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Dear John [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Nicholas Sparks , Holter Graham
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2008
An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Hot on the heels of True Believer and sequel At First Sight, Sparks returns with the story of ne'er-do-well-turned-army-enlistee John Tyree, 23, and well-to-do University of North Carolina special education major Savannah Lynn Curtis. John, who narrates, has been raised by a socially backward single postal-worker dad obsessed with coin collecting (he has Asperger's syndrome). John bypasses college for the overseas infantry; Savannah spends her college summers volunteering. When they meet, he's on leave, and she's working with Habitat for Humanity (he rescues her sinking purse at the beach). John has a history of one-night stands; Savannah's a virgin. He's an on-and-off drinker; she's a teetotaler. Attraction and values conflict the rest of the summer, but the deal does not close. Savannah longs for John to come home; her friend Tim longs to have a relationship with her. On the brink of John and Savannah's finally getting together, 9/11 happens, and John re-ups. Savannah's letters come less and less frequently, and before you know it, he receives the expected "Dear John" letter. Sparks's novel brims with longing. (Oct. 30)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

John Tyree is on the fast track to nowhere. At 20 he has no real relationship with his strange and dispassionate father, no attachments to anyone else, and no job, so after breaking up with his girlfriend, he decides to join the army. Military life does alter him, yet he remains disconnected. While home visiting his father in Wilmington, North Carolina, however, he meets Savannah Curtis, a college coed who is everything he is not. A warm, morally straight-ahead woman with a commitment to special education, she captures John's heart and he hers. In the short time they spend together, he opens up to Savannah and true love develops as they plan for a future. Then September 11 changes everything. John feels that it is his duty to renew his commitment to the army, while Savannah wants him home with her. The good soldier now lives in dread of receiving a "Dear John" letter. Sparks, a perennially popular novelist whose name is synonymous with romance and bittersweet endings and whose work translates so readily to movies, lives up to his reputation with his latest novel, a tribute to courageous and self-sacrificing soldiers. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
No one writes a love story like Nicholas Sparks and this book is definitely one of his best. The book is divided into three parts. In part one, John explains his difficult childhood having been raised solely by his father with little knowledge of his mother. His father is a kind, loving man in his own way but is unable to show emotion or carry on a conversation on any subject except the coins he collects. John survives the school years, often never fitting in, and joins the army. On leave he meets Savannah, a young college student. Needless to say, a strong and unexpected friendship develops which eventually leads to romance.

In part two, John returns to Germany where he is stationed. Savannah returns to college to finish her education and establish a career. During the years that follow, John returns each year on leave with promises of a life together. However, various world events prevent John from returning to the States permanently which puts a strain on his plans to marry Savannah. As both John and Savannah discover, it is difficult to keep the flame burning in a long distance relationship. For all they share in common, they discover great differences in each other as well. Finally, John receives a heartrendering "Dear John" letter telling him Savannah is in love with someone else, her best friend since childhood.

Part three, continues the tale of John and Savannah's separate lives. There is a twist to the end of this story that is bittersweet, leaving the reader reaching for the nearest box of tissues. This is no "happily ever after" story, but one filled with joy, heartbreak, kindness, compassion and appreciation for the beautiful memories life bestows upon. "Dear John" is a story that stays with you long after the pages have been read. Cherish the dreams, hold on to the memories, for nothing lasts forever.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Johnny Come Lately July 19 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I decided to be tongue and cheek with my review title; the book didn't exactly thrill me. The storyline itself is relevant for the contemporary romance genre. Intead of WWI or WWII dividing people, the story provides a contemporary lense on what Iraq does to soldiers and the relationships that they try to build and can't have fully. Although it's about a romance trying to survive on letter writing, there are hardly any letters in the book; that was disappointing. I don't completing understand (or maybe accept) how Sparks is so popular, except that it's basic reading material and lots of people like love stories.

The biggest problem with the book, however, is voice (with other smaller problems like describing the boring details of heating food in a microwave). The book is written with John as narrator (first person). John describes his experiences using words that don't match his rugged demeanour and therefore he doesn't seem real, just the creation of a writer describing someone else. Also, his voice wasn't unique; it sounded too similar to Wilson in "The Wedding". I think the book would have been better if he wrote it the third person and incorporated a lot more of the letter writing between John and Savannah. That way, the romance that developed would have been more tangible and believable by showing it instead of telling it through John's disjointed voice. The film does a better job at portraying the character of John and demonstrating the chemistry between the two young lovers.

In terms of writing style, again, it's basic. She may not sell as many books as Sparks, but I like Joshilyn Jackson's writing better because it has more depth when it comes to character development.
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3.0 out of 5 stars What it isn't, what it is. July 11 2010
By Schmadrian TOP 1000 REVIEWER
First off, I need to make some declarations before I get into the meat of my 'review'.

1) I don't write these reviews for Amazon, or its readers. I write them for *me*. I write them to better understand the novel I've just read, to better understand what the author accomplished (while guessing at what their intent had been...sometimes not the same thing at all), to better understand what works and what doesn't, towards the eventual goal of gaining a better grasp on what great writing is, what great storytelling is, what great entertainment novels featuring these elements can be. It is a self-serving process that I offer up for other Amazon readers to take as they will.

2) I envy and admire Mr. Sparks. He's managed to carve out a niche in the marketplace, writing (presumably) what he wants to write, and has a solid fan-base encouraging him to continue doing so. What more could a modern author hope for in this day and age? (Never mind that he's had the added compliment of having several of his novels adapted for the screen.)

3) I bawled through all the 'romance' portions of this novel. It is, at the very heart of it, a testimony to not getting what you crave, when your entire being (to the extent that you're capable at the time of giving your 'entire' anything) is lost in loving someone...or at the very least, desiring them. I know of what the lead character John speaks; I've carried the burden of a 'lost love' for more than seven years now. (Even though mine was a world-class case of unrequited love.) Leading me to Point #4...

4) I'm happy for the readers for whom this book resonated. Resonance is a personal thing. And perhaps the most contentious thing I can say is that resonance does not automatically infer -or confer- quality of writing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A different type of story, very enjoyable.
Published 3 days ago by J. Ronaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading. I really enjoyed it
Good reading. I really enjoyed it.
Published 24 days ago by huguette malo ferland
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, highly recommend
I read this book, then watched the movie. The book is so much better, a must read for any NS fan.
Published on April 6 2011 by Daniel F. Silva
3.0 out of 5 stars "Typical" Dear John
A bittersweet romance story, which was an easy read, but did not keep my interest. Not sure what I was expecting - just MORE. It was disappointing for me, but was an OK read.
Published on Jan. 3 2011 by Gerrie
3.0 out of 5 stars Dear john
Shipping took a very long time I didn't think I was going to receive the book.
Published on Sept. 2 2010 by chaynes
4.0 out of 5 stars such a great book
This was my first nicholas sparks book. I didnt know if id would like it, but once i started reading it i couldnt put the book down! its romantic, fun, sad. Read more
Published on May 11 2010 by Christina Nonis
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story
This book was a fabulous, easy read. The way Sparks develops his characters is outstanding. The relationships are honest, easy to relate to and intriguing. Read more
Published on March 13 2010 by L. Perry
2.0 out of 5 stars Dear John, I'm sorry to say you were slightly disappointing
I'll admit I'm not a big reader of romance novels, but after seeing the preview for this movie I thought I'd give the book a shot. Read more
Published on March 2 2010 by jane smith
5.0 out of 5 stars well written
I thoroughly enjoyed the book--could hardly put it down. As with most of his books I couldn't predict the ending.I have read many of Spark's books after this one--I'm a new fan!
Published on March 1 2010 by Mary Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear John - Fantastic Romantic Read
I loved this book - I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for a story they can 'get lost in'. I read it from cover to cover in a day and wished it didn't have to end. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2010 by Belle
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