Rated of 5
by Ann B. (Bethlehem, PA)
Take the ride with Palisades Park
Alan Brennert has written a wonderfully descriptive book that entertains, enlightens, and at times leaves you breathless.
As a ten year old boy, Eddie Stopka spent the best day of his life with his family at Palisades Park in 1922 . There was a reverence he felt just looking up at the great wooden roller coaster, one he says was only reserved for Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel. While Eddie's journey is the essence of the story, the other main character is Palisades Park. We slide back and forth between their stories, celebrating their triumphs and mourning their miseries. As readers, their journeys open a window in time and allow us a glimpse of the life of a great amusement park and the historic events that shaped them both.
I visited many of the well known north eastern amusement parks in the 50s and 60s, so it was natural for me to be drawn to this book. The great surprise was the intimate story that surrounded and intertwined the characters and park.
Although one may begin to compare this story to "Water For Elephants", they are different. While "Water for Elephants" is a story of a fictitious traveling circus, Alan Brennert has taken great care to accurately tell the real story of Palisades Park.
"Palisades Park" is equal parts an adventure, fictional memoir and historic account. I believe it will lead to superb discussions in book clubs.