Mon 2 Feb 2009
Michael Chabon (shay-bon) is the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, as well as the alternate-history The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and this, a novel for children. Born in Washington, D.C., he attended Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, Irvine to attain two degrees, and his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, received a $155,000 advance (more than twenty times a standard advance on a first novel). It became a best-seller, justifying the advance, as have many of his works since then.
Summerland is about a boy named Ethan Feld, who is the worst baseball player on his team, his father Dr. Feld, his friend Jennifer T., a teammate who thinks he’s an android, and a whole host of various Native-American(ish) figures of mythology, including Coyote. Mostly, though, the book is about baseball. Apparently the entire otherworld — which, of course, Ethan is trying to save, along with his motley crew — is obsessed with the game, and many disputes are resolved that way. Coyote is trying to mess things up on the World Tree, and for some reason Ethan has been picked to be the champion of the Summerland. (He’s, uh, a kid, by the way.) Will he be able to stop Coyote before he gets eaten by a giant? And will he ever improve at baseball? (more…)