current reading: The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney, William Morrow trade paperback, February 10, 2015, 464 pages, mystery, P.I.

I read strong reviews – extremely positive in every way – on this, and several people had recommended this one, so after a long wait I got a copy from the library.

The plot – “Twenty-five years after a devastating shooting and the unrelated disappearance of a teenage girl, the survivors of both events struggle to find out what really happened so they can move on with their separate lives.”  – from Kirkus Reviews.

It’s much more involved than that, and depending on your viewpoint as a reader, it’s either a straight P.I. story, or a noir story, or both, or a novel of obsession, or maybe all three. While others found the book compelling, I found it off-putting. To me, after a while, the level of obsession went beyond reasonable to nonsensical. I found myself thinking, and occasionally saying out loud, “Oh come on!” So I’ll recommend the book based on all the great reviews and other positives (I did like the sense of place), but for me, it was a “meh”.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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14 Responses to current reading: The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Hmm….I have one of those ‘oh, come on‘ reading personalities, too. So I’m not sure about this one. But the setting is appealing.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Margot, I recommend you make up your own mind. It was the best book I read that year.

  3. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    One of my favorite books of the last 5 years.

  4. I have THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE around here somewhere. I’ll give it a try, but I’m in no hurry after your review. I’ve been doing a lot of reading the past few days as I stopped taking Hydrocodone a few days after my laser surgery. The mental fog lifted so I could focus again.

  5. Sorry guys, I call ’em like I react to them. After all the praise, I was expecting something special, and was disappointed. As they say, that’s what makes a horse race.

  6. Jerry House says:

    Rick, once again my reading has mainly consisted of short stories. I’ve now read all but six of the many Jules de Grandin stories by Seabury Quinn, and I’ll get to those someday when I bother to download the issues of WEIRD TALES they appeared in. I know you don’t care for this type of thing, Rick, but the stories are so gloriously pulpy and de Grandin is such a politically incorrect character that I love the series. I also read the Pete Manx stories that Henry Kuttner and/or Arthur K. Barnes wrote as “Kelvin Kent;” Manx is a time-travelling sideshow barker and con man and the stories have a Robert Bloch/Lefty Feep air about them. I’m currently working on Kuttner’s ‘Hollywood on the Moon” stories, some of which include Barnes’ Gerry Carlisle (INTERPLANETARY HUNTER) character.

    Only two books this week — THE BEST FROM FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, VOLUME SIXTEEN (my FFB) and F. Paul Wilson’s medical thriller THE SELECT. Both worth reading.

    Coming up: more short storied and a return to Penzler’s Sherlock Holmes anthology, books by J. D. Rhodes and by Victor Gischler, and — most likely — some more Mike Faraday capers by Basil Copper.

    Have a great week!

  7. tracybham says:

    I have this book to read also. I guess I need to get around to it.

    My reading is still slow. I did finish THE MINIMALIST HOME this weekend, which I have been reading for a month of so, now and then. Also read HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. I cannot remember if I read it before or just remember watching various adaptations.

    I am now reading TURNCOAT by Aaron Elkins, a historical mystery.

  8. Patti Abbott says:

    And I liked his new book just as well. NOVEMBER ROAD.

  9. Your review makes two references to Lou Berney that I have read in the last week. I have yet to try his work, but something is telling me to get on it.

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