Advance reader reviews of Palisades Park

Palisades Park

by Alan Brennert

Palisades Park
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Apr 2013
    432 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

Page 1 of 4
There are currently 28 member reviews
for Palisades Park
Order Reviews by:
  • Kat F. (Palatine, IL)

    Great read
    I finished reading this book last week while on a cruise. It's a wonderful book for pleasure reading. I think we all have a "Palisades Park" from our youth - for me it was Riverview on the Northwest side of Chicago. I was taken there as a very little girl and have limited memories. The park was closed for a long time, but we would drive past nearly everyday and my parents would point out rides and stories from their younger days at the park.

    These days we have the great corporate owned amusement parks as well as the local carnivals and fairs and generally we think we have an idea of what goes on behind the scenes, but this book dispels those ideas.

    These was a lovely book that covered a lot of years, so naturally there were a lot of good times and bad times, both in history and personal lives. This book did a good job covering it all.

    I will definitely be recommending this book to my book club.
  • Mark O. (Wenatchee, WA)

    Palisades Park: a high dive into a family
    Palisades Park is the history you wish you had, for your family. The timeline stretches 50 years, from the early 1920s to the early 1970s, encompassing wars (two), desegregation (slowly), and crime (organized). The Stopka family is an extended example of John Lennon's "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Palisades Amusement Park, a landmark in New Jersey, was the primordial soup in which the Stopka family evolved, providing a livelihood, an extended family, and a classless university.

    For book clubs, Palisades Park has themes to discuss: trials by water and fire, leaving as a necessity to coming home, illusion and reality.

    This seems an old-fashioned book to me, not a modern story of dark dysfunction or exploding terrorists but rather a story of the verities: do good work, play fair, dream with muscle, love people anyway.
  • Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)

    One of my favorites!
    This book is SO interesting, especially to someone (like me) who lives in New Jersey. The history of Palisades Park was something I expected, but I wasn't thinking about the other history that would play into the book...even though the book jacket mentioned it. I loved how it all came together, and I think it would make a great book club entry. The characters came alive, and I enjoyed seeing how their lives played out, through the emotional upheavals in the book.

    Anyone, who lives in the area, would especially enjoy reading this book...even if (like me) they hadn't ever been to Palisades Park. My husband had been there, and the book makes me a bit jealous of that. The book stands on its own, even for those who have no connection with this area, and I urge them to read it, too.
  • Sarah C. (Cape Girardeau, MO)

    Palisades Park
    A thoroughly enjoyable story of a close knit community. Not your average one, in fact one that people of my age were warned to stay away from. Issues are faced and resolved, difficult life situations addressed, some resolved, some just lived with. Having lived in the middle of the era the book is set in, I can say the author is spot on with the times and morays. Also having lived in Hawaii for 20 years, he has that culture spot on. I would recommend this to anyone. Good solid read!
  • Marjorie W. (Bonita Springs, FL)

    Palisades Park
    Couldn't put it down. I read this book over a weekend and was sorry to have it come to an end. Alan Brennert has continued in the manner in which he started with Molokai and Hawaii - an entertaining fictional portrayal of history. I will be suggesting Palisades Park to my book club.
  • Martha D. (Poway, CA)

    A window to a time gone by
    I'll own up to having fantasies about this time period and place. So, right away, this book had me. I loved the characters, they jumped off the page and became real to me. The story flowed and made me nostalgic for a time and place I didn't know but wish I did. Now I feel I do know it. Wonderful book, I highly recommend it.
  • Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)

    Enjoyable read!
    Characters were great and the history in the story was really interesting. I learned a lot about amusement parks and the lives of the people working them.Toni starts out selling homemade french fries in her parents stand as a kid and ends up being a high diver performing spectacular stunts. Palisades Park kept my attention from the first to the last page. I definitely recommend this book.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.