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Extended Audio Sample Far Far Away Audiobook, by Tom McNeal Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom McNeal Narrator: W. Morgan Sheppard Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2013 ISBN: 9780385368605
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A National Book Award Finalist
An Edgar Award Finalist
A California Book Award Gold Medal Winner

A dark, contemporary fairy tale in the tradition of Neil Gaiman.

Jeremy Johnson Johnson hears voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of The Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next.
            But Jacob can't protect Jeremy from everything. When coltish, copper-haired Ginger Boultinghouse takes a bite of a cake so delicious it’s rumored to be bewitched, she falls in love with the first person she sees: Jeremy. In any other place, this would be a turn for the better for Jeremy, but not in Never Better, where the Finder of Occasions—whose identity and evil intentions nobody knows—is watching and waiting, waiting and watching. . . And as anyone familiar with the Brothers Grimm know, not all fairy tales have happy endings.
            Veteran writer Tom McNeal has crafted a young adult novel at once grim(m) and hopeful, full of twists, and perfect for fans of contemporary fairy tales like Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and Holly Black's Doll Bones. The recipient of five starred reviews, Publishers Weekly called Far Far Away "inventive and deeply poignant."


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • McNeal superbly and elegantly enfolds those stories’ essence and depth into plot, setting, and characters; archetypal figures and situations glimmer through McNeal’s small-town American cast like tantalizing clues in a novel that becomes ever darker even as it sparkles with the dignified, affectionate voice of its ghostly narrator. Starred Review, The Bulletin, June 2013:
  • Enchanting, romantic, and tinged with terror, this modern story subtly weaves the haunting essentials of the fairy-tale tradition into a fascinating and beautifully written homage to its source material."
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal, June 2013:
    "Whether readers connect more deeply with the suspense, the magical elements, or the gloriously improbable love story, they will come away with a lingering taste of enchantment."
  • Starred Review, Booklist, June 1, 2013:
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 8, 2013:
    "McNeal weaves in fantastical fairy-tale details into this inventive and deeply poignant narrative, creating a world that hovers between realism and enchantment."
  • Starred Review, The Horn Book, July/August 2013:
  • Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, and rife with allusions to Grimm Brothers’ tales, this is a masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil."
  • Review, Wall Street Journal:
    "Stunning. [A] beguiling, horrifying and gracefully written novel."
  • Review, The Atlantic Wire:
    “McNeal weaves his modern tale in the fairy-tale tradition, and it will haunt and delight.”
  • Review, BookPage:
    “Far Far Away is an incredibly imaginative modern fairy tale told through the first-person narration of the ghost of Jacob Grimm . . . Suspenseful with a sinister villain, Far Far Away is equally heartwarming as it is scary.”
  • Review, Shelf-Awareness:
  • McNeal structures the novel like a fairy tale, and the overwhelming sense of danger surrounding the village like a deep forest will keep readers glued to the edges of their seats.”
  • “Stunning. [A] beguiling, horrifying, and gracefully written novel.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “McNeal weaves his modern tale in the fairy-tale tradition, and it will haunt and delight.” 

    Atlantic Wire

  • “Enchanting, romantic, and tinged with terror, this modern story subtly weaves the haunting essentials of the fairy-tale tradition into a fascinating and beautifully written homage to its source material.”

    Bulletin (starred review)

  • “McNeal weaves in fantastical fairy-tale details into this inventive and deeply poignant narrative, creating a world that hovers between realism and enchantment. Jacob’s tale is menacing, at times terrifying, and often strange—much like the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, and rife with allusions to Grimm Brothers’ tales, this is a masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Whether readers connect more deeply with the suspense, the magical elements, or the gloriously improbable love story, they will come away with a lingering taste of enchantment.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A unique—and mesmerizing—blending of Grimm archetypes and tropes with a story of modern-day evil and coming-of-age.”

    Horn Book Magazine 

  • Far Far Away is an incredibly imaginative modern fairy tale told through the first-person narration of the ghost of Jacob Grimm…Suspenseful with a sinister villain, Far Far Away is as equally heartwarming as it is scary.”

    BookPage

  • “[Readers] will find it hard to put this novel down until they have read the last page.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “From the first word, this rich recording envelops the listener. Both the production quality and the performance are superb. W. Morgan Sheppard’s narration is a vehicle of otherworldly transport that truly takes the listener far far away. Sheppard’s voice embodies the haunting aspects of this dark tale. Jacob Grimm, of the Brothers Grimm, is a ghost seeking redemption. Through guiding and protecting Jeremy, a boy whose odd talent is hearing the dead, he hopes to find his way beyond the in-between. First, he must prevent the dark whispered threat that shrouds Jeremy’s life from coming to fruition. Sheppard’s tone conveys Jaco’'s tenderness toward his charge—whether he’s consoling, chiding, or urging Jeremy not to let the spirited Ginger lure him into certain trouble. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2013
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2014 Audie Award Finalist for Best Teen Book Narration
  • Winner of the 2013 Parents' Choice Gold Award for Fiction
  • Finalist for the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Novel
  • A 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature
  • Winner of the 2014 California Gold Medal for Literature
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About the Author
Author Tom McNeal

Tom McNeal was born in Santa Ana, California, where his father and grandfather raised oranges. He spent part of every summer at the Nebraska farm where his mother was born and raised, and after earning a BA in English at UC Berkeley and an MFA in creative writing at UC Irvine, he taught school in the town that was the inspiration for his first novel, Goodnight, Nebraska. Tom has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and his short stories have been widely anthologized.

About the Narrator

W. Morgan Sheppard is an award-winning British actor who has appeared on Broadway and in major films and television shows. His audiobook narrations have garnered several Audie Awards and an AudioFile Earphones Award. He has appeared in numerous films and television series, including Star Trek, Mad Men, and the movie Transformers, among many others, and has won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award.