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The Smoke Jumper
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The Smoke Jumper

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  19,960 ratings  ·  537 reviews
In a searing novel of love and loyalty, guilt and honor, the acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Horse Whisperer gives his millions of readers another hero…

His name is Connor Ford and he falls like an angel of mercy from the sky, braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have. For Julia Bishop is the partner of his best friend a
Paperback, 576 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by Dell (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Christina White
umm no

This story started out promising. A cute romance develops between two likeable characters and then a smokin hot "complication" gets introduced. From there it went all down hill. There needed to be more of everything, more passion, more tension, and more heartache. I found what I was reading to be less than gripping and I always found a reason to do something else other than read it. This story is about a blind man's wife falling in love with his best friend. How can you bore your readers with a
Stephanie Holcomb
Part 1: fantastic. Part 2: meh. Part 3: good God.

Here is one paragraph (excuse me, sentence) from the book:
In the grass and dust yard of the church stood a white cement figure of Jesus with his arms spread in welcome and the boy stopped beside it and would go no farther and Connor photographed him and then photographed the dogs and vultures that came hurtling from the open doors of the church and photographed the soldiers chasing them and yelling and shooting at them but mostly missing.

This is O
Sep 17, 2007 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like a good story
I lovelovelovelove this book. I've read all of Nicholas Evan's books (The Horse Whisperer, The Divide and The Loop) and this is by far my favorite. Nicholas Evans writes in a way that is clean and does not interfere with the story. This particular story has it all - action, adventure, unrequited love - and the characters are very relatable. It makes me want to go to Montana very badly (and almost makes me want to become a firefighter...)!
Book Concierge
Three friends are connected by one summer’s events on a Montana mountain. Ed Tully and Connor Ford are smoke jumpers who both love the same woman. Julia is a social worker who is taking a group of “at risk” teens on a several day hike in the wilderness in an effort to rehabilitate them. When the draught-stricken forest is hit by lightning, the smoke jumpers have to come to the rescue.

You know where this is headed, don’t you? There will be tragedy, lots of guilt, miscommunication, silent (but ver
Crystal Craig
Loved the cover. Loved the synopsis. Was a little hesitant because I noticed quit a few readers labeling it romance. I wouldn't label it romance at all. Yes, there is a love story - actually, two love stories - but, there is so much more going on. To me, it's a suspense novel.

I absolutely loved this book. It's well-written. It takes the reader to many different places: Montana, New York - even to far away Sarajevo and Africa. I really enjoyed all the characters. I loved Connor's passion and adm
Adam K.
Diana had read The Horse Whisperer and bought Nicholas Evans' succeeding two books on a bookstore excursion that feels like eons ago. Remembering how much she had sung the praises of The Horse Whisperer, I gave Evans' third a go--and was not disappointed in the slightest. I'm currently working through authors on my shelf from Z backwards (having just completed a circuit in the other direction and then reversing it to make my way back to the Es). I try to be highly selective with what I read at a ...more
Sometimes when you pick up a book you have an idea of where the story is going. I at least had an idea of where this one was going, but had no idea the struggles that would occur in the story to get there, nor did I have the story completely resolved.

I was first introduced to Nicholas Evans in a book store on a summer vacation. We were in one of those books a million and the cover kept grabbing at me. Till at last I resolved myself to purchase The Horse Whisper. What an astounding book and autho
I LOVED this book! I would've given it 4.5 stars if possible, and didn't feel it deserved 5 stars, so I rounded down to 4. That being of my favorites! I stayed up till early hours of the morning reading this book because I was so captured by everything about it. The lifestyle, the love, the tragedy, the suspense...EVERYTHING! I saw someone else who reviewed this book say that it made them want to visit Montana and I am going to second that! In fact, can I move to Montana instead of vi ...more
Christopher Smith
Near the end of the book, I had the feeling that the rest of the book was somewhere beside me.....but when I looked, it wasn't really there. Truly, I checked to be certain that I had not inadvertently purchased an abridgement. Yes, the story fragments that are told show Evans at his best. Yes, the story is gripping. In fact, it is indeed because it is gripping that the fairytale ending is a bit of a letdown. What is the meaning of the burning elk's antlers and eyes? Where does Skye twist fate? W ...more
Tracey Cramer-Kelly
This book has everything I love in a story: slightly dangerous occupations (my writing regularly features EMS and military characters). War and chaos. A handsome, brooding male character. A love triangle ... and a happy ending (I'm a sucker for those). Evans did a masterful job of using traumatic events and showing how the characters develop because of (or in spite of) them. The 'voice' of each was authentic and even though there were four points of view (telling their stories) I didn't have any ...more
A frustrating read, punctuated by too many plot twists where you have to suspend your disbelief. The story jumps around and regularly loses what small momentum it had built up as the reader is flung forward years or thousands of miles, or both.

The Smoke Jumper is at least 100 pages too long, cluttered by pointless insights which seem to be lifted from a teenager's diary, and the denouement is signposted in flashing neon lights throughout the book - although how Evans reaches that point was too o
Adrienne Campbell
I read this book when it was first published and I've just finished reading it again. It's a great book!

The story of two men, best friends from completely different backgrounds with opposite personalities who are Smoke Jumpers. The story begins in Montana and the introduction of a young woman. This is where the story of true friendship and honor really begin and the story enfolds you. You feel as though you know these people and the travels take you around the world to the most horrific and beau
I loved the first half of this book. The second half of the book, while connected, should have been a totally separate book by it's self.
Connor Ford and Julia Bishop fall in love the first time they meet. But Connor knows he cannot have Julia because she is the partner of his best friend and fellow smoke jumper, Edward Tully. When a tragedy befalls them, Julia is forced to make a choice and marries Ed. Though she likes him, her heart never forgets Connor even after her marriage. Broken and deprived of love, Connor departs on a dangerous journey to Africa, capturing images of wars and deaths. The Smoke Jumper is all about love los ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Can a person love two people at the same time, and how does one choose just one? Julia meets Ed first and is in relationship with him when she meets his best friend Connor and has a "love at first sight" experience. Connor reciprocates this feeling, but both he and Julia manage not to pursue a love that would hurt Ed. The summer of life-altering events finds the three in Montana where Ed and Connor are smoke jumpers, something that they've been doing for several years together. Julia is working ...more
Dione Sage
The honest reason I picked up this book was because I have a great respect and admiration for Smoke Jumpers and Forest Service firefighters. I even met a few that were from Missoula, which the Smoke Jumper base in the book is. Anyways, so now you know what first got me to buy the book and read it but it didn't play a significant part in the storyline. In fact this story was very different than what I had expected, in a good way. I will be completely honest and say that I was not at all impressed ...more
T.H. Waters
Nicholas Evans is a first rate story teller who has infused every element available to a writer into the Smoke Jumper and turned a mere spark of an idea into fireworks -- he has an uncanny ability to get inside the very essence of what makes his characters tick and fleshes each one into a real & alive being, real in one's own mind anyway. Combine that with epic proportions that leads the reader from one continent to another and back again, threading it with a cocktail of catch-22 circumstanc ...more
This is Nicholas Evan's finest. Well, for me at least. I have read only 2 of his books including this one and I loved this far better than The Horse Whisperer.

A story of 2 best friends who are smoke jumpers who love one wonderful woman, Julia, and whose lives became intertwined by tragedy, and of consequences of choices made. The novel was divided into three parts and some pages made me laugh, most pages made me teary-eyed. Set in the scenic Montana and moving towards the mountains and deserts o
I never really became engrossed in this, or really cared about the characters as much as I hoped I would. I ended up skimming paragraphs and had to make myself finish. Maybe I should have just quit when I lost interest and tried it again another time. Regardless it was entertaining and a quick read. My first book by this author. My husband enjoyed one of his books and so I had high hopes for a great story. I was dissappointed that it seemed so unlike what I had envisioned. I loved The Horse Whis ...more
This was a story about Ed, Julia and Connor. It begins with the night Ed and Julia meet and takes the reader thru a very engaging saga about the three friends and their relationship with each other. Evans gives you a great perspective of life in Montana, New York and war torn areas of Sarajevo and Africa. The story jumps around a bit like a fast forward but Evans does a good job filling in the gaps along the way. The story is split into 3 parts. Part 1 is great and ends with a cliffhanger. Part ...more
I read a lot of books and have a lot of favorites. When someone asks me "What's your favorite book?" It takes a while for me to think of one or I just say the one I recent read. But now after 19 years I have found my all time book! "The Smoke Jumper" is my true all time favorite book. It has an awesome intense, heartwarming storyline where you fall in love with the characters. I love books that has romance and this book has the heartwarming, tear jerking love story I have ever read.
Evans did an
From the title and the beginning of this book, you think that it's all about the people who parachute into and fight wild fires. But, it's not.
That is only where they start, telling about those that fight fires, but it introduces us to the main characters and their persona.
Then, predictally, relationships and people change.
Through out the book, different moral, and internatioal, problems are addressed, but not in a preaching manner, that I have seen in others novels.
It's above medium in size, 43
Connor Ford and his best friend, Ed Tully from vastly different backgrounds spend time as smoke jumpers in Montana during the summer. Ed's girlfriend, Julia joins them in Montana and works as a counselor in a program for teenagers, trying to help them overcome trauma in their lives. This joining of the trio brings tragedy and love into Connor and Julia's life. Their stories span over a period of time and the world with experiences that relate to their first encounters. Really another great read ...more
I feel like the title of this book is misleading as the smoke jumping is really contained to the first third of the book. Either way, it's a great story of friendship, love, loneliness and brotherhood. I liked that the storytelling moved between the three main characters - the contrast between what they were presenting to the world and what was going on in their heads made for well developed characters. I can see why my friend Mel loves this book so much.
C Lasseter
Very few books have the resonance to stick with me long after I have read them. This is one of them. It's a love story that makes you wait, and keeps you turning the pages. There's a certain song that I love, and every time I hear it, I think of this book. I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 because of certain parts of the storyline that were dull, and one particular character that became a "caricature" as the book went on, to help direct the storyline where it ended up.
The author has a recipe for his writint, I think. He takes great threads of subjects... in this case
Smoke Jumping and the brutality of African conflict and weaves them together from seemingly disparate places.
The segue though,always seems to be a sappy, if not real enough, love story / tragegy that one must wade through. There are a few very fine sentences and threads of philosophical thought amid all the mush. Oh well.
Rose Moore

As usual, Evans brings his characters completely to life, with just the right balance of humanity and likeability. This book is, at it's simplest, a love triangle. However, it is much more than that - a story about difficult decisions, the best and the worst of humanity, and all the ways that people can come together or move apart. His scenery and situations are painted vividly, but without any excess verbiage. I loved how, in a book that centers around fire, so many scenes are descr
Jamie McFarlane
Thoroughly enjoyed it and the story will stay with me for a long time to come.
This book kind of had two plots (one about smoke jumping and one about politics in Africa) and mid-way through the focus switched from one to the other. Perhaps the author had two books in mind and just couldn't decide. I did really like the romance in the book but this plot switch seemed odd and distracting. And, I couldn't keep up with all the names and places in Africa.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Nicholas Evans was born and grew up in Worcestershire, England. He studied law at Oxford University, graduating with first class honors, then worked as a journalist for three years on the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He then moved into televsion, producing films
More about Nicholas Evans...
The Horse Whisperer The Loop The Divide The Brave A Historical Introduction to the Northern Picts

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“I am not gone but merely walk within you.” 19 likes
“No man may earn his heart's desire, lest first he brave the smoke and fire” 11 likes
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