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3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  758 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
When Ron McLarty's debut novel, The Memory of Running, appeared, it became clear that this man is a triple threat: actor (movies, stage, and TV), playwright and author. Now, with the publication of Traveler, he has beaten sophomore slump with another arresting story of real people, one that will keep you reading until the last page is finished, and then will leave you wond ...more
Published 2007
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Apr 20, 2015 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as The Memory of Running, but it was still very good. It has a similar style and feel to it as MoR.... The lovable, semi-loser today, with his childhood storyline interlaced every other chapter.
Ron McLarty is a professional actor and brings a lot to the table when he narrates his own audio books.
Should be 4.5 stars from me.
This book was a look at how the ties that bind can be the ties that cut, the ties that hold us back, and how they eventually set us free. Interesting look at the dying breed of blue collar middle class men. What have we lost in our rush to college education? What happened to OJT? And how do we make peace with the uglier side of life?
Ryan Cooper
Ultimately a frustrating read. Not as good as his first book, The Memory of Running. The main character in this story, Jono, is the epitome of an anti-hero, and unfortunately he never quite became a compelling character to me. The biggest problem I had with Traveler is that the main dramatic action that is initially laid out in the beginning of the book simply disappears as the story goes on. It's hard to reveal much more without giving away the plot, but I'm sure anyone that has read this story ...more
Laurel Bradley
Jun 10, 2012 Laurel Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ron McLarty has done it again.

Ron McLarty, author of The Memory of Running, writes of wonderfully human protagonists whose lives and experiences resonate with the reader. Jono Riley is an aging bartender and part-time actor with a wonderful girlfriend and a fear of commitment. The death of Maria D’Agostino—Jono’s childhood friend and first love—compels Jono to return to his childhood neighborhood.

In chapters alternating between present day and the past, McLarty paints a vivid portrait of growin
Richard Wise
Jul 08, 2015 Richard Wise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
An Epic Novel of East Providence, Rhode Island. Only kidding! Epics require more elbow room. Jono Riley is from my hometown. He is one of many semi-successful actors eking out a living tending bar in the Big Apple. He has been waiting for a break for twenty years. Sounds a lot like the author, Ron McLarty himself. Except that Ron is also a writer and though you may not have heard of him, he has done a masterful job of conveying quotidian life as it was and probably still is in working class East ...more
Aug 23, 2009 Charly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone especially anyone with RI rootsor ties
Mc Larty has carved out a style that blends the past and present in his novels without detracting from the piece. He is a native Rhode islander and a contemporary of mine at Rhode Island College so his references to places and events from our youth are particularly pleasing to see woven into the context of the piece.

He tells an interesting tale and brings to light very real emotions and feelings as his characters develop.
Jono Riley met Marie D'Agostino at a tender age and immediately fell in love with her. Although the feelings were not know as to be mutual, he never stopped hoping that they would spend their life together. Jono loves everything about her, from the way she looks, how she carries herself and everything that is between. Hopes of their relationship blossoming is torn apart when she tragically dies, now Jono must confront his past without her.

Sadly these two characters saved this book from being for
Apr 06, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
Wow. True to life. Life is what you make it and around every corner lies a surprise. I enjoyed all of the Rhode Island references an the author reading his own book because his voice was perfect for the story.
Sep 09, 2007 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVE Ron McLarty as a narrator. If you're going to "read" his works, better to listen to him narrating his stuff. I really enjoyed this story, with the flashbacks to his childhood friendships.
Jul 10, 2009 Cyndee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cyndee by: Phil
This is a book I couldn't put down and didn't want to end. I don't have the vocabulary to praise it enough.
Jono Riley is a struggling actor/bartender in NYC but instead of being a fresh young face, Jono is 51 years old, divorced, and definitely only off off Broadway caliber. He recieves a letter from a childhood friend, Cubby D'Agostino, informing Jono that Cubby's sister Marie had recently passed away. The letter sends Jono down memory lane and eventually back to East Providence, RI, where he grew up with his 3 best friends, Cubby, Bobby Fontes and Billy Fontarelli. Marie, just two years older than ...more
Nov 15, 2014 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is interesting to me is that Ron McLarty sets this novel, Traveler, in the state of Rhode Island; a state that I have lived in most of my life. It was pleasant being able to visualize easily the many locations referred to in the book but for whatever reason the author made an egregious error in naming and locating the only zoo in Rhode Island. He disparaged the zoo's treatment of its animals and, therefore, may have wanted to avoid an unmistakable reference to them.
In the same poignant sty
Kathleen Hagen
Traveler, by Ron McLarty, b-plus, narrated by Ron McLarty, produced by Penguin Audio, downloaded from A.

Ron McLarty was a well-known audio narrator as well as an actor, before he published his first book, which became a best seller. This is his second book. He narrated his own prose with just the right flair for working-class Rhode Island.

Publisher’s note:
Jono Riley is an aging bartender and part-time actor in Manhattan who specializes in one-character plays, usually performed in fr
Gloria Barnum
This was a good book, I enjoyed the characters, the flashbacks to the 60's which was a time of my youth too.

The storyteller Jono Riley has returned to East Providence, Rhode Island because his childhood friend, Marie has just died. He hasn't been back in many years. As he returns to his old neighborhood and encounters his old friends he recalls their times as children and teenagers. You meet the families of Jono, Marie, Cubby, Bobby and Billy and the more realistic family dynamics that weren't
Mar 22, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who grew up with colorful characters
Recommended to Diane by: '07 Harry Schwartz Reader's Retreat
I devoured this book. The story of Jono Riley's - a bartender and sometime actor - trip back to East Providence to revisit the memory of a childhood friend begins with fond memories touched by sadness then travels back to the unexplainable horrors of the very young. The story draws tighter, the past takes on new, darker shades and when the old mystery is solved, sadness returns.

I took awhile to get used to McLarty's style and main character, Jono Riley, but by page 31 I was hooked. Almost every
May 01, 2008 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read Ron's previous book and was happy to see this one in the book, I bought it. The storyline goes as follows: A middle-aged guy in NYC half off off off off broadway actor/half bartender returns to his native East Providence,RI for his childhood friend, Marie's funeral. Marie was shot in the back by a mysterious gunman, survived, but ultimately was killed in adulthood by the bullet because it became a "traveller."
Upon his return to East Providence, Ron inevitably runs into old f
Kathie Giorgio
Sep 27, 2015 Kathie Giorgio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, I love Ron McLarty. But I admit, when I first cracked open this book, I was a little worried. I've been reading his books out of order of publication, and this is one of his earliest. And at first, I thought, oh, no, it's going to be too similar to his other books.


Within pages, I was plunged into not only lovely lyrical writing, but also a sense of nostalgia, family, and home. But wait, that's not all! There's was also tension, mystery, murder. And a great mixing in of individual
Apr 02, 2008 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
I liked this book a lot, but coming off The Memory of Running, his debut novel, anything was going to be a let down. So that was a bit expected but I was still very excited to see this sitting on the library shelf.

I really enjoy the characters that Ron McLarty creates. I never find them to be dull and boring and you end up rooting for them the whole time. Harder to do than it sounds.

McLarty is also good at weaving two storylines together, the past and the present. He's done this with both his n
David Feela
Oct 04, 2014 David Feela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine book, and the third time Goodreads has frozen up and destroyed an almost completed review of mine. I am impressed by McLarty's ability to craft compelling characters. This time Jono Riley returns to his hometown for the funeral of a childhood friend and is drawn into the circumstances of her death, has encounters with his past, and unravels a mystery. The author structures his novel the same way as his first book I read, The Memory of Running, by alternating chapters from past and present ...more
Dec 06, 2012 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-fic
I liked this book quite a bit, but nowhere near as much as I loved McLarty’s first book, The Memory of Running. This one was an interesting, fast read and with a pretty surprising twist at the end, but it lacked the same charm and strong, likable characters as his debut novel had.

This book’s biggest downfall for me, and the largest difference between his first two novels, was my opinion of the narrators - I just didn't like "Bozo" all that much... and maybe it was in part to do with the relation
Roger Huddleston
This book was given to me by a friend, who had decided not to read it. It is the story of Jono Riley, a two-bit stage, and some-time bit part TV/commercial actor and bartender, who returns to his childhood home of East Providence, RI, after the death of a childhood crush. The story alternates between present and past, which I found a bit distracting and hard to follow (chapter titles could have easily cleaned this up). The book evolves into a mystery around several unsolved death's that occurred ...more
A great read about coming of age in the late 50's and early 60's in working class East Providence. A middle-aged bartender and part-time actor living in New York City, Jono Riley, returns to his origins in a working class neighborhood of East Providence to attend the funeral of his childhood sweetheart. The narrative alternates between his adolescent years and the revisitation of unresolved issues as an adult. The evocation of the sense of community, family, friendships, and first love is outsta ...more
Sep 20, 2015 Clint rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hard to follow saga of bartender/actor who attempts to find out who shot a girl on whom he had a crush 35 years earlier. Rocks from present to past to present to help explain, but there's too much narrative and not enough development of why the culprit did what he did. Would not recommend.
Oct 08, 2011 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Traveler" was the story of Jono Riley, a middle-aged man who is an actor/bartender. Years ago when he was a young pre-teenager, several tragedies happened to people who were close to him: a girl friend of his gets shot in the shoulder and survives but the culprit is never found, his father dies in a freak accident at his job, and so on. The story begins when the adult Jono finds out that the girl (now woman)who had been shot in the shoulder as a child has now died years later. He goes back to h ...more
Jun 16, 2007 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book after reading Ron McLarity's other novel, The Memory of Running. Although the main characters are not the same as in the other book, many of the character types and the settings are very similar. Upon hearing of the death of a childhood friend as a result of an accident that occurred 40 years earlier, a 50 year old man currently living in New York City visits his home town and re-connects with old friends. Memories begin to surface and he learns some disturbing facts about some ...more
Devon Goodwin
Jul 19, 2014 Devon Goodwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely think things through...I live, but I rarely learn. pg. 58

I suppose I could be what's called essentially a reticent New Englander. Not comfortable in physical contact unless some history is there. pg. 60

Jul 26, 2008 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The death of childhood friend Marie D'Agostino brings New York bartender and sometimes actor Jono Riley back to East Providence, Rhode Island, where he learns things about the past that he would rather not know. A bullet fired in Marie's shoulder decades earlier when she was only twelve years old seemed to be the result of a random shooting, but an investigation surrounding her death now reveals a more complicated picture of the past as friendships are rekindled and memories reconfigured. The re ...more
Kelly San George
The story was OK but I didn't care for the abundance of racial epithets. I was put off by the over-use of the name "Big Tony".
Nov 30, 2011 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Traveler by Ron McLarty is a mystery not to be missed, especially not by Rhode Islanders. Jono Riley is a modest kind of guy. He’s a New Yorker now, a bartender on the night shift, so he can support a modest acting career. But when the death of a childhood friend calls him back to East Providence, he has no trouble finding the bar that is “right across the street from where Asquinos restaurant used to be.” So, you can almost taste the macaroni and meatballs Big Tony used to make, but that’s not ...more
Pip Jennings
Apr 20, 2016 Pip Jennings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this book, but there are a lot of American references & baseball references that I didn't understand.
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A native of East Providence, RI—Ron McLarty is a veteran actor, accomplished playwright, prolific audiobook narrator and acclaimed novelist.

McLarty is also noted for his body of work as one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators having done over 100 titles including the narration of books authored by Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Richard Russo, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, David Baldacci and S
More about Ron McLarty...

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