The Long and Faraway Gone

The Long and Faraway Gone

4.7 13
by Lou Berney
     
 

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WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOMINATED FOR THE 2015 LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE

With the compelling narrative tension and psychological complexity of the works of Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, Kate Atkinson, and Michael Connelly, Edgar Award-nominee Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely

Overview

WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOMINATED FOR THE 2015 LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE

With the compelling narrative tension and psychological complexity of the works of Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, Kate Atkinson, and Michael Connelly, Edgar Award-nominee Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely compassionate crime story that explores the mysteries of memory and the impact of violence on survivors—and the lengths they will go to find the painful truth of the events that scarred their lives.

In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were killed in an armed robbery, while one inexplicably survived. Then, a teenage girl vanished from the annual State Fair. Neither crime was ever solved.

Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases quietly echo through survivors’ lives. A private investigator in Vegas, Wyatt’s latest inquiry takes him back to a past he’s tried to escape—and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie house robbery that left six of his friends dead.

Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past—with the day her beautiful older sister Genevieve disappeared. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers.

As Wyatt's case becomes more complicated and dangerous, and Julianna seeks answers from a ghost, their obsessive quests not only stir memories of youth and first love, but also begin to illuminate dark secrets of the past. But will their shared passion and obsession heal them, or push them closer to the edge? Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened, that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free—or ultimately destroy them?

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
The two key players [Wyatt and Julianna] in Lou Berney's superb regional mystery…suffer from separate but equally crushing cases of survivor guilt…Berney tells both their stories with supreme sensitivity, exploring "the landscape of memory" that keeps shifting beneath our feet, opening up the graves of all those ghosts we thought we'd buried.
Publishers Weekly
★ 02/09/2015
Edgar Award–finalist Berney (Whiplash River) will raise a lump in the throats of many of his readers with this sorrowful account of two people's efforts to come to terms with devastating trauma. In 1986, Wyatt Rivers worked at an Oklahoma City movie theater that was hit by gun-wielding robbers who massacred the staff, but, for some reason, let Wyatt live. A month later, 12-year-old Julianna Rosales attended the Oklahoma State Fair, where her older sister, Genevieve, walked off into the night, never to return. In 2012, those tragedies still preoccupy Wyatt and Julianna. Wyatt, now a PI, gets a case that takes him back to Oklahoma City, where he can't help reliving the night of the massacre. Meanwhile, Julianna, now a nurse, is obsessed with pursuing any possible lead to her sister's fate, and gets new hope of a breakthrough when someone posts online an image from the last evening she saw Genevieve. The leads' struggles are portrayed with painful complexity, and Berney, fittingly, avoids easy answers. Agent: Richard Parks, Richard Parks Agency. (Feb.)
Boston Globe
“Like Carl Hiaasen, Berney delights in the cartoonish. Like Elmore Leonard, he can drive a plot. What sets him apart is how well he evokes love, making the romance at the heart of this cinematic book as compelling as the mystery.” on GUTSHOT STRAIGHT
Booklist (starred review)
“Focused, very insightfully, on love, loss, and memory . . . fully realized creations that readers won’t soon forget. A genuinely memorable novel of ideas.”
Marilyn Stasio
“The two key players in Lou Berney’s superb regional mystery suffer from separate but equally crushing cases of survivor guilt . . . Berney tells both their stories with supreme sensitivity, exploring the ‘landscape of memory’ that keeps shifting beneath our feet.”
Huffington Post
The Long and Faraway Gone is that rare literary gem — a dark, quintessentially cool noir novel that is both deeply poignant, and very funny . . . as hip, hilarious, and entertaining as it is wrenching, beautiful, and ultimately redemptive.”
Oklahoma City Oklahoman
“A tour de force built around two tragedies ripped from the headlines of this newspaper . . . should top the bestseller lists in our local bookstores, but is deserving of national acclaim.”
Crimespree Magazine
“This is crime fiction at its absolute best . . . deeply insightful and beautifully written . . . squarely in the ranks of powerhouses such as Lippman and Lehane.”
Bookreporter.com
“So much to love here . . . easy to read yet difficult to forget. . . Berney is a mighty fine wordsmith whose name should be mentioned more often than it is during discussions of new bright lights in the literary world.”
Sara J. Henry
“Multi-faceted, layered, intense, alive—if you read only one crime novel this year, this should be the one.”
M.P. Cooley
“With sharp wit and prose that brings the 80s to life in all its stone-washed glory, Lou Berney tells a complex story of characters struggling to make sense of life . . . Affecting, funny, and unfailingly honest, The Long and Faraway Gone is an extraordinary book.”
Carrie La Seur
“Berney takes you places you’re not sure you want to go and brings you out again with a sure hand. It’s a satisfyingly complete deep-dive into a complicated history, with not only suspense but a compelling resolution.”
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-12-07
Twenty-five years after a devastating shooting and the unrelated disappearance of a teenage girl, the survivors of both events struggle to find out what really happened so they can move on with their separate lives. Edgar nominee Berney (Whiplash River, 2012) introduces two damaged but engaging characters: Wyatt, the sole survivor of a robbery/shooting at a movie theater that left six other people dead; and Julianna, whose beautiful and mercurial older sister, Genevieve, disappeared at the Oklahoma State Fair and has been presumed murdered ever since. The plot is driven by their searches for what happened in the past as well as a present-day mystery that brings Wyatt, now a private detective, home to Oklahoma City, the site of both earlier losses. Berney alternates his focus between their two stories, and while their paths do cross once or twice, there is no forced blending of the narratives. As in classic noir, the evocation of a specific place—Oklahoma City—and time's effects add another layer of meaning. Also as suggested by the noir-ish title and tradition, Berney's novel is most truly a thoughtful exploration of memory and what it means to be a survivor. Elegiac and wistful, it is a lyrical mystery that focuses more on character development than on reaching the "big reveal." The novel smartly avoids being coy; there are answers to private detective Wyatt's case and answers to the mysteries from the past, but they reflect the truth of such moments; in the end, the answers are almost beside the point because the wondering, the questions, never really go away. But both characters do achieve their own kind of closure, and that allows the reader to also feel some comfort of fulfillment. A mystery with a deep, wounded heart. Read it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062292438
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/10/2015
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
54,605
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Lou Berney is the author of two previous novels—Whiplash River, nominated for an Edgar Award, and Gutshot Straight, nominated for a Barry Award-as well as the collection The Road to Bobby Joe and Other Stories. A television and film screenwriter, he also teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.

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The Long and Faraway Gone: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 13 reviews.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings What a book!!  Four storylines, two in the past and two in the present and they mix and mingle and made for such a great book. So two of the storylines take place in the summer of 1986 - one is centered around a shooting in a movie theater with one survivor and the other is a younger sister who goes to a fair with her old sister and her sister goes missing and it is never solved.  The two current storylines revolve around one PI who has returned to Oklahoma City to help solve a mystery about a night club who is having some vandalism and such; the other is the younger sister who is still trying to solve the mystery.
Twink More than 1 year ago
listened to Lou Berney's second book, Whiplash River a few years ago. I remember I really enjoyed the characters, the plot and the dialogue - well, yes - everything! I was eager to read his newly released third book, The Long and Faraway Gone . Summer of 1968. Oklahoma City. Six employees of a small movie theatre are brutally executed. Inexplicably, the seventh staff member is spared. That same summer, a teenage girl disappears from the state fair - her body is never found. Twenty five years later, Genevieve's sister Julianna is still pursuing the case and looking for her sister on her own. The lone survivor of the movie theatre killings is now a private investigator who has renamed himself Wyatt. Initially, it was the mysteries in the The Long and Faraway Gone that intrigued me - why was Wyatt spared? Did Genevieve leave town on her own or was she taken? Yes, those questions are the basis of Berney's plot, but it is the exploration of the past and the search for those answers that was the standout for this reader. I mentioned that the characters and dialogue captured me in a previous book of Berneys. The same is true in The Long and Faraway Gone. From the opening pages, I was drawn in to Berney's story. His prose are easy,engaging and definitely entertaining. Berney has a quirky sense of humour, but is just as adept in bringing the poignant moments to the page as well. Loss on many levels for almost every character is a theme running throughout the book. There are many supporting characters that were fully fleshed out. I really enjoyed Candace - a woman who inherits a bar in Oklahoma City that ties into the past as well. I almost wish I knew what life held for her 'after'. Berney himself lives and works in Oklahoma City. His first hand knowledge shows in the descriptions of time and place. The final whodunit reveals are really good, but the journey there is even better. I'll be watching for Berney's next book.  (and one last note - I really liked this cover.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read, somewhat dissatisfied with the ending tho
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smart, funny, telling, deeply touching. It’s about two damaged people searching for the truth, compelled by the tow of the past, and how we fill the space left by loss. Like Lou Berney's other books, there are irresistible characters, intrigue and plot twists, all around a life-affirming love story. Highly recommended!
Anonymous 3 days ago
Anonymous 25 days ago
To bad there are so many typos and grammer mistakes. Does no one proof read ? ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent mystery, tracking from the late 80'S to current time in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I will look for Lou Berney's Gutshot Straight on my next library trip. This fictionalized story follows a lone survivor of the theater killing in OC in August of 1986, a private investigator living in Las Vegas, as he is forced to return to OC on another case. While there, he gets sidetracked trying to find answers for himself - why he survived when his co-workers were all killed. The case that brings him to OC brings him in contact with a young mother who is fighting her own demons and memories and survivor guilt, as her older sister disappeared at the State Fair in September of 1986. Between them, they lay to rest many ghosts. The characters are all well rounded and empathetic, the mystery stays buried in details until late in the story, and the format - back and forth between both protagonists and time - is easy to follow. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes a good mystery, or loves Oklahoma and Oklahoma City.
walc More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
In the summer of 1986, two lives in Oklahoma City were irrevocably changed forever. Wyatt is the only survivor from an armed robbery at the movie theater he worked at in which six of his coworkers and friends were murdered and Julianna’s older sister disappeared from the annual State Fair, never to be seen again. Both Wyatt and Julianna struggle with their losses even after two decades. They both get dragged back into investigating their tragedies to the point of obsession. Yet the truth doesn’t always set you free. THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE is two separate stories, told from Wyatt and Julianna’s alternating viewpoints. Wyatt has come back to OKC from Las Vegas as a favor to a friend on a different case. Julianna’s never left and never given up hope of finding her sister and when one of the original suspects returns, she knows she has her chance. Wyatt and Juliana interact a couple times by happenstance, but nothing meaningful happens between them. I think the stories could have done well on their own as separate books. THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE shows how much our experiences impact our lives, no matter how great or small. The book is well-written and readers will get caught up in this tale of tragedy. THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE teaches us a lesson about the cost of not being able to let go of our pasts.
Jamie_Mason More than 1 year ago
So then there's THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE, by Lou Berney. If the title rings in your head like the story might be threatening to put a lump in your throat, then good, you're paying attention. But this is no sappy, manipulative piece of work. It's life on pages. There's a set of mysteries at its core, crimes from the past that haven't stopped spreading ripples across the lives of the survivors. There is drama. There is comedy. There are puzzles and misdirections. There are clues that you don't know are clues until it's almost too late. There are characters, but I'll only call them that because I have to. This is a work of fiction. But what Lou Berney has actually done is rendered fully drawn people who are completely compelling and just exactly as not-all-good or all-terrible as all the people who don't live only on paper. Wyatt, Julianna, Genevieve, the employees of The Pheasant Run movie theater, Candace, Lyle, and a troupe of others will feel very familiar, because they're very real. You will believe them and they will make your heart ache. But my two favorite achievements that Lou Berney has managed with THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE stand alone. The first is how he brought back 1986 in the "then" parts of the book in such an organic way that it doesn't feel like a joke. This is no straining caricature of back-in-the-day. It's just 1986, the way it was, and the "now" parts of the book are the inevitable result of how it was "then". You know, just the way real life works. The best for last is something that I've never seen done better. THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE maps out the ways our lives cross other lives, how they brush against each other's margins in ways we'll never know. I hate the word "poignant". It looks awkward typed out and it almost always feels like a punt to me, but the painfully lovely intersections that the reader sees that the characters can't are just gorgeous. It killed me. It's a wonderful book. Read the synopsis and check to see if Lou Berney will be signing THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE anywhere near you. This is one book you'll want to have on your "best reads" shelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend! If you are from the Oklahoma City area you are in the story at all times.