Read The Search for Ethan by RobertCowan Online


Two typical teenage lives are transformed after a night of hallucinogenic experimentation, when the subsequent bad trip spills into their real lives with tragic consequences. A desperate but darkly comical search for redemption begins, with help from an unlikely source. (CONTAINS SWEARING / PROFANITY)...

Title : The Search for Ethan
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781500523176
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 280 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Search for Ethan Reviews

  • Darren Sant
    2019-04-21 12:01

    One of the things I enjoy about this fantastic indie publishing era is that you can come across a little gem of a novel like this around every corner. It's not been clinically edited to death, like a fine piece of vinyl there are hisses and crackles but you enjoy it more for those idiosyncrasies than a clipped and cold digital recording. Searching for Ethan is a charming novel full of warmth, humour and real character. The author, like myself, enjoys adding cultural references of music and film to his work. This is the kind of novel that would make a great film in the vein of Rita, Sue and Bob, Too or Raining Stones. The characters are reminiscent of Roddy Doyle's chancers and layabouts. It's fair to say there are some very sad moments but a smile is never very far away in this character driven tale. A story of best friends, of love and a coming of age novel. A very enjoyable read that I didn't want to end.

  • Bill Ward
    2019-04-21 15:07

    This is a really great read and an uncomfortable personal reminder of aspects of growing up such as discovering girls, booze and drugs. There is comedy, sadness and most importantly a gritty realism that meant I conected easily with the characters and enjoyed this trip down memory lane. While the characters hold the story together, there is actually a clever plot and a surprising ending.I suspect the author must have read and enjoyed Trainspotting, and this book stacks up well against what is generally considered a classic. Would make a great film!

  • A Oldham
    2019-05-11 19:05

    Really enjoyed it. It tells the story of two dissimilar school friends. Begins with the relative innocence of a final year at school house party, before life becomes a mazy ride of drugs, tragedy, laughter and..I won't spoil it. The story and dialogue are excellent, but it’s really about the characters. Some crazy moments and lots of surprises. Not one for younger kids though. The only book of his I could find. Hope there’s another soon.

  • Craig Furchtenicht
    2019-05-17 17:51

    This is hands down one of the best books I have read this year. Robert Cowan has a unique style that piqued my curiosity from the first paragraph and held me firmly in his literary grips until the very last page. The scenes are brutally realistic and the characters somewhat dysfunctional at times. This is what makes them so likeable and easy to relate to. From the polar opposite best friends Tommy and Stevie to the fun-loving Margo with her penchant for booze and a heart of gold. It's a coming of age story of sorts that spans the realm between friendship, tragedy, betrayal and redemption. Not often comes along a book that sticks with me for days after I put it down. Cowan managed to do just that in his superbly crafted debut novel. I expect many more great things coming by way of this author. I for one will certainly be the first in line to snatch them up.

  • Keith Nixon
    2019-05-13 14:08

    I have this thing about Scottish authors. There's a stack of really high quality writers putting out high grade work - Ian Rankin at their head. There's Tony Black, Mark Wilson, Allan Guthrie among others. And there's some indie authors practicing their trade - Alan Jones springs to mind. They're all smart writers, building tight stories which unwind at pace and comprise strong characters. And now in this list is Robert Cowan.Search for Ethan was a gem. Full of dark humour and bleak life it's well worth a read. Definitely a writer to watch.

  • Neil
    2019-04-20 15:02

    This novel is a riot from start to finish. With echoes of Irvine Welsh’s Glue, Gregory’s Girl, and Tarantino’s B-Movie obsession, Cowan takes us on a zig-zag bobsleigh ride (with no brakes) through Lanarkshire’s darkest corners. A story about friendship and tragedy, love and renewal, it entertains from first page to last. Great fun.

  • Tony Parsons
    2019-05-01 19:51

    Jean Slater (39, wife/mom) suffered from some sort of back ailment. Danny Slater was the dad. Susie Slater (14, MS, aka Suzie Q) is the daughter/sister. Tommy Slater (17, son, HS) & Stephen Stevie McDaid (HS) were BMF’s & off to school.Margo McDaid (neighbor, alcoholic) told Jean Steve had a G/F now.1st class for the boys; Mr. Richards (37B, chemistry teacher). Later, Tommy was asked by Mary (classmate) to go to Anne Young (classmate) party with Sharon Perry (17, hottie, classmate).2nd class Mrs. Carpenter (English teacher)Tommy & Sharon were off to the Anne’s party in Sandyhill. Bob Young (dad, builder) & Angie Young (mom) were not home. ETA 2:00 PM. Alan Hunter, Chas, Stevie, Mandy Peters, Mary Smith & Stella were also there. There was plenty of booze, lots of dancing &?Would Tommy or Stevie get lucky with 1 of the girls? What would happen between Stevie & James Paterson (bank Branch manager)?DS Brown & DC Macgregor came to Tommy’s door. Susie answered?Their parents had been killed in an automobile accident. The 2 Detectives next headed for Margo McDaid’s house. There was no good news for her either? 12 PPL came to the Slater funeral. Sebastian Smith goes to the Royal Bank of Scotland to speak with James Paterson (bank Branch manager).What transpired there? Susie Slater had disappeared?Stephen McDaid went to work at the Avon Park Retirement Community. Senga Black showed him what he was supposed to do. Set the tables & help with Bingo. Tommy went to the University of Woodstown, 1st class is Media productions. Ethel had died at her home where Stevie worked. The police wanted Margo (Stevie mother) to tell them where he was.Stevie goes to the video store to rent a movie. What transpired was unbelievable.Fond memories Acid can you still buy that stuff. My favorite Smirnoff Vodka (Raspberry) & Red Bull.Lesbian not gay, gays are guys.They say opposites attract. How will Tommy’s life turn out?& how about Stevie where is his life headed? I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one. A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written powerful YA mystery book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great YA mystery movie, mini TV series. 1 you won’t want to put down. A very easy rating of 5 stars. Thank you for the free Goodreads; Author; PDF book Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)

  • Ryan Bracha
    2019-05-03 11:50

    I don't know where Robert Cowan came from. Maybe he just appeared from a wormhole from the future. Maybe he was grown in a petri-dish and only unleashed on society when the scientists were satisfied that he wouldn't do any damage to us little people. Maybe. Probably not. Anyway, wherever he came from, he brought with him a quality book, and I'm glad he did.It's the tale of young rogues Tommy and Stevie. The former is an intelligent son of God-bothering parents, full to the brim with potential. The latter is a mischievous son of an alcoholic yet fiercely loyal woman named Margo. It's a mystery why the two lads enjoy one another's company so much, but they do, and they find themselves in a few scrapes involving beer, girls, and vomit, much like all young men then. One night, an LSD fueled night turns their worlds upside down, and what happens then is a spiral into darkness for all involved. How they choose to deal with it will ultimately dictate the rest of their lives.I did really enjoy this. Cowan starts you out with what you think will be a hilarious coming-of-age tale akin to The Inbetweeners, or Superbad (gross-out and toe curlingly funny), but before long he's laid his stall out, and rips the carpet from beneath your feet, leaving you tumbling along with his characters as they struggle to pick up the pieces. The empathy he pumps into his very much three dimensional characters means he leaves you disappointed when bad decisions are made, because you want these boys and girls to come through it unscathed, the dialogue is high end, and the humour is fantastic. You could do a hell of a lot worse than spend your hard earned pennies on this little gem. Very highly recommended.

  • Mark Wilson
    2019-05-20 19:45

    This was my literary surprise of 2014. I picked this book up for a few reasons. The author comes from my home-county. Mainly though because of some great reviews the book has been picking up. Robert is a cheeky bastard. With his debut novel, Cowan has thrown out the rule book and avoided all the basic errors first-time writers always, always make. Cowan shows, he doesn’t tell. His dialogue is tight, and the pace is perfect. Generally books from Scotland fail to deliver the true feel of the towns and cities, simply because they’re steeped in stereotypes and tired clichés.Cowan unapologetically lays his protagonists out for the reader, each of them a heart-felt, painful and emotional mirror of the towns they spring from. Each truly representative of the type of people found in every impoverished town. Complete with their problems, desperations, virtues and victories, Cowan’s characters radiate realness and are heroic in their murky, hopeless-heroics.With his debut Cowan joins the ranks of a new breed of British novelists, telling their stories the way they want them told. Wonderful.Aye, he’s a cheeky bastard this Cowan.

  • Underground Book Reviews
    2019-05-11 18:40

    Tommy is a good kid. Stevie is the kind of kid who can’t seem to keep out of trouble. The two teenagers forge a relationship that turns disastrous in this gritty coming-of-age tale. Stevie exposes Tommy to parties, alcohol, girls, crime and drugs until one night their teenage experimentation goes too far. “Tommy…placed the chemical Eucharist onto his tongue. Epiphany or crucifixion he wondered.” The acid trip changes their lives forever, and their journey out of the darkness is just as intense as their plunge into it.Cowan brings to life a seedy, impoverished world with authentic characters. He pulls readers into a fascinatingly dark experience, and writes with the depth necessary to make the experience meaningful. That’s one of the book’s greatest strengths—its depth. It makes you feel and wonder and continue to think about it after putting the book down. Cowan holds nothing back as he explores the depraved side of human nature, but the book is not without hope. Even the shadiest characters do show tiny signs of humanity. more at UndergroundBookReviews(dot)com!

  • Allen Miles
    2019-05-15 12:57

    I'd love to come up with some magnificent philosophical insight into the majesty of this book, but it would be silly. This is not a book that wants a pretentious analysis, it is a book that deserves a direct, honest appraisal. I couldn't put the damn thing down, I read it in three sessions, and only sundry necessities such as eating, sleeping and interacting with my family stopped me from reading it all at once. It is a dark, affecting tale in which you both love and hate the characters; it zigzags between the uplifting and the doom-laden; it makes you both warm and nauseous inside. If you want to hear drum boffin Max Roach pitter-patter his way through an eighteen minute jazz epic, look elsewhere. If you want to hear Keith Moon barrel his way through My Generation, this is the book for you. Five massive shiny stars.

  • Georgia Payne
    2019-04-30 15:06

    The search for Ethan is like no book I've read before. It was so unique in genre that I'm finding it difficult to compare it to anything, let alone describe what it was about. Tommy and Stevie, two teenage friends have their lives change in more ways than one as the years unfold. Their lives go in two completely different paths, and it's a coming of age story with a twist. The pair encounter drugs, sex, loss and everything in between, but in the end, they both end up in the right place for them.Robert Cowan does a brilliant job of balancing humour, grit and surprise, and I found myself intrigued all the way through, though I'll be honest in saying I didn't always know where it was going. I'd recommend it as one to read.

  • Donna
    2019-05-16 13:40

    Humorous, ridiculous, tragic and wonderful. This surely has to be made into a film. Straight out of the Irvine Welsh school. Well. Maybe less shock value. One particular scenario sums this novel up for me. Stevie, who has already unwittingly caused a double tragedy, feels the old folk in the home he works aren't getting enough laughs. He laces their cereal with ecstasy and has them raving to Firestarter until one of the budding Keith Flint's drops dead. Stevie's lust for life (or the need for others to find a lust for life) goes epically wrong! Hilarious yet tragic.

  • Hannelore Cheney
    2019-05-07 16:00

    What a wonderful book this is! There are not many books I've re-read because I have such a long TBR list, but this weekend I started a book I didn't really like and decided to read The Search for Ethan again. There are scenes that make me laugh so hard, and then's heartbreaking. The 1st time I read it, I finished it in 2 days, this time I'm savoring it. Don't miss this treasure, you'll love it!

  • Shervin Jamali
    2019-04-23 12:06

    Childhood friends on different life paths. One mistake that leads to tragedy and several lives begin to unravel. Cowan's tale is both heartwarming and heart-breaking, humorous yet dark at times, and it contains one of the best endings that I have read in quite some time. I am a big fan of this author and I am so glad that I kicked off 2017 with such a great read.

  • John Barry
    2019-05-06 15:52

    There's a real mix of light and dark here, starting in fairly innocent form, before crashing, literally, into something far more serious. The two main characters almost play like Jekyll and Hyde, but with a generous layer of humour and underlying warmth. A character driven novel (and there are some crackers), with a strong, twisting plot. Very enjoyable.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-20 16:44

    At first I thought it was going to be like an episode of Waterloo Road. I was very wrong. Loved the way the characters grow and the great ending. Very funny. Also lots of music references, I could see this making a great film / soundtrack.

  • Mark
    2019-05-18 12:46

    Came across this by accident, thought it sounded interesting and decided to give it a whirl. I'm glad I did. Great characters and story, sad in parts, funny in others. Zips along to.

  • Andy
    2019-04-22 13:56

    Well-conceived and well-crafted but also very readable, a surprisingly rare thing these days. Read it in three days on holiday. Loved it

  • Martin Stanley
    2019-05-09 20:00

    Enjoyable, well written and entertaining debut novel by talented Brit Grit writer, Robert Cowan. Tommy and Stevie are friends and neighbours; it's possible that they are best friends because they are neighbours because they have little in common – Tommy being smart and shy, Stevie being cocky, aggressive and stupid. Stevie tends to do foolish things and then drags Tommy into the eye of the storm. But unfortunately for Tommy and his sister, Stevie's foolishness has unpleasant repercussions. It then jumps to Tommy at university and Stevie working at a local care home, both of which goes as expected; Tommy does well, Stevie less so. This sets up a nice final third that ties up all the loose ends. The Search For Ethan is a strong coming of age novel that is well structured and has fine dialogue. It only lost half a point because I had a real dislike for Stevie (although that's more my problem than the writer's), although he does set out to right some of the wrongs he makes over the course of the story. Highly recommended for all those who like strong character development and coming of age dramas. 4.5/5.

  • Davy Tripney
    2019-05-11 16:07

    What a wonderful worldThe nitty gritty of everyday life in darkest North Lanarkshire, you take my socks and I'll take yours,seen it done.

  • Brendan Gisby
    2019-05-07 16:09

    Some years ago, I found myself in a crowded pub in Galway city on a Friday night. The place was full of noisy young people out to celebrate the start of the weekend. At one point, the jukebox blared out Smokie’s 1970’s hit, “Living Next Door to Alice”. Every time Smokie sang the line in the chorus, “Cos for twenty-four years I’ve been living next door to Alice”, the whole pub responded by asking at the top of their Irish voices, “Who the feck is Alice?”Not long after I began to read “The Search for Ethan”, that song with its irreverent interruption kept running in my head. But instead of asking “Who the feck is Alice?”, I wanted to know “Who the feck is Ethan?” Now don’t get me wrong – at the same time I was enjoying the writing with its portrayals of good and evil in the grittiness of working-class West of Scotland. The characters, their environment and their exploits were all very real. But I still wanted to know about Ethan. Who was he? When would he make an appearance?If you read the book and find yourself asking the same questions, my advice is to be patient. Ethan does appear in a blindingly wonderful denouement, one I won’t forget in a hurry. Take my word for it – it’ll be well worth the wait. It goes without saying, of course, that this debut novel by fellow-Scot Robert Cowan is also well worth the read.

  • Andrew
    2019-05-06 13:44

    I'm a happy, lucky winner of this book through GoodReads First Reads Giveaways! Actual rating: 3.5 starsAt first it was hard for me to tell what this book was about, and I'm not always the best with European slang. I found the second half of the book far more interesting, with its twists and coincidences, than I did in the first half, which felt a bit aimless.If I were to give a summary of what happens, it's this: best friends Tommy and Stevie try ecstasy with their friends one night. Tommy ends up running home while on the drug, and Stevie goes to look for him, but being in the road, a drunk driver swerves to avoid him and ends up crashing into Tommy's parents' car, killing them both. Stevie doesn't admit to being there. Tommy feels as though this is life's punishment to him for straying and trying the drug. Several events occur after this, but I don't want to spoil.My only real complaint is that I don't think the book was well edited, there were several mistakes in spelling, paragraph indents, punctuation, etc. but not bad enough that it was unreadable. The story became very entertaining once the characters became familiar, and unexpected events further on were surprising and kept me wanting to know more, especially the last few chapters!

  • Laura
    2019-04-19 15:00

    "The Search for Ethan" is definitely a really great read and an uncomfortable personal reminder of aspects of growing up such as boys and girls discovering each other, booze and drugs. There is comedy, sadness and most importantly a gritty realism that meant I connected well with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane. While the characters hold the story together, there is actually a clever plot and an interesting ending!

  • Philip
    2019-05-13 16:51

    A gritty drama of harsh circumstances fueled by alcohol and drugs and yet there are comedic moments of teenage angst. The ending although satisfying at first had too many coincidences for my complete liking. It added the redemptive scenes to make the story satisfying if feeling a bit rushed to tie up loose ends.