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Thrill Ride Paperback – March 6, 2017
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One of the great elements of any story idea by Bruce Kimmel is the unique viewpoint -- or spin, as the case may be -- he brings to it. Given the subject matter, I couldn't help but try to guess what was coming next (and what was coming ultimately), while thoroughly enjoying every moment and development "in the present", as it were. All of the things I had mentally reserved a small question mark about, AND those I hadn't, were well rewarded. And I can't imagine a more satisfying conclusion.
I think Thrill Ride offers more food for thought and armchair analysis than certain other such tales, however classic and thoroughly enjoyable they are in their own right. I intend to reread it after it's simmered for a bit, to further savor and more leisurely ruminate on its events.
Thrill Ride isn't just for the time travel audience. Disney aficionados in particular are advised to grab this one and dig in. A uniquely wonderful addition to the Kimmel bookshelf.
It’s the story of a designer at W.E.D. The year is 1957 and Walt Disney has created a team to design and plan his greatest creation, Disneyland. Our hero is asked by Walt to create compelling concepts for a proposed time-travel ride to be installed in Tomorrowland. Passionate about research, he takes the extra step of actually traveling into the future to come up with workable ideas. While observing the quirks of 2017, he meets a mysterious woman who guides him in his journey of discovery. I’m wary of giving too much away by saying more about the plot.
The writing is clear and straightforward, the characters honest and real, and for those readers too young to remember, the world (and Los Angeles in particular) actually used to be nicer, and the tears that I experienced while reading this were tears of recognition of that truth. Bruce’s personal knowledge of Los Angeles history, and his ability to describe exactly what things were like made me feel like I myself had travelled through time and visited 1957. I felt like strolling down the block to have lunch at Tiny Naylor’s after listening to some records down at Music City. This book is a love-letter to the Los Angeles that was (forget about Lala Land---this is the real thing!). I am so grateful that the Los Angeles that I love has been revived in this wonderful book, and I daresay that nobody could do it as well as Bruce Kimmel.
Must we always be looking at our phones, racking up points on credit cards and putting others down? Must we knock-down buildings (and whole blocks) that don’t have room for a Starbucks? Must we toss out the wonders of the past and press grimly forward, pushing aside anyone or anything that causes us to pause? This books tells us we CAN slow down and take a moment to appreciate our friends over a cup of coffee, the history of our homes, and the good things that remain.
Please read this book and join me in a journey to another time. I particularly recommend it for young folks who increasingly encouraged to think only of ME and NOW. There is a whole world of discovery that is worth experiencing…in our past.
Sorry about the rambling nature of this review, but, as I said, my connection with the book was so personal it was difficult to step back.