The Never-open Desert Diner

The Never-open Desert Diner


Book - 2015
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Ben Jones is an honorable but down-on-his luck truck driver on a lonely Utah highway. His life takes a sudden turn into violence, mystery and longing upon finding a beautiful woman playing a cello in an isolated house in the high desert.
Publisher: New York : Caravel Books, ©2015
ISBN: 9780912887104
Branch Call Number: ANDERSO
Characteristics: 286 pages : maps ; 23 cm


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Aug 22, 2019

Excellent first book. Great desert descriptions and character development. From his story, it is easy to picture yourself there.
Both of his books are great reads.

Mar 30, 2019

This book is one I will not soon forget. The characters are all well rounded with a life all their own. While reading this novel the characters seem to have a life that the reader is not entirely privy to which brings the impression of real life into the novel. Each character has a history, a setting, and a motivation to continue life in the desert that may or may not be revealed in it's entirety. The desert comes to life through the author and you feel transported well into the night as you stay up turning the pages. It is not about finding a happy ending up rather existing and continuing which is essentially what we are all doing everyday of our lives. Although the hope for an ending we prefer enters our mind the ending provided leaves a satisfied impression whether you liked it or not. I look forward to reading more by James Anderson. Give this book a chance, you won't regret it.

Oct 23, 2018

Started a bit slow, but enjoyed the story and especially the writing...Great 1st novel, look forward to more from Anderson

Jan 15, 2018

Can the St Louis library please get this in a digital ebook format? Please

Sep 22, 2016

My Rating: 5/5

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The story was a bit slow at the beginning, making me wonder if I would find enjoyment in it, but as it started to unfolded I found myself unable to put it down. Once it drew me in, it completely engrossed me, keeping me up until the wee-hours of the morning in hopes of learning all the mysteries surrounding these unique characters.

“The Never-Open Desert Diner” opens with Ben Jones, a truck driver who delivers supplies to the forgotten souls of a deserted desert highway in Utah. Ben, the only man who dares to deliver to this part of forgotten America, drives this lone stretch of highway consisting of many different residents who have chosen to leave society for one reason or another. The reasons of why they left are a mystery, no one being brave enough to ask any questions. One day, while running his usual route, he meets Claire, a woman with a gun. He learns Claire is on the run after a heated divorce from her husband. The two quickly become entangled in a once in a lifetime love affair. When strange characters from Claire’s past start poking around the lone desert highway, Ben begins to wonder if Claire has been completely honest with him. Who is Claire? Why is her husband looking for her? How did she come to learn of the desert highway most have forgotten?

“The Never-Open Desert Diner” is a story of love, loss, and friendship; one that left me reflecting on the narrative and characters long after the final page. I found this story to be very unique in the setting, plot, and characters; making it both unpredictable and engaging. The character development and story-mapping were excellent, allowing the mystery to climatically unfold. If asked to compare this author to any I’ve read, I would say James Anderson’s refined style is similar to a John Irving. I would highly recommend “The Never-Open Desert Diner” to anyone who likes a great mystery intertwined with a love story. This debut novel by James Anderson has certainly found me as a new fan.

Apr 15, 2016

Loved the setting in the high desert with the quirky and believeable characters, great first novel with lots of atmosphere and enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages.

ontherideau Feb 08, 2016

Lots of unexpected events, I had to keep reading to satisfy my curiosity.

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