Long Way Gone

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...

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Title:Long Way Gone
Author:Charles Martin
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Long Way Gone Reviews

  • Melissa

    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.

  • Pamela

    I've been chomping at the bit to get a review written for

    - 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

    - 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 . . . .

  • Judy Collins

    Also purchased the audiobook narrated by

    - an epic performance.

    highly anticipated

    is an awe-inspiring and poignant story which

    Also purchased the audiobook narrated by

    - an epic performance.

    highly anticipated

    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

    handy; a mind, body, and spiritual cleanse. Loss, love, and redemption

    retelling with a modern day twist.

    Martin returns following

    (2015) landing on my

    and

    (2014)

    with yet another empowering story of the resilience of the human heart.

    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:

    A hotspot for weekend warriors out of Vail, Aspen, Steamboat, Breckenridge, and even the Springs and Fort Collins. A place for wounded souls.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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?

    (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.

    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.

    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—

    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.

    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

    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.

    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,

    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.

    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.

    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.

    To walk home with something more than scars and empty hands.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    He only wants to dad he is sorry.

    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?

    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.

    to write a review of such an extraordinary book?

    As others have mentioned, when you read

    books, you find you are highlighting so many pages, the entire book turns into a rainbow of colors. With

    you may find yourself returning to part one to re-read it again, after completing, where is all makes sense.

    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

    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.

    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,

    "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

  • Alice Carter

    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.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    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.

    •••••••

    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:

  • Rachael

    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.

  • Melissa

    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.

    I couldn’t imagine how gray and bland life would be without it. I personally have no musical ability, but for me the

    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.

    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 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.

    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.

    I loved the beauty of his words.

  • Donna

    My first Charles Martin book was

    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

    , but I haven't yet found it, b

    My first Charles Martin book was

    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

    , 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.

  • Ron

    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

    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.

    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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