Sebastien Ranes's single mom and her feckless boyfriend can't be bothered to take care of a stuttering 12-year-old. Banished to live with his grandmother on the far side of the country, the boy can barely understand a bus schedule when he gets dumped at the Greyhound station in Stockton, California. Given $35 and a one-way ticket to Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sebastien must cross the country - alone, without a clue how to fend for himself.
Filled with youthful anger and naïveté, Sebastien heads out into the "Morning in America" of Ronald Reagan's 1980s, encountering temperamental bus drivers, charming, shifty, and downright dangerous strangers, the music of Daryl Hall and John Oates, and an ex-con named Marcus, who takes the boy under his wing. In an unforgettable trek that evokes Oliver Twist and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the unlikely pair lurch from one misadventure to another, tumbling toward an elusive understanding of where and how, in a troubling world, to look for light.
©2012 Steffan Piper (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Probably not - it is a great story but there are too many books around to repeat read/listen.
Marcus - I wish he was someone I could chat with often, perhaps over dinner... a wise and fun person to know.
A delightful journey into friendship, wisdom, life.
Read the Amazon reviews as they sum this book up well. I wanted to add that it makes a great audio book, especially if being used as I do - accompanying my daily walks. I skipped a few weeks whilst on holiday and it was like a friend to return to, with no issue about remembering where the storyline had reached.
"Warm Story of Fragility and Friendship"
That "Greyhound" is based on a true story is both tragic and wonderful. Cold and fragile, young Sebastien is a lonely boy shunted off to live with his grandparents. And apparently it's not the first time his unloving mother (and absent father) have tossed him aside. Through his journey and his friendship with the ex-con but also grieving Marcus, he learns about life, he learns about how to live with the hand that was dealt him, he learns what it is to be a man.
This is a great little book, filled with spicy tacos in Albuquerque, a man who defecates on himself in Phoenix (oh, the joys of bus riding...!), hijackings, and Hall and Oates. Plus, no spoilers but, there's an action taken, a choice made, and possible consequences that add suspense to the latter half of the book.
Mostly it's the wisdom of the warmhearted Marcus to the note-taking Sebastien.
I see no similarities really to "Huckleberry Finn" and the like, but it's a sweet tale and Nick Podehl, who sometimes falters when he does nonfiction, narrates this really, really well, capturing everyone from Sebastien and Marcus, to a grouchy waitress, to the loudspeaker at the bus station.
Sometimes you just need a nice, good book about broken people reaching out, reaching within. "Greyhound" is it...
I took a break from Romance, my usual listen, as I do from time to time. This book was just simply good. A great story with a fabulous cast of characters. I highly recommend to listen. The narrator was terrific and perfect for this book. Based on a true story made it even better, although sad that mom was such a flake. But the compassion and willingness of strangers to take Sebastian under their wing is inspiring and gives me faith in humanity. It's little things and big things that can change the path for a person. Marcus was just awesome. I am so glad that I stumbled across this book.
"What an unexpected pleasure to read!"
I was caught up from the very beginning of this book. From the wonderful narration to the personal growth and struggles of Sebastian, it never once had me bored. What an adventure! Sebastian's selfish mother dumps him onto a Greyhound bus in Stockton, CA, and he was to go all the way to Altoona, PA by himself. She ever-so-generously (yes, that's sarcasm) gave the kid $35 for all of his meals along the way, which, even in 1981 was not enough money. He embarks upon a 3 day trip that will forever change the life of this intelligent and very deep 12 year old kid. From the friends he makes along the way, to the other colorful characters he meets, the experiences of his trip will change his outlook on his life and his expectations for his future. You can't help but fall in love with Sebastian as he is thrust into completely unexpected situations. What you'd think would be a long, boring trip is anything but. This gem of a book is WELL worth a credit!
"perfect narration for an almost perfect story"
As I began listening to this story, I had an instant kinship to Sebastian Raines, an almost 12 year old boy abandoned by his mother at a Greyhound station in California. And so begins a heartwarming road trip across America with a sweet young boy entirely dependent on the kindness of strangers. Narrator, Nick Podehl, perfectly captures the voices of the never-ending array of strangers Sebastian encounters drivers, waitresses, convicts and pedophiles. He does them so well that I had to check that this was not a dramatized book with numerous narrators.
I wanted to much to LOVE this story. But in the end, I only ever liked it. Author, Steffan Piper, almost gets you there, and you, the reader believe you are on your way to something like a modern-day Huckleberry-Finn. But he never fully delivers. The story is at its best when the author shares vignettes with varying strangers. But as the story wore on, and the strangers all disembark, and the story transitions toSebastian`s back story. This is where the author lost me. In a typical novice writer's flaw, he failed to show me the story. Everything is told. In fact, it is over-told, as though the author did not trust his reader to get it - Sebastian has a terrible mother. Sebastian stutters. Sebastian needs to become a man.
I wanted very much to LOVE the interracial, intergenerational story of Sebastian and Marcus (a kind-hearted convict who teaches Sebastian what kind of man he can choose to be), but then it just fizzles out. What began as a tale I could not wait to return to, ended with an adolescent`s self analysis that I was just as eager to finish.
Almost perfect. But the distance between perfect and almost perfect is equal to a Greyhound bus trip that ends in Albequerque, and one that ends in Altuna.
This book was such fun. I immediately bought and downloaded the sequel. Ready for more entertainment. It's a nice break from daily stress. I think I'll break my lifelong rule and listen to this again--it was that good. A new favorite.
"Beautiful story of disappointment and friendship!"
Greyhound is a story about a 12 year old boy sent from Stockton CA to Altoona PA alone by a self absorbed mother on a Greyhound bus. He had very little money. It is set in the 1980's. The boy is being sent to live with his paternal grandparents and sister. It is ultimately about a friendship with a recently released prisoner(and others) along the way. It is also about disappointment and how it is handled, It is really a simple story about life's lessons well learned. The big question is, "What is in his two large suitcases?" This is one I would definitely listen to again. Nick Podehl does a great job of narration.
Loved every minute. An easy relaxing listen. Some foul language so maybe not for kids.
"starts a little slow but stick it out"
great coming of age story. once you get to know the protagonist you'll be hooked. Didn't expect to fall for the book so hard. just lovely.
"This story grew on me"
12 year-old Sebastien is put on a Greyhound bus to travel almost four days alone en route to live with his grandmother on the other side of the country. Sebastien has been neglected by his mother, as as a nervous boy with a stutter, he does not connect well with peers. This marathon bus trip is a compact coming-of-age experience for Sebastien. More than one traumatic thing happens to him, but the unbelievability of that is offset by very believable characters, primarily young Sebastien and an African-American ex-con adult he befriends, Marcus. The friendship of those two is at the center of this sweet story. This novel captures that friendship, as well as America in 1981, as seen from a Greyhound bus. I liked the book, and the narrator is extraordinary.
"roadtrip coming of age story"
What an enjoyable tale! 11 year old oddball Sebastien is put on a Greyhound train by his no-account mother to go across the country alone to live with his grandparents. On the way he meets Marcus, a thirty-something black man returning home after a prison sentence, who acts as a sort of father figure and protects him on his journey. Lots of strange things happen on the journey, and they become true friends, each other's experiences and perspective enriching the other's in their three days together. It's a little bit sad, often funny, and overall heartwarming. Set in the late 70's, complete with cassette tapes and payphones.
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