Greyhound

  • by Steffan Piper
  • Narrated by Nick Podehl
  • 9 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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...
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- Gillian "SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!"

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.
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- Pennalie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio