Greyhound Paperback – 20 Mar 2010
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About the Author
Steffan Piper was born in Pennsylvania and raised in England and various parts of Alaska. During his time in Alaska, the Mayor of Nome asked him to ‘leave and never return’, due to a minor misunderstanding. Piper currently lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles with his family. Most of his writing occurs in the dead of night.
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Top Customer Reviews
Although this book is supposed to be for teenagers, it doesn't feel like the usual teenage offering. It is intelligent well written prose, that never patronises or talks down. As an adult, I utterly fell in love with this, and would be confident in buying it for others.
The main character Sebastian is one of the most instantly likeable I've come across. His mother and new boyfriend neglect him terribly, and this is why he is sent off to live with his grandparents. This is a journey that takes him halfway across America on a Greyhound bus.
As we don't have Greyhound buses, you may be forgiven for thinking it wouldn't be great for readers outside the US. Worry not, it is accessible and the attention to detail means you never feel left behind. I found it fascinating, and I cannot stress enough how well written this is.
Perhaps if this was about vampires, it would have sold by the bucket load. However, this really truly is a wonderful and special book. Try this for something a bit different, some beautifully constructed prose, and a tremendous uplifting book that will haunt you for some time to come. Highly recommended.
This unusual alliance will prove to be Sebastian's salvation in more ways than one on this marathon journey that crams in more action and disasters than any youngster should have to endure in his entire childhood, let alone in just three days. Marcus proves to be a wise and loyal friend, helping Sebastian with more than just the journey, but helping him understand himself and his plight, and equipping him as best he can for the future. Sebastian learns a great deal about human nature both in its darker and in its more positive forms.
Sebastian narrates the events of his epic journey, and if there is a criticism of the book it is that this is not the narration of an eleven year old boy, but that aside the story is told with a keen sense of observation and often with a little humour. It reveals humanity in all its forms, and provides a fascinating picture of what was once the Americans' preferred means of distance travelling. Sebastian comes across as a likeable and very natural boy. I found this a most enjoyable and compelling read
The opening of this book almost broke my heart. Thinking about Sebastien Ranes standing in his bedroom, in the dark, at 3 am, fully dressed, with his suitcases packed, hoping against hope that his mother would have changed her mind about sending him away. Again. This time all the way from Stockton, California to Altoona, Pennsylvania by himself on the bus while she marries the latest in her long list of boyfriends and they go on a honeymoon. But Sebastien is already a realist because he understands his mother, he knows that she has already chosen who will stay with her and who will have to go.
On the dedication page of this book the author states that the bulk of this story is true. What he does not reveal is precisely who it happened to. Finding that this story was written in first person was a little bit of a surprise since this main character is so young to be relating the things that will be happening to him. First person is sometimes an uncomfortable form of fiction for me to read. As the story progressed I began to think that surely this must, at the end, be revealed as a reminiscence, a backward look at the events of this fateful trip. That is not the case. Because of that I have to say that Sebastien, as a character in a book, just did not come across to me as an 11 or 12 year old boy.Read more ›
Clearly my enthusiasm for this book must have been obvious to all, because halfway through reading it, I found I had competition from my husband, who sneakily read the first 50 pages of it while I was making a phone call and then kept hassling me to finish it so he could read it next... and my mum is requesting it after him... I think it's going to be a very well thumbed copy!
Greyhound is just a really fantastic story about the greatest adventure an eleven year-old could ever have, about how the miles he travels change him, and how along the way he develops a touching friendship with a man who he has nothing, and everything, in common with. I am torn between the excitement of having found an undiscovered gem, and the sadness that it hasn't already reached a bigger audience. It's a brilliant book, but it is also crying out to made into a film too.
One of the most charming stories I have read in a long while, buy it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
what a story the behaviour of some people never fails to amaze mePublished 2 months ago by grannynanny
Beautiful human story. Excellently written, unusual settings and deep true characters. Loved it and recommend to everyone. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Flanno
So many great pieces of advice hidden away in this amazing, contemporary novel. I want to travel across America on a bus!Published 9 months ago by Felix Weber
I picked this up in a sale and did not expect much from it, but goodness me what a great read.Published 11 months ago by Simon
V well written and enjoyable touching read. Transports you !Published 11 months ago by janet gledhill
I downloaded to my Kindle on the strength of positive reviews and was not disappointed. Thank you reviewers because the subject matter is not one I would gravitate towards. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gina
I have recommended this to many people this year, from 11 year olds up. It is a quiet, thoughtful book although many of the characters are not quiet or thoughtful. Read morePublished 12 months ago by ...