Ariel Cummins's Reviews > Summerland

Summerland by Michael Chabon
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's review
Jul 05, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ya, summer-reads, speculative-fiction

I have to say that Summerland definitely didn't grab me right from the beginning, and if I hadn't been listening to it on audiobook, I probably wouldn't have persevered. Given the focus on baseball, this just did not seem like a book for me. Ultimately, though, I warmed to the characters and found myself thinking that maybe I *do* like baseball.

For me, the plot of Summerland was a little uneven -- Coyote's mischief seemed more like an excuse to send the ragtag group on a quest than anything else. I wanted to love the world of fantasy, myth, and legend that Chabon created, but I felt like it was flimsy and poorly constructed at times. I felt like creatures and places were popped into existence the minute they were needed to advance the plot, and dissolved immediately after they were "off-stage" (obviously this is how books work -- it's not like characters are real people with lives that exist outside of the story. But I think one thing that makes a good writer is tricking me into believing otherwise.)

Summerland succeeds, for the most part, as a love letter to game of baseball. The problem is, though, that it doesn't succeed at much else.

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