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Leaper: The Misadventures of a Not-Necessarily-Super Hero Paperback – June 19, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
It's a bird...it's a plane...no, it's.... Leaper-man? In this quirky, kooky debut novel, Wood (himself a barista at Starbucks) imagines what it might be like if a 30-year-old, divorced, over-caffeinated coffeehouse barista were suddenly endowed with a superpower that allows him to leap through space. ("Like a butterfly in a bad breeze, I'm all over the place.") Narrated by "James" in first person, the story is littered with oddball behavior, hyper-anxiety ("you can never worry too soon"), and random musings, including a funny back-and-forth with a 911 operator. So, what's a superhero supposed to do? Does he need a costume? What about good deeds? A relationship with a fellow barista, Monica Oates, throws James into her family life, which resembles a sitcom. But even the sweet, longsuffering barista Monica finds a relationship with him difficult. Soon, James's bizarre power has cost him his job, his apartment, a potential love interest, and earned him some jail time. As James grapples with his God-given superpower, he decides he wants out. Wood is a funny, talented writer with a welcome, albeit unusual, voice in faith fiction. Readers will hope to hear more from him in the future.
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“One of the quirkiest and funniest openings to a novel I’ve ever read. There are sections of dialogue herein that are simply delicious, and the plot makes one examine how well we use our God-given talents.”
—RAY BLACKSTON, author of Flabbergasted
“Geoffrey Wood’s compelling novel Leaper is a splendid romp with a fresh hero who is both poignantly vulnerable and hilarious. James will tug your heart, spark your tears, and leave you with a soul-satisfying
smile you can’t stop if you want to.”
—KRISTEN HEITZMANN, best-selling author of Freefall
“What the hit TV series Heroes fails to explore—the divine source of our gifts, both routine and extraordinary; the possibility that miraculous talents are meant to honor God—Geoffrey Wood tackles with playful, intriguing abandon in Leaper. Wood endows his reluctant, confused hero not only with the ability to instantly ‘leap’ to any place he can imagine but also with the wandering mind, paralyzing fear,
and pesky flaws common to humans—we know this guy! Wood keeps the Carl Hiaasen-like weirdness in check with truly provocative ideas and excellent wordsmithing. Leaper is a fast, funny, fantastic read.”
—ROBERT LIPARULO, author of Comes a Horseman, Germ, and Deadfall
“If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Leaping, of course! I always say that. Only I didn’t know what to call it until reading Leaper. Insightful, humorous, well-written, with a lemony-fresh smell, Leaper delves into faith, its many questions and quagmires, inside the crazy world of an erstwhile superhero trying to make sense of his life and his newfound gift. This book is a gift to every single one
of us who finds Jesus at our side and doesn’t quite know what to do with Him. I can’t wait to get a peek at what Geoffrey Wood has up his sleeve next.”
—LISA SAMSON, award-winning author of Straight Up and Quaker Summer
“A friend will recommend this book, and you’ll think you can maybe just dip your toes in to discover whether the water is as inviting as it looks. Be warned. By the end of the first page, you won’t get out. The book will sweep you into its currents, and you’ll enjoy every moment of the ride.”
—SIGMUND BROUWER, author of The Last Disciple and Fuse of Armageddon
“Leaper has it all: a great hook, compelling writing, and a real look at faith in an unreal world. It’s fantasy, it’s reality, but best of all, it’s a fabulous read.”
—MAY VANDERBILT and ANNE DAYTON, authors of Emily Ever After and The Book of Jane
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Top customer reviews
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The introduction puts us in a place where we immediately feel drawn in. Maybe it's the writing style, maybe it's the first-person POV. Or maybe it's the fact that he's at an acupuncture place and suddenly appears in his wife's garage.
In the first chapter you hear the sad story of divorce that automatically makes you feel for the character. Wood conveys emotion, both in James and his ex, that you must read between the lines to really understand. On the top, it seems like their insults are funny and give you a little laugh, but if you really look into what he's saying and the tone of it, it makes you feel all the contempt and anxiety stored in their hearts. In James, I sense that he didn't really want to end the marriage, but his wife was continually fed up and then took everything, even got mad about something that he "took" that wasn't hers.
Once you are taken into his garage, you begin to garner more interest as he starts to go on his struggle to use his powers for good instead of evil. The rest of the book continues to hold your interest. Throughout James' struggles, you learn more and more about this divorce, and how the leaping affects his life.
You finally come to the ending which leaves you wondering about what is happening. The last lines are unclear about whether he dies or something else happens (in my opinion, he dies). This led me to say "Hmm" in that philosophical manner and kept me thinking about the book for weeks.
This is a powerful, emotional, and highly sarcastic at times romp full of heart-wrenching emotion and well-written problems. A great read for anyone 13+.
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I hope you enjoy this book and all the other books I have mentioned!
Superhero book this is not! most times there hero figures out his power and does good with it. when you get down too it he only really saves 1 child and that's it. The rest of the time he is just stupid and annoying. I Just kept reading hoping at some point it would get to the good part of him doing something or well anything with this power. unfortunately it never ever ever gets there. then the ending is just a christmas carol ripoff.
If you are looking for a religious book this might be it.. A book the spends lots of dialog on trying to figure out if you should keep faith through chaos, but doesn't really get there either.
1 Star = I've been robbed!
2 Stars = Why'd I finish it?
3 Stars = Good
4 Stars = Excellent
5 Stars = Life changing
Most recent customer reviews
Provides excellent entertainment while thought provoking.
I would recommend for everyone's reading.