Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks... An Audiobook Review

"And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever..."

Nicholas Sparks knows how to whisper to our hearts. Some of his wonderful love stories include The Notebook and Message in a Bottle, both of which brought tears to my eyes... Dear John by Nicholas Sparks is no different... get out your tissues! It is a heartwarming, wonderful love story.

This review is for the audiobook, which I downloaded onto my iPod and listened to over the course of a few days. If I had the book I would have probably been feverishly turning the pages, but since it was an audiobook, I was forced to relax and take it all in...

First the story - the beauty and heartache of a love so genuine between two complete opposites. John meets Savannah while on leave from the Army. She's a college girl, wholesome, down to earth, sweet, and helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. He's a bit of a bad boy, but he captures her attention as he saves her purse from drowning... As they slowly get to know each other, they slowly fall in love, and Savannah promises to wait for John as he finishes his tour.... But things have a way of not working out sometimes, especially after 9/11, when many lives changed and John feels obligated to re-enlist to help his country. Savannah slowly dies inside every time she is separated for these long periods of time, she must decide if she can wait out another tour of duty... But the story goes beyond the love story between John and Savannah and the obstacles they must overcome, it is also a love story between a father and son, as John tries to understand his father who raised him alone and who suffers from Asperger's disease.

Holter Graham narrated Dear John and is wonderful. The story must be good to hold your attention, but in an audiobook so must the voice of the narrator. Holter Graham has a long list of audiobooks under his belt, his first recording in 2004. Holter's voice has a warm quality to it, with subtle inflections that added to my enjoyment of his reading. Holter's timing is perfect as he guides us through the story and his voice is interesting as it changes into Savannah and the other characters in the story. Holter was easily able to convey the emotions felt as he read the story, and all these qualities made this audiobook a winner, and a nice change of pace.

Listen to the soothing voice of Holter Graham reading you a story... not just any story, a love story that will have you question the way life can sometimes turn out, and if you would have done anything differently. *Remember to make sure you have a box of tissues where ever you are!

The unabridged audiobook is 8 CD's. Listen to an excerpt of Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. I want to thank Anna of Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy! I enjoyed listening to this audiobook so much! AND, you can find the unabridged audiobook for Dear John on sale for under $10 at Audio Editions right now!


Shana said...

Great review. I've wanted to read the book for a while now (I'm not a fan of audiobooks)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Shana!
Definitely a great story! And I prefer reading over listening too, but it was nice to be able to plug in and listen to the story while driving- except when I was crying my eyes out! :D

Take care!

Cassandra said...


I have to admit that this is definitely not my favorite book. I admit that I am an English major and half become addicted to artistically complex novels. This novel just seemed vacant, and I kept thinking that it was much better suited for a movie. i wanted to love it, but I didn't. It seemed to be comprised of all plot and no poetry. Love your blog, just not this novel.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Cassandra!
I wonder if my enjoying the story so much was the result of listening to it as an audiobook as apposed to my leafing through the pages? This definitely is not my normal "read", but it was a good "listen". I can see where it may not be beautiful prose, it didn't "sound" beautiful, but I definitely got wrapped up in the plot. I think you may be right that it probably is better suited for a movie... I know that the story lent itself well to the audiobook.

Thanks for sharing what you thought of the novel!

MissM said...

I'm a reader and not a listener as well, but thanks for your review of this book. I have to admit I've never read a Sparks book... until I heard the commercials for this movie I'd never heard of it. May check it out.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi MissM!
It's such a different experience listening as apposed to reading. And it seems that a good audiobook may help a so so paper book. I really enjoyed this book listening to it, but Cassandra above said how she thought there was no poetry just all plot when she read the book. I guess I should listen to a book I absolutely hated to see if it's better...

I tend to listen to books on CD during long drives while traveling, but it was interesting making myself "relax" and listen to this just because. Thanks for stopping by!

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