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West Across the Board Paperback – March 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (March 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595421946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595421947
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,854,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

As a professional archaeologist and scuba instructor, Andrew J. Jalbert has worked throughout the Great Lakes, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. His writing focuses on tropical subjects, and he has been published in scuba diving, natural history, fitness, and travel magazines. Jalbert currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
The character development in the story is awesome!
Jacqueline Grande
With such themes as the beauty and danger of nature entwining itself with the strength and frailties of human nature, a story of growth and survival unfolds.
Tracy Roberts
I read the book in one sitting and it felt more like watching a movie than reading a book, which for me is a very good thing.
Lorraine C. Ladish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 28, 2008
Lazaro was a young boy, who lived in Cuba with his parents. His mother
died, and his father lost his job. Lazaro's father raised Lazaro during
a time when poverty reached its peak, forcing Lazaro and his father to
move to Key West. Lazaro's father worked in Florida, where Lazaro became
a mariner. While his father worked, Lazaro was fascinated with the ocean,
learning about the mysteries of the sea and navigation. Dominic is a
talented Chicago engioneer whose work introduced him to Key west. Lazaro
and Dominic met in Sloppy Joes, a bar where the two men bonded while playing
a chess game for the first time, which connected them to a lifetime of
friendship. Over the course of many years, the two men played one-
thousand games, carved on the back of this beaufiful, laminated board.
First-time novelist, Andrew Jalbert, takes the reader on a historical
journey through the lives of Lazaro and Dominic. History comes to life
from the 1930s, as well as the characters in this heartfelt story. The
bond between Lazaro and Dominic draws them close like brothers, while
sharing their life history over each game played with a chessboard, until
Lazaro is eighty-six years old. Dominic suffers a terminal disease to
cancer, and their last game is shared days before Dominic dies. The story
is not only amazing, but is touching to the soul. An emotional story,
packed with happiness, drama, sadness and tragedy.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves a story based on history,
family ties, and friendship. The description of the mysterious sea, with
palm trees, and the ocean's salty smell makes the reader feel the gentle
breeze of Mother-Nature when she's calm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Roberts on July 20, 2007
Andrew Jalbert's novel, West Across the Board, chronicles one man's journey back to the Florida Keys to see his dying friend. For both men, it is a journey of lifetime reflection and liberation. In 1934, at a saloon in the Florida Keys, Lazaro, a passionate and brilliant fisherman, meets Dominic, a civil engineer graduate. The two young men instantly bond over a game of chess. The game would become more than recreation. It would become the cement that binds the two through a lifetime of love, loss, forgiveness, and redemption.

With such themes as the beauty and danger of nature entwining itself with the strength and frailties of human nature, a story of growth and survival unfolds. Drawing on Physicists research into the Chaos Theory, Dominic, a pragmatist, tries to find order from tragic events that affected the choices both he and Lazaro made. Lazaro, a man forever changed from the loss of his father during a storm at sea, reflects on his life in a more traditional sense. Dominic tries to find a logical pattern of events, while Lazaro buries his need to resolve issues that led to his choice to leave the Florida Keys for a life in Wisconsin. It is only when the two men come together that Lazaro is able to confront his past.

As historical fiction, the author delivers a carefully crafted and detailed account of life on the Florida Keys. The story is rich in the sights, sounds, and description of life in the 1930's. Drawing on real events from the past, the fictional story is well implemented within its historical context. The historical and nautical details illustrated within the story are well researched and accurately presented.

West Across the Board delivers a well crafted tale of two men's journey back together to find redemption and peace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jason R. Kopras on July 27, 2007
I have to admit that when reading fiction, I tend toward thrillers, but something about the cover (chess pieces over a tropical background) of this book intrigued me so I picked it up. It's a short read and I found myself immediately drawn in by the characters and their lives and read the book in one sitting. My only complaint is that I found myself wanting to know more at the end...which I guess is a good thing for the author...I'm looking forward to more from him. I highly recommend this book to anyone. I picked it up because of the tropical scene and found myself transported to a very well described historical Key West which I only know in it's present day. I found it fascinating, but my personal experience with the book's setting aside, I think that anyone would enjoy the well developed characters and scenes in this novella and will close the cover wanting more stories from Mr. Jalbert.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Kolbow on May 10, 2007
The author takes us on a poignant journey of friendship and beautifully crafts the history and landscape of the Florida Keys in a way that one feels like we are actually there journeying with him. Even on a cold wintery day one feels the warmth emitting off the pages. The friendship of these two men Dominic and Lazaro is timeless and as they pass through their lives, the connection is unbroken through separation. May we all remember our own friendships in this same special way. As the historical and nautical facts are accurate and so well written this novel is a pure pleasure to learn from as we read. I highly recommend this novel.
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