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Download The Ride of Our Lives: Roadside Lessons of an American Family Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Ride of Our Lives: Roadside Lessons of an American Family, by Mike Leonard Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (523 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mike Leonard Narrator: Marc Cashman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Mike Leonard is a lucky man. It’s not everyone who gets parents like Jack and Marge. At eighty-seven, Jack is a pathological optimist with an inexhaustible gift of gab. Marge, Jack’s bride of sixty years, though cut from the same rough bolt of Irish immigrant cloth, is his polar opposite–pessimistic and proud of it. What was their son, Mike, thinking when he took a sabbatical from his job with NBC News so he could pile these two world-class originals along with three of his grown kids and a daughter-in-law into a pair of rented RVs and hit the road for a month?

Mike was thinking that he wanted to give his parents the ultimate family reunion. And so, one February morning, three generations of Leonards set out on their journey under the dazzling Arizona sky. Thirty minutes later, one of the humongous recreational vehicles has an unplanned meeting with a concrete island at a convenience store. Thus begins the adventure of a lifetime–and an absolute gem of a book.

In the course of their humorous, often poignant cross-country tour, from the desert Southwest to the New England coastline, the Leonards reminisce about their loves, their losses, and their rich and heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) lives, while encountering a veritable Greek chorus of roadside characters along the way. The home stretch finds the clan racing back to Chicago, hoping to catch the arrival of the next generation, Jack and Marge’s first great-grandchild. Through it all, Mike pieces together a century of family lore and lunacy—and discovers surprising sides to his parents that allow him to see them in a whole new light.

Mike Leonard has captivated millions of television viewers with his wry and witty feature stories for NBC’s Today. Now he brings that same engaging charm and keen insight to the foibles and passions of his own blessedly unique family. By turns uproariously funny and deeply moving, The Ride of Our Lives delivers a lifetime of laughs, lessons, and priceless memories.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Thebestdogmom Stiner | 2/17/2014

    " Interesting enough book. His parents cracked me up! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lynell | 2/13/2014

    " This was a book that was full of quirky characters and wonderful descriptions of the differences in the generations. The author, in taking his parents and several children on a long RV-style road trip, creates a wonderful opportunity for several generations to get to know each other better. Our readers enjoyed the way the author cut back and forth from past to present. His writing was spare but with wonderful detail. We enjoyed reading about how he stumbled upon his life's work. Especially poignant was his descriptions of how his parents kept their sadness to themselves. The experiences of the characters in the book caused us to reflect on the changes in society and how returning to the past is never the same. It is better to keep our memories. We awarded 4.25 stars to this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sonny | 2/8/2014

    " This was a lot of fun to read and it provided some triggers to reflect on road trips, family time, the craziness of families, and love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Angie | 2/4/2014

    " Very hilariou from the opening line... great narrator, too. There were some slow parts. Overall, great idea, and thanks for sharing it with the readers! "

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