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Thrill Ride Paperback – March 6, 2017
100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Introduced as a child prodigy in science, our hero grows up and goes to work at the most logical place in the world for such an individual - The Walt Disney Studios. He is there at the start of Disneyland and Disney's jump into the wonderful medium of television. WED (Walter Elias Disney) wants a ride for Tomorrowland, the most imaginative land of all, in his theme park He wants a Time Travel Ride. Our mystery man is given the assignment to come up with the attraction.
Kimmel paints great word pictures. He can make you see things. The future and the past are both presented in all their glory and infamy. One of my favorite sequences is the description of the Time Travel Device itself. There's no reason why such a thing wouldn't work. Our hero is horrified by the prices in 2017 - hotel rooms, homes, meals, gasoline - seem almost astronomically priced to him (and to us as well). His nostalgia for the cost of such things 60 years ago reflects mine as well.
Coming to terms with Smart Phones, personal computers, Uber, yoga pants, and seemingly permanent architecture that disappears almost before his eyes, The Man From the Past adapts to almost all of them. But his curiosity is not satisfied just by what he sees. He wants to know why - and he is as interested in the effects of such technological evolution on his fellow man as he is in the products himself. He comes tantalizingly close to meeting his future self - and is guided in his quest by a female friend of same.
There is a heart racing finale that finds Past Man almost trapped in the future - or at least putting him at the mercy of explaining his presence to what would surely be the skeptical authorities of today. Will he get back to 1957? What will WED do with the information he is presented with? How can a man be satisfied with less than everything he knows will exist?
There are many moments of genuine emotion. My favorite part of the book is the Note To Myself that our hero receives from his 2017 self. It includes the words: "There will be times when you'll be so proud to live in this country, and there will be times when you will be embarrassed to live in this country.... It is better to come to it unaware....."
Making your mother proud has never been so exhilarating or satisfying. And Kimmel has never written a better book.