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The Impossible Fortress

Narrated by: Griffin Newman
Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
Categories: Fiction, Humor
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,156 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A dazzling debut novel - at once a charming romance, a hilarious crime caper, and a moving coming-of-age story - about what happens when a 14-year-old boy pretends to seduce a girl to steal a copy of Playboy but then discovers she is his computer-loving soul mate.

Billy Marvin's first love was a computer. Then he met Mary Zelinsky.

Do you remember your first love?

The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine. The year is 1987, and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys - Billy, Alf, and Clark - who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

The heist will be fraught with peril: a locked building, intrepid police officers, rusty fire escapes, leaps across rooftops, electronic alarm systems, and a hyperactive Shih Tzu named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Failed attempt after failed attempt leads them to a genius master plan - they'll swipe the security code to Zelinsky's convenience store by seducing the owner's daughter, Mary Zelinsky. It becomes Billy's mission to befriend her and get the information by any means necessary. But Mary isn't your average teenage girl. She's a computer loving expert coder, already strides ahead of Billy in ability, with a wry sense of humor and a hidden big heart. But what starts as a game to win Mary's affection leaves Billy with a gut-wrenching choice: deceive the girl who may well be his first love or break a promise to his best friends.

At its heart, The Impossible Fortress is a tender exploration of young love, true friends, and the confusing realities of male adolescence - with a dash of old-school computer programming.

©2017 Jason Rekulak (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Touching story

Very well read and entertaining. The author captures the setting perfectly and the characters feel so real. Everything reminds me of being a teenager in the 1980s.

A very creative, original, and fun novel. I'm glad I found it.

The narrator does an exceptional job of making himself sound like a teenage boy.

One minor negative about the audio. The computer code at the beginning of each chapter is a great example of something that works in print but not on an audiobook. I think that they should have left it out after the first chapter. it's very helpful to have the 30 second fast forward button to move past it.

44 of 45 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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YA Nostalgia

I picked this book up after wanting something similar to Ready Player One. And while it is not a thriller and it does not take place inside a video game, it centers around a creating a game in the 1980s so it has the Halliday feel. As far as YA novels like this go it is top notch. The narrator is great and I highly recommend it.

40 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt Moore
  • An ex-expatriate repatriated, by choice, back to the U.S.
  • 05-11-18

Engaging and Entertaining Look at late 1980s Adolescence

Jason Rekulak’s fictional memoir is engaging and entertaining, blending the right amount of nostalgia with a solidly paced story about a pair of 14-year-olds in the mid to late 1980s northern New Jersey. With a healthy dose of computer programming, nods to video games and teenage desire, he’s woven a deft tale of incandescent and exploratory first love crashing headfirst into the cold reality of real life.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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It's GOOD!

This is a charming coming of age story and moves along at a good pace. The story and the narration are excellent! I hope Jason writes another one and Grffin Newman reads it to us!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Slight but enjoyable

A fun read. The characters are believable, the plot a little less so. It's reminiscent of a lot of teen films from the 80s.

The narrator does a good job of sounding like a kid. The "code" sections at the start of each chapter are a little annoying, and pointless, but they're brief.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Throw back to 80s days of ML code

Would you listen to The Impossible Fortress again? Why?

Yes

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mary

What does Griffin Newman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

never heard him before. I will listen to him again

Any additional comments?

I love how the audible chapters matched book chapters. I love the characters. I love the 80s strictness of the parents despite their curious children. I love the beginning of each chapter was code from the game.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Great story !

This book was a delightful surprise. Funny and touching, well developed characters, good narration. It's not as YA as it might seem initially. Definitely worth a credit.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • RAF
  • Newton, ma
  • 09-18-17

Good but

Story is good but the endless reading of code at the beginning of every chapter was annoying ....Even when I could forward thru it

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very odd story.

Was entertaining but didn't sit well in the end. like it was trying to force a neat little package around a disjointed story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Like an 80s movie

This reminded me a lot of an 80s film. I learned to program in qbasic in DOS and took a Pascal class in high school. on the go I had a ti83 which I wrote my own games on. This book really hit home and I'm glad I picked it up. The narrator kept me entertained, I really couldn't have asked for more.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful