Read Greyhound by Steffan Piper Nick Podehl Online


Sebastien Ranes’s single mom and her feckless boyfriend can’t be bothered to take care of a stuttering 12-year-old. Banished to live with his grandmother on the far side of the country, the boy can barely understand a bus schedule when he gets dumped at the Greyhound station in Stockton, California. Given $35 and a one-way ticket to Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sebastien must crSebastien Ranes’s single mom and her feckless boyfriend can’t be bothered to take care of a stuttering 12-year-old. Banished to live with his grandmother on the far side of the country, the boy can barely understand a bus schedule when he gets dumped at the Greyhound station in Stockton, California. Given $35 and a one-way ticket to Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sebastien must cross the country - alone, without a clue how to fend for himself.Filled with youthful anger and naïveté, Sebastien heads out into the "Morning in America" of Ronald Reagan’s 1980s, encountering temperamental bus drivers, charming, shifty, and downright dangerous strangers, the music of Daryl Hall and John Oates, and an ex-con named Marcus, who takes the boy under his wing. In an unforgettable trek that evokes Oliver Twist and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the unlikely pair lurch from one misadventure to another, tumbling toward an elusive understanding of where and how, in a troubling world, to look for light....

Title : Greyhound
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 34803019
Format Type : Audible Audio
Number of Pages : 590 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Greyhound Reviews

  • Shannon
    2018-09-08 16:09 lifelong reader now in my later 30’s, it’s rare that I finish something and declare it one of my all-time favorites. I mean, that is reserved for the books that I have loved for decades and have read and re-read more than I can remember. I think the last books to be added to my favorites were Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow, both by D.H. Lawrence, that entered the list in my early 20’s. Enter the newcomer — Steffan Piper’s Greyhound. I hope it finds a wide audience and gets the recognition it deserves. This is a coming-of-age journey along the lines of Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn. I’m not sure if it’s because I can relate to the setting better (I was born in 1972 and would be only slightly older than the protagonist) or because of my own issues with one of my parents, but this novel captivated me even more than those. I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but I will stand behind it. The writing was beautiful and not a word wasted. (I don’t know if I can explain what I mean by that, I realize, but maybe some readers will understand.) Even though some of the events were unbelievable — or rather, that the sheer number of these events happened on one trip — it never felt over the top or like reading fantasy. I’d need to write my own book just to give my analysis of the characters, so I’ll just say that the author did a superb job crafting them, and leave it at that. Well, and to say how important characters like Marcus are for showing the reader that good is not always found in the most likely places. I think Greyhound was brilliant and I highly recommended it. I can’t wait to read more from Steffan Piper.

  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    2018-09-21 20:22

    dnf @ 20%It's 2018 and I have less reading time and I've decided that I'm going to be better at dnf'ing things I'm just not interested in.Sorry Greyhound but you didn't keep my attention. This started out decent with an 11 year old Sebastien Ranes being put on a bus by his mother to travel from California to Philadelphia so that she can run off with yet another Mr. Wrong in a long line of Mr. You'll Do For the Moment. This is a journey story and I probably just wasn't in the mood for one of those right now that doesn't involve elves, dragons or magic. I was thinking it might be a little like Secondhand Lions but to this point it has just had some random situations on a bus including a passenger beating up the bus driver for being a jerk and taking over the bus. Not really in the mood for this so I'm off to read something a little more fantastical.

  • Megan Bostic
    2018-09-22 14:07

    Greyhound is one of those books that stays with you long after you've turned the last page. It’s one of those books you hate to put down. A book you can’t wait to get back to.The story follows 11 year old, Sebastian, as he embarks on a solo cross country bus trip. His mother has shipped him off to his grandparents so she can begin life again with a new husband and no baggage. Sebastian meets a number of Greyhound employees, bus drivers, and passengers, some good, some not so good, along the way. The novel is evocative, tugging at a range of emotions as you journey through Sebastian’s travels. I felt a sense of loss and abandonment as Sebastian is dropped at the bus station with his luggage and a few bucks to get him to the east coast. I felt relief whenever he met a kind soul and I feared for his safety numerous times during the book. The novel is uplifting as well as tragic, amusing as well as thoughtful.I loved how the author built Sebastian’s relationship with fellow rider, Marcus. Marcus took it upon himself to become Sebastian’s guardian along the way. But Marcus needed Sebastian as much as Sebastian needed him. There’s was a supportive and touching friendship.This coming of age story was brilliantly crafted, with authentic voices and unique, believable characters. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It made me think and feel. It’s resonant.

  • papasteve
    2018-09-25 17:21

    What do you do once you've sat in your seat on the airplane, and you're either sitting next to someone who has similarly been slid into the seat with a shoe horn, or you're waiting for the person to take the seat next to you? A majority of the people who have been seat mates on an airplane have immediately put their nose in a book, or pulled out their crescent shaped pillow and closed their eyes. But I have had some of the most amazing conversations with people who were willing to engage with another human being who happened to be only an armrest away.This book is about two people who decided to engage each other in an ongoing conversation cross country on a Greyhound bus. I wonder how many opportunities we are given when people cross our paths, to have an impact on each other like Marcus and Sebastien did on the bus. And I wonder how many of those opportunities we miss, or don't take advantage of.The themes of this book are clear: how many young boys grow up unmentored by their father? How many fathers fail to show their boys how to become men? "Either a man or a coward." Why do boys have to find their mentor and protector in a stranger?Also, there is evil in the world. Sebastien encounters it. But he also encounters amazing, random acts of kindness along his journey. Those people go on with their lives, and may forget about the 12 year old boy they did something nice for, but he will never forget. That's why we do random acts of kindness: not so we can remember what we did, but that others who were the recipients will never forget, and smile when they think of them.This was a great book, most of which happens within a greyhound bus. It's amazing what all can happen on a bus. This book almost motivates me to take a bus ride someplace and find out for myself.

  • Ruthie
    2018-09-13 17:32

    Loved this book - easy read but a real feel good. Great for YA and book clubs. A coming of age story that shows how one person can make a huge difference in the life of another. Don't want to give too much away!NWE!! Our book club selected this book to read. Two of our members, Melanie and Cheryl were posting about the book, and all of a sudden the author chimed in! He left a detailed message about the story that was very enlightening. The story is very autobiographical, and he did have a Greyhound experience, complete with a "Marcus". He is now raising his son in California. It was wonderful to hear his story, and it makes the book even more heartbreaking!

  • Deanna
    2018-08-31 15:11

    DNFWidely appreciated as a touching, enjoyable story about a young boy alone on a cross country bus trip. Sounds promising enough. Many reviewers have best-book-ever feelings about this one. Some think that if you don’t appreciate this one you have no heart or soul. It’s that kind of book. So much there to feel muchly about. Unfortunately that’s not my kind of read—being neatly, predictably set up with everything that I MUST feel about. After the first couple of paragraphs I felt I could tell this story without reading it, and I was going to be continually hit over the head with all the things about which I should feel heartstrings plucked and compassionate, motherly outrage. A few chapters in and I kept being right. This one isn’t for me. I lack the heart and soul :)

  • Heather
    2018-08-26 21:25

    I've survived a few long-distance Greyhound trips (though fortunately never cross-country, ouch!), and some family angst (though fortunately not to the degree of young Sebastian, ouch again!), and picked this book off the new releases shelf on a whim. I figured it would be a quick read to pass some free time on a weekend retreat. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did. The synopsis on the back makes it sound like it's going to be a series of amusing encounters along the voyage, but it really is a deeper study of making our way in the world, deciding how we will be shaped by the events of our past - we all have baggage (be it in a suticase or black garbage bag stuffed under the bus), but it's how we carry it onward that determines our futures.

  • Jennifer Hummer
    2018-09-14 22:16

    Sweet and heartfelt. There are so many perfect descriptions of the 80's here. The author balances humor and heartbreak as his character discovers that his mother simply does not love him enough. Rather than try to win her love, Sebastian realizes that others can fill this void if he lets them. A touching and memorable story.

  • David Galloway
    2018-09-18 15:32

    Greyhound is the story of Sebastien Raines, a timid white boy about to turn twelve who is abandoned by his Mother who drops him off at a Greyhound station in Stockton, CA with thirty bucks and a ticket to his father's parents in Altoona, PA. Very soon after leaving Sebastien meets Marcus, a young black man recently released from prison travelling to visit his mother in New York City. Marcus will become a profound influence upon Sebastien, teaching him about Langston Hughes, respecting others while not being a victim, and how to be a man and not a coward. "You’ll never need to look too far for friends if you just be yourself. And don’t forget that it’s easier to be a man than it is to be a coward. It’s just harder to be an honest man than an honest coward. You can always lie to yourself, even if you never lie to others."Greyhound is a wonderful coming-of-age novel set in 1981. Having spent a few days on a Greyhound for a round-trip from Greenville, SC to Boston and back long ago I can speak of the novel's authenticity. It's one of the best literary novels I've read in quite a while. It is currently free to borrow on your Kindle if you have an Amazon Prime membership.

  • Lindsay Nixon
    2018-09-23 22:28

    Oh, god. This was such a beautiful, charming story. It's hard to use those words with the conditions Sebastian endured, but the love and care shown to him by strangers gives love back to humanity. This story is the careful portrayal of the Human spirit.

  • Lovepat
    2018-09-08 19:18

    I have to say that I really found a great deal of this story to be as grey and depressing as the title mode of transportation. The main character is a young boy who is incredibly neglected and abused. How sad to spend your 12th b-day alone on a crumby cross country bus... I actually almost put the book down as I was so expecting a crushingly ugly ending. I am glad I didn't, because, despite the disappointing realities, the saving grace of the story was the kindness and downright decency of many strangers, which, in the end, left me in a hopeful place.

  • Nicholle
    2018-09-04 20:14

    The cover is the best part about this book, and even it isn't very good. Full of cliches, words and descriptions a 12-year old would never use, and all without a compelling story. Barely even has the super-saccharine ending I was expecting and it attempts. Oof. Interested to see how the book discussion group feels about it.

  • Waco Glennon
    2018-09-02 14:23

    I have not been reading many young adult novels, but I am so pleased that I spent time with this one. The description pulled me in. I liked the idea of a cross country trip. I liked that the final destination was Altoona, PA. There is a deceptive innocence to this novel. There are crises and chaotic situations that occur during the narrative that are appropriate for the era (1981), but they are not overdone, nor are they easily resolved as if this were a half-hour sit-com that grew a conscience. Still, this is a coming of age story and we see Sebastian navigate through the events on a three day journey on a Greyhound bus. Sebastian has been sent (abandoned) by his mother on the bus to go live with his paternal grandparents. On his trip, he meets and befriends an older male named Marcus. Marcus is from the ghetto and recently paroled from prison. As they ride together, Sebastian finds proof positive that the world can acknowledge him, unlike his parents. I love both of these characters. I love the growing pains of their friendship and trust. I love how real they seem.One of the highlights for me of the book is that Piper creates such different voices for the characters. As I said, they seem real and it largely due to the distinct patter that each character carries. Whether it is a bossy teen in a store or a prejudiced cook in a diner, everyone seems distinct. I am pleased to see that Steffan Piper has more books for me to enjoy. Many years ago, I studied psychology. One of the topics that enthralled me was the nature of resilient children. Why, when children grow up in the most destructive environments, do some of them survive? One almost universal trait is that they all had at least one adult who was an anchor point. This adult never let the child down. That is what Marcus provides in this story. I wish I had a Marcus when I was 12. I could really use a Marcus now.We all deserve a Marcus. Thanks to Steffan Piper, I got a glimpse. Proof positive that there is good in the world and I get to have a share.

  • k.wing
    2018-08-27 18:07

    I love coming of age stories. There's something about seeing a character 'become' that makes everything in my body down to my bones cry 'yes!'. I especially loved following Sebastian and watching him 'become'. I've taken the Greyhound a few times, and man does it take years off of your life (or in Sebastian's case, put years on it). But there is something magnetic about the Greyhound that brings all of these fascinating, scary, and wonderful people together in one place for a concentrated, saturated experience that is your bus ride. In Sebastian's experience, which the author notes is mostly from his own personal experience, so many things happen to him that Piper would have wasted it if he hadn't written a book about it. As much as you hate Sebastian's mother, all of the grandmother-ish protectiveness in you as the reader is personified into the truly wonderful people Sebastian meets, namely Marcus. This is definitely a book that I will be thinking about for a while - especially because many of these things did happen to the author. Mostly: Did he write Marcus back? Did he and Marcus keep in touch? And also, it makes me happy that all this happened, mostly because it meant Sebastian could finally be separated from his mother and just be happy. Living with his grandparents, playing Scrabble, and just being a kid. I'm looking forward to more from Piper, this was an excellent debut.

  • Tricia Schwennesen
    2018-09-13 18:15

    This is a totally different take on a cross country road trip and while it is at its heart a coming-of-age tale, it's like none I've ever read. I loved the main character, Sebastian and was blown away by his youth, yet wiser in years personality. His inner dialogue was engaging, and I loved his oberservations and descriptions of the world around him. I loved the detail in defineing his mother, her aloofness, her selfishness and neglect. I was routing for Sebbie all the way. I also appreciated the pop culture references of the 80s, the Walkman, the Hall and Oats tape, and the landscape of the trip. I was a little worried with the introduction of Marcus but the development of his friendship with Sebbie, his older brother-esque behavior really added to the journey.

  • Katie
    2018-08-30 17:25

    A nice travel and coming of age story, as an 11 year old is sent across the country by himself in the 1980s and makes his first real friend. This is how public transportation still feels, if you open yourself to the characters you'll find there. (Well, people aren't as openly racist now, thank goodness.)My only critique of the book: the dialogue tags. No other book has ever used the word "rejoined" so frequently. And that's such a small thing. [update: Though now I see there are more books about little Sebastien once he's grown up, and where those books seem to be headed, I hope I haven't overlooked something here.]

  • Lori Anderson
    2018-09-09 21:22

    Unexpectedly fabulous. A 12 year old boy is essentially sent to travel across the US to go live with his grandparents because his mother and soon-to-be stepfather can't be bothered by having a kid. They also forgot to tell the grandparents he was on the way, too.The unlikely friendships he makes along the way and life lessons learned (some thanks to Langston Hughes) was heartwarming as well as heartbreaking.As a teenager in the 80's, I had to do a lot of shuffling between parents via Greyhound. This book brought back a lot of not-so-keen memories, but the book itself is well worth the read.

  • Shelby P
    2018-09-08 22:29

    I'm so happy that this book came across my radar because otherwise I would've missed out on a wonderful story. Who would have thought reading about a cross country trip on a bus could be so interesting??Some people should never be mothers and Sebastien's mother is one of those people. I liked the cast of characters and many were so vivid: Marcus, Monty, Harley Earl, the waitresses, the bad guys! I would have liked an epilogue years in the future where Sebastien runs into Marcus but other than that, this was a wonderful story.

  • Monica Tomasello
    2018-09-01 16:02

    Loved this book! The relationship between Sebastian and Marcus was beautiful and I appreciated Marcus's words of wisdom to Sebastian. Piper packs a lot into this four day bus trip. There's never a dull moment. While some of the content might be a little rough for teens (parents might want to preview), I think that both adults and young adults will enjoy the story.

  • Ariana
    2018-09-21 16:14

    This book started off slow but by the end if you don't love Sebastian and Marcus, there might be something wrong with your soul. I really liked this journey story.

  • Kim L.
    2018-09-05 15:30

    This is such a sweet story. Sebastian is loveable and his relationship with Marcus is extraordinary. I never expected a book set on a Greyhound bus to be so interesting.

  • Alicia
    2018-09-07 18:14

    cool cover!

  • Shannon
    2018-09-09 18:08

    I just really loved this book. I would love to know more about the "real" story too.

  • Dave
    2018-09-16 18:28

    I was moved many times throughout this touching, quick novel by Steffan Piper, and appropriately Sebastien Ranes, our erstwhile 12 year old main character was, in fact, always on the move. It's been a few years, but I have traveled essentially the same route Sebastien traveled, albeit on the Southwest Chief Amtrak line from Chicago to Flagstaff and back. Turns out, the Greyhound bus lines run a similar vein criss-crossing the canyoned Southwest, through the fertile Midwest and into the lush, deciduous valleys east of the Mississippi. There are endless stories in those journeys. Piper's fictional tale of young Sebastien's rite of passage, a bus ride to go live with his grandparents in Altoona, Pennsylvania, forced on him by a loveless, conceited tramp of a mother so she could shack up with her man of the month, echoes a thousands times over in the voices of unwanted children in this world. I have complete and utter compassion for Sebastien from page one, and I admire his tenacity throughout the pages as one hurtful experience after another he should never have to go through is revealed. When a book elicits enough to provoke an imaginary throttling of an antagonistic character, I consider it a strong enough fictional character to be non-fictional. Sebastien meets his share of characters, as one might expect on a cross-country Greyhound trip, and he has the good fortune of gaining the companionship of another young man, albeit a young adult, named Marcus. Marcus boards in Los Angeles and they immediately strike up a friendship, both lonely and wandering souls for their own reasons. Marcus soon becomes somewhat of a guardian angel for Sebastien. At times the story wavered into 3.5 and 4 star territory for me and nearly moved me to tears on occasion. But in the end, a book about a 3 day bus ride, much like the bus ride itself, had some moments that were passive and mundane. This should not be a deterrent in selecting this book as the emotional impact and character attachment outweigh the loneliness.

  • Jill Ray
    2018-09-05 22:03

    This was an outstanding book; an amazing coming-of-age road-trip story. The language (first person p.o.v. from a 12 year old boy, Sebastian, with a bad family life and limited world experience) was heartbreakingly sparse and honest, yet nuanced and at times beautifully detailed. I loved the pacing of the story and the reveal and development of the characters, especially Sebastian and his friend, Marcus.In many ways I wish I could read this book as a teenager first and then re-read it again now as an adult. I have a feeling that similarly to Catcher In The Rye, this is a book which would alter depending upon the reader's current situation in life. With Catcher, when I first read it as a young teen in High School, I thought Holden was a bit dramatic and a bit of a whiner, when I read it later in college, I understood him better, and felt an affinity with the story, and when I read it nearly a decade out of college I felt concern and worry for him. I have a feeling this book may be similar and deserves several readings at various life stages. As I read Greyhound now, in my mid-30s, I was concerned for Sebastian, and wanted to give him a hug and a friendly word and pay for a hot meal, luckily, like many of thee individuals he happened across.There are so many wonderful aspects to this story. The beautiful and pure relationship which develops between Sebastian and Marcus is worth reading the book alone, but nearly as wonderful is the snapshot of 80s America via the US Highway / Greyhound system. The book captures an important dichotomy of positive and negative elements of life existing together and often intertwined. Bad shit happens. But so does great shit. The growth of Sebastian and his enlightenment to a greater world beyond his messed up parents was stressful and worrisome, but ultimately realistic, worthwhile, and uplifting.Extremely highly recommended for one and all.

  • Debby
    2018-09-22 21:20

    This audio book was a Daily Special with Audible for under $4.00. Some of the reviewers didn't seem very smitten with book-- one, in particular, commented they gave up because they couldn't deal with the child abuse. What was he/she talking about??!!First, the narrator elevated my rating to five stars. His narration so many different characters was so well done, that it seemed like more than one narrator. Excellent job!As far as child abuse goes... yes, Sebastien's mother is a loser. She's more interested in trying to stay married (multiple times) and her son is just in the way. Putting an 11 year old (almost 12 year old) child, alone, on a greyhound bus at 3:00am is hard to fathom.But, this is where the story begins... Sebastian is polite. He has a stutter. It's when Marcus enters the scene, that I was completely sucked into the story.There's quite an adventure that happens here-- some pretty funny.. from "Frank" the crazy driver who gets what's coming to him... to racism, to some of the pretty women Sebastien encounters (really, quite cute). I loved how Marcus took Sebastien under his wing, and played such a big part in helping Sebastien come to grips with his mother literally throwing him away.Knowing that the end of the bus trip was coming to an end, and that Marcus and Sebastien would go their separate ways was a point in the story that I was kind of dreading. I really liked his character a lot.I devoured this story, and really enjoyed it. There's just enough humor, one part where I was actually afraid for Sebastien-- and the ending left me satisfied. Excellent audio book!

  • Colleen
    2018-09-24 20:08

    From the moment I started reading Greyhound, I was hooked by the main character, a 12 year old boy about to board a bus across America alone so that his mother's new husband won't have to raise a child that isn't his own. Sebastian is a wonderful character- naive and sensitive and astonishingly open-minded given his situation. It is so telling that is he surprised every time an adult reacts take-aback by his mother's decision to pack him off to PA on a bus; he apparently expects nothing better.The characters Sebastian meets along the way are extremely colorful, but not outside the realm of possibility, especially on such a long bus ride. I know some reviewers have taken issue with the series of dramatic events on the journey, but I've known Greyhound bus trips involving a police reception, shootout and subsequent arrest, followed by bus breakdown due to engine fire (and that was just on a 5 hour ride!) In fact, for anyone who has ever ridden Greyhound for anything other than a DC-NY-Boston run, this story will bring a smile and a shudder for its accuracy.There were some places where the prose was awkward, and some grammar errors that grated (not sure how the editor missed them) but these were niggling irritations that did not detract from the strength of the story. Sebastian is a wonderful character- flawed and vulnerable and oh-so-appealing. This book was an impressive debut effort; I hope we see more from this author.

  • Pam Glazier
    2018-09-02 19:10

    I've read as much of this awful book as I'm going to. I just cannot go on. The plot is boring and predictable--and yes, you'd probably expect that in a road trip story, but it goes beyond that. Nothing new and interesting is being said. It feels like the main character is just repeating, "well, I'm on a bus, now I'm at a diner, now I'm on the bus again." Another detractor is the large amount of time this book spends inside the protagonist's head. The protagonist is mean and critical, yet "innocent." Constantly whining. Nothing deeper is really revealed about the kid's character, and he comes off as petty and worthless. At least in *good* books, the authors highlight those traits for a reason that enhances the story. That was not done here. It felt more like the writer was weakly trying to justify his own flawed views without having the depth to notice them as flawed. I think this book should come with a genre warning... you might like this book if you also enjoy Nicholas Sparks novels or Lifetime movies. (Not to hate on Sparks or Lifetime, as both feature far more talent that is present here).

  • Sarah
    2018-08-30 16:14

    Ugh. I really wanted to like this book. The story is good--poor kid with a negligent mother is sent to live with his grandma across the country, and travels three days aboard a Greyhound bus, making new friends, having adventures, and learning life lessons. Two main problems: one, Piper is (to me) an annoying writer. I personally love the word SAID, as in, "Hello," I said. Piper HATES the word SAID but LOVES dialogue, which goes like this: "Thank you," I uttered, "Hello," I stated, and "Good morning," I spoke. I started playing a game trying to find the beautiful little non-distracting SAID in the large chunks of dialogue, but it usually wasn't there. The second problem was the stupid ending. The main character didn't change as much as Piper wanted me to think. Another main character revealed some personal tragedy that was unexpected, unconnected to the story, and pointless. All in all, this was a disappointing read and I'm happy it's over with!

  • Maria Paiz
    2018-09-15 17:03

    An inconvenience in her life as she plans to remarry (again), Sebastien Ranes's mother puts him on a Greyhound bus with $35 in his pocket to travel across the country to live with a grandmother he barely knows. At age 11, Sebastien is no stranger to abuse or neglect, and feels anxious as he sets off on his journey, stuttering when talking to strangers. Then he meets Marcus, a young black man just out of prison. Marcus quickly becomes Sebastien's first real friend, the one person in his brief life who has listened to him, given him advice, and shown genuine care. Sebastien's recount of the details of his trip, his encounters with peril, and his stalwart friendship with Marcus make for an entertaining, relatable, and heart-warming story that reminds us how one person can make a difference in another's life just by showing a little love.