Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” as Want to Read:
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  118,775 ratings  ·  4,328 reviews
Nine-year-old Trisha McFarland strays from the path while she and her recently divorced mother and brother take a hike along a branch of the Appalachian Trail. Lost for days, wandering farther and farther astray, Trisha has only her portable radio for comfort. A huge fan of Tom Gordon, a Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, she listens to baseball games and fantasizes that her h ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Pocket Books (first published April 6th 1999)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  118,775 ratings  ·  4,328 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I could say that Stephen King “hits a home run” with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon but that would sound trite and campy.

But what the hell.

King hits a home run, this is a great book.

It’s about a nine year old girl (but big for her age) who gets lost in the woods – and a lot more. This is about fear, deep primal fear that is at the roots of our childhood and never really goes away, just retreats back into a far, dark corner to wait. Most everyone has a memory from childhood when a hand held was suddenly - not held; when a p
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Let me begin by saying I am an ardent Stephen King fan and have been since reading "The Stand" back in 1978. First, I like the genre. Second I believe him to be the best story teller alive on the planet today. That being said, even though I have read nearly everything he has written under any pen name, this is the only review I plan to write for the extensive King library.
What is unique about this book was that it barely stepped into the usual worlds of Stephen King. It is a story about h
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
With my holidays finally coming to a close after a busy month, I was in need of a quick, fast paced read. A few of my goodreads friends in a group I regularly participate in, the reading for pleasure book group, engage in many buddy reads of thrillers and spooky stories that are otherwise out of my comfort zone. Psychological thrillers have been known to give me the creeps, and I still can not watch a scary movie past three in the afternoon in case it plants an idea in my head that would give me ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stephen King has confessed that he suffers from “literary elephantiasis”: that is, his novels tend to bloat. I would agree. Compared to the three- to five-hundred page efforts of his early days, the current productions weigh in starting at a thousand plus: even though his books remain eminently readable, I for one prefer the early, slimmer King novels before he caught this disease.

But in between these gargantuan tomes, Steve produces small novellas rather like master chefs produce sn
Susan May
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
This isn't a big book, but it's one of my fave Stephen King books. It's brilliantly written and I think any lost-in-the-woods book will pale against it. King keeps his "I digress" waffling moments out of this one. Don't get me wrong I love his waffling most of the time ... it makes for great characters.

The ominous feeling of the little girl being stalked by something unknown is so powerful.

I read this in one sitting. Any reader who thinks Stephen King isn't a literary gen
Mar 02, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Once upon a time, I could buy Stephen King books with confidence it would be a good read.

I think this book is the worst one I've read by King, and maybe one of the worst I've ever read, period. I do not have to words to properly express how crappy this book was.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it

One of my biggest fears is to get lost in the woods. Stephen King makes a story out of this horrifying situation with a 9 year old little girl. It has all the eliminates that one would experience in a situation like this: paranoia, hunger, sickness, and even a predatory stalking her. This is a quick read, which is not common for a King book, but like most King books you will not regret reading it!
Edward Lorn
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Stephen King completionists
This was my first time reading this book. I know, I'm just as shocked as you are. So why hadn't I, our resident King fanboy, read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon? Well...

I was homeless when it was released. That period of my life was the first of three times I would live on the streets. In 1999, I had successfully alienated myself from my immediate family (my mother and sisters; Dad had moved back to California by this time) due to my abuse of drugs and alcohol, and had moved into an apartment with this
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: see review
I very much enjoyed this story about a nine 'but big for her age' year-old girl who gets lost in the Maine wilderness. For the most part. So let's get down to it.

What I liked: The girl who loved baseball. Yep, that pretty much sums up why I loved this book. I mean, how can you not love a nine-year-old who loves baseball, in large part because she shared it with her absent-through-divorce father. And maybe I'm a little biased because I was a kid who loved basketball, and then baseball, and then
This book was a huge sucker for me. I'm not a fan of horror and only when the planets align themselves properly and when the sun doesn't shine for three days do I ever pick up books from this genre.

Apparently there was a fault in the alignments because I didn't like or enjoy this book one bit. I didn't hate it either but lack of any emotions is just as bad.

The plot sounded quite promising. A girl lost in the creepy woods... what scary things might await her? NOTHING!

This book was a huge sucker for me. I'm not a fan of horror and only when the planets align themselves properly and when the sun doesn't shine for three days do I ever pick up books from this genre.

Apparently there was a fault in the alignments because I didn't like or enjoy this book one bit. I didn't hate it either but lack of any emotions is just as bad.

The plot sounded quite promising. A girl lost in the creepy woods... what scary things might await her? NOTHING!

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything scary in this book. Nothing made me look under my bed during the cold dark nights. There were pretty gross scenes but that doesn't count as scary because they only made me want to vomit.

I also didn't like Trisha, our main character. She's only 9 years old and would have been quite interesting to read about but I just found her too boring and was also quickly losing interest. I guess, in other words, that this book was not meant for me.

This was also my first Stephen King's book and I'm pretty sure this won't be the last. I've heard great things about his other novels and will surely pick it up when you know, the planets and the sun do their job.

For a better review, click here.

To know what the whole plot is about, click here.

I would suggest you find something else to read because this ain't a good book.
Ashley Daviau
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book in high school and I loved it just as much (if not more) this time around as I did back then. Although it's quite a short book, it manages to make me FEEL so much every time I read it.

I think a big part of why it resonates with me so much is that I'm someone who has an incredibly terrible sense of direction and one of my greatest fears is getting lost and not being able to find my way back. And this book brings that fear to life for me and makes me feel like I'm lost alon
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King is one of the few writers I have been reading religiously since a teenager, either buying or snagging a library copy of every new release roughly as they were published. Hence, like millions of others, I feel rather possessive about the phrase ‘Constant Reader’. That’s me, goddamit! I am your biggest fan! (Every reader has a bit of Annie Wilkes in them …)

For some reason, I skipped The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon from 1999. Or I probably just ignored it, as I neither like n
Warning: Don't Get Skulled........

Being stranded in the mosquito infested woods of the Appalachians is no fun for nine year old Trisha McFarland. With visions of The Thing following her and frightening words from The Cold Voice, her love of baseball and Boston Red Sox closer Tom Gordon is her only salvation.

This 1999 Stephen King audio adventure (narrated by Anne Heche) is not really scary, but is entertaining with one hell of a final pitch!

Thomas Strömquist
Stephen King reading project #35

Safe to say this one did not do it for me. Writing is as good as ever, but this feels like something King should be able to write in his sleep (and he almost sent me there on more than one occasion, the New York Times reviewer that wrote the cover blurb should stay far away from really scary books as to not having to sleep with the lights on for all future).

Can't shake the feeling that SK has written this story before; lost, watched and vulnerable pro
Melissa Chung
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-in-2018, owned
One of my favorite stories to read are survival stories. They really push the main character to the farthest capacities of their mind, body and soul. In this story "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon", it was no different. The main character really struggles, but maintains her strength in a faith she doesn't know she has. Giving this book 5 stars. It wasn't my favorite of King's read, but there isn't any flaws that I could complain about so it gets the ol' 5 star treatment.

Trisha McFarlan
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I missed the greatness of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon the first time I read the book. Then, I decided to give the book another go since I hardly remembered the book. That was a wise move. Every step of the way of the book I was with Trisha as she tried to find her way back to civilization. I walked with her, I slept by her side, I suffered with her; I felt her pain when she was sick and hurt and I was with her the moments she listened to the radio, her only joy. She is only nine years old (tall for ...more
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really tried to like this book, but it just did not work for me. A girl gets lost in a forest thanks to a woman who is a candidate for "The Worst Mother of the Year" award, and tries to keep it cool while coming to realization that she has no idea where she is or which way to go to find help. She is nine but big for her age but giving her situation, I got to say that she keeps it together, despite her situation. She looks for food, rations her water, and even talks to Boston Red Sox relief pit ...more
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Non-Stephen King Fans
Recommended to Crystal by: My Grandmother (seriously!)
Shelves: stephen-king
First of all, I need to point out that this book is *nothing* like the standard King lineup. Its a refreshing change of pace for his Constant Reader.

Strangely enough, I think Stephen King felt the same way. There's a passion in the lines of this one that almost makes the words glow on the page.

If I were to recommend a Stephen King book to a "fraidy cat" this would be the one. Its not scary, not even really creepy, although it does have some fairly tense scenes.

You'll love this litt
Abbie | ab_reads
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really quick little read about a brave and resilient little girl who gets lost in the woods. I read it in a couple of hours last night and really admired Trisha! In her situation I would have curled into the foetal position and just given up, honestly!
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been a long time since a story has had me wanting to flip to the last page to make sure everything turns out all right. I resisted the urge, and for that I am grateful. One of Sai King’s best in my opinion.
Louise A
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone - especially girls!
Shelves: greatreads
I love this book. It's one of my favorites of all time. I love Stephen King to begin with, but I think any one - even people who don't like his style or genre typically - would like this book. It's a great, simple story about the power of the human will to survive and the strength of the human spirit - it's bravery, humor, resilience and ingenuity - in the face of great obstacles. It is really a fantastic book for anyone who has, or is, going through a tough time. The plot is very simple - a you ...more
Emma♔☯ (Bookishfix)
“The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.”

This was a little different than the other King books i've read but still quite enjoyable. A 9 year old city girl, fighting for survival after straying off a trail path ,her mother and brother bickering yet again and to distracted to notice her gone. This book focused on fear, imagination, things that go bump in the night with a twist of the supernatural. The visual imagery King uses makes you feel like you yourself ar
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A solid effort from King that is worth a read.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not really a 'scary horror'. It was more about our imagination, fear and the way we deal with the unknown. I guess in some respects that is more scary than anything. We each perceive and deal with the 'thing' in the book slightly differently. Some of us may dismiss it on a scientific basis, others may be terrified, and others may simply be intrigued and curious.

It was a suspenseful story for me; scattered here and there with moments that were genuinely creepy and others that were qui
Andre Gonzalez
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Not his best, not his worst book. This was a quick moving story about a young girl stranded in the woods. There's only so much that can happen in these types of stories that come down to a single character stuck in a bind, but King pulls it off with great storytelling, weaving in characters from the young girl's past as she thinks back on her normal life at home. For me, what saved this book were all the baseball references. As a lifelong baseball fan, there wasn't a term or reference I didn't k ...more
Rachel Brown
A little girl gets lost alone in the woods. But for better or worse, no one is ever really alone…

The world had teeth and it could bite you with them any time it wanted. Trisha McFarland discovered that when she was nine years old.

Sounds like Cujo, doesn’t it? Sometimes bad things happen and it’s nobody’s fault, just the way of the world. Sometimes all the courage and willpower in the world isn’t enough to save you.

And sometimes it is.

Along with the Dark Tower series, this unique little/>The
4/5 stars

“The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.”

Girl gets lost in a forest. That's already a scary premise to me, as I'm someone who has absolutely no navigational skills (don't even get me started on what's left and right). But Stephen King has to take it that one step further, making it creepier and increasing the horrifying stakes. This means that the novel practically made my heart stop many times, out of both suspense and fear. I've also come to realise that Istars
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2019
Believe it or not, this is the first Steven King book I've read. It was kind of strange, but I did get absorbed into the story. Trisha is possibly the smartest 9 year old I've ever seen, surviving in the woods and knowing the difference between poisonous plants and berries. An average kid would have either died or maybe stayed in 1 place and been found. This girl is traveling 30+ miles! I liked her imagination, talking with Tom, her favorite Red Sox pitcher, and her inner self that's mean, but p ...more
Kyriakos Sorokkou
Stephen King is a great fan of baseball, and a great supporter of Boston Red Sox


I don't give a shit about baseball.
Well, that's a bit harsh; let me rephrase it:
I don't care about baseball. I'm not a sports person, I hated PE back in school, I... yada-yada-yada!

Stephen King wrote 3 books about baseball, a novella called Blockade Billy later added in the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Anne Heche

A young girl who loves baseball (and particularly one Red Sox player) takes a few steps off the path when on a hike through the Appalachian Trail with her mother and older brother. In the blink of an eye, she is lost and trying very hard not to be terrified.

King is a master craftsman and he is never better than when playing on all our childhood (and adult) fears, magnifying them tenfold and letting his (and our) imagination carry us away.

I loved Tr
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Roadwork
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Taking
  • Night Visions 5
  • The Dark Tower: Treachery
  • The Rip-Off
  • Johnny Mnemonic: The Screenplay and the Story
  • The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident
  • Lost Boy Lost Girl
  • The Presence
See similar books…
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
“It was like drowning, only from the inside out.” 150 likes
“The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.” 123 likes
More quotes…