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The Longest Ride

The Longest Ride

4.3 752
by Nicholas Sparks

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In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways.

Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a


In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways.

Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Love means never having to say you're dead. Sparks (The Best of Me, 2011, etc.) fans know the drill: sweetness and light, darkness and despair, kissing and making up. And always, always, intertwining storylines. Got the template? Here, Sparks opens with a grim scene that soon turns as sappy as a maple: Old Ira Levinson (there's a signal there) has driven off the road in black ice and snow, and now he's feeling, as he says, "the Grim Reaper tapping my shoulder." Now, it stands to reason that up there in the Southern highlands, a tow truck is likely to arrive less expeditiously than the nearest friendly ghost, in this case, that of Ira's beloved wife, Ruth. If you've seen that Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore movie, you'll know how this part works. But Ira isn't just any old Southern Jew expiring in the cold: He's had a hobby that's morphed into a grail. Exit stage right; enter Sophia and Luke. Sophia's a sorority sweetie with a brawler of a boyfriend whom she's trying to ditch, and Luke is the cowboy hero who comes loping along to save the day. But let Sparks explain: "The cowboy's words were clear and slow, as if he were addressing a dimwit." Indeed. Well, bad boyfriend is conflict No. 1, and Luke's nerves are conflict No. 2, especially when it comes to a session with the monster bull of his darkest dreams. All that remains to be done is to lasso these two couples together, jerk some tears: "My plea to you is this: despite your sadness, do not forget how happy you have made me; do not forget that I loved a man who loved me in return, and this was the greatest gift I could ever have hoped to receive." To which, in cowboy-speak, the proper reply is: "Aw, shucks." Just the sort of thing for Sparks buffs.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include fourteen #1 New York Times bestsellers, and all of his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of Nicholas Sparks's novels--The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle--have been adapted into major motion pictures.

Brief Biography

New Bern, North Carolina
Date of Birth:
December 31, 1965
Place of Birth:
Omaha, Nebraska
B.A. in finance, University of Notre Dame, 1988

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The Longest Ride 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 752 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been a long time fan of Sparks and I believe this is his best book to-date. There was excellent character development and you couldn't help but to fall in love with the main characters. I usually don't like it when authors change the POV but Sparks made it work and I enjoyed the different views and stories. I also like how no one was portrayed as a hunky male heroine or a damsel in distress, this was a believable book about love. Thank you for sharing this book with the world
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great story about true long lasting love, and about whats really important in life...relationships. i would strongly reccommend this book! It captures your attention throughout and pulls at your heart strings. I cant wait for the movie!
banker247 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Nicholas Sparks and his style of writing. I didn't want to put the book down once I started reading. It had me laughing and crying at times. I feel like I have a connection with Luke & Sophia and I feel like Ira & Ruth were like the sweetest couple that anyone would have loved to have as grandparents. Such a sweet romantic love story.
Trisha11PL More than 1 year ago
I've been a Nicholas Sparks fan for a long time, and have read each of his books. His last couple of books didn't seem quite as good to me, and I was beginning to think I was getting tired of his work. However, this book - "The Longest Ride" - reinstated my faith and enjoyment in his ability to tell a story! I liked that he had two distinct lines/stories in this book, with interesting and likable characters. As usual, the importance of love and priorities tied things together, and was especially appropriate in this book. I liked how he was able to take the reader from one character's viewpoint to another, which made the book that much more interesting. The ending was somewhat predictable, but I would have been disappointed had it not ended the way it did. Overall, the story and characters were endearing, and a valuable 'life lesson' was intertwined throughout, leaving the reader feeling good at the end. Nicholas Sparks will remain one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ruth and Sophia were very easy to fall in love with. Luke and Ira were amazing men. The format was a little difficult to follow but the story was beautiful. I read it in 2 days, now I have "Sparks" withdrawal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Nicholas Sparks books and can't wait to get this in my nook . Have read some of the story. It is so good. Shelby McCard I give this book 5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great story! Luke's storyline kept me on the edge of my seat. I was priviledge to meet a world class bull rider several years ago after he had been trampled and paralyzed while performing. He became a good friend and an inspiration. I had a hard time seperating his story from Luke's knowing the extreme danger of the sport. Nicholas Sparks writes the greatest love stories and takes you on a ride filled with love,joy, passion, fear, anger and forgiveness. I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book from start to finish! I agree that this is his best work yet. It keeps you wondering how the characters become intertwined as their lives are so separate. Loved every page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Sparks just has the golden touch when it comes to story telling. He has not disapppointed in this poignant tale either. Would def recommend...sit back. Relax and enjoy the ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just can't read another one of his books. I feel like his last great one was Dear John. This one was predictable, just like his last few. I was able to guess the ending before the book even began. Although there are some nice points he makes, his writing just isn't the same. It's just BAD. I've continued to read each new book that's come out out of habit since I've read them all, but now I have to stop. His books aren't interesting anymore. The love stories have been done over and over, he just changes the scenery, their names, and their dilemma. I won't give anything away, but if you read enough, nothing seems like a surprise anymore. I feel like he recycles the stories we've all heard. I would pass on this one unfortunately. You will find other thrilling, captivating books out there.
Livanlearn More than 1 year ago
This book did not draw me in, but I continued to read. It seems some very good writers get stuck on the same story line, after it works the first time. I will not spoil it, but will say, it was too similar to Safe Haven. Not one of my favorites by Nicholas Sparks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book. Love Nicholas Sparks and can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Longest Ride was a very enjoyable read. Some parts reminded me of "The Notebook" but I still was entranced with the stories. I am looking forward to the picture coming out in February. Sparks doesn't fail to entertain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book, it was so good. One of his best books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read ever Nicholas Sparks book and while this one wasn't my favorite it was a great story. I did find myself skipping through some of the pages because i was more interested in the younger couple's story. I loved how the end brought the stories together. Cant wait for the next one!
RRPNC More than 1 year ago
WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL!!  I could not put the book down for one minute!!!  Read it in one day!!  Recommend this book VERY Highly!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I can't wait to re-visit the characters. I love the way Mr. Sparks told two love stories, one from the 20th century and the other the 21st. The end was a very happy surprise. I've already told several of my friends about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You fall in love with both couples in this book. True meaning of love that can last for a life time! Couldn't put the book down but when I did my thoughts go back to the book to all four of them! Must read! Although all his books is really amazing brought tears with every single books he has wrote so far!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story about what is truly important in life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful story, loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
another great book
SunnyKate More than 1 year ago
There are books that move you and change you...Books that make you think about them and their characters for long after you have finished reading. The Longest Ride was one of those books for me. It has easily become my favorite book that Sparks has written. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can honestly say that this is by far my favorite Nicholas Sparks book to date. I've read all of his books except maybe 2 or 3 and I want to read this one a few more times. Definitely a must read.