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Still Missing

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  576 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Alex Selky, going on seven, kissed his mother goodbye and set off for school, a mere two blocks away. He never made it. Desperate to find him, his mother begins a vigil that lasts for days, then weeks, then months. She is treated first as a tragic figure, then as a grief-crazed hysteric, then as a reminder of the bad fortune that can befall us all. Against all hope, despit ...more
Paperback, 364 pages
Published May 28th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1981)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,236)
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Jane
“It may be true that one loss helps to prepare for the next, at least in developing a certain rueful sense of humour about things you’re too old to cry about. There’s plenty of blather, some of it true, about turning pain into growth, using one blow to teach you resilience and to make you ready for the shock of the next one. But the greater truth is that life is not something you can go into training for. There was nothing in life Susan Selky could have done to prepare for the breathtaking impac ...more
Iyah
Alex Selky, age 6 and 3/4 walks himself to school alone for the last 6 months, after all it was just a mere 2 blocks away. He's a smart kid who knows not to dawdle, not to talk to strangers and keeps a dime that he can use for calls during an emergency. But then on the hot bright morning of May 15' 1980, he bids his mom goodbye, turned the corner and never made it to school.

Susan Selky is a literature college professor. She'd been divorced for 3 months and is living with her only son Alex. May
...more
Cath
One day, the worst that can happen to a mother happens. Alex Selky, Susan’s son, disappears when he is on his way to school. Nobody has seen him after he turned around the corner of the block.
How is this possible?
Months of stress and sorrow follow. Where is Alex? And is he still alive?
People start calling Susan to give her their opinion and advice. The media is also interested in the story and wants to pay a lot for a TV-show about the case.
Meanwhile, police and volunteers start looking for the
...more
Sam
Alex Selky, going on seven, kisses his mother goodbye and sets off for his school that's only two blocks away. He never gets there. His mother is desperate to find him and begins a vigil that lasts for days, then weeks, then months and never gives up hope that he'll be found alive.

This book originally came out in the early 80's but had been out of print in Britain for some time before Persephone books published it again. I wasn't sure how I would get on with reading it as my daughters are a simi
...more
Johanna Gail Tongco
Talking about books which showed the horror a mother felt when losing her child, this book is a good example of it. Indeed this one is thrilling. It can also be compared to Flight Plan which Jodie Foster starred, but this one is quite different.

When Susan's son, Alex, was lost, the whole town helped her out in finding the almost seven year old kid. Everyone then felt helpless, but as a mother who dearly loves her son, she never gave up.
Ali
Originally published in 1981, this novel, now re-issued by Persephone, is a relatively modern offering from them. It is however a fantastically paced, hard to put down novel. The story is a simple one – One day Susan’s six year old son Alex goes missing. This is the story of what is to be the mother of a child who is missing. The accusations, the press attention, the false hopes, the bereavement like existence she lives. It is a poignant and gripping account. Susan’s desperation and frustrations ...more
Michele
" Persephone Books publishes forgotten fiction and non- fiction by unjustly neglected authors"
Now the clue should have been in the original publication date of 1981; but silly me I was lulled into a false sense of security by the Persephone imprint. This is a relatively entertaining whodunnit but nothing more. Feel somewhat aggrieved I must say. A bit like picking up a Virago classic and finding it to be chick lit.Humph.
Just not in the same class as Saplings,or Little Boy Lost.
Kevin
Mar 01, 2014 Kevin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kevin by: Work Colleague
WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?

Still Missing is about a six year old boy who goes missing one morning as he walks to school. The story focuses mainly on the mother's grief in losing her son and possibly realizing that she may never see him again.


WHAT ARE THE MAIN THEMES?

I felt that the main theme that runs through this book is that of 'hope'. Susan, the mother, never gives up hope of seeing her son again, regardless of what other people (neighbours, friends etc) say and feel.


WHAT I ENJOYED THE

...more
Laurel-Rain
On an ordinary day in May 1980, six-year-old Alex Selky walks two short blocks toward his school in a comfortable and gentrified Boston neighborhood...and then disappears, without a trace.

His mother, Susan Selky, a university professor, awaits his return home from school that afternoon, only to discover when she calls another mother that he never arrived there at all.

A massive search begins, and the subsequent weeks are consumed with media coverage, a police presence, TV shows seeking to intervi
...more
Cath
One day, the worst that can happen to a mother happens. Alex Selky, Susan’s son, disappears when he is on his way to school. Nobody has seen him after he turned around the corner of the block.
How is this possible?
Months of stress and sorrow follow. Where is Alex? And is he still alive?
People start calling Susan to give her their opinion and advice. The media is also interested in the story and wants to pay a lot for a TV-show about the case.
Meanwhile, police and volunteers start looking for the
...more
Golem
Although I read this in just two days and it is undoubtedly a page-turner, I came away feeling the story is disingenuous somehow. It was published in 1981, two years after the disappearance of six-year old Etan Patz in New York which was a major news event at the time and surely Gutcheon cannot have failed to have been aware of the search for Patz (who has never been found and was declared legally dead in 2001). Although Still Missing is not an account of the Patz story it clearly describes very ...more
Durdles
It's funny when hear a book being talked about on the radio as a classic page-turner that everyone has read; that it's been out 30 years; and you've never heard of it. Eventually I tracked down the Persephone issue in Bath. If you were not hooked after page 2 then don't read on. This story describes the aftermath to the disappearance of a six year old Boston boy who vanishes, seemingly into thin air, on his way to school. The emotional torture of the guilt-ridden parents and the frantic searchin ...more
Suanne Laqueur
Beth Gutcheon turned out to be one of my favorite authors in 2000. Still Missing held me in its grips right until the last paragraph. It was a perfect blend of crime thriller, mystery and real-life solid emotion.

To see if it was a fluke, I went back for seconds and read Gutcheon's novel Domestic Pleasures which was every bit as good.
Jennifer
Feb 17, 2013 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not to parents (hard for aunts!)
Shelves: fiction
I first learned about this book while looking through the Persephone catalog. It sounded interesting, and I was intrigued by the fact that it had originally been published as late as 1981 (what Persephone reissues tends to be older than that). I ended up finding a secondhand copy of the 1982 Dell paperback elsewhere -- it has a terrible cover.

Anyway.

Susan watches her six-year-old son start the two-block walk to school one morning. Alex turns at the corner and waves... and then disappears. The b
...more
Siobhan Pratt
I recently finished reading Still Missing, and suspect I shall be reeling with emotions for a long while yet. I don't want to give away any of the plot, which is perfectly constructed, leaves you constantly intrigued as to how the story may end, and is never predictable. Susan's six year old son disappears on his way to school, and we experience her obvious anguish and also unrelenting faith in finding him and her need to keep the search for him alive. The story explores her relationship with he ...more
Yellowoasis
Wow, this book lived up to the often-used but rarely true description ‘unputdownable’. A child goes missing. The story follows the mother over the coming hours, weeks, months as the investigation gears into action and then, inevitably, winds down. The mother’s agony goes through several different iterations. There are false leads, the usual creeps and weirdos turn up to offer their assistance. Everyone is affected, including friends and neighbours who come to resent the intrusion into their priv ...more
Rosemary
Six-year-old Alex Selky disappears on his way to school and nobody knows until late afternoon when he doesn't come home. The scene is set by the shattering moment when his mother realises she has gone through a normal day while some nightmare has been happening to him, and from there the book goes on to focus mostly on his mother and her struggle to get people to keep looking for him after the first media interest wears off.

I thought that Beth Gutcheon did a wonderful job of portraying a woman i
...more
Melissa
I could never imagine losing my child but after reading this book I felt like I was, in a way, inside the mother's skin. You never truly know what you would do in a crisis situation but I would hope I would be like her. She was tenacious and an inspiring character.
Susann
A Persephone reprint that's readily available in the U.S.! Published in 1981, Still Missing tells the story of Susan Selky, whose 6-year-old son disappears on May 15, 1980. The book has the Persephone signature of representing its period while remaining timeless. The search for Alex Selky happens without the Internet, social networking, and cell phones; it happens with indoor smoking, instant coffee, and widespread homophobia.

It's fun to note these changes from the past 30 years, but it's Gutch
...more
Michelle
Still Missing
Beth Gutcheon
Suspense
353 pages
copyright: 1996
isbn: 0-06-097703-5

Alex Selky, going on seven, kissed his mother goodbye and set off for school, a mere two blocks away. He never made it. Desperate to find him, his mother begins a vigil that lasts for days, then weeks, then months. She is treated first as a tragic figure, then as a grief-crazed hysteric, then as anreminder of the bad fortune that can befall us all. Against all hope, despite false leads and thedesertions of her friends a
...more
Venuskitten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wicca
Beth Gutcheon writes characters well - and she really knows how to keep a plot going.
Trickwildphotographypeeksgmail.com
I simply could not get interested in this book.
ChrisGA
Nightmare of stolen child...heartbreaking
Laurie
This was a very good book about a little boy who goes missing and his mothers determination not to give up looking for him even when it appears he is never coming home. I saw the movie before reading this book which was called "Without a Trace." The movie was a very close rendering of the book. The only disappointment was the author's use of profane language where, in my opinion, it was completely unnecessary and took away from my enjoyment of the book. Besides that it was a very good book.
Amanda Seyderhelm
I wasn't sure that the author could sustain a story about losing and finding a child in over 300 pages, but I was wrong! She more than sustains, she drives the emotion of loss and grief through the pages so that I found it impossible to put down, and read it in 2 days. I went on a roller coaster: was the mother mad, guilty of leaving her child or just plain depressed? Grief is hard to process, so physical that at times the mother's madness seemed real. A very thought provoking book.
Hannah
Not an easy book to read, the subject is not pleasant and the author does such a good job of creating a thick atmosphere of sadness you actually feel like you carry a black cloud around with you until it's finished.

Perfect story telling, you fall in love with all the characters, even knowing their various flaws. At the ending I did literally feel like my heart was in my mouth.

Very close to perfect, and bravo for the ending - just perfectly balanced.
Readnponder
I heard this book talked about on the BBC4 podcast "A Good Read." I took it to the beach and it fit the bill for an engrossing mystery/suspense story. Nothing trendsetting, just a good detective story of the investigation into the disappearance of a little boy on his way to school. Depicted well the mother's distress, the way the media moves on to the next story, and the stress on relationships with friends and family members as the ordeal drags on.
Anita Smith
Gut-wrenching and beautifully written.
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Beth Gutcheon grew up in western Pennsylvania. She was educated at Harvard where she took an honors BA in English literature. She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for sojourns in San Francisco and on the coast of Maine. In 1978, she wrote the narration for a feature-length documentary on the Kirov ballet school, The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Ac ...more
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