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The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  148,508 ratings  ·  6,360 reviews
On a six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, nine-year-old Trisha McFarland quickly tires of the constant bickering between her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. But when she wanders off by herself and then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut, she becomes lost in a wilderness maze full of peril and terror.

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Paperback, 264 pages
Published 2000 by Pocket Books (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  148,508 ratings  ·  6,360 reviews

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: king-stephen
The ability to enjoy a camping trip strongly depends on how good ones´ survival skills and equipment are. Some baseballs and demons are optional.

Much fun with just one character
The more minimalistic the setting, the more ingenious a writer has to be to make it suspenseful and King does this by describing a scared, small girl in the wilderness, fighting to survive with cleverness and perseverance. How the marvelous description of the relentless but wonderful nature, one seems to be inside while
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 su
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 how a y
Rebecca (on a review writing break!)
“Part of her wanted to run. Never mind how flowing water was bound to take her to people eventually, all that was likely just a crock of Little House on the Prairie shit.”

Nine year old Trisha has only veered a little way off the trail but in her panic to get back to the path and her mother and brother, she ends up going deeper and deeper into the terrifying woods. At first it's just the bugs, midges and mosquitoes. Then comes the hunger. For comfort she tunes her Walkman into broadcasts of a
2016 read: I enjoy this book so much more on each re-reading. I feel sometimes the pull of (over) expectation can weaken a book's impact on first read, well it did for me. A nine year old girl gets lost in the New Hampshire woods; and this is her simple, yet captivating story about whether she can survive alone in the wilderness, and whether her Red Sox hero Tom Gordon can help her! Such a simple idea - a child lost in the woods, with only the idea of her hero to hold on to - made into something ...more
Oct 31, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Trisha turned back toward the slope, and then turned around again as the worst idea of her life came to her. This idea was to go forward instead of backtracking to the Kezar Notch Trail. The paths had forked in a Y; she would simply walk across the gap and rejoin the main trail. Piece of cake. There was no chance of getting lost, because she could hear the voices of the other hikers so clearly. There was really no chance of getting lost at all…”
- Stephen King, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trisha MacFarland's parents recently divorced. After which, her mother decided to move to Sanford, Maine, moving the kids along with her.

Their father still lives in Medford, Massachusetts, where their family home was located. Pete, Trisha's older brother, did not take the move well.

He continues to punish their Mom daily with his contentious attitude. Trisha tries to remain upbeat, but the constant fighting between Mom and Pete is treading on her last nerve.

On the day they head out for a hiking e
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 Mridula
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 snacks once in
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.
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 genius should read this boo
Edward Lorn
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
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 wi
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!
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
Oct 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Seeking a filler before tackling more of my TBR pile, I turned to Stephen King for one of his shorter novels. I chose well, taken into the backwoods of the Appalachian Trail and a harrowing tale of a young girl. While out on a ‘forced hike’ with her mom and brother, Trisha McFarland strays from the path and finds herself lost. What starts out as an adventure of sorts soon turns nerve-racking and eventually into a terrible ordeal. Armed with only the lunch she packed for the hike and a few suppli ...more
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
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 nor understan
Melissa Chung
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 52-in-2018
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 McFarland is 9, almo
"The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted."

This is a story about a young girl called Trisha who goes on a hiking trip with her mother and brother along a branch of the Appalachian Trial and becomes separated from them after talking a toilet break.

I love character interactions and relationships, so the fact that this story focuses primarily on one character lost in the woods was not something I'd usually enjoy reading about. I was really liking the beginning of th
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 Stroemquist
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 protagonist ech
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 (tal ...more
myo (myonna reads)
i feel like this book could’ve been at least like 100 pages but you know with king’s details and extensive descriptions it’ll be longer. i don’t think i’m a big fan of survival stories so it was just okay but i still did enjoy it a lot more than some of stephen king books i’ve read
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
Gem ~ZeroShelfControl~
I remember reading a couple of chapters of this when I was really really young, I think my sister must have been reading it. Therefore this has been on my to read list forever and I wasn’t disappointed. My only downside is that if it wasn’t stated she was nine, then I would have believed the character was 13/14 at the least. I didn’t know half the things she knew when I was nine and thought it was a bit unbelievable she was so young. None the less this was a gripping read and I’m going to tick t ...more
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!
Isabel Rose
3.5 STARS.

Another King book down and still many more to go 😝 This book felt SO different from the other King books I’ve read and while this is probably my least favorite so far, it was still very enjoyable 🙌🏼⁣

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was that it was told from the unique perspective of a 9-year-old girl. I don’t read many books told from a child’s point of view, so I really liked that aspect of this book! I also loved the imagery in this book and it made it all the mor
Louise A
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 little girl by t
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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

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