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Summerland Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A ripping yarn.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“Pulitzer Prize winner Chabon hits a high-flying home run.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Only a grump would not give over to the wonder of Chabon’s otherworlds….The author’s gifts for metaphor and description hold the spiraling fantasy together, the humble giving human shape to the unreal. It’s clear he’s got a truer ear than J.K. Rowling.” (Entertainment Weekly) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

A magical novel for readers of all ages that blends fantasy and folklore with that most American coming-of-age ritual: baseball—now in a new edition, with an original introduction by the author.

For over a century, the people of Clam Island, Washington, have enjoyed barbecues and baseball games at Summerland, on the western tip of the island, where it never rains. The small beings—known as ferishers—who ensure this perfect weather, however, are threatened by an ancient enemy and need a hero—a baseball star, in fact—to vanquish their foe. Summerland is the story of Ethan Feld, the worst ballplayer in the history of the game, recruited by a hundred-year-old scout called Ringfinger Brown, himself a Negro Leagues legend. Accompanied by his determined friend Jennifer T. Rideout and guided by a friendly werefox, Ethan struggles to defeat giants, bat-winged goblins, and one of the toughest ballclubs in the realms of magic to save all the Summerlands—and ultimately the world.

Praise for Michael Chabon

“An immensely gifted writer and a magical prose stylist.”–New York Times

“His work is page-turning and poignant; he is one of the best writers of English prose alive. . . . He wants to move and thrill us both, and he does.”–Washington Post Book World

“A prose magician, Chabon is that rare literary anomaly: a gentle-spirited writer of boundless ambition.”–Village Voice

“A literary swashbuckler.”–Houston Chronicle

“Michael Chabon is an escape artist: his novels are elegant and energetic circus tricks which celebrate, again and again, the joy of release from the constraints of the everyday world.”–Financial Times

“An unstoppable master of the ripping yarn, beautifully told.”–Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Probably the premier prose stylist –the Updike–of his generation.”–Time

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HighBridge Audio; Unabridged edition (July 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565117212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565117211
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 34.8 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,129,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Soon after I started reading the re-issue of Michael Chabon's 2002 fantasy novel Summerland (Harper Perennial reissue, 2016, 528 pages, $11.10/10.99) I was captured by this story of Ethan Feld, characterized as “the worst ball player in the history of Clam Island,” a nine or ten year old boy who has lost his mother and lives with his inventor father on an island off the coast of Washington. As the novel opens, Ethan's father is taking him to pick up his friend Jennifer T. Rideout, a super player, to go to Summerland, a baseball field on Clam Island where it never rains, and local residents have played baseball for generations. As I approach three-fourths of a century, I have come to the point in life where a suggested age range of 10 – 13 years with a grade range of fifth to eighth is no longer threatening to me. Chabon opens this lengthy, involving, intriguing trip into the world of baseball, magic, strange creatures, and the ultimate battle between good and evil with a rather lengthy forward detailing the geneses of this book in his own losses coupled with his desire to marry a book about baseball with the world of fantasy and coming of age. He succeeds on all fronts.

It turns out that the Summerland baseball field lies at a crucial crossing point of various strands of the universe, a place where worlds that seem to be different interconnect. Various peoples and creatures viewed by those of us who are limited to our own world come together and interact in semi-conscious and mystical ways. So creatures familiar to all of us in our mythological and imaginary lives, come alive in Summerland.
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Format: Audio CD
If ever there was a book made for the audiobook format it is this one.

It is read by the author, so you get a real sense of how it sounded in his head as he was writing it.

There is such a large cast of characters and he does a wonderful job of giving each their own distinctive 'voice'.

With most audiobooks (and I am completely addicted to audiobooks) I am pretty neutral about the reader and some readers kind of irk me and do take away from the story a tiny bit.

I feel that Summerland is exponentially enhanced by listening to Michael Chabon read it. There is no way on earth I'd have ever been able to give the characters the depth he does with his reading. This is one of the few books I recommend with the disclaimer (even to those who aren't huge fans of audiobooks) that to truely appreciate it you MUST listen to it.
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Format: Audio CD
For those of you who loved the book but haven't listened to this gem on audio, you are REALLY missing out. Michael Chabon reads the book himself, and with all audio products, it's really the reader who makes or breaks the book.

This book-on-tape is an absolute homerun. Michael Chabon makes his world come alive, and I have NEVER (and I've listened to a lot of books on tape) heard a reader quite like him!

Run out to your local library or better yet, buy it for yourself - this is definitely worth your time!
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Format: Audio CD
This audio CD has lingered unopened on my shelf since I picked it up (pre-kids) at Book Expo more than a decade ago. I love Chabon's writing but the reviews worried me a bit, and I wanted to wait for my kids to share it with me. We LOVED it. My daughter is 6 and my son almost 9; both would yell "story" the second I started the car, impatient for another installation. So even on the shortest of trips we folded ourselves into a virtual pico envelope and joined Ethan and his crazy cast of characters. It has taken us well over a month to make it through the 12 CDs, and we would eagerly welcome another 12.
The recording is what makes it work. I am pretty sure we would have been lost without each character's trademark voice, laugh, tone, or tic. And, yes, we did stop from time to time so we could review what had happened or refresh our memories as to character histories or baseball rules. But even that was a blast. This book would be exhausting to read aloud...do yourself a favor and buy the recording!
And how fun to hear my six-year-old venture a guess tonight that Cayote's Padfoot might also be working for Lord Voldemort; this after hearing the chapter heading of our read-aloud bedtime book (Harry Potter, book 5) was "Percy and Padfoot."
*Forgive me any misspellings but I only listened to the story so have no idea how the words might have looked on paper.
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Format: Audio CD
I got this CD from the library and throughly enjoyed it! The author should have a second career as a voice-over artist! He was great! I don't get why people had issues with this book; I'm 27 and I love'd it! I'm hoping to get a copy for my brother who's in high school...for anyone who enjoys baseball & fantasy (I'm a cubs fan and well acquainted with both! :) It's perfect!)
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