Far Far Away

Far Far Away

Downloadable Audiobook - 2013
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It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn't even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he's able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it's been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn't been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices...
Publisher: New York : Listening Library, 2013
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780804121552
0804121559
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file (10 hr., 55 min., 4 sec.)) :,digital
Additional Contributors: Sheppard, W. Morgan

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JCLChrisK Oct 19, 2013

"But it is like we're in some kind of fairy tale," Frank Bailey said. "It's got enchantments and dungeons and potions and forbidden rooms"--his face fell; he seemed suddenly to remember something--"except this time it's all real."
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For the longest time, this book reads almost entirely real (well, aside from the ghostly narrator; but I'll get to that). Jeremy, Ginger, and their small town may have a few quirks, but for the most part they're everyday people going about their everyday lives. It's still quite an interesting story told deftly and appealingly, it just doesn't seem like anything particularly thrilling is in store. But then. Then there are . . . some very unexpected (though foreshadowed) developments, and the stakes change drastically. We find ourselves pulling for these characters we've come to care for in entirely new ways.
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About that ghost. I thought it was an excellent way of turning an omniscient narrator into a character. Jacob isn't entirely omniscient, but enough so that his narration feels more like a typical storytelling than a first-person account. He has a history that matters, but for the most part he's there to watch over and tell us about Jeremy and Ginger and the other characters. And since he was a polite gentleman storyteller in life, his narration is both charming and compelling.
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Life in a small town in the middle of the U.S. generally seems either dull or dolorous to the average teen. Jeremy and Ginger feel the same until they find solace and adventure first in each other then in secrets far more exciting than they ever could have wished.
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"What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. The boy possessed uncommon qualities, the girl was winsome and darling, and the ancient ghost . . . well, let it only be said that his intentions were good. . . . "

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JCLChrisK Oct 19, 2013

I hope someone picks up on McNeal's TV show idea and turns it into a reality. I would watch it.
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"Uncommon Knowledge was the only show that Jeremy and his father enjoyed watching together, and I confess that I, too, found it diverting. "The quiz show that celebrates the uncommon knowledge of the common man!" a rich voice always proclaimed at the beginning. Then the host would describe how the show's talent scouts had scoured the far corners of the countryside looking for ordinary men and women who possessed extraordinary knowledge about some particular thing--the history of the carrier pigeon, for example, or the terra-cotta soldiers of Emperor Qin, or the life cycle of skinks. These self-taught experts were then questioned by renowned authorities in the field. The audience rooted for the commoners, as they always have."

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