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The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  37,764 ratings  ·  1,869 reviews
The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud tells the haunting story of a young man who narrowly survives a terrible car wreck that kills his little brother. Years later, the brothers’ bond remains so strong that it transcends the normal boundaries separating life and death. Charlie St. Cloud lives in a snug New England fishing village. By day he tends the lawns and monuments...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Picador USA (first published 2004)
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Kristy Charlie died in a car accident but was brought back by first responders. He struggles to find out why he lived and his little brother was not so…moreCharlie died in a car accident but was brought back by first responders. He struggles to find out why he lived and his little brother was not so fortunate. Great story!(less)
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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 09, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of love ghost stories
Shelves: ya
Last Friday, I was in NBS Centerpoint checking their 75% cutdown sale. I bought some P99 previously US library books, some brand new ones like "Tinkers" and "Sh*t My Father Says" (reviewed previous to this). Then I saw this book. It had been a while since I read a current Movie-Tie-In book so I checked this out. This edition was published in June 2010 and still sitting there in the New Arrivals gondola. I checked the blurbs and all the famous current bestselling authors are saying something good...more
Sep 23, 2008 Jesse rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Someone who collects Precious Moments figurines.
Recommended to Jesse by: I got it for free when a friend moved.
I thought this book was pretty terrible. It was like if Nicholas Sparks and that guy who wrote The 5 People you Meet In Heaven got drunk, had a baby, and made the baby write a book. That being said, this baby, or author sure knows how to write for the masses. Its like he gathered every trite description of the afterlife/ghostly time spent on earth and crammed it into one book. But, I am sure that a lot of people would actually enjoy this book. It's an easy read, and the author does know how to k...more
Jennifer Wardrip
When Charlie St. Cloud was fifteen years old, a tragic accident that involved "borrowing" a neighbor's car, a trip to a ballgame, and an encounter with a semi-trailer on a bridge led to the death of his three years younger brother, Sam. In fact, Charlie was technically "dead" for minutes before his heart started beating again--no one knows for sure, but this might be why Charlie lives the life he does.

For Charlie, now twenty-eight, taking care of Waterside Cemetery is more than just a job. He's...more
Never, until I opened Charlie St. Cloud, has a book interrupted my life. I stayed up late reading page after page, and once I gave in to sleep, I awoke early and snuck some pages in before MommyHood called me to duty. I ignored the laundry and forgot about the dishes because I needed to know what happen to Charlie, Sam and Tess. I was sucked into the world Ben Sherwood created and I loved every minute of it.

Okay, Zac Efron’s face on the cover made me pick up the book, but the story inside more t...more
Kathryn Johnston
i read this book really fast because i had to know what was going to happen next! i actually cried towards the end. it's like the sixth sense without being creepy. i really want to see this movie!
Once I got passed the fabulousness of the book cover, I was immediately captivated by the story of Charlie St. Cloud. This was a great book about the possibilities of finding your soul mate when you least expect it and about an unbreakable bond between two brothers.

The author presented a perfect blend of love and devotion balanced with tragedy and ultimate hope. It has everything I love in a good story, including a splash of paranormal delivered with events and possibilities that make you wonde...more
Opening Line:"Charlie St. Cloud wasn't the best or brightest boy in Essex County, but he was surely the most promising"

I read this a few years ago but after recently seeing the movie I was reminded of how much I’d liked this story and decided I had to revisit Charlie St Cloud and his little brother Sam. Even though I knew the big reveal this time through I was still able to immerse myself completely in this magical, moving journey from death back to life.

With a story and writing style reminisce...more
Description: “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud” tells the haunting story of a young man who narrowly survives a terrible car wreck that kills his little brother. Years later, the brothers’ bond remains so strong that it transcends the normal boundaries separating life and death. Charlie St. Cloud lives in a snug New England fishing village. By day he tends the lawns and monuments of the ancient cemetery where his younger brother, Sam, is buried. Graced with an extraordinary gift after sur...more
Kristina Turner
I originally bought this book only because the movie adaptation had just been released. I had seen the previews and knew it was something I'd want to watch. Knowing that the movie was first a book, like always, I felt that I needed to read before renting. I ended up scooping it from the check-out aisle at Wal-Mart late one night and upon getting home, throwing it in my bedside table drawer, forgetting about it until just a few days ago. Since then, Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood had ruled my...more
Colleen Houck
I loved this story. It was very sweet and sad. I absolutely adored the movie. I'm a huge Zac Efron fan and though he's not as old as the character of Charlie in the book, I think they made the right decision in casting him. He's one of the very few young actors who can do romance seriously. In fact I can only think of three, Zac, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Heath Ledger. If you haven't seen 17 again I highly encourage you to. I was actually disappointed when Chandler showed up again.
I read The death and life of Charlie St. Cloud because a friend encouraged me to read it and go see the movie with her. The book deals with what happens whe a loved one dies, and the choices that those left behind have to make, between holding onto them and letting go. Charlie St. Cloud looses his brother Sam in an accident, but is still able to see him and play ball with him every night, because of a promise he made to his brother. But then he meets Tess Caroll and everything changes, forcing...more
Read this review and others on my blog,
Shady Tree Reads

I admit I picked this up after seeing the preview for the movie. Since I decided I had to see the movie,(My little sister and I love to drool over Zac Efron) of course I had to read the book first.

The book starts out with a car accident that takes Charlies little brother sam from this world but keeps him in it. Becuase of this near death experience, he is able to see his brother every day at sundown, and keep a promise to play catch with him...more
This was a good one - I became intrigued by the movie trailer, then found out about the book. It was enjoyable, but not necessarily a book that I couldn't put down.
Alisha Marie
My journey reading The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud was a little bit bumpy. At first, I was unsure of whether or not I would stick to it. Those first 50 pages were just so slow going. But after that it started moving a little bit faster. Of course, then I had another issue which was the fact that this was first and foremost (something that completely threw me off since I had no idea it was going to be that much) a romance. And I'm not a big romance fan. However, the book seemed like it ha...more
Eva Leger
I'm so happy no one told me this was 'life-changing'. That one statement almost ruined The Shack for me. I read this mostly because it looked and sounded interesting to me. And also because of the hype surrounding it. I don't always fall for the hyped up books - in fact, unless it does interest me in some way I couldn't make myself read it. Twilight and the rest? No can do. This was borderline for me. It seemed also to be borderline light fantasy and fantasy is something I've always tended to sh...more
Charlie St. Cloud is a gentle soul of a man who works as a caretaker in his town's cemetary. Ever since his little brother, Sam, passed away from a horrible car accident in which Charlie feels at fault, he has punished himself and kept his promise to his brother that he would always look out for him. This promise has given him the ability to see the dead walk among the living as they head to the beyond. He is also able to see his brother, whom he meets every night at a secret baseball field in t...more
Wanda (Good Choice Reading)
Unfortunately, I couldn't find the cover with Zac Efron's picture on it. Before they decided to make this book into a movie, The name of the book originally was "The Death And Life Of Charlie St.Cloud". So I guess they shorten the title when they decided to make the movie.

I really liked this book. It makes you wonder if it's really possible to actually talk and interact with the dead. I know I would like a chance to sit and talk with my dad. So that is definitely something that would be amazing....more
Oh my goodness!!! What a great book! I was initially attracted to this book because the movie is coming out later this week and we have a "Chick Night" planned for the girls and I to go see it. Then I started reading... First of all, I was absolutely amazed at Ben Sherwood's writing style. He's one of those writers who packs SO MUCH in a paragraph...I read a couple of them to Maddi as we were driving around one day and she was shocked! You knew so much without a lot of details, lot of words, etc...more
Jerald Vernon Torres
The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.
Author: Ben Sherwood
Main Characters: Tess, Sam and Charlie

It’s been a long time since I read because of my schedule and consecutive examinations. To be exact it has been a month.
I stopped reading The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud and left it undone two months ago; until yesterday comes, when I feel my hangover drained my body. So I started to read from page one again which I dreaded most. I repeat it because of misinterpreting a line that...more
This was a quick and easy read. If I hadn't already seen movies like The Sixth Sense and Just Like Heaven, this book might have blown me away. As it was, it was still a nice little read. Occasionally it felt like it should have just been a movie rather than a book (I haven't actually seen the movie, although I would like to), mostly because I get annoyed when someone is described, for example, as "charming"-- don't tell me, SHOW me them being charming and let me grow to like that character for m...more
This isn't a good read; it's a great read. I was engaged with the story from the first page to the last.
Charlie St Cloud is a good teenage boy, gets good grades, good at sports, loves his younger brother. Until he makes one bad decision and everything changes.
The characters in the story seem very realistic. I could see a teenage boy making all the choices Charlie made and sticking to his promise because it's all he has left to do. I felt for Charlie and Sam.
I don't want to say more and give spoi...more
Okay sure so I was able to figure out how this was going to end before I got there, but that did not (surprisingly) change my opinion of the book. I still really enjoyed the story and the characters. I would in a way compare this somewhat to a Nicholas Sparks novel, but then in a way I wouldn't. Nicholas Sparks does not always give a happy ending. Ben Sherwood at least in this novel does. This novel however does give you the happy ending. Charlie will save the day; Tess will somehow magically su...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pay attention to the title of this book ... the order and emphasis of words and even the name of it's leading character. I suppose I could stop there because I've told you too much. But, let me babble a little bit. Well, this book was captivating from the very beginning and quite heart wrenching. Much was explored like, the depth of sacrifice for a loved one, real miracles in life, the world of in-between, belief in having a calling in life, and learning about what living means. A powerful endin...more
Mark Speed
This is one of a genre of novels about some kind of life after death, chief amongst which would probably be The Lovely Bones, and perhaps The Five People You Meet in Heaven. From the blurb:
"gently transforming the worst pain of loss into hope, healing, and even laughter"
And there's the appeal, ladies and gentlemen: we all want to believe that this most definitely *isn't* it. It's a cry for hope, and a rejection of what we - on some level - see as the brutal honesty of the increasingly technologi...more
I really wanted to like this book, the premise was exciting and I was ready to be swept away to a world of fantasy, mystery and romance.

I was disappointed though, I found the characters stereotypical and the plot predictable and cheesy. The whole book felt like a set up for a Hollywood movie.

The book promises ghosts, intrigue and a unique point of view, but delivers the same old romantic comedy that's been done a million times over.
Mark O.
Well what can I say?

Aside from being an easy read, the story is not truly realistic albeit fair. There are some deep drama scenes that set it apart from the other books that I've read.

Though not really an outstanding one (plotwise), it's the Afterword that blew my heart away.
Ben Sherwood was working as a network newsman on 9/11/2001 Shortly afterward he left and began writing full-time. This book and another he's written deal with death, the loss of loved ones, surviving and flourishing after a loss.

This novel deals with a young man who feels responsible for the death of his kid brother and in a very real sense can't let go. While the book is a tear jerker in spots, it's also sweet and gentle and life affirming. It's also funny in spots.

While I'm tempted to descri...more
This book was lent to me by a friend on recommendation. We'd been discussing the book "The Time Traveller's Wife" and she mentionned I might like this book as a result.

Reading the synopsis I didn't know how to interpret the part about "he is faced with a choice - between life and death, the past and the present, holding on and letting go". I guessed the story might have a quirky point of view or twist to the plot, but was a little bit worried that the book may go out on a far-fetched angle.

To start, I want to say that I saw the movie recently, and enjoyed the story so much, that I thought I would pick up the book and see if it's just as good. Books are usually better than the movie, so I had high hopes for the book.

And now I can say that the book did not disappoint. One thing that I noticed that was different from the movie was their ages. They were supposed to be late twenties/early thirties, but Zac Effron is early twenties. But honestly, the age didn't really make a difference...more
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Ben Sherwood is a bestselling author, award-winning journalist and founder of From 2004 to 2006, he worked as executive producer of ABC’s Good Morning America during the two most successful seasons in the program’s history. Sherwood guided prize-winning coverage of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the devastation of hurricane Katrina, and the presidential election of 2004

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“That's death and life, you see. We all shine on. You just have to release your hearts, alert your senses, and pay attention. A leaf, a star, a song, a laugh. Notice all the little things, because somebody is reaching out to you. Qualcuno ti ama. Somebody loves you.” 147 likes
“Trust your heart if the seas catch fire and live by love though the stars walk backwards.” 78 likes
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