Heading Out to Wonderful

Heading Out to Wonderful It is the summer of when a handsome charismatic stranger Charlie Beale recently back from the war in Europe shows up in the town of Brownsburg a sleepy village nestled in the Valley of Virgi

It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village nestled in the Valley of Virginia All he has with him are two suitcases one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives the other is full of money A lot of money Heading Out tIt is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village nestled in the Valley of Virginia All he has with him are two suitcases one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives the other is full of money A lot of money Heading Out to Wonderful is a haunting, heart stopping novel of love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.

  • ¸ Heading Out to Wonderful ☆ Robert Goolrick
    412 Robert Goolrick
Heading Out to Wonderful

  1. Robert Goolrick was born in a small town in Virginia and attended John Hopkins University Fired after 30 years in the advertising business, Goolrick wrote his memoir, The End of the World as We Know It Scenes from a Life A Reliable Wife is his first novel.Goolrick currently lives in New York City.

876 Reply to “Heading Out to Wonderful”

  1. I loved A Reliable Wife, and Goolrick had me for the first half of Heading Out to Wonderful But I was so saddened by the unease of the 5 year old boy taken along to many rendezvous between two lovers I started to sense that the plot was getting too dark, with no hope of redemption, but it got even worse than that Too much blood spilled after such a beautiful beginning Also I really wondered where Beebo got all his money maybe I missed something to buy land for himself and his adulterous sweethea [...]

  2. I hardly know where to begin I just finished this book, and I feel as though I haven t resurfaced, as though my eyes are fogged and my mind is still not my own I haven t been this swept away by a novel in a long time Goolrick s prose is stunning and spellbinding and the story he weaves is brilliant, devastating, very real and very human I wish I knew how to describe his weaving together of landscape, small town southern life, movies, and baseball to create a setting that is as much a character a [...]

  3. Heading out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick was a book I purchased for my kindle by mistake and thought what the heck will give it a go as the process of retuning it just seemed like too much bother I was pleasantly surprised after reading the first chapter of this novel as the prose, the characters and the plot had me totally hooked.The novel is set in the small town of Brownsburg, a quiet and sleepy town in the valley of Virginia In the summer of 1948 a stranger arrives in town by the name of [...]

  4. Robert Goolrick is a masterful storyteller He tells stories the old fashioned way long and languidly, and full of description Love, especially a great love, never goes out of style Goolrick delivers He writes a big love story in a small town Everyone is involved, right from the first Annual Oyster Fest deep in midsummer, when Charlie shows his physical prowess and Sylvan wears her dark glasses and her red lipstick Sylvan Glass And Sylvan herself she was just as pretty as her name She had a count [...]

  5. I admit up front that I was not a fan of Robert Goolrick s previous novel The Reliable Wife, so I was a little reluctant to pick up his new one called Heading Out to Wonderful Luckily I had a little prompting from Craig Popelars at Algonquin, who told me that he thought I d love it As usual, he was right Damn his eyes.If you read enough books or watch enough movies, after a while you develop certain expectations built into certain plot points Thus, in chapter one when a mysterious drifter rolls [...]

  6. An odd book a very odd book I m rather at a loss as to what to say about it Heading Out to Wonderful has an intriguing start Goolrick is quite good at foreshadowing and you want to read on to find out what on earth happened to this narrator The problem is that it takes soooooo long to get answers The story unfolds slowly and the writing is, at times, beautiful Often it s just plain odd This progression isn t too bad at first, but it ultimately turns out to be a lllooonnnggg slog The story is nar [...]

  7. This is one of the silliest books I have ever read There is just so much wrong with it that it s hard to know where to start is it the plot, the dialogue, the narrative, or the characters Why would a man bring a 6 year old boy along on his trysts with his married lover and swear the child to secrecy He didn t need to babysit He didn t need the company And why did the child s parents let him continue to accompany the man long after they suspected and then knew where he was going And why, please t [...]

  8. I m certain I noticed this book first due to the author, Robert Goolrick I had read Reliable Wife and wanted to see what Goolrick would do this time out Also, I immediately fell in love with the title, Heading Out to Wonderful The imagery of this drew me right in Add the quote from the fly leaf Let me tell you something son When you re young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand new penny, but before you get to wonderful you re going to have to pass through al [...]

  9. Wow This is a very emotionally charged and heart capturing story.A new guy in town, with money in a suitcase it begins simple enough But this is the thing it s an amazing STORY And then there s the way it was WRITTEN.So uniquely Robert Goolrick It amazes me how beautifully he uses words The intensity behind soft conversation The understanding he has of people.How he digs down to the truth of things through his storytelling.Amazing.There were scenes in this story so beautifully crafted that I wan [...]

  10. I loved A Reliable Wife so was excited to get a copy of Goolrick s newest book This one is about a stranger, Charlie Beale, who one day appears in a small Virginia town and works his way into the affections of the people But when he falls for the wife of the town s richest man, we know it s only a matter of time before things go awry.I just love Goolrick s writing opening up one of his books is like sinking into a comfortable chair I just feel myself going aw this is writing I can just fall in [...]

  11. A stranger Charlie comes into town spoiler alert with tons of unlimited cash where did he get it who knows Don t ask questions , and proceeds to have an affair with a married woman Sylvan While having his trysts with her, he brings along a little boy, the son Sam of a friend of his Will , and has Sam either 1 wait outside for him or 2 come inside Sylvan s house with him, but with strict instructions NOT to come upstairs to the bedroom Long story short, Charlie is regarded as a hero, someone to b [...]

  12. I need a split scoring system to rate this book Four stars for the first three quarters of the book, one star for the ending Spoiler alert I loved the tense, doomed passion and the mysterious development of Charlie, but hated when the doomed ending in all its ugliness and improbability finally arrived It felt cheap and cursory Even the whole brother coffin building scene he hauled that box into and out of a truck bed by himself I know, I know, so much of many stories, and this one in particular, [...]

  13. Charlie Beale is a stud, a war veteran and a skilled baseball player He works hard at his craft as a butcher and proves himself a conscientious friend All the women in the small town of Brownsburg have a crush on Charlie and all the men respect him But Charlie is looking for something he s Heading Out to Wonderful And he finds wonderful in the form of Sylvan Glass.Sylvan is beautiful, whip smart and glamorous She dreams of celebrity and has achieved a movie star s appearance and mannerisms desp [...]

  14. I don t remember the last time my attitude about a book has so radically shifted in the midst of the story as it did with this one If I could rate only the first half of the book, I d give it five stars Goolrick artfully describes life in small town Virginia and the relationships of its inhabitants It s really a love story between the whole town and a stranger who decides to adopt it Charlie Beale All this is seen through the eyes of five year old Sam, the son of Charlie s new boss Sam and Charl [...]

  15. HEADING OUT TO WONDERFULRobert GoolrickHEADING OUT TO WONDERFUL is a haunting mountain folk ballad where stories and storytelling echo far and wide in mountains and homes Some of these tales become poems and some become songs.This is a tragic and passionate tale of a love affair that is all consuming yet completely forbidden This finely crafted novel takes place in the summer of 1948 in a sleepy village nestled in a valley in Virginia Handsome, charismatic stranger Charlie Beale wanders into the [...]

  16. Very sad, tragic, depressing tale Had hopes early on that this would be somewhat like A Reliable Wife RG s 2009 bk which was a gripping tale of love, lust, betrayal and suspense with loads of twists and turns Heading Out to Wonderful starts out with a feeling of hope for the new stranger to town, Charlie Beele, Boaty s bought and paid for young backwoods bride Sylvan, little Sam, and even Clairie the town s seamstress The time is 1940 s and a small town Virginia people s feelings can turn on a d [...]

  17. Think of how hard it is to reconstruct memories with only the written word to convey mood and atmosphere to paint, using only sentences strung together, the color and emotion and sheer force of human passions to make a landscape come so alive that we can feel the frisson of cold water in a lake or the cruel avoidance of neighbors acknowledgments in the street to enable us to feel lust and taste blood and understand what it is to do the unthinkable This is precisely what Goolrick can do, like alm [...]

  18. Charlie Beale arrives in Brownsburg, Virginia with two suitcases One full of money, the other packed with the sharpest knives anyone has ever seen Brownsburg is quintessential small town America, and in 1948, the people of Brownsburg are content with their small town ways They are curious about Charlie, maybe even a little suspicious, but in his quiet manner, he charms them all Especially a five year old boy named Sam, who grows to idolize Charlie Charlie himself seems charmed with the town and [...]

  19. The stories told by Robert Goolrich are not among the easiest to listen to This is an epic tale that seems to have Biblical and Shakesperian overtones a modern morality tale of love and hate,sin, retribution, destiny, forgiveness, acceptance, reality vs wishes The seeds have been planted slowly and carefully throughout the story that will lead to the ultimate tragedy of the ending And yet the ending took my breath away He is an author to be reckoned with.Goolrick tells the dark tales of ordinary [...]

  20. I loved Robert Goolrick s book, A Reliable Wife, and his new one is even better Heading Out to Wonderful has just about everything you could want in a book love, redemption, betrayal, atmosphere, good characterization, and wonderful writing.The novel takes place in Brownsburg, Virginia in 1948, just after World War II The whites live on one side of town and the blacks on the other side This is a moral town where no crime, to anyone s knowledge, has ever been committed It is quiet and beautiful, [...]

  21. Wow, Goolrick did it to me again This reading experience was much like when I read A Reliable Wife At first I felt the story was very drawn out and scenes were exceptionally wordy yet at the end I look at the story as a whole and just say Wow Somehow through all the negative and man there s A LOT and the drawn out pages a beautiful story was told I expect to think one thing about the book and am left feeling something completely different by the end That said this story was terribly disturbing a [...]

  22. Well actually 3.5 starsI very much like the way in which Mr Goolrick both writes and structures his stories There is always a bit of something that is a bit murky about his characters and oftentimes there runs a undercurrent that is barely perceptible in the story, but ultimately gets you in the end So it was with Mr Goolrick s current novel This was a story of a young man, Charlie Beale, newly returned from World War 2, who wants to settle down in a small Virginia town He is looking for a sense [...]

  23. This was a book highlighting a part of a man s life that is dark and sad Well written through the eyes of a narrator we find out about at the end of the book but involves a man, Charlie who comes into a sleepy simple town of Virginia to buy some land and settle in He becomes involved with a woman and we all know that never works out well and without spoiling everything I will just say this isn t a lighthearted novel but it wasn t so gloomy you want to give up on it either It reminded me of a a k [...]

  24. When I was a teen I wrote dark and cryptic stories because I thought I was terribly DEEP and artistic Thank god none survive to this day Mr Goolrick has managed to get one of his half assed teen stories spun into a novel, and published Dude I wish I could have figured that out, there seems to be money in it Anyway, there are holes where did the money come from How did the final property transfer possibly happen And the final question, WTF This is a talented writer who is selling us a bill of goo [...]

  25. This was an interesting read It was like a feather light dream of a long ago time with all of its perfect politeness of small town living after the war But then it had a bit of dark nightmare woven in I liked the opposites there, but it did get dark The two opposites were well woven together I liked the MC too He was well drawn but maintained a fair amount of mystery This book had some unique twists There was always something new going on Because of that, this was 4 stars for me I will have to l [...]

  26. I m struggling to figure out just what I want to say about Heading Out To Wonderful The writing is lovely, and I became involved enough in the plot that I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish the book On the other hand, I m not sure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.Heading Out To Wonderful is set in the sleepy rural town of Brownsburg, Virginia in 1948, post war years when life in America was on the cusp of change The author lovingly describes the quality of life in Brownsb [...]

  27. I still ask myself sometimes late at night, about what happened, how it all turned out, about the life I ve led, you know Everything I ask myself the same questions they ask me, these people who ve only heard about it, who weren t even around when it all took place What happened and why did it have to happen in the way it did Long before we identify the narrator, as readers we find ourselves asking those same questions, even though we know it is just a story, set in Brownsburg, Virginia in 1948 [...]

  28. Robert Goolrick s new book, Heading Out to Wonderful is a terrific follow up to his creepy, captivating A Reliable Wife It s 1948, and 39 year old veteran Charlie Beale arrives in idyllic Brownsburg, Virginia, with two suitcases one stuffed with cash and the other containing a set of high quality butcher knives Brownsburg is a small town where everyone knows everyone, where white and black people don t interact much but treat each other with reasonable respect After a few weeks of making people [...]

  29. I read this book last night and it shattered me The whole time I read it, I was filled with trepidation, not sure if I wanted to go further Everything was so idyllic, perfect, you just knew something was going to happen Like the Robert Frost poem, nothing gold can stay I even had to tweet Jennifer at The Relentless Reader I was so nervous And here is the tricky thing everything in the book was going swimmingly I had no reason to be anxious, but Goolrick has a way of creating an atmosphere, and a [...]

  30. Many books open with a flashback scene, one that is intended to tantalize the reader and also comfort them and assure them that while they may hint at dark times the narrator has survived and thus all will be well Yet it is a rare treat to find a book that draws the reader in and makes them feel that they are actually listening to a story be told as if it is unfolding before them as it actually happened Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick falls solidly into this category Set in 1948 in t [...]

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