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4.0 8
by Ron McLarty

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From the author of The Memory of Running-a beautifully crafted story of a man who returns home to discover the truth about his past

Featuring the warmth and authenticity that made The Memory of Running such a major success, Traveler wraps a beautifully written ode to friendship within a compelling mystery. Jono Riley is an aging


From the author of The Memory of Running-a beautifully crafted story of a man who returns home to discover the truth about his past

Featuring the warmth and authenticity that made The Memory of Running such a major success, Traveler wraps a beautifully written ode to friendship within a compelling mystery. Jono Riley is an aging bartender and part-time actor in Manhattan who is compelled to return to the working-class neighborhoods of East Providence, where he came of age with his three best friends in the early 1960s. Jono is drawn into an attempt to solve the mystery of several shootings that occurred back then. As the surprising truth emerges, Jono is forced to come to terms with a past that is not quite what he remembers, even as he makes new resolutions in the present.

Editorial Reviews

The Boston Globe
Unforgettable . . . This novel has a great voice, a great plot, great suspense, a great evocation of time and place.
The Providence Journal
McLarty excels at creating a sense of place, but he is positively brilliant at creating characters. We care about these people.
Publishers Weekly

When Jono Riley receives a letter that a childhood friend, Marie, has died, the 50-something third-rate actor and bartender leaves New York to visit his hometown of Providence, R.I. His search for answers surrounding her death leads Riley on a long and winding trip through old memories to discover the person responsible. Narrator-turned-author McLarty delivers a sophomore novel that is more than just a simple mystery. The suspense doesn't drive the story but rather Riley's recounting of his adolescent years from the death of his father to his return from Vietnam. These nostalgic flashbacks of street life in Providence in the 1960s capture certain universal aspects that all listeners can appreciate. McLarty voices this first-person story with all the adeptness one would expect from an experienced narrator and author. His vocal characterizations provide added presence to many of his colorful characters and he delivers exposition with great attention to detail. He shines best with emotional displays from Jono and the other characters. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 9). (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
Successful actor McLarty launches a second novel about a not-so-successful actor in Manhattan who travels home to confront a few mysteries when he hears that his first love has died. With a six-city tour; online readers' guide. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Adult/High School
Jono Riley, a bartender and sometime actor, looks back on a series of childhood events that have mystified him over the years. As a means of self-preservation, he has scrupulously avoided introspection most of his adult life. However, he has just received a letter from a close childhood friend, Cubby D'Agostino, letting him know that Cubby's sister, Marie, has passed away unexpectedly. Forty years earlier, 12-year-old Marie was 11-year-old Jono's first love. She was also the central figure of a mystery that has subliminally haunted him ever since. Now, Cubby's letter triggers memories that Jono can no longer ignore. As the story marches toward its inevitable conclusion, readers begin to see why Jono has buried many of his childhood recollections. McLarty skillfully uses alternating chapters to flash back and then propel the story forward as he builds suspense and gradually unravels the mystery that Jono wants very much to forget. The protagonist is a very human character who must deal with issues of loyalty, friendship, and ambiguity.
—Catherine GilbrideCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Boyhood friendships and dreams are reshaped by mysteries that resonate for decades in the veteran character actor's flavorful successor to his well-received debut novel, The Memory of Running (2005). Like that novel, this one takes the form of a journey-undertaken by middle-aged bartender and working actor Jono Riley, its narrator. When old friend Cubby D'Agostino notifies Jono of the death of his sister Marie (whom Jono had not so secretly loved when they were kids), a trip back to his old East Providence, R.I., neighborhood coincides with a flood of sometimes wistful, but often painful, memories-as well as unanswered questions. Who fired the shotgun, wounding 12-year-old Marie, who lived 40 years with a bullet in her back, until it "traveled," finally killing her? What is the secret that made Jono's "Portagee" buddy Bobby Fontes old before his time, and deepened the vulnerability none of his old friends had ever sensed? The book feels somewhat muddled early on, as McLarty awkwardly juggles interlocking flashbacks, but the story quickly settles into a lucid juxtaposition of past and present. There's some charmingly funny stuff about adolescent camaraderie and mischief, and Jono's wry, salty voice is a pleasure to listen to (even when McLarty regales us with rather too many theater-related anecdotes). Nice supporting characters, too, including Jono's tenderhearted tough-broad girlfriend Renee, Bobby's pathetic drunken inamorata Colleen, brutal neighborhood bully "Poochy" Ponserelli and 390-pound bouncer (and bibliophile) Randall Pound. Contains too many echoes of films (from The Deer Hunter to Mean Streets to Sleepers), including particularly significant debts to Dennis Lehane's MysticRiver and the Clint Eastwood adaptation thereof. Still, a lively, big-hearted tale, drenched in gritty working-class ambience. Agent: Jeff Kleinman/Graybill & English Literary Agency

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
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Sold by:
Penguin Group
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File size:
593 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Ron McLarty is an award-winning actor and playwright best known for his appearances on television series, including Law&Order, Sex and the City, The Practice, and Judging Amy. He has appeared in films and on the stage, where he has directed many of his own plays.

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Traveler 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book!! Great character development, wonderful story. Really terrific read. Give it a try you won't be dissapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I ended up reading this book as a suggestion from my library, so pleased I took their advice. This was a good summer read. I liked the characters and how they unfolded as the story progressed. I also liked how the author used flashbacks to define the present. Looking forward to reading the authors previous book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At the library for Memory of Running - it wasn't in - picked up this instead - started reading at 4:00 had it finished by midnight! Couldn't put it down - Can't wait to read 'Memory'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. It had me from the first page. I could just feel the angst of the main character Jono and his struggles with his past. What a beautiful character Mr. McLarty gave us to enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book more than In Memory of Running. I'm from RI and am very familiar with the locations mentioned in this book. While I liked the story, I really loved the flashbacks with Cubby, Bobby and Billy. I remember the whole mondo phase. I really didn't love the ending. It just seemed too abrupt. Almost like the author wanted to tie things up too quickly. This was the only downfall.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a mere shadow of 'Memory of Running'. When I saw this book I grabbed it without even reading the inside flap or the back thinking how can this possibly be bad. the worst part was the dialogue, I think...sounded like 7th graders talking..