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From Afar

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  121 reviews
For centuries, poets have argued that unrequited love is love in its strongest form. From Afar is a timeless tale of Morgan Stanfield’s search for love in the far northern city of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Leaving the warm climate of Santa Barbara, he embarks on a four-day odyssey where he encounters a Russian beauty, a prostitute, a wise old babushka, an American chauvini ...more
Kindle Edition, 200 pages
Published March 9th 2015 by Summer Solstice (first published March 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Again, I consider myself a bit of a lucky duck. I feel privileged to be asked by an author to read their book they’ve worked so hard on, and to be sent a copy. So firstly I extend my thanks to the author for this.

Literary fiction is not a genre I’m expert at, I’m not much of an expert at anything.. but reading, yes I am! I enjoy learning and in fact, it’s probably one of my most important factors to a successful reading experience.

Frank Scozzari has written a moving fictional account of one man’
Anita Kirk
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read with him finding love, I enjoyed reading this book from start to finish. A lot of things happen in this book with ups and downs in his life making it a real rollercoaster. You will have to read this book, I am not spoiling it any more for you.
With his emotional time clock ticking, a lonely and desperate man searches for love in all the wrong places, only to find that maybe it isn’t love with another he is searching for, until he can learn to love himself. Morgan Stanfield travels to Russia, in search of the woman he has corresponded with on a Russian brides’ site. Alone in a strange and frigid country, this 38-year-old California man is stood up, used, lied to and tricked. Already disillusioned by American dating services, the haunti ...more

DNF at 30%

I normally politely reject the offers to read and review f/m romance books. Honestly, I’m not a target audience for this kind of book, but I agreed to try this one, because…yes, because of placing and settings, and the blurb sounded funny. I have to admit, the author made me curious in the beginning: Morgan Stanfield is an average California guy in his middle age, who, after spitting from his girlfriend of 7 years, desperately wishes at last to find his soul mate. On the Internet. Russ
♡ Booklish ⛈ ☔Feelings ♡
It was ok and wasn't that interesting as I expected it to be . The book started good but at 25% it was too difficult for me to read it but I did anyway . There were some funny moments though .

“Because I used to own a Harley.”
“You did?”
She sighed with thoughtful reflection.
“Best thing I ever had between my legs.”

Narrater's friend kim seemed a funny woman too and The book is full of depressed thoughts in the starting . But there are many beautiful thoughts of narrater you just can't i
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
As soon as I opened this book to the first page, I was hooked. The modern story of a search for love as told by the main character, Morgan Stanfield is hauntingly compelling. Author Frank Scozzari writes in such a way that draws you in, finds you cheering for his dream, but at the same time, we want to shout at him to stop. We feel his hope, his yearning, and we become invested in the emotion that compels him forward. A trip to Russia against his friend’s advice finds him in a hopeless tangle of ...more
Teresa Michaels
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From Afar is unlike any story I’ve read, and I’m glad I took the opportunity to read it.

Author Frank Scozzari is masterful in his description of Morgan Stanfield’s quest to find his one true love, traveling all the way from California to Russia. The story takes some unexpected turns and the characters Morgan meets along the way add richness to the reader’s experience.

I very much enjoyed From Afar: A Memoir, and encourage anyone looking for a descriptive book that takes you on a beautiful journ
Michael Sahd
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I want to say that Frank Scozzari is a master storyteller and a great writer. For this reason, I'm starting with 5 stars, but I'm going to dock half a star because his proofreader failed him terribly. The developmental editing was great, the grammar was great, but the typos were really distracting – not enough to completely detract from the story, however.

Please bear with me on the rest of this review, because this is going to sound critical, but please wait till the end. I had a very har
Michelle Ryles
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galleys-read
As soon as I read about the intertwined skeletons at the beginning I knew I was going to love this book. It’s not at all what I expected which is what makes it so brilliant.

This is excellent writing, I was completely engrossed in Morgan’s Russian adventure and raced through this book in no time. Morgan seems to be quite an unlucky guy, so there are many moments of hilarity when his visit to Russia doesn’t go as planned. I really admired him when he chose one of the Russian ladies to correspond w
Dermot Davis
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alone, lonely and heart-sick, Morgan Stanfield travels to Russia thinking that he is in search of love when all this time he has been in search of himself. Writing honestly to the point of cringe-worthy embarrassment, this (faux?) memoir does not spare us the naked thoughts of a deeply troubled and vulnerable man as he sees his forties approach and he fears that he will never experience love in this life that is speeding by so fast. As a gullible and naive traveler to a land filled with contrast ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book introduces you to Morgan Stanfield, a Californian searching for the one true love - in Russia.

With From Afar: A Memoir, Frank Scozzari has created an unforgettable and enjoyable story with a hint of romance. The story comprises a variety of interesting characters with sufficient depth and an excellent combination of a hopeful journey and entertaining interactions. I had a great time reading From Afar: A Memoir - it is a very enjoyable and heart-warming read. I was drawn into the story
Sharadha Jayaraman
DNFed @50%.

Note: Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with a copy for review.

I can't keep up with the pretentious only-two-centimeters-away-from-you Morgan Stanfield, I just can't.

What I expected from the blurb:
1. Depressed protagonist
2. Finds safe haven in Russia
3. Wanders about as a nomad in search of love
4. Meets some great people and women with whom he forms lifelong connections
5. Pens down memoirs (of sorts)
Bonus: Scenic descriptions of the historical St. Petersburg.

What I got instead:
Pam Kesterson
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Morgan Stanfield is tormented by his recent breakup and wants true love. He started searching the Internet for beautiful women in Russia.

From Afar was a funny tale, with detailed advice from local friends and new ones met on this International scene. Friends in Santa Barbara, California where Morgan lives think he's out of his mind to follow such notions.

Later advice from new acquaintances on a plane to Russia, left me roaring at the epidemic of men rushing to Saint Petersburg and other places
Sabrina Devonshire
Morgan Stanfield is lonely, yet he believes in happily ever after and eternal love to the point of obsession and his outlook on love and relationships comes across amusingly boyish. After American dating services don’t deliver the ideal woman, he subscribes to a site where men seek Russian brides. Soon he’s leaving sunny California on a flight to Russia to meet a woman he believes will end his quest to find the perfect woman. His initial naïve outlook on love gradually evolves to a more cynical ...more
David Baird
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Where do I start..this was such a lovely little love tale, or loveless tale depending on which way you look at things.

We follow Morgan in his search for love in Russia after failing to find the love he craves in America.

Morgan is the hapless romantic type.. truly believes in love and he wants to find it. Obviously things don’t always go his way and the author brings some depth to the character by showing Morgan struggling with his emotions and his changing views on love.

It’s a sweet story and Fr
Rita Ames
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book surprised me in a delightful way inasmuch as it was all about love without one single real physical connection happening between two people. Morgan reminded me so much of many people I have met and even myself at times in my life so it was so easy to relate to his relentless hope of finding that special someone. That electric wish to be in the full flush of new love that blinds us to so many things that are wrong.

The descriptive of Russia was a delight and I imagined myself walking dow
P.S. Winn
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Morgan Stanfield has been unlucky in love and this story is his journey in search of a love that he knows few ever find. Heading to Russia, Morgan is looking for his soul mate from an internet dating site. I won't tell you what he finds, but I will tell readers they will have a great time as they join Morgan. First of all I loved the character, Morgan is a romantic with some underlying depression and he touches your heart. Secondly the story is well told. The author did a great job making the re ...more
Terrie Meerschaert
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of hopeless romantic, Morgan Stanfield, and his search for true love in Russia. I love the way Frank Scozzari brought the characters together. From Morgan's weekly pub friends in Santa Barbara CA to the Russian doorman in St. Petersburg. The characters are authentic and involving. While Morgan's trip to Russia turns into a comedy of errors and he leaves with a deep sense of loss, I was left with a feeling of hope. His friend Kim, back in Santa Barbara, is rooting for him to fin ...more
Denise Liebig
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of “From Afar” in exchange for an honest review, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Morgan Stanfield’s often emotional journey, later set in vivid detail in the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia, quickly captured my attention. And Mr. Scozzari’s wit and sarcasm had me laughing out loud. It was a quick, fun and thoroughly entertaining read. I highly recommend it!
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
`For all those lost to the light, and those who know they should be.'

Glance through California author Frank Scozzari's biographical data and the seeds of his fertile mind and imagination and poetic inclinations are evident. Born in New York, Frank soon after birth moved to California, graduated form Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and spent his young years on a trek through the world, gathering information and experiences across America, twice trekked the John Muir Trail, backpacked through Europe, c
Jennifer Lara
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The search for love is the eternal struggle that has plagued the world for generations. From Afar by Frank Scozzari takes a look at the modern day search for love with online dating sites and international searches.
The story opens with a man, Morgan, who is looking for love. He has tried all the dating sites and on a whim, he tries a Russian bride site. He finds Natasha and “falls in love” and when he contacts her, she politely declines because she has already found someone. He then finds someo
B.J. Robinson
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Memoir Readers
Recommended to B.J. by: Author
Morgan is searching for love and feels he'll only find it in a Russian woman. He's in his thirties, a California man desperate to find true love, but he is set on certain ideals. The book is well written and easy to read, in a conversational tone. The author has a style all his own which makes the memoir a worthy read and memorable. From his poetic beginning to the last when he discovers his own truth, it's a book a reader will enjoy. He flew to Russia for to find true love. Will he come back wi ...more
Frederick Crook
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the onset, this book grabbed my attention. The main character is a likeable character, which for me, is important in a story. While Morgan is not the sharpest guy, he is easy to sympathize with during his quest to find the love of his life. After the failure of a 7 year long relationship, he turns his attention to Russia and its intriguing women. Here, the struggles continue, as his naïve nature makes him a prime target for the dishonest. Morgan is taken for some cash early on, but instead ...more
Carol Parsons
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amid the paradoxical scenery of St. Petersburg, Russia, author Frank Scozzari weaves a realistic look at the intricacies of love and the toss of the dice that is finding love and falling in love.

In spite of rolling snake eyes consistently in the game of love, Morgan Stanfield is an incurable romantic, an optimist who holds out hope that love can be found. Having made the rounds of all the online American dating services, Morgan takes his search for love global and ends up pursuing the idea of lo
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Frank Scozzari has the gift all the best novelists have. He can take the most mundane, everyday facts of our lives and use them as a base for the most profound examinations of those lives. Jane Austen had this gift, and William Dean Howells had it, and most recently the great British novelist David Lodge had it. And now Frank Scorrizzi is showing us in his novel From Afar that he has it, in spades.

Scozzari’s comic novel is about Morgan Stanfield, a not-so-young man who is so naïve about love and
Tony Piazza
I enjoyed "From Afar: A Memoir." In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I wasn't able to put it down. It was a page turner from beginning to end. Mr. Scozzari is an extremely talented writer- I'll even go so far as to say, gifted, and I predict we'll be hearing more about him and his stories in the days to come. "From Afar: A Memoir" is an entertaining story about a young man looking for love in all the wrong places. It's at times humorous, philosophical, and thoughtful. You can't help getting caugh ...more
Carissa Lynch
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is a beautifully written, emotionally investing story and honestly, I felt myself sad to see it end. It was one of those stories I wasn't ready to let go of.

From Afar is the story of a man named Morgan, who searches desperately for love. He's willing to do anything to find it and even resorts to online dating and Russian bride sites. His search for the one takes him across the world, and we get to go along with him on his journey to meet a woman in Russia. He is a lonely man, desperat
Cathrina Constantine
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Love is the ultimate tragedy, I thought." A sentence taken From Afar. ~WOW ~ What a tale of desiring an everlasting love.

The main character, Morgan had a seven year relationship that fizzled, and now in his mid-thirties, he desperately sought love. He decides to search in the foreign land of Russia. The author, Frank Scozzari takes the reader on a virtual tour of the magnificent Russia. Either Mr. Scozzari had researched the area to perfection or he visited Russia. His descriptions are very in
Donna Crow
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From Afar starts out reading like chick lit for men—fun, funny and lighthearted. The serious side sneaks up on the reader as you begin to realize how profound the hero’s wry observations about love really are—and how eye-opening his experiences with the electronic dating world. And then Morgan sets out for Russia and the novel takes on aspects of a thoroughly engaging travelogue. I love writers whose powers of description can put me in the scene of the action so I can experience the whole advent ...more
Alana Woods
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Who knew that men suffered the same anxiety and anguish as women over finding someone with whom to share their lives?

Frank Scozzari holds nothing back in this exploration of Morgan Stanfield, a 38 year old who is becoming increasingly desperate in his search for love.

Told in first person by the main character, we get right inside his head with a panoramic window to his world. We meet him as he scours dating sites, having turned to them after a seven-year relationship ends when the woman decides
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Frank Scozzari is an American novelist and short story writer. A five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, his short stories have been widely anthologized and featured in literary theater.

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“She said there was no such thing as the perfect match. She claimed it was a grand fallacy. There was no such thing as a ‘soulmate.’ She said that. She said many perfectly content couples were ruined by the concept; that too many couples, ninety percent of them perfect for one another, were ruined because the remaining ten percent was proof, to one or the other, that their true ‘soulmate’ lay elsewhere, and therefore the relationship ended.” 1 likes
“You have but one life to live; and not many chances to get the love thing right. In fact, some people never get it right, and grow old living together but living separate, miserable lives. If you believe in love, you must fight for it. You must hold out for it. You must not give up. You must remain hopelessly romantically alone until your true love is found. You must sacrifice and suffer in loneliness, until one day it finds you.” 0 likes
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