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Extended Audio Sample The Best of Me, by Nicholas Sparks Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (31,491 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nicholas Sparks Narrator: Lloyd James Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781611139051
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Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She’d believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen.

In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined—and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew—about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear—was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A charming story…Sparks’ ability to capture the truths of this affair makes the story both heartfelt and heartbreaking. It’s quite possibly his best work in years.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Has all the ingredients that keep [Sparks’] millions of enthusiasts enthralled.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miriam | 2/16/2014

    " I can't decide how I feel about his books, because they don't usually have happy endings, but they always keep you hoping for the best. This book was full of emotion and had choices that many face in their lives. A very sweet book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Boyd | 2/15/2014

    " This book read like a lifetime movie. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rindy | 2/10/2014

    " This is the first Nicholas Sparks book I've read. After about four or five chapters I could tell what was going to happen. I had no desire to finish, so I just skimmed through to the end. My predictions were right. I also thought it was boring and cliche. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Countrygirl | 2/9/2014

    " i my god! so ironic. you never ecpect the ending, i'm going to stop before give it away. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lexi Vick | 1/29/2014

    " I will always be a Nicholas Sparks fan. He knows how to write a story that draws you in, makes you care about the characters, and leaves you wanting more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 1/27/2014

    " Light enjoyable reading. This would make a good beach book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Willa | 1/27/2014

    " Oh Nicholas, you are such a cliche. How rare it is to be a cliche of oneself. I do have to hand it to him, a novel that takes place in three days and the pace is quite even and fitting. Peculiar characters abound and a forced romance. The clincher was the ending. I'm not sure I felt sorry for anyone at the end, and in romance, isn't that the point? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie Sherman | 1/22/2014

    " This was my least favorite book by Nicholas Sparks. Very predictable and not in a good way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer Bartlett | 1/20/2014

    " Not my favorite Nicholas Sparks story, but it had its moments. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Slater | 1/15/2014

    " This book was amazing, I have only read a few other Nicholas Sparks book and this book has rekindled my love for his books. I felt like I was part of the love story while reading this book. I could not put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 1/13/2014

    " I enjoyed this book....some surprises, some predictable events, and lots of good reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Happygirl | 1/6/2014

    " As with his other stories, this one, too, brought tears to my eyes. True to his form, another great Nicholas Sparks novel!! A great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria Arafah | 1/4/2014

    " A simple romance with a sad ending :( "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim Webb | 1/1/2014

    " A normal Nicholas Sparks book, but it was good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 11/27/2013

    " I can't believe how it ended!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri Nguyen | 11/26/2013

    " I threw this book across the room when I was done with it. Hated everything about the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Latisha | 11/23/2013

    " Pretty good. I enjoyed the story and it kept me engaged enough to read it in a couple of days. A little language, but relatively clean as far as best-sellers go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret Boehm | 11/7/2013

    " Its always a pleasure to read Nicholas Sparks books. Good story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen Bonner | 11/2/2013

    " This was the first Nicholas Sparks book I had read, and despite that, it was very predictable. I still enjoyed this book, and will most likely read more of his books in the future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lmmuzyka | 8/31/2013

    " I've read all of Nicholas Sparks books. This one was a little slow to start, but I had tears in my eyes at the end. Not one of his best, but still one that has me going over parts of it as I write this review. Has left an impression on me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen Savas | 4/25/2013

    " Light read.... But enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audria | 2/24/2013

    " Beautifully written like any other Nicholas Sparks novel, but after reading so many of his works, the plot gets a little predictable "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren Faber | 1/8/2013

    " Loved the characters, loved the idea. however, the plot for me was basically predictable and the story line could have been a lot more interesting. This whole book just says "rushed to finish" for me. it doesn't appear like Sparks took careful time writing this..... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Debi Schlabach | 12/1/2012

    " I love Nicholas Sparks, but this book was painful to get through. Don't waste your time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pam | 11/17/2012

    " Gag, predictable cheesy hated it. Read it for book club and gagged all the way through. No More NS for me.....please loonies "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joviemar Reyes | 10/23/2012

    " Spark shone on this one. It is tragic. The ending was expected. But the thing is, it so much beautifully written that it will make you cry. Even after I finished it and closed the book I just can't. stop. crying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candice | 8/20/2012

    " I am a sucker for romance so this book was no let-down! It was a very good story line in my opinion and I couldn't put it down. It's one of my favorite books now! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niza | 8/2/2012

    " One of Sparks best novels. Could not put it down till I finished "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 3/28/2012

    " I loved this book because aside from the love story, it was kind of a thriller. If you're not totally into hopeless romance but want to try Nicholas Sparks, I suggest this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica9-2 | 12/27/2011

    " So far, I just finished chapter 2 and I really enjoyed this book. I'm excited to continue reading "The Best of Me". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dara | 11/8/2011

    " Couldn't put it down...and totally didn't expect the ending until right before ...can't tell you!
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 11/8/2011

    " WOW!!!!!!! Just when you think the last book he wrote was the best he beats it again....... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Midge | 11/7/2011

    " Although somewhat famaliar to some of his other books (and I have read them all) it was still a pretty good read, at least the ending was different. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 11/7/2011

    " Definitely not one of my favorite books by Nicholas Sparks. It was interesting enough to get through but not riveting or even close. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bednarzterry | 11/6/2011

    " This book was disappointing to me.. just a little too romance novel-esque for my liking. And I saw the ending coming well before it came. I'm generally a fan (and was so before he became huge), but this one just wasn't up to snuff. Oh well :-)
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen | 11/6/2011

    " This was an easy and enjoyable read. I loved that this story was about young love in a small town in North Carolina. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarahb. | 11/6/2011

    " A delightful happy romance. I predicted the ending:) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 11/6/2011

    " Not my favorite by him but still pretty good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 11/6/2011

    " All I can say is that this book took me home in many ways. As with all Sparks books it left me saddened yet fulfilled. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorie | 11/5/2011

    " The ending seemed predictable, but I enjoyed the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 11/5/2011

    " I could not stand how Dawson never got to have anything truly good last in his life. The story was just too sad in my opinion. "

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