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Nicholas Sparks, Copyright: unbekannt
Nicholas Sparks
born: 12-31-1965
in: Omaha, Nebraska

Homepage:
www.NicholasSparks.com

Bibliography:
1996 .|. The Notebook First Chapter at the New York Times (registration necessary) .|. Little Worm
1998 .|. Message in a Bottle First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Little Worm
1999 .|. Wokini (mit Billy Mills)
1999 .|. A Walk to Remember First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookworm's Comment
2000 .|. The Rescue First Chapter at TWBookmark.com .|. Bookworm's Comment
2001 .|. A Bend in the Road First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookworm's Comment
2002 .|. Nights in Rodanthe First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookworm's Comment
2003 .|. The Guardian First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookreporter.com
2003 .|. The Wedding First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookreporter.com
2004 .|. Three Weeks with my Brother First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookreporter.com
2005 .|. True Believer First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookworm's Comment
2005 .|. At First Sight First Chapter at Bookreporter.com .|. Bookreporter.com
2006 .|. Dear John First Chapter at Hachette Book Group .|. Bookreporter.com
2007 .|. The Choice First Chapter at Hachette Book Group .|. Bookreporter.com
2008 .|. The Lucky One First Chapter at Hachette Book Group .|. Bookreporter.com
2009 .|. The Last Song First Chapter on Openbook .|. Bookreporter.com
2010 .|. Safe Haven First Chapter from Hachette
 
  • Information on the movie version of "The Notebook".
  • Author Talk on "The Notebook" at Bookreporter.com (June 2004).
  •  

    Book - A Walk to Remember      DVD - A Walk to Remember
    "A Walk to Remember" (Warner Books, Paperback, First Edition, 2000, read: October 00)
    "Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his lst year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he'd been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he'd fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town's Baptist minister ... Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart - and the joy and pain of living."

    Boy meets girl - boy falls in love with girl - girl becomes sick - boy looses girl ... don't you know that? ... exactly ... that was called "Love Story" and had a huge kleenex-factor. As have books by Sparks. "The Notebook", Spark's first novel is unparalleled in this regard and still one of the most beautiful love-stories I've ever read.
    But "A Walk to Remember" is so 'kitschig' and forseeable that one can't help but think "oh no ... please don't go there". Even in the prologue it says "First you will smile, and then you will cry - don't say you haven't been warned." And that's what happens. No cliché has been left out: Landon, the narrator, is a spoilt rich kid. Jamie, the ministers daughter, is full of so much goodness and patience that there's only a halo missing. The minister is a really tragic figure and Landons parents are caring and understanding.. In the end each of the protagonists is a better human being.
    Personally, I believe a lot that is written in books. And while reading a Sparks I expect to laugh and cry a lot. But sometimes it's too much ... as in the case of "A Walk to Remember". In the novel it says that the story has been inspired by the live and courage of Sparks' sister. But it's hard to believe that people like Jamie and Landon really exist.
    I like the writing of Nicholas Sparks and the figure of Landon Carter is well written and humerous. Until a certain point one can really identify with the 17-year-old boy. The novel can be read very quickly and the end is really beautiful. But in between there's too much sugar.
    [Dorothée Büttgen, November 00]

    The Rescue
    "The Rescue" (Warner Books, Hardcover, First Edition, 2000, read: January 01)
    "When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks - risks no one else in the department would ever take - to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can't bring himself to make: He can't fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over, as soon as the relationship starts to become truly intimate.
    Then, one day, a raging, record-breaking storm hits his small Southern town. Denise Holton, a young single mother, is driving through it when her car skids of the road. With her is her four-year-old son, Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities and for whom she has sacrificed everything. Unconscious and bleeding, she - but not Kyle - will be found by Taylor McAden. And when she wakes, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them: Kyle is gone.
    During the search for Kyle, the connection, the lifeline, between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn't know that this rescue will be different from all the others, demanding far more than raw physical courage. That it will lead him to the possibility of his own rescue from a life lived without love. That it will require him to open doores to his past that were slammed shut by pain. That it will dare him to live life to the fullest by daring to love."

    In the beginning of the novel it seems to be clear whose rescue the story is about: the four-year-old speech impaired Kyle gets lost after a car accident and has to be found when one of the worst storms of the century hits the area. But when the rescue is over one notices that this might just be the beginning of a series of rescues.
    The story takes place in Edenton (North Carolina), a small town as idyllic as can be. People know each other and they are there for each other. When Denice meets fire-fighter Taylor and his mother she quickly becomes part of the community and thinks she's found a paradise on earth. But a wrong sentence at the wrong time makes it all go to pieces ... Tyler makes mistakes which can't be forgiven and what started out as a perfect couple threatens to dissolve into nothing.
    With Nicholas Sparks you can't really be sure that all gets well in the end. Every time you think you know how it turns out you receive a hint that it may be completely different. This makes the story more unpredictable than for example 'A walk to remember'. But here the tears can flow again (but not as much as in 'The Notebook') and in the end it gets really sweet. But nobody does it better than Sparks ... and I would take this from nobody else but him. His style is unique and he describes the people of Edenton in a way that you think you know them in and out. Above all the specialties of Kyle, his expressions and the difficulties he and his mother face in everyday live are described remarkably. Besides the love-story between Denise and Tyler it's the description of the unconditional love the mother has for her son which lets this novel stand out.
    [Dorothée Büttgen, January 01]

    A Bend in the Road
    "A Bend in the Road" (Warner Books, Hardcover, First Edition, 2001, read: August 02)
    "Miles Ryan's life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. Missy had been his first love, and Miles feverently believes she will be his last. As a deputy sheriff in the North Carolina town of New Bern, Miles Ryan not only grieves for Missy, but longs to bring the unknown driver to justice.
    Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews. The second grade teacher of his son, Jonah, Sarah had left Baltimore after a difficult divorce to start over in the gentler surroundings of New Bern. Perhaps it is her own emotional wounds that make her sensitive to the hurt she first sees in Jonah's eyes, and then his father's. Tentatively, Sarah and Miles reach out to each other. Soon they are both laughing for the first time in years ... and falling in love.
    Neither will be able to guess how closely linked they are to a shocking secret - one that will force them to question everything they ever believed in .... and make a heartbreaking choice that will change their lives forever."

    When perfect happiness is destroyed in a Sparks-novel one knows that a new chance comes sooner or later and that there will be a happy ending. In this novel one can't be absolutely sure. From the beginning one knows that the disclosure who killed Miles' wife Missy has something to do with his new lover Sarah. The offender himself tells the story in his own words and he leaves no doubt about it. This makes the story a lot more exciting than it's predecessors. Who is the murderer? What does Sarah have to do with it? How did the killing of Missy happen anyway? Did it happen by accident or on purpose? These questions accompany the reading, as well as they accompany Miles throughout the story and one can't stop reading until one knows the truth. Fortunately the reader is in the position of a spectator and doesn't have to make the decisions Miles has to make when he is confronted with the truth. But it's interesting to think about it.
    The only problem with this story is the private war Miles has with one of the residents of the town, Otis. This second storyline isn't easy to follow and gets a little bit out of hand. Less of it would have been more.
    In comparison to the other Sparks novels this book doesn't even come close to "The Notebook" but it's better than "A Walk to Remember" ... somehow it's quite similar to its predecessor "The Rescue" but without the Kleenex-factor..
    [Dorothée Büttgen, August 02]

    Nights in Rodanthe
    "Nights in Rodanthe" (Warner Books, Paperback, First Edition, 2003, read: August 03)
    "Reeling with heartache after her husband abandons her for a younger woman, Adrienne Willis flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina, to tend after a friend's inn. Here she hopes to find the tranquillity she so desperately needs to rethink her life. But almost as soon as she gets there, a major storm is forecast and a guest named Dr. Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and is trying to escape his own shattered past. Now, with a fierce nor'easter closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort - and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives."

    This lovestory by Sparks is like "The Bridges of Madison County" without the adultery. That means its the politically correct version of an unhappy love which, in spite of that, is worth being loved.

    Two people, both divorced and loaded with lots of baggage from their past meet by chance for a long weekend. And there they notice that they are meant for each other. But he has to go to Bolivia to make peace with his son ... a plan which she (herself mother of three teenage children) understands perfectly well. After all, he will come back after a year and then they can start their life together. But fate doesn't always work that way.

    A kitschy novel with class, full of problems and the tragic ending is easy to guess. But despite this its worth reading. Kleenex factor: Two passages which can be handled with one Kleenex. And the morale of the story: Its better to find perfect happiness for only a short while, even though your heart breaks afterwards, than to never find love at all.
    [Dorothée Büttgen, September 03]

    Nicholas Sparks - True Believer
    "True Believer" (Warner Books, Paperback, 2nd Edition, 2005, read: October 05)
    "As a science journalist with a regular column in Scientific American, Jeremy Marsh specializes in debunking the supernatural and has a real nose for the strange and unusual. A born skeptic, he travels to the small town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, determined to find the real cause behind the ghostly apparitions that appear in the town cemetery. What he doesn't plan on, however, is meeting and falling hopelessly in love with Lexie Darnell, granddaughter of the town psychic. Now, if the young lovers are to have any kind of future at all, Jeremy must make a difficult choice: return to the life he knows, or do something he could never do before - take a giant leap of faith."

    Nicholas Sparks tries to enhance his classical love stories with a supernatural subplot. I have to confess that this was exactly what convinced me to read this book - I had skipped Mr. Sparks' last three books because the stories before them got increasingly boring and predictable.

    The cemetery of Boone Creek is said to be haunted and the sceptical science journalist Jeremy wants to know what its all about. He not only gets to know some strange townsfolk but also Lexie, the towns librarian. They fall in love but since she won't live in New York and he won't move to Boone Creek its a love without a future - or so it seems.

    In the meantime "True Believer" has been turned into the first series by Mr. Sparks: "At First Sight" continues the story of Jeremy and Lexie. They definitely make an interesting couple and the townspeople are good for lots of side stories. All in all a nice story, which still is predictable, but with lots of interesting details.
    [Dorothée Büttgen, June 08]

    More great reviews at Bookworm's Lair:

    Fannie Flagg - Welcome to the World, Baby Girl     Sue Monk Kidd - The Secret Life of Bees     Billie Letts - Where the Heart is     James Patterson - Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

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