Happy Birthday David, he is the force behind this blog!
Title: The Smoke Jumper
Author: Nicholas Evans
Review: Nicholas Evans is a first rate story teller who has infused every element available to a writer into the Smoke Jumper and turned a mere spark of an idea into fireworks -- he has an uncanny ability to get inside the very essence of what makes his characters tick and fleshes each one into a real & alive being, real in one's own mind anyway. Combine that with epic proportions that leads the reader from one continent to another and back again, threading it with a cocktail of catch-22 circumstances which are cause for the reader to pause and contemplate impact, summoning uncomfortable questions about how they really feel regarding certain dicey situations, and leading you to wonder how in the hell he's going to tie all these long and winding roads together. Tie them he does and in expert style.
The Smoke Jumper is, indeed, about bona fide Smoke Jumpers (of which I didn't even know existed) but it's also about troubled teens and the people who try to help them, music men chasing yet losing their big dreams, the destruction caused by perceived unrequited love and the shattering rain of war; in essence, The Smoke Jumper is about human existence and the relationship that human beings have with one another under a vast array of circumstances.
The ability of Nicholas Evans to pull off such a complicated tale so well is uncanny. How he gets inside the head of so many varied personalities and interprets what appears to be very real and plausible outcomes of each interaction is remarkable. Is there a tad bit of fictional magic thrown into the mix? Sure. But after all, isn't that the beauty and liberty of fiction and to be expected to some degree? Is there a little bit of mooshie romance added for good measure. Yep - a little, but it's not overbearing and the allure of the book's basic premise far overshadows the lovey dovey factor. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the Smoke Jumper. It was a great read by a wonderful & talented writer.
Thanks go to Tera for this review.
Publisher: Published July 30th 2002 by Random House Publishing Group
Quick Review: 5 stars out of 5
Quick Review: 5 stars out of 5
Where I Obtained the Book: I acquired The Smoke Jumper at a garage sale because I'm a garage sale junkie.
Synopsis: In a searing novel of love and loyalty, guilt and honor, the acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Horse Whisperer gives his millions of readers another hero...
The Smoke Jumper
His name is Connor Ford and he falls like an angel of mercy from the sky, braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have. For Julia Bishop is the partner of his best friend and fellow “smoke jumper,” Ed Tully. Julia loves them both--until a fiery tragedy on Montana’s Snake Mountain forces her to choose between them, and burns a brand on all their hearts.
In the wake of the fire, Connor embarks on a harrowing journey to the edge of human experience, traveling the world’s worst wars and disasters to take photographs that find him fame but never happiness. Reckless of a life he no longer wants, again and again he dares death to take him, until another fateful day on another continent, he must walk through fire once more..
In 1982 he started to produce arts documentaries - about famous writers, painters and film-makers, several of which won international awards (films about David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Patricia Highsmith). In 1983 he made a film about the great British director David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, etc). Lean became a friend and mentor and persuaded Evans to switch from fact to fiction.
For the next ten years, Evans wrote and produced a number of films for television and the cinema. In 1993 he met a blacksmith in the far South-West of England who told him about horse whisperers - people who have the gift of healing traumatized horses. Evans started work on what was to be his first novel.
Published in the fall of 1995, The Horse Whisperer has now sold about fifteen million copies across the world. It has been the number one bestseller in about 20 countries and has been translated into 36 languages. It was also made into a movie, starring, produced and directed by Robert Redford.
The Loop and The Smoke Jumper, Evans's second and third novels, were again an international bestsellers, topping the bestseller lists in many countries. The Smoke Jumper was published in a paperback edition on July 30, 2003. Evans lives in London and Devon, England.