This was a wonderful reading by Michael Chabon of his novel. In it, he spins not only an imaginative and exciting story but he introduces his readers to several unforgettable characters whose charm, depth, and struggles reach beyond the conclusion of the novel. I will never forget Ethan Feld, his fear of baseball, and the weekly breakfasts he shared with his father of badly made flannel cakes; Jennifer T. Rideout, with her three gigantic, recliner-entrenched grandmothers, her baseball cap with her shiny black ponytail pulled through the hole, and her insistence on being called Jennifer T.; and Taffy the Sasquatch whose forlorn but wise voice first rises from a pile of black fur inside a giant's birdcage and who bemoans the misnomer of "Big Foot" for her species as she points out that her feet are of proportional size for her body. Chabon's descriptions leads us through his story with such clarity that I felt as if I saw for myself the ferishers' tiny, flying buses hurtling across the beach carrying the farisher baseball teams toward the field and Ethan Feld's father's great invention—the Zepalina-as it meandered through the cloudless sky above Summerland. This is book exemplifies a truly North American myth and fantasy drawn from Native American mythology as much as from actual history of the U.S. and baseball and combining them into a world that is both familiar and unfamiliar to our own.
I loved this book! It took me into a world that I don't know much about and led me through a cyber Willy-Wonka like story about a poor 18-year old tech geek who goes on a quest to win the inheritance of a hugely rich, eccentric programmer who built the world's greatest alternative reality, Oasis. I could hardly stand to stop reading it when I had to go to work as Wade Owen Watts (WoW -- nice tip of the hat to World of Warcraft) works his way through the three levels of the quest in a race against a mega-corporation who is putting all of their resources and personnel into winning the prize. Wil Wheaton does a great job reading it too!
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