed! And the music plays on . . . .
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  • Ron
    January 1, 1970
    ”Robert Johnson wasn't the only man with a guitar to stand at a crossroad and talk with the devil. Every man with a guitar crosses that same street, and the conversation is always the same. So are the promises.” The heart of this story involves three people, four if you count music, and with the way music becomes the center of this one, I think it has to be counted. I like music, a lot, but I could not describe the way its made, how a guitar is repaired, or the way it makes different people fe ”Robert Johnson wasn't the only man with a guitar to stand at a crossroad and talk with the devil. Every man with a guitar crosses that same street, and the conversation is always the same. So are the promises.” The heart of this story involves three people, four if you count music, and with the way music becomes the center of this one, I think it has to be counted. I like music, a lot, but I could not describe the way its made, how a guitar is repaired, or the way it makes different people feel - not like Charles Martin does in Long Way Gone anyway. By the end of this book, I came to believe this was the story's best attribute. That, and its main character, Cooper O'Conner. Music and Cooper could be called one here (I guess that nearly eliminates what I said in my first sentence). Before starting this book, I would have guessed it'd be the story of the prodigal son that stood out to me, and be what I liked most. ”Here's the truth: No matter where you went , no matter where you end up, no matter what happens, what you become...no gone is too far gone. You can always come home. And when you do, you'll find me standing right here, arms wide, eyes searching for your return.” Beautiful words. In essence, that is the story of the prodigal son. And although the main point of that parable is within the pages of Long Way Gone, I thought it became lost in things that didn't ring true to me. Forgive me for not expressing with details here. I'll just use the words “overly dramatic”. Only in spots, but often enough to effect the story. I know I didn't feel that way about “When Crickets Cry”, my first that still remains my favorite Charles Martin book. If you're looking to try a book of his, it'd be the one I recommend.
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  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also purchased the audiobook narrated by Adam Verner - an epic performance. Top 50 Books of 2016 "To everyone who's ever known the pain of watching a loved one walk away and then stood on the porch staring down the road. And to every loved on who's reached the end of that road, . . . and turned around. Charles Martin’s highly anticipated LONG WAY GONE is an awe-inspiring and poignant story which A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also purchased the audiobook narrated by Adam Verner - an epic performance. Top 50 Books of 2016 "To everyone who's ever known the pain of watching a loved one walk away and then stood on the porch staring down the road. And to every loved on who's reached the end of that road, . . . and turned around. Charles Martin’s highly anticipated LONG WAY GONE is an awe-inspiring and poignant story which will touch the depths of your soul with music, combined with lyrical heartwarming prose, and the strong power of love. An emotional courageous message to heal broken hearts. Have plenty of Kleenex handy; a mind, body, and spiritual cleanse. Loss, love, and redemption “The Prodigal Son” retelling with a modern day twist. Martin returns following Water From My Heart (2015) landing on my Top 10 Books of 2015 and A Life Intercepted (2014) Top Books of 2014 with yet another empowering story of the resilience of the human heart. LONG WAY GONE, the book with the stunning cover: An emotional road, a journey, a man, a guitar. Where has he traveled and where is he going? There is a story behind this man. From broken dreams to the highs to lows - childhood, to adulthood. Memories. Pain. Broken out into three distinct parts with an emotional conclusion (Epilogue). With his own signature style, Martin dazzles his reader with vivid scenic settings, rich in history, nature, and character. The places close to his own heart. The places we love. With a backdrop this time: Colorado mountains to Nashville and back.Part One: Leadville, Colorado A hotspot for weekend warriors out of Vail, Aspen, Steamboat, Breckenridge, and even the Springs and Fort Collins. A place for wounded souls. Cooper O’Connor, now a worn middle-aged man, broken. Some may view as a scruffy mountain man, and homeless would not be a stretch. Full of scars, tattered from life’s storms. Hidden hurts, and regrets. Opportunities, lost. You know he has a story, a painful one. A dad he loved, now too late to let him know. His foolish mistakes. A girl he loved and lost, and things left unsaid. A successful career in music, now shattered. A musician and songwriter. His most precious gifts, and talents, now faded and a tormented past of regrets. He spots Daley. How can this be? After twenty years, he still had not told her the truth. He loved her too much. She has suffered. So has he. He cannot believe she is in this town. However, a short reconnection. He still cannot tell her the truth, even though he wants to. To correct history. But he needed to stop short of the whole truth. False hope was more damaging than false history. There is nothing to gain. He is dying. He has to let her go once again. What would be gained by telling her the truth now? The truth of their lives would only open Pandora’s box and he wondered if that would hurt her even more. His time had run out.“Describing music is tricky. I am not convinced that you can describe it like, say, a painting or a novel. While those are both experiences that produce feelings, they do so through the eyes." "The image we see—either images or words on a page—enters our eyes, travels throughout intellect, where we make some sort of sense of it, and then routes through our emotions. The process is one of intellect and understanding first, emotions and feelings second. Music is felt on one level and understood or processed on another. Music is meant to be experienced, not described. It takes practice. " "People can cheat their way to the top in a lot of areas of life. They can steal, bribe, kill the competition, or take steroids to make them stronger and faster. But with music, there’s no shortcut. Period." We meet a variety of secondary characters, Big-Big, Mary, Daly, Frank, Mr. Slocumb, and more—readers will need to determine how they all fit together. A handwritten letter. Last words. Tears. What led him to this place? Will he have a chance to return to The Falls? Part Two: Rewind from the beginning. (My Favorite Part) The history of the “son of a preacher.” A young boy growing up in a much-loved home. A special guitar called Jimmy – a wedding present from Coop’s mother (now deceased) to his father. Jimmy was the most valuable thing in their cabin, some thirteen thousand feet perched on the top of a mountain.A poignant story of a father, a tent preacher. Coop’s dad, a big man with a heart of gold and Big-Big, an African American “Big Ivory Johnson” which his dad took under his wing out of prison. He was always in their life, tickling the ivories on the piano. Music surrounds them. Coop’s mom died when he was four and he grew up around music and preaching. Peg was Cooper’s nickname and he traveled everywhere with his dad, with music and God’s word. His dad gave him a powerful message to remember. He had no idea how these words would hold such profound meaning one day. They will later haunt him.“Songs outlive us.” They are supposed to. We write them in order to give them away, but–he smiled and tapped me on the chest— “just be careful who you give them to.” His dad was classically trained, from Bach, Mozart, to Beethoven and wanted the same training for his son. His dad was wise and loved the history of music. His dad said his job was to remind people of the words, and let them sing. Music set people free. Music enters through the heart. By the time Cooper was eight, he could see the significant impact of his father on people and what he was doing with his life. Word spread and people came in droves from nearby states, finally leading them to The Falls (great story here). A powerful emotional scene which creates the backdrop for a song which comes later and an ongoing theme. This is where he meets Blondie. Blondie travels with him and never leaves throughout the book. Even though Cooper enjoyed music and now had a big following along with his successful minister dad, he felt like his dad was holding him back. There was the tour bus, tents, chairs, pianos, guitars, music, sound equipment, crews, and sermons. TV, radio, record companies, he was playing in front of fifteen thousand people on a weekend a chance to be noticed. Coop became bitter, angry. In his teens, he had musical ability. He felt crushed under the weight of his dad’s thumb. He was protective. He had record people after him. He could be in Nashville. Making money and a name for himself. He had talent. Despite his father’s best wise counsel, his constant sacrifice, his warnings to the contrary, his five thousand sermons, and a deep knowingness in his gut to stay far away from the serpent— and people who will take advantage of them; there was something in him that wanted what he wanted, now, at age eighteen. One dreadful night on stage, he left, making a scene, he would always regret. He turned his back on his dad. He took his dad’s most prized possession, the guitar, Jimmy, a map, his truck, and his entire life savings. Shortly thereafter on his road to Nashville, he loses it all. Everything. He cannot return until he gains it back. Playing and writing was his life. Now he wishes he was back with his dad. Can you ever go home again? He recalled his dad’s words, a letter to him in the truck wrapped around a map. “No matter where you go, no matter what happens, what you become, what you gain, what you lose, no matter whether you succeed, or fail, stand or fall, no matter what you dig your hands into, no gone is too far gone. Son, you can always come home.”The words were of no comfort to him now. He had fallen from the stage of twenty thousand to dumpster diving. "Music exposes what and who we worship." He decides not to end his life—he has reached the bottom. He would save his dad that heartache. He had already done enough damage. He needed to make something of the mess he created. To walk home with something more than scars and empty hands. To be something other than a failure.He had training, knowledge, a mastery of the piano and guitar and full of confidence in his abilities. He turned up his nose at his dad, stolen everything held dear, broken his heart, and shattered his trust, then driven twelve hundred miles, because he believed he was as good as anyone. Man, had he been wrong. He found there were two types of people in Nashville. Those who want to get something. Those who want to give something. He decided when he had saved enough money he would return to his dad to tell him how sorry he was. He has to repay him. His dad had warned him to guard his gift and guard his notebook of songs. One day it will be priceless. He meets the famous singer, twenty-one years old, Daly Cross. They hit it off, he writes a hit song. They are a couple. He is famous. However, she has an agent, Sam with his own motives, which do not include Coop. The serpent. He later learns a man not to be trusted. There is a fire, and he has lost it all. His health, his girl, his career, and his life. There were stories. Untrue. Once again, he loses. It is time to go home; however, he gets there too late. His dad has left him another letter. Coop had not used his gift for the right reasons. He only wants to dad he is sorry. Part Three His last days. Everything comes full circle. Daley, his dad, Big-Big, Mary, Jubal, Frank, The Falls. He is a walking time bomb. However, there is another shocker and more to be said. Things he did not know. A final emotional show. Can he redeem himself and make all the wrongs, right before it is too late? Epilogue Paying it Forward! “No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”“Music is a gift. We make it, to give it away to people. Some burned, broken, left out in the cold. Some wrestling with painful words spoken to them by someone they love or walking around in chains of their own making. A few are dying inside. Whatever reason, a song gives something you cannot buy. Hope.” How do you even begin to write a review of such an extraordinary book? As others have mentioned, when you read Charles Martin books, you find you are highlighting so many pages, the entire book turns into a rainbow of colors. With LONG WAY GONE, you may find yourself returning to part one to re-read it again, after completing, where is all makes sense. From one of my favorite authors, from his very first book to his latest, and each story in between— Charles Martin is a truly gifted storyteller — he captures the essence of life, brokenness, struggles, triumphs, and ultimately reveals a striking portrait of human resilience and fortitude!Fans of Martin, Richard Paul Evans (The Walk Series), Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, and Jimmy Wayne will enjoy this heartwarming, soul-searching journey. A beautiful touching tale of love, loss, redemption, and music with all the ingredients for another bestseller and blockbuster hit! It speaks volumes. On a personal note: If you are from the South as I happen to be, growing up as a Southern Baptist, coming from the same town as Rev. Billy Graham, have been to many outdoor tent revivals to hear his team and George Beverly Shea. This book brings so many memories of days gone by as a child. Also, the old familiar hymns, some of the same selections, my mom chose for her funeral only a month ago. "Songs don't belong to us. A song is a light we shine on others, not a light we shine on us."If you have not read this author. Start today, with Book One and read every single one. This is #12. Each and every one has a powerful takeaway message and unforgettable characters. Interview with Charles Martin. JDCMustReadBooks
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  • Dale Harcombe
    January 1, 1970
    The story starts and ends with music. The start has an old man playing guitar. He is complemented by a down and out man returning home who joins him in playing guitar. Cooper O’Connor is the second man who is returning home after years away and a life that has known loss, success, joy and tragedy. On his way back home, he picks up an injured woman by the side of the road. He knew her as Daley Cross. Cooper played music, recorded with her and fell in love with Daley years before until life and ci The story starts and ends with music. The start has an old man playing guitar. He is complemented by a down and out man returning home who joins him in playing guitar. Cooper O’Connor is the second man who is returning home after years away and a life that has known loss, success, joy and tragedy. On his way back home, he picks up an injured woman by the side of the road. He knew her as Daley Cross. Cooper played music, recorded with her and fell in love with Daley years before until life and circumstances tore them apart. But that was not the only significant relationship Cooper lost. As a child Cooper had travelled with his tent revival preacher father. His father had a special guitar, named Jimmy, given him by Cooper’s mother on their wedding day. The guitar plays a significant part in the story along the various music that weaves throughout the story. This is a story of choices and consequences.From its opening right through to the end, I loved all the references to various songs and hymns, many of which I knew. Cooper’s father has a great admiration and love for Elvis, so that rang a chord with this long time Elvis fan too. Cooper’s father is the epitome of a loving parent. The story takes the reader back in time to Cooper’s upbringing with his father and the devastating results of some of Cooper’s life choices. This is Cooper’s story, told in his voice and he does not back away from the pain and heartache some of his choices caused.At one stage Cooper says about music. ‘I grew up in a world where music wasn’t hoarded. It was shared. My Dad used to say it’s like that proverbial candle you don’t hide. You set it on a table where everyone can see it. Where it gives light.’ Music is not the only light in this book, which is according the blurb a ’radical retelling of the prodigal son story.’ But Cooper and his Dad, singer Daley Cross and the man Cooper’s father rescued nicknamed Big-Big all come across as fully fleshed out people. They bring the story to life. I was emotionally involved in this story, from start to finish. Beautiful writing, emphasis on music, and great characters make this an involving story I wanted to keep reading till I had finished. There was anger, joy and also tears at times – a whole gamut of emotions. I adored this book. Another 5 star read for 2019.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Another stellar novel from Martin. His fabulous gift for characterization is evident on each page. Layers of the story are peeled back to show the spiritual truth underneath the gripping plot. This is a reimagining of the prodigal son story from the Bible, and the reader's faith can't help but be enriched and encouraged after completing the book. Cooper is an intricate character with an amazing story to tell, and the supporting cast is just as important to provide additional depth and understand Another stellar novel from Martin. His fabulous gift for characterization is evident on each page. Layers of the story are peeled back to show the spiritual truth underneath the gripping plot. This is a reimagining of the prodigal son story from the Bible, and the reader's faith can't help but be enriched and encouraged after completing the book. Cooper is an intricate character with an amazing story to tell, and the supporting cast is just as important to provide additional depth and understanding. This novel should be on everyone's must-purchase list.At age 18, fed up with his father's straight-laced, restrictive life, Cooper O'Connor takes his father's beloved guitar, money and a vehicle and drives away to find his way in the music world. After losing everything, Cooper slowly finds his way in Nashville and his musical talent comes to the surface when he meets singer Daley Cross. Just when his life and musical career is hitting its stride, another tragic event takes place. He returns home to Colorado and sets about rebuilding his life in a new way. When Daley walks back into his life, Cooper must decide if telling her the truth about the past is the right decision. https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...
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  • Jocelyn Green
    January 1, 1970
    What a powerful read. This was the most profound retelling of a parable that I've ever enccountered. The three-part structure really worked for this story, and though there was lot of telling versus showing in Part Two, even that worked because it was told through the first-person lens of Cooper, the main character. It's been a long time since a book moved me to tears, but this one had me on the verge of weeping near the end! I especially appreciated the author's note after the end of the story. What a powerful read. This was the most profound retelling of a parable that I've ever enccountered. The three-part structure really worked for this story, and though there was lot of telling versus showing in Part Two, even that worked because it was told through the first-person lens of Cooper, the main character. It's been a long time since a book moved me to tears, but this one had me on the verge of weeping near the end! I especially appreciated the author's note after the end of the story. Martin's heart for his readers, and for the Gospel, is evident. It's little wonder Long Way Gone won the Christy Award Book of the Year in 2017.
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  • Alice Stanford
    January 1, 1970
    A moving and emotional tale, based loosely on the parable of the prodigal son.You know there's good storie and then there's great stories. This is a great story and one that I know will stay with me for a very long time to come. I highly reccomend this story, especially to anyone who is atall musical, as there are many many musical references in this book, a lot of which went right over my head. At times I found these a little distracting, but not enough to ruin a beautiful tale, and I'm sure so A moving and emotional tale, based loosely on the parable of the prodigal son.You know there's good storie and then there's great stories. This is a great story and one that I know will stay with me for a very long time to come. I highly reccomend this story, especially to anyone who is atall musical, as there are many many musical references in this book, a lot of which went right over my head. At times I found these a little distracting, but not enough to ruin a beautiful tale, and I'm sure someone more musically inclined would love them!Many many thanks to net galley and the publisher for a teview copy of this book.
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  • Missy
    January 1, 1970
    This is a solid 4.5 stars. I will just put this out there, this was my lunch read and I sometimes added extra salt to my food because of this book. My grandpa and his brothers were big singers, they sang at church in the choir, at church dinners for entertainment while you waited, and always at funerals. They sang what I call the great church hymns, the old hymns, the ones you don’t always hear anymore. One of my favorites they sang was “How Great Thou Art”. They sounded great all their bass and This is a solid 4.5 stars. I will just put this out there, this was my lunch read and I sometimes added extra salt to my food because of this book. My grandpa and his brothers were big singers, they sang at church in the choir, at church dinners for entertainment while you waited, and always at funerals. They sang what I call the great church hymns, the old hymns, the ones you don’t always hear anymore. One of my favorites they sang was “How Great Thou Art”. They sounded great all their bass and baritone voices together. To this day, I have a hard time hearing that song, I always cry and try to hide it during church, because in the back of my mind I can still hear them singing at the front of the church or in the choir loft.This is a story of Cooper O’Conner, the son of a tent preacher, who loved to sing the great songs, including “How Great Thou Art” (so you can imagine when they start talking about singing and in come those verses, my food got a little saltier). The story of a single father raising his son, who was extremely musically talented. Who raised him to let it out, to let the people hear his talent and stand in awe. But as with all teens, Cooper became rebellious. He went to Nashville, a place he knew he could use his musical talents; however, not as easily as he thought. He had many times where things did not go his way, he lost his money, his truck, and his beloved guitar “Jimmy”, but he found opportunities that eventually did get him to that place he wanted to be. Then he met Daley Cross, a singer who was meant just for the songs he wrote. After great success, and with a manager he didn’t necessarily trust, Cooper went to a party and found “Jimmy”. Getting Jimmy back did not go as planned, a mysterious rescuer, and many years of pain and finding himself finally led Cooper back home, but only to find out it was too late to apologize to the one person he needed to most.This was a great book of parent/child relationships. How sometimes you just need to let them go and find themselves, and when they need that pick me up, you are there no questions asked. I would highly recommend this book, I enjoyed it immensely.
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  • Skip
    January 1, 1970
    Charles Martin pulls on heartstrings: his books remind me of the scene in the movie Erin Brockovich, when Erin tells the cancer-stricken family that she won a $5 million judgment for them or the scene in A Beautiful Mind, where John Nash speaks of how his wife's love helped him overcome his mental demons when he accepts his Nobel Prize in economics.Behind a strikingly beautiful cover is a haunting story of a musical prodigy, raised by his revival preacher father (and his major domo, an ex-con wh Charles Martin pulls on heartstrings: his books remind me of the scene in the movie Erin Brockovich, when Erin tells the cancer-stricken family that she won a $5 million judgment for them or the scene in A Beautiful Mind, where John Nash speaks of how his wife's love helped him overcome his mental demons when he accepts his Nobel Prize in economics.Behind a strikingly beautiful cover is a haunting story of a musical prodigy, raised by his revival preacher father (and his major domo, an ex-con who goes by the nickname, Big-Big), who recognizes his amazing talent, forces him to learn classical piano, and tries to protect him from people seeking to take advantage However, the son Cooper eventually runs off to Nashville, stealing his father's truck, his guitar (Jimmy), and his life savings after a traumatic confrontation. All goes wrong when he gets to Nashville, where he is reduced to a pauper, repairing guitars and being a handyman at the local music theatre. One night, he breaks a principal rule, by playing one of his songs on a rising performer's expensive guitar, who is stunned by his talent. Coop teaches the song to her (Daley Cross) and gives it to when he realizes she performs it better than he. Together, they begin a meteoric rise to fame.The book is not told in a chronological order, making the reader wonder what could possibly happened to Cooper that he gave it all up to lead a cloistered life back in his hometown of Leadville, Colorado. It is here that fate causes his path to cross with Daley's again. By this time, Coop is better, but she is worse, and he brings her to the hospital. Eventually, we learn what happened to drive the two apart, and why Coop decided to hide from the truth for her benefit.The two are reunited, but the emotional and physical damage from their departure remains central to they story, but the message that things are never too far gone to be repaired where there is love is uplifting. The scenes with Cooper and old/young Jubal are terrific too. Note: I had to skip the 8+ page religious message at the end.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    My first Charles Martin book was Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home which I absolutely loved. Granted it was almost 10 years ago, I may feel differently about it today, but I don't know. I still carry that story in my heart. I loved how that book reached out and grabbed me and then pulled me under. So it is with sadness that I wasn't as stunned by this one. I've read almost everything he's written, hoping to find another Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home, but I haven't yet found it, b My first Charles Martin book was Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home which I absolutely loved. Granted it was almost 10 years ago, I may feel differently about it today, but I don't know. I still carry that story in my heart. I loved how that book reached out and grabbed me and then pulled me under. So it is with sadness that I wasn't as stunned by this one. I've read almost everything he's written, hoping to find another Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home, but I haven't yet found it, but I do like reading him. As a Christian writer, Charles Martin is definitely worth the read. I think my main hesitation with this one, is that it was slow to start. So much of my mind is usually made up in the beginning, unless something yanks me out of my stupor. This didn't have that. I liked it, I'm just in between 3 and 4 stars. The latter half was better for me. By then I loved the characters and I loved the message. His stories have feel good ending, just like you'd expect with this genre.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed this read. The writing style is so different, and the storyline is incredibly well done. Giving this five stars because it touched my heart and brought a tear or two. Very few books do that. The characters seem so real, and the plot ( though not original) is so very touching. This was my first by this author, but I don't expect it will be my last. This had a strong faith theme...and a bit of the unseen spiritual world.Recommend. This is going on my forever shelves.I received this Really enjoyed this read. The writing style is so different, and the storyline is incredibly well done. Giving this five stars because it touched my heart and brought a tear or two. Very few books do that. The characters seem so real, and the plot ( though not original) is so very touching. This was my first by this author, but I don't expect it will be my last. This had a strong faith theme...and a bit of the unseen spiritual world.Recommend. This is going on my forever shelves.I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Varina Denman
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed Martin's descriptive writing style, and the story of Long Way Gone is gentle and compelling. The way he describes music and musicians is beautiful, and I kept feeling the urge to sit down at the piano or break out in song. The last chapters drag with long stretches of dialogue, but it spite of that, I highly recommend Long Way Gone. It's a feel good story!
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  • Brent Soderstrum
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book through GoodReads First Read program.I had never read any book written by Charles Martin and, quite frankly, had never heard of him. I was blessed with having won his book and then having read it. Martin has a way of bringing up items that you think are loose ends to a story and but then he ties them off as he works he way through the tale. There were countless times in which I read something and wondered where that came from hoping he would explain. Well later in the story the e I won this book through GoodReads First Read program.I had never read any book written by Charles Martin and, quite frankly, had never heard of him. I was blessed with having won his book and then having read it. Martin has a way of bringing up items that you think are loose ends to a story and but then he ties them off as he works he way through the tale. There were countless times in which I read something and wondered where that came from hoping he would explain. Well later in the story the explanation would come out.What a great story. I read this over the weekend not wanting to stop but then leaving myself disappointed that it was completed. I also like how Martin brings God into the book without hesitation. This is basically a modern retelling of the Prodigal Son story.Peg O'Conner is the son of a tent revival preacher man. He has the gift of music in his life but he doesn't want to use it the way his dad wants him to. He is out for money and fame. After a public confrontation with his father he takes his dad's money, truck and guitar and hits the road for Nashville. Things go horribly for Peg and he eventually finds his way home. Great characters including Big Big, Daley and Blondie.I love how Martin ended the book with a retelling of the Prodigal Son. I can't wait to read more from Martin. I loved this book.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    A true 5* book if I have ever read one! I am stunned at this book and will remember it for a very long time.This book defies description. It reaches in and touches your soul. Charles Martin hasa true gift with words. He uses words and imagery as the main character Coop uses music. I am in awe of the talents of this writer and thankful that he chooses to use them for God's glory.The story is captivating and truly shows how everyone and anyone faces issues in their life, but hope is always with us A true 5* book if I have ever read one! I am stunned at this book and will remember it for a very long time.This book defies description. It reaches in and touches your soul. Charles Martin hasa true gift with words. He uses words and imagery as the main character Coop uses music. I am in awe of the talents of this writer and thankful that he chooses to use them for God's glory.The story is captivating and truly shows how everyone and anyone faces issues in their life, but hope is always with us. A strong Christian book with the love of God as the main message. Everyone should read this book.
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  • Ronie
    January 1, 1970
    This book really spoke to me as a writer, especially when he says that "music isn't something you HAVE to do, it's something you GET to do it." Long Way Gone was a beautiful story, but I'm not terribly surprised as I don't think Charles Martin knows how to write a bad story. Maybe that's because he IS Peg, but of the writing world. This book stirred something in me, became a balm to a writer's aching soul. Beautiful!
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  • Olya
    January 1, 1970
    I usually don't write reviews. I don't know what to say other than whether I enjoyed or not a book, and that's what the stars (rating) are for.But this one... I have to try and say something.I've read all the Charles Martin novels. Each one was unique. Each one touched something deep inside me, changed the way I see others and the way I see myself, and the way I think others (and God) see me. And it seems that all of them lead to the "Long way gone". It feels a little different from the others, I usually don't write reviews. I don't know what to say other than whether I enjoyed or not a book, and that's what the stars (rating) are for.But this one... I have to try and say something.I've read all the Charles Martin novels. Each one was unique. Each one touched something deep inside me, changed the way I see others and the way I see myself, and the way I think others (and God) see me. And it seems that all of them lead to the "Long way gone". It feels a little different from the others, like the final performance after a long set of rehearsals... a story that goes way deeper than you think is possible, it's like " the music that breaks out chains", it shifts your worldview, it makes you dig deep inside your heart and find the best version of yourself and "let out" the music God himself put in there. It's the story of love that pours itself, love that fights for you, love that never ceases to pursue you. Love that won't count how many "second chances" you've had... there's always room to come home, there always will be a place called home, and there always will be a father ready to go through fire to get you, to save you."No gone is too far gone". And I already want to read it again. It's like a song that touches something deep inside my heart and then I listen to it again and again and again.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    "Music is a gift. We make it to give away." It took Cooper "Peg" O'Connor decades to learn what his father had been faithfully demonstrating for years; "(when you play a song)you're giving them something that no amount of money can buy . . . . . . hope." His journey took him from the mountains of Colorado and a life filled with tent revivals to the street corners of Nashville, Tennessee, where lots of people could play an instrument, but seldom offered the gift of music. Until Cooper meets Daley "Music is a gift. We make it to give away." It took Cooper "Peg" O'Connor decades to learn what his father had been faithfully demonstrating for years; "(when you play a song)you're giving them something that no amount of money can buy . . . . . . hope." His journey took him from the mountains of Colorado and a life filled with tent revivals to the street corners of Nashville, Tennessee, where lots of people could play an instrument, but seldom offered the gift of music. Until Cooper meets Daley Cross, the voice that his prodigious fingers were meant to play.And then he understood, albeit too late, this side of eternity. Years of regret and a sizable bank account could not replace what Cooper had "long way gone". He could only chose to live the extended life that he had been given, ultimately discovering that the God who had waited patiently every step of the way, could take his heart and seal it, offering him unconditional love; for the prodigal had come all the way home. This is kind of book, that the more times it is read, will delve its melody deeper into the recesses of your heart, as it gives itself away. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    Phenomenal read! Long Way Gone examines an age-old dilemma in a modern setting: dealing with the ramifications of one's poor choices and our determination as humans to try and outrun our mistakes. Charles Martin pens a beautiful love story, not only between Cooper and Daley, but ultimately this novel points to God's unconditional love for us. No matter how ugly or painful our sin, Jesus redeemed it all. To me, that's the prevailing message of this novel.Martin is a master storyteller, creating f Phenomenal read! Long Way Gone examines an age-old dilemma in a modern setting: dealing with the ramifications of one's poor choices and our determination as humans to try and outrun our mistakes. Charles Martin pens a beautiful love story, not only between Cooper and Daley, but ultimately this novel points to God's unconditional love for us. No matter how ugly or painful our sin, Jesus redeemed it all. To me, that's the prevailing message of this novel.Martin is a master storyteller, creating flawed yet reliable characters who pull us into the story yet make us wonder how they will ever conquer the seemingly impossible obstacles in their paths. Congratulations, Charles Martin, on writing another fantastic novel. This is one for the keeper shelf.Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated here are my own.
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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    Long Way Gone by Charles MartinGenre: Inspirational Fiction, RomanceFormat: AudibleThree main characters: Cooper O’Connor: Musical prodigyDaley Cross: Vocal prodigy, love of Cooper's lifeBig-Big: Protector, friendOne word: Phenomenal. No wonder it was a Christy Award winner. The book is about Cooper O’Connor, a musical prodigy. His ability with a piano, guitar and voice captivated audiences at an early age. His father was a tent revival preacher. And oh, how that man loved his son. He always had Long Way Gone by Charles MartinGenre: Inspirational Fiction, RomanceFormat: AudibleThree main characters: Cooper O’Connor: Musical prodigyDaley Cross: Vocal prodigy, love of Cooper's lifeBig-Big: Protector, friendOne word: Phenomenal. No wonder it was a Christy Award winner. The book is about Cooper O’Connor, a musical prodigy. His ability with a piano, guitar and voice captivated audiences at an early age. His father was a tent revival preacher. And oh, how that man loved his son. He always had his son’s best interest at heart. He was always understanding, wise and kind. The tent revivals had music. Cooper’s dad and Big-Big played, Cooper played and sang, but it was Cooper’s abilities at such a young age that was center stage. Then the preaching also captivated the audiences nearly as much as the music. He never asked for money, nor was an offering ever taken. The thought was: what he had to share didn’t come from him, so it shouldn’t be sold. It was shared! And somehow God provided.But as Cooper grew, things other than the revivals, caught his attention. In a surge of anger, he walked away, taking with him his father's life savings and the one thing his father loved most aside from Cooper, the guitar his late wife had given to him years before. Life changed for Cooper. Change can be hard, rewarding and heartbreaking, all of which Cooper experienced in the new life he made for himself. But always the guilt of his path plagued him. When he was ready to make a good choice and make up for what he’d done, life threw him several curve balls. God is good. He can take our mistakes and brokenness, and make something sweet out of it all. Cooper’s new life, the life for which he was intended, became a blessing to all around him. But life, although better, also included consequences from poor choices years ago. God doesn’t offer us a bed of roses without repercussions. He offers us Him.So, until today Chasing Fireflies was my favorite Charles Martin book. This book is easily as good, but I can’t say I like one over the other. They are both so very well written. Charles Martin has a way with words like few others. I could re-read both books... and I don’t often do that. It was an Audible version that was read with perfection... Except one tiny detail: the narrator’s pronunciation of Buena Vista. Every time he pronounced it Byoona Vista instead of Bwayna Vista, I winced. But that’s nothing. He read this book exceptionally well. I was right there with him in the story, and so sad when it ended.Three times I listened to and cried through the last two chapters, the epilogue, and the section after the epilogue, which was an encouraging sermon of sorts by Charles Martin. If nothing else is read or listened to in this book, this part should. It’s so good. Cooper was a prodigal son. The story doesn’t resemble the biblical story much because this is Mr. Martin’s own story, not a retelling, or rendition. But the moral is the same. God loves us so much that no matter what we’ve done in our lives, no matter how far off the mark we’ve taken ourselves, He receives us into His loving arms when we reach out for and walk into them. Angels sing and heaven rejoices.Speaking of angels... I believe this book is not intended specifically for Christians. I believe this is something a non-Christian can read with ease, and not feel preached at. But they can take into their hearts the lesson so clearly shared. We all have scars, filth, secrets pasts that need healing, and God will never turn us away. He takes us at any point in our lives and covers all of it with the saving blood of His Son. In the book (mind you it’s fiction), Cooper sees angels. He doesn’t know that’s what they are until the end when the first one he ever saw comes back and shows all the forms he took in his life as he watched out after him. Well... I honestly don’t know if it was angels or Christ, it’s never explained. Only that he/He was always there with Cooper. Encouraging or helping him get beyond what he was going through. In the end, the question Cooper asked was the title of one of his dad’s gripping revival sermons. “Why are you here?” to which the angel answered, “It’s about time you asked that”.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! It wasn't in chronological order, but I think the author did an absolute great job in telling the story. The way he broke it up, you just kept wondering, what happened to Cooper that he gave it all up. The author doesn't tell you until like the middle of the book. And what about Daley Cross? What went on with her? The author just gets you so intrigued just how he wrote the book. I was mesmerized from the very first chapter.A boy, at first, whose love for the guitar and all thi I loved this book! It wasn't in chronological order, but I think the author did an absolute great job in telling the story. The way he broke it up, you just kept wondering, what happened to Cooper that he gave it all up. The author doesn't tell you until like the middle of the book. And what about Daley Cross? What went on with her? The author just gets you so intrigued just how he wrote the book. I was mesmerized from the very first chapter.A boy, at first, whose love for the guitar and all things musical leads him to Nashville. He's got everything it takes to make it. However, he has several bumps in the road and decides that he will just work in a store that restores guitars and puts his dreams aside. Not long after starting work at the guitar store which just happens to be next door to the Ryman Auditorium, he gets a night job as jack of all trades where he works for several years. Until one day, he's caught playing Daley Cross's guitar singing one the many songs he's written. His career takes off. It's not too long after that, he learns personally about the snakes in the music business. Which takes a huge turn in his career.There is also the relationship with his father who is a tent preacher. So, there is some religion, but not so much that it turned me off.I just cannot say how much I enjoyed this book. I didn't want to put it down. I couldn't put it down. And I was very sad at the end when I had to put it down. There will be tissues involved when reading this, so be prepared. I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is one of the best books I've read during 2016.Thanks to Thomas Zondervan for sending me this book for an honest exchange. I have been telling all my friends that they NEED to read this one!!
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first Charles Martin book. Thanks to the Fiction Guild for sending it to me. The story took a little while to get going, which is the main reason this was 4 instead of 5 stars for me. But once I got to know the characters a bit I liked it better. I am someone who loves music and learned a few instruments when I was younger. Music is definitely a major part of this book, almost it's own character. Even for those who may not have a background in music they have probably experienced a t This was my first Charles Martin book. Thanks to the Fiction Guild for sending it to me. The story took a little while to get going, which is the main reason this was 4 instead of 5 stars for me. But once I got to know the characters a bit I liked it better. I am someone who loves music and learned a few instruments when I was younger. Music is definitely a major part of this book, almost it's own character. Even for those who may not have a background in music they have probably experienced a time when music made them feel something. That's a big focus in this book. I also liked the loose retelling of the prodigal son story with its themes of love, repentance and forgiveness. There were moments that brought tears to my eyes and a twist near the end I was not expecting. Charles Martin wove a beautiful tale and created characters I grew to care about. I look forward to reading more of his books.
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  • Dana Michael
    January 1, 1970
    As Stradivarius with a violin, as Elvis with a song, so is Charles Martin....with words. The words in this book resonated feelings deep inside me. Drawing emotions causing me to feel pain only a parent can understand. Hurt from a son that caused the pain. Love that only comes from a patient father who forgives. This book Can only be described as a masterpiece. If you have been a prodigal, are a prodigal or a parent of a prodigal,or if you just love music, this book is for you. The ending is amaz As Stradivarius with a violin, as Elvis with a song, so is Charles Martin....with words. The words in this book resonated feelings deep inside me. Drawing emotions causing me to feel pain only a parent can understand. Hurt from a son that caused the pain. Love that only comes from a patient father who forgives. This book Can only be described as a masterpiece. If you have been a prodigal, are a prodigal or a parent of a prodigal,or if you just love music, this book is for you. The ending is amazing. I highly recommend it
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  • Victoria Bylin
    January 1, 1970
    This book hit home. That's the best thing I can say. Loved it from start to finish.
  • Oceana
    January 1, 1970
    This is the most beautiful story I’ve ever read. There’s nothing else I can say. Read it if you’ve ever felt like you’re too far gone to be saved or to come home.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Long Way GoneCharles MartinMy Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Publisher Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio (Audio Edition)Publish Date October 4, 2016SUMMARYLong Way Gone is first and foremost a story about love and forgiveness. A father's unyielding and immeasurable love for his son. It's the modern day story of the prodigal son. Cooper O'Connor is eighteen and angry when he runs away to Nashville stealing his dad's most important possessions. His truck, his life savings, and his prized guitar-named Jimmy. All take Long Way GoneCharles MartinMy Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Publisher Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio (Audio Edition)Publish Date October 4, 2016SUMMARYLong Way Gone is first and foremost a story about love and forgiveness. A father's unyielding and immeasurable love for his son. It's the modern day story of the prodigal son. Cooper O'Connor is eighteen and angry when he runs away to Nashville stealing his dad's most important possessions. His truck, his life savings, and his prized guitar-named Jimmy. All taken by a kid who has hopes and dreams of making it big in the country music capital of the world. But instead he loses everything, first the money is stolen from his hotel room, then the truck is stolen from a parking lot, and finally he is assaulted and even Jimmy is taken from him. Cooper vows not to go home again until he can pay his dad back for everything he took, and everything he lost.Cooper eventually finds a job working in a guitar repair shop in Printer's Alley with Riggs Graves, a kind man who took a chance on him. Riggs's shop overlooked the Ryman Auditorium. But Cooper had lost all desire to play. Cooper got a second job working on the stage crew in the Ryman Auditorium and he meets the rising star Daly Cross, a singer trying to figure out just who she is. Cooper instantly falls in love with this girl and her voice. He made a quick decision to give her the one remaining thing he has left...a song. This song hits gold for both Daley and Cooper. But tragedy strikes once again for Cooper and he is seriously injured in a fire. With nowhere else to go, Cooper returns to his father's home in the Colorado mountains to ask forgiveness and to make a new start.Years later Cooper sees Daly Cross on a street corner in his hometown of Leadville Colorado. Is it too late to tell her the truth about what really happened that night of the fire in Nashville?REVIEWCharles Martin's writing is as lyrical as the music that Cooper O'Connor writes in his little black notebook. Long Way Gone captivates you from page one with a multifaceted heartwarming story intricately woven into a beautiful tapestry. Cooper's childhood is spent traveling everywhere with his tent-preaching father. Music was as big a part of his father's tent-revivals as the sermons. Cooper loved music and was soon playing the piano at the revivals and eventually people came from all around to hear him play. But Cooper thinks he has enough talent to make it big. Cooper's defining moment is in Nashville where he loses everything but learned so much about people, life and love. Seeing Daly Cross in Leadville, after rebuilding his life brings the hurt, pain and suffering he caused back again. The feelings evoked from the Long Way Gone story is palpable. The characters in Long Way Gone are expertly developed and you can't help falling in love with just about all of them. Cooper's formidable dad imparts enough wisdom and sage advice to wish he had been our dad. He only wanted what was best for his son. From Cooper's dad to the ever watchful and protective Big Big, and Daly Cross, the girl with the voice, each character is robust and real with each playing a significant role in the life of Cooper O'Connor. One of the most interesting, fascinating and mysterious characters is Blondie, a greasy blond long-haired guy who hangs out while Cooper plays the piano. The settings for this book; The Falls, Leadville and Nashville are so real I felt like I was there. The setting could not be placed anywhere else, the book just wouldn't be the same. Having visited the Ryman Auditorium a few years ago, I felt like I was there again. I could see, feel and smell it all over again. Charles Martin captured the essence of that great building perfectly.I loved this book all the way--from the beautiful cover artwork to the thought-provoking pay it forward epilogue. Long Way Gone is perfect. I laughed and I cried and I cried some more. A beautiful and powerful story about love, forgiveness and redemption, will do that to you! Cooper's dad said that "Great music, the kind that moves people is an offering. Anything less is a counterfeit and anyone who hears it, knows it." I think this book is an offering too!
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Another favorite of mine! 5+ starsThis book touched me on so many levels. Filled with lessons of life but not in a "know it all" way or preachy. Charles Martin has a gift of spreading God's Word to all.Some of the most beautiful quotes . . . "No matter where you go, no matter what happens, what you become, what you gain, what you lose, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no matter what you dip your hand into . . . no gone is too far gone, Son, you can always come home.""I will Another favorite of mine! 5+ starsThis book touched me on so many levels. Filled with lessons of life but not in a "know it all" way or preachy. Charles Martin has a gift of spreading God's Word to all.Some of the most beautiful quotes . . . "No matter where you go, no matter what happens, what you become, what you gain, what you lose, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no matter what you dip your hand into . . . no gone is too far gone, Son, you can always come home.""I will not let fear of what might be rob me of the promise of what can.""Your heart will remember what your mind forgets."Thank you, Charles Martin for all of these reminds. Great novel.
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  • Iola
    January 1, 1970
    Long Way Gone is a retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son, set in high-country Colorado and among the ups and downs of the Nashville music industry. It’s written in first person from the point of view of Cooper O’Connor, an evangelist’s son with a gift for music. The writing is outstanding, the plot is excellent, the structure close to perfect.I was fascinated by the musical information—the Ryman theatre, the Nashville Notation System, the whole music vibe. Anyone who watches Nashville or wh Long Way Gone is a retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son, set in high-country Colorado and among the ups and downs of the Nashville music industry. It’s written in first person from the point of view of Cooper O’Connor, an evangelist’s son with a gift for music. The writing is outstanding, the plot is excellent, the structure close to perfect.I was fascinated by the musical information—the Ryman theatre, the Nashville Notation System, the whole music vibe. Anyone who watches Nashville or who has ever visited (or wants to visit) the home of country music will appreciate that side of it (and will be able to relate to the characters). I was impressed with the way so much research and setting was dropped in without it ever getting in the way of the central story.I only found one fault with Long Way Gone, the recurrent misuse of an old saying: “if I thought x, I had another thing coming”. No. It’s “another think coming”. Thought, think. Not thing. Ask Goggle. I don’t know if that’s the fault of the author or the editor, but it’s the one thing which took me out of the story. Because writing this good shouldn’t be spoiled by silly mistakes.The story spans decades.So while we see Cooper’s mistakes through his eyes, we see them through the eyes of a man who has matured enough to realise they were mistakes—mistakes he’s repented from, even if he’s still not fully reconciled to the consequences of those mistakes. It’s a story about a man (who loves a woman—yes, there is a romance element), and his love for music. It’s a story of a man who makes mistakes in his pursuit of happiness. And it’s a story about how sometimes those mistakes can be made right again, and sometimes they can’t.Recommended for music fans, romance fans, or anyone who appreciates good writing.Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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  • Pauline
    January 1, 1970
    Charles Martin is fast becoming one of my favorites! Gripping book. Solid story. Emotional ride. I love music so it made me doubly interested. Some of the religious views made me pause and say, "what????" But don't let the fact you may question or differ with some of the religious interpretations in the story keep you from this book. Jesus' story of the Prodigal Son has always touched my heart because we are all prodigals in one way or the other and prone to "leave the God we love". This story b Charles Martin is fast becoming one of my favorites! Gripping book. Solid story. Emotional ride. I love music so it made me doubly interested. Some of the religious views made me pause and say, "what????" But don't let the fact you may question or differ with some of the religious interpretations in the story keep you from this book. Jesus' story of the Prodigal Son has always touched my heart because we are all prodigals in one way or the other and prone to "leave the God we love". This story brought tears to my eyes and smiles to my face--I'm not sure you can just "read" it--you dive in and almost drown in the story. All outside noise fades away then it's just you and the story until you are forced to put it down to eat, work, or sleep. Martin's stories stay with you. Hats off to Sue who had chosen another book for book club this month (which I read early and liked but it wasn't gripping or anything--just a book). She made a bold decision to ask us to get another one, THIS ONE, and read it instead--I'm certainly glad she did. Thanks, Sue! Thanks, Mr Martin for another memorable book I can highly recommend to others.
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