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The Smoke Jumper

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  30,219 ratings  ·  816 reviews
In a searing novel of love and loyalty, guilt and honor, the acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Horse Whisperer gives his millions of readers another hero…

His name is Connor Ford and he falls like an angel of mercy from the sky, braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have. For Julia Bishop is the partner of his best friend a
Paperback, 576 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by Dell (first published 2001)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  30,219 ratings  ·  816 reviews

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Christina White
umm no

This story started out promising. A cute romance develops between two likeable characters and then a smokin hot "complication" gets introduced. From there it went all down hill. There needed to be more of everything, more passion, more tension, and more heartache. I found what I was reading to be less than gripping and I always found a reason to do something else other than read it. This story is about a blind man's wife falling in love with his best friend. How can you bore your readers wit
Stephanie Holcomb
Part 1: fantastic. Part 2: meh. Part 3: good God.

Here is one paragraph (excuse me, sentence) from the book:
In the grass and dust yard of the church stood a white cement figure of Jesus with his arms spread in welcome and the boy stopped beside it and would go no farther and Connor photographed him and then photographed the dogs and vultures that came hurtling from the open doors of the church and photographed the soldiers chasing them and yelling and shooting at them but mostly missing.

This is O
Crystal Craig
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Loved the cover art of the book, and the synopsis. Was a little hesitant because I noticed quite a few readers labeling it romance. I wouldn't label it a romance at all. Yes, there is a love story - two love stories - but there's so much more going on. To me, it's a suspense novel.

I loved this book. It's well-written. It takes the reader to many different places: Montana, New York - even to far away Sarajevo and Africa. I enjoyed all the characters. I loved Connor's passion and admired Ed's
Book Concierge
Jul 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Three friends are connected by one summer’s events on a Montana mountain. Ed Tully and Connor Ford are smoke jumpers who both love the same woman. Julia is a social worker who is taking a group of “at risk” teens on a several day hike in the wilderness in an effort to rehabilitate them. When the draught-stricken forest is hit by lightning, the smoke jumpers have to come to the rescue.

You know where this is headed, don’t you? There will be tragedy, lots of guilt, miscommunication, silent (but ver
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like a good story
I lovelovelovelove this book. I've read all of Nicholas Evan's books (The Horse Whisperer, The Divide and The Loop) and this is by far my favorite. Nicholas Evans writes in a way that is clean and does not interfere with the story. This particular story has it all - action, adventure, unrequited love - and the characters are very relatable. It makes me want to go to Montana very badly (and almost makes me want to become a firefighter...)!
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A frustrating read, punctuated by too many plot twists where you have to suspend your disbelief. The story jumps around and regularly loses what small momentum it had built up as the reader is flung forward years or thousands of miles, or both.

The Smoke Jumper is at least 100 pages too long, cluttered by pointless insights which seem to be lifted from a teenager's diary, and the denouement is signposted in flashing neon lights throughout the book - although how Evans reaches that point was too o
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot of books and have a lot of favorites. When someone asks me "What's your favorite book?" It takes a while for me to think of one or I just say the one I recent read. But now after 19 years I have found my all time book! "The Smoke Jumper" is my true all time favorite book. It has an awesome intense, heartwarming storyline where you fall in love with the characters. I love books that has romance and this book has the heartwarming, tear jerking love story I have ever read.
Evans did an
Adam Nelson
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Diana had read The Horse Whisperer and bought Nicholas Evans' succeeding two books on a bookstore excursion that feels like eons ago. Remembering how much she had sung the praises of The Horse Whisperer, I gave Evans' third a go--and was not disappointed in the slightest. I'm currently working through authors on my shelf from Z backwards (having just completed a circuit in the other direction and then reversing it to make my way back to the Es). I try to be highly selective with what I read at a ...more
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-authors
Can a person love two people at the same time, and how does one choose just one? Julia meets Ed first and is in relationship with him when she meets his best friend Connor and has a "love at first sight" experience. Connor reciprocates this feeling, but both he and Julia manage not to pursue a love that would hurt Ed. The summer of life-altering events finds the three in Montana where Ed and Connor are smoke jumpers, something that they've been doing for several years together. Julia is working ...more
I LOVED this book! I would've given it 4.5 stars if possible, and didn't feel it deserved 5 stars, so I rounded down to 4. That being of my favorites! I stayed up till early hours of the morning reading this book because I was so captured by everything about it. The lifestyle, the love, the tragedy, the suspense...EVERYTHING! I saw someone else who reviewed this book say that it made them want to visit Montana and I am going to second that! In fact, can I move to Montana instead of vi ...more
Tracey Cramer-Kelly
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medical-drama
This book has everything I love in a story: slightly dangerous occupations (my writing regularly features EMS and military characters). War and chaos. A handsome, brooding male character. A love triangle ... and a happy ending (I'm a sucker for those). Evans did a masterful job of using traumatic events and showing how the characters develop because of (or in spite of) them. The 'voice' of each was authentic and even though there were four points of view (telling their stories) I didn't have any ...more
Asghar Abbas

Introduced me to the term Smoke Jumpers ( it's pretty cool look it up ) other than that nothing new here. Same ole ole. Just the rehashing of his previous novels.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Smoke Jumpers are folks who jump into the middle of forest fires with the means and intentions of putting them out, or at least slowing down their path. Connor Ford and Ed Tully are two such smoke jumpers and are the main characters, along with Julia Bishop, the woman who marries Ed but is loved by both of them.

A long convoluted story which is sometimes interesting and sometimes leaves the reader wondering where the plot is going. In reality the reader knows where the plot is eventually heading
P.S. Winn
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like this author's books which combine romance and adventure in thrilling tales. This book tells the story of a man in a dangerous profession and also tells of the romance looking for while he tries to do a hard job.
Anne Lydolf
Mar 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Started out really well, but then very quickly took a dip into the cliche and everything for some reason had to be over the top meaningful and emotional, in the worst way possible. The characters in this book makes choices that does not fit who they are, and as a reader they are hard to care for at all. The story goes crazy and unbelievable, and tries to justify things that are basically twisted and sick. Further down you can read just exactly why I think this, if you don't mind spoilers.

- Spoil
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
T.H. Waters
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nicholas Evans is a first rate story teller who has infused every element available to a writer into the Smoke Jumper and turned a mere spark of an idea into fireworks -- he has an uncanny ability to get inside the very essence of what makes his characters tick and fleshes each one into a real & alive being, real in one's own mind anyway. Combine that with epic proportions that leads the reader from one continent to another and back again, threading it with a cocktail of catch-22 circumstances w ...more
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes when you pick up a book you have an idea of where the story is going. I at least had an idea of where this one was going, but had no idea the struggles that would occur in the story to get there, nor did I have the story completely resolved.

I was first introduced to Nicholas Evans in a book store on a summer vacation. We were in one of those books a million and the cover kept grabbing at me. Till at last I resolved myself to purchase The Horse Whisper. What an astounding book and autho
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
I never really became engrossed in this, or really cared about the characters as much as I hoped I would. I ended up skimming paragraphs and had to make myself finish. Maybe I should have just quit when I lost interest and tried it again another time. Regardless it was entertaining and a quick read. My first book by this author. My husband enjoyed one of his books and so I had high hopes for a great story. I was dissappointed that it seemed so unlike what I had envisioned. I loved The Horse Whis ...more
Christopher Smith
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Near the end of the book, I had the feeling that the rest of the book was somewhere beside me.....but when I looked, it wasn't really there. Truly, I checked to be certain that I had not inadvertently purchased an abridgement. Yes, the story fragments that are told show Evans at his best. Yes, the story is gripping. In fact, it is indeed because it is gripping that the fairytale ending is a bit of a letdown. What is the meaning of the burning elk's antlers and eyes? Where does Skye twist fate? W ...more
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In Nicholas Evans's The Smoke Jumper, he wrote such an emotional and heart-warming eco-thriller than ever before. For Connor Ford, he was a smoke jumper who saved Julia Bishop's life. He fell in love with her, when she was with fellow smoke jumper, Ed Tully, his best friend. That have created an awkward love triangle, since she loved both of them, until she had to choose between the two of them after a fiery tragedy happened in Montana. After the fire, he chose a life that didn't bring him happi ...more
Adrienne Campbell
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it was first published and I've just finished reading it again. It's a great book!

The story of two men, best friends from completely different backgrounds with opposite personalities who are Smoke Jumpers. The story begins in Montana and the introduction of a young woman. This is where the story of true friendship and honor really begin and the story enfolds you. You feel as though you know these people and the travels take you around the world to the most horrific and beau
Agata Wightman
Jun 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
It was not a good read, I only persevered because I don't like abandoning books half way through. From the very first pages I suspected how might it end, and, as I have now found out, I was spot on. That's not what I want from a book, I want to be surprised, made to think, shocked. I don't want to go through a book mentally ticking off the events that I knew would happen.
Waste of time, good job I didn't spend any money on it!
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: political, romance, drama
I find it too safe that the author had to kill someone to less complicate things. And to think that it had to come from himself the unpronounceable conclusion that the other two needed along.

Overall, still liked it. Liked the inner journey about a quarter through the end, and its theme zeroing in on the social disease that is humanity; hence the 3 stars.
Sheila Myers
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
An enjoyable story that includes drama, romance, suspense, and much more. The main characters are well-developed and seem like real people. Nicholas Evans does a masterful job of presenting a story that spans many years without leaving the reader feel lost in the story.
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
I loved the first half of this book. The second half of the book, while connected, should have been a totally separate book by it's self.
I absolutely loved this book! I had it on my shelf and with the recent tragic fires in the Los Angeles area I thought that it would be a small, private way to honour the firefighters and smoke jumpers.

It is so rich in detail that it is difficult for me to do it justice without outlining the various segments, but they are already there in the publisher's blurb. Instead I shall just mention some of the things I particularly liked. The main characters, Ed, Julia and Connor are well drawn and stand
LoLo Paige
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novel has been around a while, but I hadn't read it until I set out to research books about Missoula smoke jumpers. I enjoyed this book immensely. A Nicholas Evans novel can't be rushed. He is so gifted at writing description and dialogue that I would often go back and reread his skillful word arrangement. I loved Evan's exploration of the love and loyalty between the three friends over the years and how certain events impacted each. This is a unique story and I recommend this book for read ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not usually a book keeper but this one is tempting. I especially liked Evans’ description of the Smokejumper center in Missoula as I’ve visited it several times. It’s obvious the author spent time there too. The story is hard to read at times as some of the scenes are pretty horrific but it is beautifully written and a very compelling read.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Started out slow " love the actual fire jumpers. The fact that Julia was caught between two loves, but stayed faithful to her husband showed what a an amazing woman she was. The stories in Africa were scary yet kept you from putting the book down even for a minute. Loved the ending.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Nicholas Evans was born and grew up in Worcestershire, England. He studied law at Oxford University, graduating with first class honors, then worked as a journalist for three years on the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He then moved into televsion, producing films

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