Tom McNeal books in order – The Complete List June 2024

Tom McNeal is an American author known for his compelling exploration of themes such as family, love, and coming-of-age. He has written several novels that have resonated with readers, showcasing his talent for capturing the complexities of human relationships and emotions.

Tom McNeal Books in Order

  1. Far Far Away
  2. To Be Sung Underwater
  3. Crooked
  4. Goodnight, Nebraska
  5. Zipped
  6. Crushed
  7. The Decoding of Lana Morris
  8. The Dog Who Lost His Bob
  9. The Best of the West 5: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri
  10. Goodnight, Nebraska Reading Group Guide

Summary of Tom McNeal Books in Order

Far Far Away

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To Be Sung Underwater

“To Be Sung Underwater” by Tom McNeal is a poignant and beautiful novel about love, loss, and the passage of time. The story follows Judith, a successful 44-year-old woman living in California, who begins to reexamine her life when she finds a box of letters from her first love, Willy Blunt, whom she left behind in Nebraska. As she reads through the letters, Judith reminisces on the past and the intense love she shared with Willy, and she embarks on a journey to reconnect with him and make amends for leaving him behind.

As the narrative alternates between past and present, McNeal skillfully illustrates the complexities of Judith and Willy’s relationship, the impact of their choices on their lives, and the enduring power of first love. Through lyrical prose and deeply emotional storytelling, the author delves into themes of regret, forgiveness, and the longing for a second chance. The novel is a tender exploration of the human heart and the bittersweet nature of nostalgia, leaving a lasting impression on readers.

Overall, “To Be Sung Underwater” is a captivating and moving novel that offers a heartfelt portrayal of love, regret, and the passage of time. With its richly drawn characters and evocative storytelling, Tom McNeal delivers a poignant and unforgettable story that will resonate with readers long after they finish the book.


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Goodnight, Nebraska

“Goodnight, Nebraska” by Tom McNeal follows the story of Randall Hunsacker, a high school football star in a small town. After a tragic accident, Randall’s life takes a turn as he becomes a bowling alley pinsetter and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The story also revolves around Randall’s relationships with his family and the people in his town, shedding light on the complexities of human connections.

As Randall navigates through the challenges of his new life, he meets Amy, a girl who captures his heart. Their budding romance becomes a central theme as they navigate the difficulties of their own pasts and uncertainties of their futures. The novel explores themes of love, loss, and the pursuit of happiness, offering a poignant and touching portrayal of small-town life and human resilience.

Set against the backdrop of rural Nebraska, “Goodnight, Nebraska” paints a vivid portrait of the American heartland and the struggles of its residents. Tom McNeal’s lyrical prose and emotive storytelling bring to life the characters and their experiences, making for a compelling and memorable reading experience.


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The Decoding of Lana Morris

“The Decoding of Lana Morris” follows the story of Lana Morris, a high school junior from a small town in California. Lana is a talented cryptographer who discovers a mysterious code hidden within the pages of a library book. As she delves deeper into the code, Lana uncovers a web of secrets that lead her on a thrilling and dangerous adventure.

As Lana decodes the messages, she becomes entangled in a plot involving political corruption, betrayal, and danger. With the help of her friends, Lana races against time to decipher the messages and uncover the truth. The story is a fast-paced and suspenseful mystery that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

Tom McNeal’s novel offers a compelling blend of mystery, adventure, and coming-of-age themes. As Lana navigates the challenges of deciphering the code and facing the dangers it brings, she also grapples with personal growth and self-discovery. The book highlights the power of determination, friendship, and the importance of standing up for what is right, making it a captivating read for young adult and mystery fans alike.

The Dog Who Lost His Bob

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The Best of the West 5: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri

“The Best of the West 5: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri” by Tom McNeal is a collection of short stories set in the American West. The stories in this collection explore the vast, rugged landscape of the West, as well as the people who live there. McNeal captures the essence of the West through his vivid storytelling and rich characters, drawing readers into a world of cowboys, outlaws, and adventurers.

Each story in “The Best of the West 5” offers a unique and compelling glimpse into life on the frontier, showcasing the beauty and harshness of the Western landscape. From tales of love and loss to thrilling adventures and unexpected encounters, McNeal’s stories celebrate the spirit of the West and the resilience of its inhabitants. With his masterful prose and deep understanding of the Western experience, McNeal transports readers to a time and place where the line between civilization and wilderness is blurred.

“The Best of the West 5” is a captivating and immersive collection that will appeal to fans of Western fiction and anyone with an appreciation for the rich history and lore of the American West. Through these evocative stories, McNeal pays homage to the enduring legacy of the West, offering a powerful and unforgettable reading experience.

Goodnight, Nebraska Reading Group Guide

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About Tom McNeal

Tom McNeal hails from Santa Ana, California, where he comes from a family with a history of citrus farming. Despite this, he also has close ties to the Nebraska farm where his mother was raised and, after completing his studies at UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, he went on to teach in the town that inspired his popular novel, Goodnight, Nebraska. With a background as a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, Tom McNeal’s short stories have earned him recognition and can be found in numerous anthologies.

Author Tom McNeal

In conclusion, the books written by Tom McNeal are a captivating exploration of human nature, family dynamics, and the complexities of the world. Through his storytelling, McNeal offers profound insights into the power of forgiveness, redemption, and the importance of connection in all its forms. His works remind readers of the lasting impact of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit. As readers journey through the pages of McNeal’s novels, they come to appreciate the profound ideological lessons woven into his narratives, and are left with a deeper understanding of the universal experiences that bind us all together.

FAQs about author Tom McNeal

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Published at 10:00 - 30/05/2024
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