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Tom McNeal

Autor(a) de Far Far Away

6+ Works 1,322 Membros 106 Críticas

About the Author

Writer Tom McNeal attended the University of California and Stanford University. McNeal's short fiction has appeared in Playboy and his novel Goodnight, Nebraska (1998) is inspired, in part, by his mothers stories of her childhood in a remote Nebraska town. (Bowker Author Biography)

Includes the name: Tom McNeal (Author)

Obras por Tom McNeal

Far Far Away (2013) 705 exemplares
To Be Sung Underwater (2011) 357 exemplares
Goodnight, Nebraska (1998) 247 exemplares
The Dog Who Lost His Bob (1996) 11 exemplares

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2002 (2002) — Contribuidor — 466 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Santa Ana, California, USA
Locais de residência
Fallbrook, California, USA
Hay Springs, Nebraska, USA
University of California, Berkeley (BA - English)
University of California, Irvine (MFA - Creative Writing)
Prémios e menções honrosas
James A Michener Prize
Stegner Fellow, Stanford University

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TOM McNEAL is a fiction writer with strong ties to the Sandhills of northwestern Nebraska, where he spent part of his childhood and where he set his first novel, Goodnight, Nebraska (Random House, 1998). His short fiction has appeared in Playboy and elsewhere. He was educated at the University of California and at Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in the creative writing program and a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing. McNeal has always been fascinated by his mother's stories of her girlhood in a remote Nebraska town, and knew that he eventually wanted to write about this region. He spent several years in Hay Springs, Nebraska, a town even smaller than the fictional Goodnight. He lives with his wife, Laura, and their two children in Fallbrook, California. Together they have written several young adult novels. Their second, Zipped, won the 2004 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children's Literature.



Loved this book even though it was so sad ...
ellink | 28 outras críticas | Jan 22, 2024 |
For me, this was like two different books. First, it's this pleasant, interesting book about a kind boy named Jeremy Johnson Johnson trying to make good with the help of a friendly ghost. Second, it's this TERRIFYING book about an evil child abductor (known in the book as The Finder of Occasions). Both plots have their strengths and weaknesses (the former is endearing but a bit boring; the latter is deeply upsetting but brings the whole fairy tale theme together). I truly loved Jeremy and Ginger. In fact, the whole cast of characters was very well done, from Conk Crinklore to Jeremy's father, to Jenny Applegarth.

There are a lot of new spins on fairy tales in pop culture nowadays, but Far Far Away is more subtle and complicated than a lot of the fairy tale-ish books that have come out in the last few years (like [b:Cinder|11235712|Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)|Marissa Meyer|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1378521644s/11235712.jpg|15545385], [b:Beastly|544891|Beastly|Alex Flinn|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1334260193s/544891.jpg|532177], [b:Reckless|13600318|Reckless (Thoughtless, #3)|S.C. Stephens|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1356986017s/13600318.jpg|19192337], and [b:The Mostly True Story of Jack|9464855|The Mostly True Story of Jack|Kelly Barnhill|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1291245318s/9464855.jpg|14349842]). Other than the existence of a real ghost, there's no magic or fantasy element here, so it's doing something different than what I expected. I liked it, but, other than making me fall in love with the characters and scaring me out my wits, I'm having trouble pinpointing what this book does so well. The ghost who can't move on is a little cliche. The fun, outgoing girl falling for the smart, shy boy is also a touch cliche. Being narrated by a dead Grimm brother is certainly original.

I really, really loved the audiobook narrator. He IS the voice of Jacob Grimm.
… (mais)
LibrarianDest | 66 outras críticas | Jan 3, 2024 |
3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s been really hard for me to decide what to give this book. On the one hand it was a really difficult book for me to read. On the other, I truly enjoyed it. My feelings are so mixed on this story that I’m just not sure I’ll ever get them sorted out. So after a few days of careful deliberation, I’ve decided to give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

For anyone who doesn’t know what this book is about, I’m going to offer you a brief synopsis. I’m doing so, because I went into it expecting one thing and it was something else entirely.

My Synopsis:
In the small village of Never Better things aren’t what they seem. For young Jeremy Johnson Johnson, life has never been easy. It’s only compounded by the fact that he can hear voices others can’t. One of these voices, Jacob Grimm, becomes somewhat of a life coach for Jeremy. Having already lived a full life in which he amassed great knowledge, Jacob makes it his personal mission to see Jeremy out of Never Better, and far, far away from the mysterious Finder of Occasions.

Things are going according to Jacob’s plan until Ginger walks into Jeremy’s life. One love-inducing bite from the potent, Prince Cake (a town specialty) leaves Ginger under Jeremy’s spell. Jeremy in return is completely smitten by her and things start to take a turn for the worst.

With a quirky cast of characters, a dangerous plot twist, and a wise ghost leading the way, Far Far Away is certain to keep you turning pages.


When I first started reading this book I was under the impression that it was a fairytale retelling of The Wizard of Oz. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had been gravely misinformed. Far Far Away is a fairytale retelling in its own right, but it does so not by taking a classic tale and modernizing it. Instead we get to see the world through the storyteller himself, Jacob Grimm, as he narrates the happenings in the life of Jeremy Johnson Johnson, a young boy obsessed with all things fairytale.

The story was very slow for me in the beginning, but something kept pulling me in. I’m still not quite sure what made me need to keep reading, all I know is that I had to keep turning those pages. I thought the plot was interesting, the characters were certainly quirky enough for me to become invested, and yet, I still had a difficult time getting through. I can’t pinpoint what, exactly, it was though. Perhaps the author’s writing style and I simply just didn’t agree.

In the end, I did enjoy the story. I don’t really see myself reading it again, but I do plan on letting my daughter read it. I’ll also recommend it to my nieces. This was my first Tom McNeal book, and though I’m not sure I’ll pick up another one, I am glad I decided to give this one a shot.
… (mais)
aliciabutler04 | 66 outras críticas | Mar 29, 2023 |
2.5 Stars

I enjoyed the writing and liked the quirky and charming characters but the story itself was a bit dull. It wasn't particularly dark or creepy, which were the comments that attracted me to this title. The quiz show part didn't seem to fit in at all. Again, I liked the writing and characters so for that it's a 3 but for the story it would have been a 2. I will therefore settle for 2.5 Stars.
Mrs_Tapsell_Bookzone | 66 outras críticas | Feb 14, 2023 |



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