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Summerland Paperback – 3 Mar 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (3 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000712712X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007127122
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 492,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of seven novels - including The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policemen's Union - two collections of short stories, and one other work of non-fiction. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and children.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Summerland is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon's first novel for children and his attempt at an American Narnia. Inspired by Lewis and Tolkien, he wanted to create his own magical landscape on which to paint a sweeping fantasy quest, but mixing the same ingredients--folklore and new inventions--in a distinctively American way.

But Chabon has certainly made it difficult for himself. Baseball--at the heart of the story he has clearly only just begun to tell--is not the statistical everyday obsession to young readers this side of the Atlantic as it is over there. Talk of reaching first base and home runs, yes, but sliders, curveballs, sacrifice fly's and the seventh inning stretch are terminology virtually unknown.

The plot is simple and pure, but takes a long time to tell. The setting is Clam Island, Washington, and specifically the area on the western tip of the island known as the Summerlands which enjoys zero rainfall and year-long fine weather. Ethan Feld, a self-confessed really bad ball player, is recruited by a hundred-year-old scout called Mr Chiron "ringfinger" Brown. Ethan is needed to help the ferishers, essentially American fairies, to save their world from eradication. On the great infinite tree of worlds, Summerland is on the boundary between two such worlds, and a particularly destructive fairy called Coyote and his band of warriors are nearby and threatening to destroy everything.

Heroes are desperately needed to counter this threat and their journey involves a lot of baseball, but also encounters with giants, bat-winged goblins, sea monsters and assorted cunning magic. The novel features an ensemble cast of equal parts that shine and fade in turn, and yet the undoubtedly fine writing fails to mask the enormity and complexities of the world in which they travel and the bad guys getting their comeuppance always seems so far away. Readers need to savour every word in Summerland to extract the best flavours from it. Suitable for readers aged 12 upwards. --John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘An epic fantasy for modern America.’ Sunday Times

‘Chabon’s quirky, fluent style holds no hint of condescension and is sprinkled with wry remarks that will delight the young teenager.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Perhaps the surest sign of “Summerland’s success is how the language of Chabon’s fictional universe stays with you and the way he achieves a sweet genuinely affecting ending.’ Time Out

Praise for ‘The Yiddish Policemen’s Union’:

‘His almost ecstatically smart and sassy new novel…Chabon is a spectacular writer…a language magician. He has you laughing out loud, applauding the fun he has with language and the way he takes the task of a writer and runs delighted rings around it.’ Guardian

‘Michael Chabon’s brilliant new novel starts with a bang…It hums with humour. It buzzes with gags…the accumulated reading experience is one of admiration, close to awe, at the vigour of Chabon’s imagination…a hilarious, antic whirl of a novel.’ Sunday Times

‘It makes film noir look like film blanc by comparison.’ Arena


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 21 July 2003
Format: Paperback
Michael Chabon is a writer with a talent for writing tales based squarely in everyday life sprinkled with references to american popular culture.
This was obvious in his masterpiece "the amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay" which had it's roots in the golden age of american comics, but it finds a new, wonderful expression in this Summerland, which is a childrens book in the same way as the Harry Potter books - this book can be enjoyed by anyone at any age.
The story is a true adventure, in which a number of children and mythical beings must save the world from Coyote (the trickster god in american indian mythology).
The major themes are (get this) baseball, indians and airships. And Chabon manages to create a story that is funny, believable, touching, exciting and a times very sad. Where the worlds of J.K. Rowlings and Philip Pullmans books are a little old fashioned, Chabons adventure is quite modern, giving this fairy tale a more up to date feel.
This is an excellent book, especially for reading to someone, and I warmly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 7 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Summerland is a beautiful and funny book. It completely transcends the distinction of childrens book / grown-up book, and can be read and enjoyed by just about anyone. Though a little knowledge of baseball certainly won't do any harm.
The characters are charming and interesting, and the story flows along wonderfully. And the unlikely combination of themes like baseball, indian mythology, airships, quantum mechanics and many others works surprisingly well.
Fans of either Philip Pullman or JK Rowling are very likely to enjoy this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By marguerite rossell on 30 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
ok rather odd
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
I love this book 23 Dec. 2013
By Lisa Ladaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not even a baseball fan but love this book. I'm going to get another one for my boss because he is a baseball fan. Love it!
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