This is David L. Bradley’s first novel in CreateSpace. It is a coming of age story of an American Southern man (set in Georgia) who is grappling with issues that will resonate with young people struggling to make it on their own in a tough economy. It was written in the late 1990’s, published in 2012 but its relevance to today (2016) cannot be overestimated. It has a few rough edges which are expected with a self-published book but Bradley’s copy-editing is close to flawless. The guy can write-- there is no doubt of that. His characters are interesting and realistic. There is a science fiction element that plays out in a surprising way. I think of Tom Robbins a little bit with this one – the philosophical and religious elements mixed with the sci-fi makes this a book worth reading more than once. You totally do not expect it when you start the story. Stan, the main character, makes you really feel for him – his anguish and frustrations are so easily identified with. His conflicts with race and class issues are spot on. Also, I must offer a disclaimer: I know the author personally although it has been some years ago we were first acquainted and just recently I have discovered his writings. I think this is a great first book for this author– hopefully we will be offered a sequel as Stan and his challenges certainly have more potential to entice the reader. A more mature Stan could provide new adventures and opportunities to both entertain us and open our minds to new ideas about how the universe is actually ordered. Highly recommended.
This was a very well written story that draws you in. Meet Stan Davis, a young man who's quit college, can't hold a job and is finally kicked out of home when his Mum and Dad decide that he has to stand on his own two feet. It's interesting watching him go from a freeloader to a person who 'crosses the tracks' as it were - leaves the mansion and debutante life for construction and sharing a trailer. The person living next door at the trailer park isn't quite what he seems, so a second storyline develops alongside this young man 'finding' himself, of government agents, aliens, and love!! Sounds corny, but is well written and believable. The only thing I found that made me uncomfortable was the religious angle that developed about 2/3rds of the way through the book. As a non-christian I thought that the author was pushing that particular religion, but he goes off at a slight angle with that too, so whilst I think he could have distanced himself a bit MORE from religion, it did get explained. A thoroughly enjoyable book.
Stan's character takes a journey of awakening on multiple levels as he discovers life beyond the upper middle class south of his childhood. The vivid portrayal of characters and settings entirely life like provides a rich and accurate picture of life in the south as the stage for life's more esoteric lessons to unfold in a deep and meaningful way. Magic unfolds for the reader here to see beyond an everyday measure. I truly enjoyed reading How to Build a Skydeck. I have and will recommend it. If you find yourself with this book in your hands you will discover yourself ready for more than just a good read.
This story really surprised me, first because the innocuous title doesn't give you a clue what it's about, and secondly the surprise ending. This story is about a young guy who can't seem to find his way in the world, and once out on his own he finds he is so much more once he figures it all out....which, like him, you don't find out until the wild ending. A complete story and a pleasure to read.
I LOVED it! I'm partial for many reasons. I live in GA so the supporting cast and locations rang true. I'm a fan of any story that challenges the notion that differences among people are impossible to overcome. I'm going to order a copy for my home library. Then I'm gonna build a Skydeck.
Just the right mix of fun, adventure, philosophy, and appreciation for the-state-of-mankind in today's world. This story is written from a very male perspective, but the difference being he is a non-traditional, fairly rebellious male with a cause we can all relate to.
I would love to see a more nature-centered sequel, but for now, he's addressed very real, global issues in a light-hearted fun manner. No easy task.
Overall, a good and entertaining read. The transition of the main character needed a little more depth. Other than that, I buy the premises, and would like to know more about what happens next. Unfortunately, there is no next. But I am still optimistically waiting to find out where the story goes.
Wouldn't a novel about a pot smoking alien trying to save mankind and the earth make a great present? There might even be a bit of a Jean Valjean story here. The only differences are that the hero here toys with his pursuer and uses recreational drugs instead of suffering endless tragedy. There is a moral that has nothing to do with smoking pot. Universal Truth. Universal Love.
Halfway through I thought I knew how it was going to end. Ho, hum. But I was wrong. It surprised me. In fact, I had to read Chapter 31 again just in case I missed something. From the first page it was interesting but it kept getting better. There was very good character development and plot. Very good read.
A classic example of a specific sort of science fiction at its finest. A small, tightly-written story that comments on race, culture, history, philosophy, and religion in genuinely thoughtful ways. I especially liked the character development and how well the South in 1980 was drawn. I did think it got a little heavy-handed at the end, but hell compared to the way Star Trek handles this stuff it was light as a feather. Lots of fun!