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Summerland

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  10,127 Ratings  ·  1,046 Reviews
In Summerland, his first novel for young readers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon attempts an American Narnia. Inspired by Lewis and Tolkien, he's created his own magical landscape on which to paint a sweeping fantasy quest, but mixes the same ingredients--folklore and new inventions--in a distinctively American way.

The plot is simple and pure, but takes a l

...more
Paperback, 500 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Miramax (first published 2002)
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Neil
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(A review from 2002 and the Washington Post, written before Coraline was published.)

It is possible to look at the growth of the phenomenon of “crossover” fiction – essentially, Children’s or Young Adult fiction which is enjoyed and consumed in quantity by adults – in several different ways. You could view it as a sad symptom of the creeping infantilisation of the culture. You could see it as a triumph of marketing. Or, more optimistically, you could view it as a need by adults for Story, without
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Benjamin Duffy
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
The perfect love child of Shoeless Joe and American Gods, and one of the best tween-age novels I've ever read.

This is the first of Michael Chabon's books that I've read, but it's obvious on every page that he isn't a "children's author," but simply a great writer who decided to write a children's book. Better than merely utilitarian, Chabon's language is a joy to read: accessible enough that my then-9 year old stepson enjoyed it, yet I was kept on my toes by the rich, sharp imagery and inventiv
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Joe
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine Lord of the Rings if the characters stopped every couple days to play baseball.

Working within an amalgamation of Norse, Greek, and Native American mythology as well as American tall tales, Chabon tells a not atypical coming-of-age/quest story tied inextricably to baseball. Baseball, as it turns out, is not only America's pasttime, but also a sacred institution on the other planes of existence.
Ethan, a kid who hates baseball, must learn to love it as he battles his way across the Summerl
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lorinbocol
Oct 06, 2017 marked it as ciao-s-è-fatta-na-certa  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-american
più o meno tutto quello che sapevo sul baseball fino a una decina di giorni fa veniva da che botte se incontri gli orsi. con walter matthau allenatore ad alto tasso alcolico di una scalcinata squadra di ragazzini. effettivamente non molto per sviscerare i segreti della major league, e poco (come ho constatato) anche per apprezzare quest’opera di cui temevo la definizione trappola «romanzo fantasy per lettori di ogni età».
più del fiuto poterono l’autore e una bellissima copertina, ma è stato un e
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jeremy
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
one of the many qualities that sets michael chabon's writing well beyond the realm of his contemporaries is his obvious love of craft. throughout his works it is apparent that he finds sheer joy in the art of storytelling. chabon's enthusiasm for literature is far-reaching, as is evidenced by his ability to write engagingly well in many a different genre. no two chabon books are ever all that similar, and as his career evolves, he seems set on authoring works entirely unlike their predecessors. ...more
Lisa Vegan
May 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: baseball fans, kids' lit fans
I had some problems with the writing style of this book, and it had a convoluted plot, but I did sort of fall in love with this fantasy book. I love kids’ lit and I’m a baseball fan, so this was right up my alley. He really knows baseball and my favorite part in the book was the comment about the designated hitter; for me that alone was worth the read.
Alan
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who sees a touch of magic in the world
Recommended to Alan by: His more adult-oriented work
"Yet we know that no branch is utterly severed from the Tree of Life that sustains us all."
—Peter Hewitt, as quoted in a Unitarian hymnal.


Michael Chabon's Summerland offers a tale both staunchly traditional and boldly imaginative, weaving elements of Norse mythology together with Native American legends, tall tales, and just a dash of science fiction. And baseball... more than anything else, this book is about baseball. But don't let that put you off, even if you don't care for the game (and I m
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John
I guess if I were eleven years old, this book would've been alright... But, coming from a Pulitzer-winning author, I was kinda expecting a 500-page kids' fantasy novel to be at least moderately entertaining for adults as well. Chabon's prose is excellent, but he tries too hard to be quirky; and, therefore, the story never really sucks you in the way it's supposed to because nearly everything that happens in the plot feels random and silly. The basic premise of SUMMERLAND is that a boy selected t ...more
Von
"They traded in their hell-hammers for bats, and their iron slippers for lace-up leather spikes. That's how all the demon virtues-patience, deception, quick hands, craftiness, an eye for the mistakes of others-they all got dragged deep into the game."

No, Mr. Chabon wasn't talking SPECIFICALLY about the New York Yankees...but we all get the reference, right? You know the feeling you get when you start reading something and internally you're going, "yeah, what he said, uhhuh, yup, oh yeah" and you
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Woodge
Apr 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The description sounds good, eh? I read this aloud to the kids. About a hundred pages in I started having misgivings. I did not enjoy this book. But the kids would've been out of sorts had I not finished it (they'll listen to almost anything). I don't really have anything good to say about this book. While I've read other books by the author and really liked them, this one counts as a FAIL. (For the record, my wife really enjoyed it.) Here's what I didn't like about it:

a) the writing style: too
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summerland 3 35 Dec 01, 2007 06:38PM  
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Michael Chabon (b. 1963) is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000). Chabon achieved literary fame at age twenty-four with his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), which was a major critical and commercial success. He then published Wonder Boys (1995), another bestseller, which was mad ...more
More about Michael Chabon...
“Nothing is boring exept to people who aren't really paying attention.” 52 likes
“The fundamental truth: a baseball game is nothing but a great slow contraption for getting you to pay attention to the cadence of a summer day.” 51 likes
More quotes…