Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Luke and Jon” as Want to Read:
Luke and Jon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Luke and Jon

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Luke's mum is dead. He finds himself in a small, scruffy northern hill town, with a near silent father, who he fears might be trying to drink himself to death. Then he meets Jon. Jon is massively strange. He wears 1950s clothes, has a side-parting and a twitch. The kids at school call him 'Slackjaw'. When Luke discovers his secret, Jon changes his life in more ways than he ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Faber & Faber (first published 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Luke and Jon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Luke and Jon

Romeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareBeezus and Ramona by Beverly ClearyFrog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold LobelThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis StevensonEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Name and Name
467 books — 51 voters
Romeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareThe Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis StevensonNicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. MassieKinsey and Me by Sue GraftonOryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
116 books — 11 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  452 ratings  ·  56 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Luke and Jon
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-best-read

Loved it.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Let them shout it down every Manchester street, let them shout it loud enough to disturb the author behind the counter at Waterstones: Robert Williams (no relation) has a talent to be envied. Who is he, and how does he know so much about grief, the slow burn of it, and of male comradeship, and how does he get it down so well? With a style as neat and unfussy as the cubes of colour in a child's paintbox, and in under two hundred pages, he involves us in real, lived lives, with humour and pathos h ...more
Mina Yamanaka
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought this paperback second-hand from Arkadia International Bookshop in Helsinki on 28 February 2013 because it looked nice. I put it on my shelf, did something else for five years and then picked it up.

What an understated, beautiful little book! Flawless. It made me happy and sad, ultimately happy.

Luke and Jon must be adults now. I'd like to meet them, hear Jon lecture about anything, see Luke's paintings and his dad's masterpiece (I'm sure it's still standing).

I want to read all the books R
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
What did I think of this book? Well, it is a small story, it has no earth-shattering, heart breaking, jaw dropping event. It seems that has already taken place, and this book is more about the fallout from losing your mother at a young age, and having your whole world forever changed.

I was drawn in from the start, sympathizing with the narrator and rooting for a happy ending.

I really enjoyed the writing in this book, the straight-forward, yet eloquent narration, the description of the setting, m
Linda Hepworth
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the 11th April, at 4.27pm, thirteen-year-old Luke’s mother is killed in a car crash and his life changes in an instant. Immersed in grief and a whisky bottle, his now near-silent father stops paying the household bills and, by the early summer, their home has been repossessed. After all the debts have been paid, the only house they can afford is a remote, neglected cottage on a fellside above a scruffy northern town; it is here, away from everything familiar, that they must try to create a fu ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Luke and Jon is a debut novel by Robert Williams, first published in 2010. Luke and his father, struggling after the death of Luke’s mother, move to a remote run-down cottage on the fell overlooking the northern town of Duerdale. They soon meet Jon, the strange boy with a secret who lives in the next house on the fell, wears 1950s clothes, and goes to the same school as Luke.

The bleak rural setting reminds me of several novels I have read this year, including Devil’s Day and Pine, and this book
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this book standing in my bookcase for several years and finally got around to picking it up. No regrets for buying it then - a tight, well-written and emotional story. It’s written with some distance (no lyrical drama scenes) but that creates room for the reader to engage in more depth with the story and the three main characters: Luke, whose mother has recently died in a car accident; his father, a woodworking artist who can’t keep himself together after her death; and Jon, an odd boy who ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Does not matter how deep you are…

Either a big or a tiny little goal you want to achieve. You must find something. Something important, which can

make you fight for,
make you stronger,
make you through all.

Something. Makes your life. Meaningful.
Paul Huggett
Aug 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
ebook version is lacking basic punctuation... annoying me so much that I can't continue reading this book ...more
Petra Be
It's a story for younger teenagers about how your life can dramatically change in a few minutes. The narrator's voice doesn't sound very 13-year-old though. ...more
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovely lovely book
Victoria Watson
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
'Luke and Jon' is a heart-warming tale of Jon who, after the death of his mother, moves to a scruffy northern town with his almost entirely mute father who is drinking heavily. Jon meets Luke, a boy in 1950s clothes with a side parting and a twitch. The kids at school refer to Luke as "slackjaw". Luke has a secret, though, and when Jon finds it out it changes everything for Jon and his dad.

'Luke and Jon' is a coming of age story about family, death, depression, friendship and redemption. Robert
Sofia Lindholm
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this book this morning in a book shop, and just finished it. It´s the sort of novel you just can´t put aside, that completely overwhelms you. The novelist Willy Vlautin comments it like this: "It´s the sort of novel I´m always hoping to find. It´s odd, heartfelt, romantic, sad, and most of all honest" and I feel that´s quite an accurate review. I enjoyed it from the first to the last page, and I guess my thoughts will be turning back to the story once in a while. The british language is ...more
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Luke's mother died in a car accident. Luke tells us about his life and his feelings, his relationship with his father and his friendship with a boy he meets called Jon. Neither Luke or Jon quite fit into the crowd at school and both are to some extent unintentionally neglected by their 'responsible adults'.
The story is told in a series of detailed episodes in Luke's life, many featuring Jon or Luke's father, but some Luke alone. It is very well done and I found it a completely consistent realisa
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-2012
An unexpected treat left behind by a visiting friend.

I had no expectation when I started this - it was just there so I read it. Nothing unusual in the premise but the way Williams handles the boys, and their stories coupled with the bleak settings turn it into something quite special.

Nothing amazing happens, it's more just about how two boys get by once the bad things have happened. Their friendship isn't a miraculous or loaded thing - it just is.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Although I found the narrator's voice to be a little too elegant and sophisticated to belong to the main character, and although I didn't feel either he or his friend Jon were really developed very much, and although the depiction of bullying and school seemed a little unsure to me...

... despite this, I cried actual tears when I read the last page, and my heart hurt a little bit at the grief. A sweet book which doesn't try to do anything especially remarkable and is all the better for that.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think the book is excellent and this is the second time I have read it. The characters and thoughts are believable and a number of difficult and taboo subjects are dealt with sensitively and accurately.

There is one aspect of the book that irritates me to some extent and that is the lack of the use of apostrophes which at times, particularly the first time I read the book, struggling to grasp what was being said.

I strongly recommend this book for young and not so young adults.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet story about the friendship of two young teenage boys, both undergoing loss and dealing with big changes in their lives. It is well written and draws you in. Have to say the decision of the author not to use apostrophes or speech marks did distract me somewhat and stopped the flow of the narrative until I got used to it!
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really liked this book, I like how the author has you hooked from the first page, wanting to know all the details of what has happened. Not my favourite book by this author but I did really enjoy it though. The one thing I didn't quite get was why a horse? What was the relevance with a horse statue? ...more
Nov 11, 2010 rated it liked it
I wasn't too sure what to expect from this book but I did enjoy it. It's a book about grieving, friendship, family, school bullying, trying to find silver linings of clouds. All the characters are quite quirky and likeable. ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
A very well-written coming of age novel about the friendship between two outsiders, and about loss and coping with it. It's not world- or life-changing, and it may have been hyped a little too much, but that's not the book's fault. It has a certain quiet power that I liked a lot. ...more
Gael Impiazzi
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a slim but very satisfying novel, about ordinary people coping with ordinary tragedy in a northern town. Well written, compassionate and moving, dealing with grief and friendship and the strength of the human spirit.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet, this book was actually quite moving. I really enjoyed the friendship between the two main characters, and I thought the storyline was super cute. A book about friendship like this is really worth a read. ^5 single dads!
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This pushed a lot of my buttons and took me back to my (somewhat less) rural early teenagerhood. The emotions are all suppressed and this makes the book and its central character so much more moving. The depictions of bullying and anger are deadly accurate.
Daniel Chan
I need to reevaluate my sister's random library selections because this pick blew me away.

(I do find it odd how the narrator is so precocious for someone who's 13 years old. It doesn't take away from the reading experience though.)
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it - it's a story about two two teenage boys who reluctantly get to know each other and form a supportive friendship. Both boys have massive problems to overcome, but work out a way forward. I would like to know what happens to them next. ...more
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'Luke and Jon' is a story about grief, bullying, depression and friendship. It's very well written, and it's not hard to understand the storyline. I can highly recommend this book. It's a great book if you have to read a book in English for school and it's not too long either.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, really down to earth and uplifting story. Read it!
Robin Fox
A really easy read - a sad story, but definately a page-turner
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Les Girofliers de Zanzibar
  • The Silver Dark Sea
  • Croire aux fauves
  • Le Plongeur
  • Rehepapp ehk november
  • Päntsdrunk (Kalsarikänni): The Finnish Path to Relaxation (Drinking at Home, Alone, in Your Underwear)
  • In Every Face I Meet
  • Dites-Leur que je suis un homme (Piccolo)
  • The Haunting of H. G. Wells
  • La Tempête des échos (La Passe-Miroir, #4)
  • The Love Story of Missy Carmichael
  • Starve Acre
  • Une immense sensation de calme
  • Tango tranquille
  • The Lying Life of Adults
  • The Bride
  • Vasto Mundo
  • Les Vermeilles
See similar books…
Robert Williams grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire and currently lives in Manchester. His first novel, Luke and Jon, won a Betty Trask Award, was translated into seven languages and called 'a hugely impressive debut' in the Daily Telegraph. He has worked in a secondary school library, as a bookseller for Waterstones, and has written and released music under the name The Library Trust. ...more

Related Articles

Readers have a lot to look forward to this year! Just feast your eyes upon all of these debut books to check out and emerging authors to...
151 likes · 41 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I might read books and paint pictures but I'm not soft” 3 likes
“Parfois c'était comme si Jon et moi , on était l'ombre de l'autre, toujours sur les talons de l'autre, à respirer l'air de l'autre. On nous conduisait au collège ensemble, on déjeunait ensemble, on prenait ensemble le bus pour rentrer et le soir on mangeait ensemble.” 0 likes
More quotes…