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Long Way Gone

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  7,971 ratings  ·  1,017 reviews
“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager so
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Thomas Nelson
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Susan Rebel It is beautiful year round. You have to work and eat. One has to experience the beauty daily as you live. The dawn breaking on the mountains, moonligh…moreIt is beautiful year round. You have to work and eat. One has to experience the beauty daily as you live. The dawn breaking on the mountains, moonlight on the fields, the wild life.(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  7,971 ratings  ·  1,017 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Wow, I had no idea I would like this book so much. It touched me in so many ways, it's taken me a bit to figure what I'm even going to say. I laughed and I cried and I loved.

When Cooper finally made his way home to Colorado he was a changed man in many ways. His music career was over, or so it seemed. He had plenty of money and he fixed up the old Ptarmigan Theatre his dad bought years ago but never did anything with it. Cooper made it into a nice little theatre with recording equipment and he
Charles Martin’s writing is truly something special.
It feels different somehow. Like the few others of his I’ve read, this story touched my soul on a deeper level. His words, throughout the entire story, had such substance and profound meaning. Things that made me sit back and think.

This one combined two of my favorite things - a great love story and music. Music colors my world. I couldn’t imagine how gray and bland life would be without it. I personally have no musical ability, but for me the
I've been chomping at the bit to get a review written for Long Way Gone - which I was blessed to receive complimentary from the author via the publisher. I truly wish to honor both the powerful message of the story and the extraordinary talents of Charles Martin. In which a more worthy review WILL EVENTUALLY COME, when I'm able to expound at reasonable length. I'm currently tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visiting family, welcoming new grandbabies into the fold, and without altogether r ...more
”Robert Johnson wasn't the only man with a guitar to stand at a crossroad and talk with the devil. Every man with a guitar crosses that same street, and the conversation is always the same. So are the promises.”
The heart of this story involves three people, four if you count music, and with the way music becomes the center of this one, I think it has to be counted. I like music, a lot, but I could not describe the way its made, how a guitar is repaired, or the way it makes different people
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also purchased the audiobook narrated by Adam Verner - an epic performance.

Top 50 Books of 2016

"To everyone who's ever known the pain of watching a loved one walk away and then stood on the porch staring down the road. And to every loved on who's reached the end of that road, . . . and turned around.

Charles Martin’s highly anticipated LONG WAY GONE is an awe-inspiring and poignant story which
Dale Harcombe
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story starts and ends with music. The start has an old man playing guitar. He is complemented by a down and out man returning home who joins him in playing guitar. Cooper O’Connor is the second man who is returning home after years away and a life that has known loss, success, joy and tragedy. On his way back home, he picks up an injured woman by the side of the road. He knew her as Daley Cross. Cooper played music, recorded with her and fell in love with Daley years before until life and ci ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a solid 4.5 stars. I will just put this out there, this was my lunch read and I sometimes added extra salt to my food because of this book. My grandpa and his brothers were big singers, they sang at church in the choir, at church dinners for entertainment while you waited, and always at funerals. They sang what I call the great church hymns, the old hymns, the ones you don’t always hear anymore. One of my favorites they sang was “How Great Thou Art”. They sounded great all their bass and ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another stellar novel from Martin. His fabulous gift for characterization is evident on each page. Layers of the story are peeled back to show the spiritual truth underneath the gripping plot. This is a reimagining of the prodigal son story from the Bible, and the reader's faith can't help but be enriched and encouraged after completing the book. Cooper is an intricate character with an amazing story to tell, and the supporting cast is just as important to provide additional depth and understand ...more
Jocelyn Green
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a powerful read. This was the most profound retelling of a parable that I've ever enccountered. The three-part structure really worked for this story, and though there was lot of telling versus showing in Part Two, even that worked because it was told through the first-person lens of Cooper, the main character. It's been a long time since a book moved me to tears, but this one had me on the verge of weeping near the end! I especially appreciated the author's note after the end of the story. ...more
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A captivating read. Very touching, and rather heartbreaking at times. More than just an adaptation of one of Jesus' best-loved parables, this one packs a serious punch.
Alice Stanford
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A moving and emotional tale, based loosely on the parable of the prodigal son.
You know there's good storie and then there's great stories. This is a great story and one that I know will stay with me for a very long time to come.
I highly reccomend this story, especially to anyone who is atall musical, as there are many many musical references in this book, a lot of which went right over my head. At times I found these a little distracting, but not enough to ruin a beautiful tale, and I'm sure so
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charles Martin pulls on heartstrings: his books remind me of the scene in the movie Erin Brockovich, when Erin tells the cancer-stricken family that she won a $5 million judgment for them or the scene in A Beautiful Mind, where John Nash speaks of how his wife's love helped him overcome his mental demons when he accepts his Nobel Prize in economics.

Behind a strikingly beautiful cover is a haunting story of a musical prodigy, raised by his revival preacher father (and his major domo, an ex-con wh
LONG WAY GONE by Charles Martin brings the story of the Prodigal Son to new heights. A roller coaster of emotions, it’s filled with surprises and lessons we all need to heal.

See the full color review at my blog,

Cooper is one of the best lead characters I’ve read. I loved his heart. He wasn’t perfect, and sometimes he was selfish. That’s what made his story realistic and relatable.

The lessons the author expounds upon at the end will move anyone who loves to interpret the Bible.
My first Charles Martin book was Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home which I absolutely loved. Granted it was almost 10 years ago, I may feel differently about it today, but I don't know. I still carry that story in my heart. I loved how that book reached out and grabbed me and then pulled me under. So it is with sadness that I wasn't as stunned by this one. I've read almost everything he's written, hoping to find another Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home, but I haven't yet found it, b ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A true 5* book if I have ever read one! I am stunned at this book and will remember it for a very long time.
This book defies description. It reaches in and touches your soul. Charles Martin hasa true gift with words. He uses words and imagery as the main character Coop uses music. I am in awe of the talents of this writer and thankful that he chooses to use them for God's glory.

The story is captivating and truly shows how everyone and anyone faces issues in their life, but hope is always with us
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this read. The writing style is so different, and the storyline is incredibly well done. Giving this five stars because it touched my heart and brought a tear or two. Very few books do that.

The characters seem so real, and the plot ( though not original) is so very touching. This was my first by this author, but I don't expect it will be my last. This had a strong faith theme...and a bit of the unseen spiritual world.

Recommend. This is going on my forever shelves.

I received this
Varina Denman
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Martin's descriptive writing style, and the story of Long Way Gone is gentle and compelling. The way he describes music and musicians is beautiful, and I kept feeling the urge to sit down at the piano or break out in song. The last chapters drag with long stretches of dialogue, but it spite of that, I highly recommend Long Way Gone. It's a feel good story!
Brent Soderstrum
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, first-read
I won this book through GoodReads First Read program.

I had never read any book written by Charles Martin and, quite frankly, had never heard of him. I was blessed with having won his book and then having read it. Martin has a way of bringing up items that you think are loose ends to a story and but then he ties them off as he works he way through the tale. There were countless times in which I read something and wondered where that came from hoping he would explain. Well later in the story the e
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Music is a gift. We make it to give away."

It took Cooper "Peg" O'Connor decades to learn what his father had been faithfully demonstrating for years; "(when you play a song)you're giving them something that no amount of money can buy . . . . . . hope." His journey took him from the mountains of Colorado and a life filled with tent revivals to the street corners of Nashville, Tennessee, where lots of people could play an instrument, but seldom offered the gift of music. Until Cooper meets Daley
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really spoke to me as a writer, especially when he says that "music isn't something you HAVE to do, it's something you GET to do it." Long Way Gone was a beautiful story, but I'm not terribly surprised as I don't think Charles Martin knows how to write a bad story. Maybe that's because he IS Peg, but of the writing world. This book stirred something in me, became a balm to a writer's aching soul. Beautiful!
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, amazing
Long Way Gone by Charles Martin
Genre: Inspirational Fiction, Romance
Format: Audible
Three main characters:
Cooper O’Connor: Musical prodigy
Daley Cross: Vocal prodigy, love of Cooper's life
Big-Big: Protector, friend

One word: Phenomenal. No wonder it was a Christy Award winner.

The book is about Cooper O’Connor, a musical prodigy. His ability with a piano, guitar and voice captivated audiences at an early age. His father was a tent revival preacher. And oh, how that man loved his son. He always had
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I usually don't write reviews. I don't know what to say other than whether I enjoyed or not a book, and that's what the stars (rating) are for.
But this one... I have to try and say something.
I've read all the Charles Martin novels. Each one was unique. Each one touched something deep inside me, changed the way I see others and the way I see myself, and the way I think others (and God) see me. And it seems that all of them lead to the "Long way gone".
It feels a little different from the others,
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal read! Long Way Gone examines an age-old dilemma in a modern setting: dealing with the ramifications of one's poor choices and our determination as humans to try and outrun our mistakes. Charles Martin pens a beautiful love story, not only between Cooper and Daley, but ultimately this novel points to God's unconditional love for us. No matter how ugly or painful our sin, Jesus redeemed it all. To me, that's the prevailing message of this novel.
Martin is a master storyteller, creating f
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It wasn't in chronological order, but I think the author did an absolute great job in telling the story. The way he broke it up, you just kept wondering, what happened to Cooper that he gave it all up. The author doesn't tell you until like the middle of the book. And what about Daley Cross? What went on with her? The author just gets you so intrigued just how he wrote the book. I was mesmerized from the very first chapter.

A boy, at first, whose love for the guitar and all thi
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was my first Charles Martin book. Thanks to the Fiction Guild for sending it to me.

The story took a little while to get going, which is the main reason this was 4 instead of 5 stars for me. But once I got to know the characters a bit I liked it better. I am someone who loves music and learned a few instruments when I was younger. Music is definitely a major part of this book, almost it's own character. Even for those who may not have a background in music they have probably experienced a t
Dana Michael
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As Stradivarius with a violin, as Elvis with a song, so is Charles Martin....with words. The words in this book resonated feelings deep inside me. Drawing emotions causing me to feel pain only a parent can understand. Hurt from a son that caused the pain. Love that only comes from a patient father who forgives. This book Can only be described as a masterpiece. If you have been a prodigal, are a prodigal or a parent of a prodigal,or if you just love music, this book is for you. The ending is amaz ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
What are the chances of finding your long lost love by the side of the road, all beat up, 20 yrs later? I wanted to buy the happenstances of this story, but they were too unlikely. The Colorado scenery and mountains, I believe. The gift of music and the old hymns, I also believe. But the story as a whole seemed superfluous
Victoria Bylin
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book hit home. That's the best thing I can say. Loved it from start to finish.
This is the most beautiful story I’ve ever read.

There’s nothing else I can say. Read it if you’ve ever felt like you’re too far gone to be saved or to come home.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Long Way Gone
Charles Martin

My Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Publisher Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio (Audio Edition)
Publish Date October 4, 2016

Long Way Gone is first and foremost a story about love and forgiveness. A father's unyielding and immeasurable love for his son. It's the modern day story of the prodigal son. Cooper O'Connor is eighteen and angry when he runs away to Nashville stealing his dad's most important possessions. His truck, his life savings, and his prized guitar-named Jimmy. Al
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Married to Christy. Father of three boys.

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“No matter where you go, no matter what happens, what you become, what you gain, what you lose, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no matter what you dip your hands into . . . no gone is too far gone. Son, you can always come home.” 5 likes
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