The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

68%

26 Critic Reviews

...I wasn't inspired by either of them enough to care, although Ira and Ruth are the best part of "The Longest Ride." Unfortunately, the rest of the book is way too flat to generate the interest and excitement that this storyline could potentially garner.
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Synopsis

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.
 

About Nicholas Sparks

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Nicholas Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on New Year's Eve, 1965. As a child, he lived in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Grand Island, Nebraska, finally settling in Fair Oaks, California when he was eight. In 1984, he received a full scholarship to run track and field for the University of Notre Dame. Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and spent 56 weeks on the New York Times hardcover best-seller list followed by another 54 weeks on the paperback list. Sparks has had a string of New York Times bestsellers including: A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle, The Rescue, A Bend in the Road, Nights in Rodanthe, The Guardian, The Wedding, True Believer and its sequel, At First Sight, Dear John, The Last Song, Safe Haven and The Best of Me. Safe Haven became his eighth film adaptation. Sparks is involved in many local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina and the Nicholas Sparks Foundation.
 
Published September 17, 2013 by Grand Central Publishing. 412 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Education & Reference, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 06 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Longest Ride
All: 26 | Positive: 18 | Negative: 8

Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by anonynous on Sep 19 2013

Overall, I thought the book was a nice, sweet, read. The book is certainly not one of those tear-jerkers that he could do, but it is a nice read all the same. It is a nice, beach read and certainly a nice addition to his other books.

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Book Reporter

Above average
Reviewed by Norah Piehl on Sep 20 2013

Readers will keep guessing how the two stories will intersect --- and Sparks provides some surprising twists right up until the very end. His legion of fans will not be disappointed by this latest novel, full of reflections about art, life, courage and, of course, love.

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The Bookbag

Good
on Oct 23 2013

here's the dramatic scenery and a series of very vivid locations spread over quite a time span. There are characters you can love as well as the mandatory few which you can hate with a vengeance. And the ending - well, it could never happen in real life. Could it? What's not to make it a success?

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Huffington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Jackie K Cooper on Oct 26 2013

The Longest Ride is an easy book to read. You will be held captive to the story of the old man and the young couple. The only fault is in the too easily wrapped up conclusion of the tale. It ties everything together but it doesn't do it believably.

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The Boston Globe

Above average
Reviewed by Linda Rosencrance on Nov 26 2013

Sparks’s novels serve as a diversion. He can always be counted on to conjure up the twists and turns of a captivating story — formulaic or not — and wrap them up neatly with a surprise ending.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Below average
Reviewed by Lorinda Hayes on Sep 28 2013

...I wasn't inspired by either of them enough to care, although Ira and Ruth are the best part of "The Longest Ride." Unfortunately, the rest of the book is way too flat to generate the interest and excitement that this storyline could potentially garner.

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Historical Novel Society

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Brockmole on Nov 01 2013

This is a book of gentle love stories, both young and old, new and lasting. Sparks excels in the quiet moments, in the close-held secrets, in the slowly unfurling romances.

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Independent.ie

Above average
on Sep 14 2013

At 398 pages, The Longest Ride is a hefty tome, but in the hands of this master storyteller it has a lightness of touch. Is it sentimental? Absolutely. Is it predictable? Without a doubt. Are you too cool to read it or see the movie? Of course you are, but you probably will anyway. And when you do, don't forget to bring the Kleenex.

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Vox Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by Beth Steffens on Oct 01 2013

Even though I feel like I’ve read The Longest Ride 17 other times, he’s a good writer who will capture the hearts of women and men — I know you’re out there — for decades. Why? Because he’s a romantic who makes even the most cynical of cynics think the kind of love he writes about exists.

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theSundaily

Below average
Reviewed by Sharon Wong on Dec 11 2013

There are definitely times when you would reach for a tissue but generally, it is totally predictable and although it might wring a sigh of empathy from you, it gets a tad long-winded at times.

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Quick Book Reviews

Good
on Oct 24 2013

All in all, I definitely recommend The Longest Ride to all those who enjoy romantic novels and are looking for greater insight into love and the positive side of the human spirit.

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Novelicious

Good
Reviewed by Cressida McLaughlin on Nov 01 2013

Despite my initial concerns of unstoppable sobbing and sickly-sweetness, I was hooked by The Longest Ride. Yes, it was softhearted in places and yes, I did get through quite a few tissues, but it was all worth it.

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http://goodbooksandgoodwine.com

Good
Reviewed by Allison L on Sep 18 2013

I would recommend this book to any Nicholas Sparks fan or to anyone looking for a bit of great romance and emotion that will definitely pull at your heart strings. Just … make sure you have a tissue before you start reading!

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Peace Love Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Jessica on Sep 17 2013

If you're a Nicholas Sparks fan, you definitely have to pick up this book right now. Even if you're just a romance fan in general, the The Longest Ride is the perfect book to give you a sweet story with romance, relationships, and simply real life.

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Book BagLady Reviews

Good
on Nov 11 2013

I loved The Longest Ride. The plot was great, the characters well fleshed out and the ending totally blew me away. I didn’t see that coming at all.

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Crazy for Books

Below average
on Sep 29 2013

The Longest Ride can’t be called a classic love story. It is a good novel and if you like Nicholas Sparks or his school of romantic fiction you have probably already grabbed your copy. That said, if you are an ardent fan of classic romantic fiction, you will probably be a little disappointed with this one.

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The IE Mommy

Excellent
Reviewed by Lindsey on Dec 05 2013

Sparks creativity knows no bounds and the way that these lives eventually intersect is amazing and truly original and inspirational. The Longest Ride is a must read for all the book lovers on your Christmas shopping list!

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http://readinginthesunshine.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Megan on Sep 01 2013

The Longest Ride is a very heartfelt story that touched me and it did leave me thinking about the wonder and the joys of love. I’d go as far to say that it is one of my favourite novels that Nicholas Sparks has written...

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Handwritten Girl

Below average
on Sep 23 2013

I am saddened to say that even though the story did indeed make for tender and poignant reading with some whimsical dialogue and scenes, I found it a battle to read and felt almost relief when I came to the final page.

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Handwritten Girl

Below average
on Sep 23 2013

I am saddened to say that even though the story did indeed make for tender and poignant reading with some whimsical dialogue and scenes, I found it a battle to read and felt almost relief when I came to the final page.

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Maureen's Musings

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Timerman on Mar 27 2014

This book is a real page-turner, you will not be able to put it down until you are done and know the answers to a lot of questions.

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The Crazy Bookworm

Above average
Reviewed by Cathy B on Feb 19 2014

Oh Mr. Sparks. You sure know how to pen the most perfect, swoon worthy characters. Can I have Luke for Christmas?

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Lou Graham's Blog

Good
Reviewed by Lou Graham on Sep 18 2013

Without question this is a really enjoyable book, a real page turner and I can’t help thinking that (presuming!) it will make a fantastic movie that will have you weeping right to the last word.

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Dee's Book Blog

Above average
on May 06 2014

My biggest gripe (for lack of a better word), is that I am so used to having something really bad happening at the end of a Sparks book, that I just kept waiting for something bad to happen.

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A Simple Love of Reading

Good
on Oct 09 2013

I confess that I had tears in my eyes at times. Overall, another book that will stay on my bookshelf and I will no doubt read again.

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http://www.bookwormink.co.uk

Above average
on May 03 2014

Although this novel was a little lacking in realism for me, and the characters didn't seem to have quite enough depth to make me really connect with them, 'The Longest Ride' was a sweet and heart-warming story which I enjoyed reading.

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Reader Rating for The Longest Ride
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 12389 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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