Start reading The Telescope Builder on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Telescope Builder [Kindle Edition]

Steve Silkin

Kindle Price: £0.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

I had just moved to a new neighborhood freshly carved out of a hillside on the western edge of the San Fernando Valley. My junior high was named after George Ellery Hale, the man who built the telescope that unveiled the secrets of the universe. I've thought about Hale over the years, the man, his telescope, the school named after him and the students and teachers I knew there. It was in those days that a body was dumped up the street from my house. Then there was the kid who went home from school one day and shot himself in the head. And then there was the classmate I admired who later got addicted to crack and died of exposure sleeping on a downtown street. I've thought about it all a lot. It must mean something. It must.

Jonathan Penton, editor of Unlikely Stories, says: "He sets up his characters, reveals the situation and then tears through your consciousness like a bullet. His stories tell tales of lessons learned in the most agonizing possible ways, traumas that leave scars on the flesh and minds of their victims ... Chilling and direct."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 171 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003S9VNLA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,059,451 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars West Valley Memoirs with Bittersweet Quality 2 July 2010
By Book Guy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At once a celebration of young adulthood and list of regrets over misspent youth, these tales depict rites of passage, from young love to misadventure, and other universal moments of adolescent angst and euphoria that help forge who we become as adults. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 60s and 70s, the setting for this book, I was drawn in by the sense of time and place and subsequently discovered crisply written prose, well-drawn characters and the recounting of everything from the ridiculous to the sublime.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review by Free Book Reviews 4 Oct. 2011
By Albert Robbins III - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Overall: A pleasing read throughout that gives more to the reader than the description alludes. If you base your decision to read on the description you may pass this up but then it would be a mistake.

Point of View: The book reads from the main characters point of view. Interesting to start the novel off as a student in junior high.

Voice: I believe the cursing was a bit much but it did add to the beleivability of the character.

Character Development: Silkin is, as usual, flawless in his development of the character and takes you into the main character so well that you start emotionally connecting.

Plot: A bit farsided but beleivable.

Dialogue: You will remember the days of you growing into adulthood and using "adult" language.

Pacing: I was so wrapped up I read it everywhere I went. The pace locks onto you and doesn't let go. You just have to get to that next page.

Setting: Silkin paints the exact portrait of what he wants you to see. The setting matches the book perfectly.

Continuity: I was never backtracked, not even once, and was able to do any menial thing, like eat, and come back without missing a beat.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Telescope Builder - the honest voice of youth. 4 Oct. 2011
By Joanne David - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
There is something about a youthful narrative that always ropes me in. It could be my early exposure to the genius of Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger, or more directly (and more likely), the honest optimism I find in such a voice.

Steve Silkin has found that voice in his 'The Telescope Builder and Other Stories'.

A gallery of high school recollections, 'Telescope Builder' focuses on not one particular event or even any life-changing moments. It is simpler than that.

Our twelve year old narrator is the new kid at George Ellery Hale Junior High, going through the obligatory adjusting and social shuffling of evey new high school student the world over. In the subsequent chapters we are treated to a candid look at school days in California in the 1970s ... drugs, sex, family break-up, teen suicide ... all told in a minimalistic style that in all reality belongs to the teenage male. The repetative phrases, such as 'Then I remembered...' 'Then I asked...'Then I realized...' in No Forwarding Address would be considered amateur quality in any literary sense, but Silkin as truly placed you inside his character's head by this time so the narration becomes completely natural.
In his reminiscings our protagonist often notices and comments on the weather, as if remembering these details will help to conjure the memory he is describing. An effective form of placement that works beautifully. You know through these simple observations that he is more complex and cerebral than his exterior lets on. We learn of some regrets and a little remorse for his actions during these student days, but the decision has been made to lay these memories down without elaboration or distortion. If not in an entertaining sense, then certainly in a thought provoking one.

Criticisms? Would like to have learnt more of his personal/family life, his Hebrew education, religious views, what he thought of them all. This would have given us a more three dimensional view of this character and perhaps a completed picture of where he ended up. Not always necessary, but certainly welcomed by some readers.

Biographical? Very likely. Many of the events and social structures described seemed familiar to me (a child of the 60s and 70s) and could just as well happened in my own home town (and most probably did), so one can only applaud the recording of such confusing and tumultuous days. Well done , Mr Silkin.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent set of short stories. 9 Dec. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
All are well written and make you want to know what happened next. Also every story seemed to make you wonder what could have happened to you at that point in your life. Great way to spend an afternoon in the sun. GREAT JOB.
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Deceiving Title 25 Oct. 2012
By John Norczyk - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being and amateur astronomer and telescope maker myself I felt the the piece had very little to do with George Ellery Hale and the tremendous contribution he make to astronomy and the development of world class telescopes. I am not much of a fiction reader, but I thought the story thread was very convoluted. I would have expected a very positive inspiration and inspirational treatment, but instead, the little stories were a series of "downers". I am glad I did not spend more that 0.99
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category