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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful novel
I loved this book, I mean normaly when people write about alternate universes and stuff like that, I have no idea what the heck they are talking about because they don't describe it at all. But Steven Gould has written a wonderful, fast paced, UNDERSTANDABLE novel and the descriptions blend perfectly with the plot. This book has it all: sci-fi, action, romance, and...
Published on June 10 2004

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3.0 out of 5 stars THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE
Charlie and his small group of friends have a secret. In the barn on a farm left to him by his missing and presumed dead uncle is a very special door, a door to another earth, the Wildside. An earth where man never evolved! So what would a group of teenagers do with such a secret? Why go for the gold naturally! After all no there are no men, therefore there's all the...
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Phillip B. Spotts


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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful novel, June 10 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
I loved this book, I mean normaly when people write about alternate universes and stuff like that, I have no idea what the heck they are talking about because they don't describe it at all. But Steven Gould has written a wonderful, fast paced, UNDERSTANDABLE novel and the descriptions blend perfectly with the plot. This book has it all: sci-fi, action, romance, and thrills. It is beautifuly wriiten and well described, and maybe not entirely bealievable but what the heck, right? The charac ters in this story were very well detailed, but not so much as that it slows down the plot with useless descriptions. All in all this was a great book and you should read it. Oh, by the way if you liked Jumper, (another book by Steven Gould) Steven Gould is writing a sequal to it called Reflex and it will be released Nov. 1, 2004.
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3.0 out of 5 stars THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE, Jan. 20 2004
By 
Phillip B. Spotts "cintibookworm" (Cincinnati, OH) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
Charlie and his small group of friends have a secret. In the barn on a farm left to him by his missing and presumed dead uncle is a very special door, a door to another earth, the Wildside. An earth where man never evolved! So what would a group of teenagers do with such a secret? Why go for the gold naturally! After all no there are no men, therefore there's all the gold in them thar hills just waiting to be scooped up. The problem is they're in Texas and the gold is in California so what do you do? Simple, fly!
Wildside is a fun story, although not very believable (forget about the inter-dimensional travel how about two kids, 18 years old, getting certified as airplane mechanics is less that 4 weeks!) But does it have to be believable to a good, enjoyable read? I don't think so. Quell your stunned disbelief and let the story take you for a ride. It is a relatively unique plot with strong, well-developed characters. Explore with them a Texas without man and root for them against a government willing to do just about anything to get the secret of Wildside.
It's one that I have read more than once and have enjoyed it every time. For certain I RECOMMEND it for anyone looking for a relatively quick, uncomplicated but thoroughly enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Smart Fantasy !, Sept. 4 2003
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This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
This is an intelligently written fantasy with an innovative plot. The characters are well developed and the interplay among them enough to keep me interested in their own stories minus the fantasy aspects. The narrator is a likable hero and come through smarter than his age. The only complaint I have is too much descriptive technical jargon which tends to slow down the pace of the story. A few times I just skiped how a certain object is built or how a plane is flew! More effort could have been invested in the wildside itself and the characters. A pity!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Smart Fantasy !, Sept. 4 2003
By 
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
This is an intelligently written fantasy with an innovative plot. The characters are well developed and the interplay among them enough to keep me interested in their own stories minus the fantasy aspects. The narrator is a likable hero and come through smarter than his age. The only complaint I have is too much descriptive technical jargon which tends to slow down the pace of the story. A few times I just skiped how a certain object is built or how a plane is flew! More effort could have been invested in the wildside itself and the characters. A pity!
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5.0 out of 5 stars vivid and real, June 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm very impressed w/ gould having read Blind Waves and Wild side. This is some of the most vivid and believable character writing I've ever seen, with complex and usually likeable characters,even with some very human failings. While the frame work is a scifi fanticy world, with wild animals airplains and goverment agents, the real story is about this group of 18 yr old kids and their relationships with each other and sometimes parents. He does seem to have a wierd soft spot for ecological disaster.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wild ride on the Wild Side!, June 20 2003
By 
Gunfighter (Northern Virginia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
Once again, Gould doesn't disappoint. If you liked Jumper, you'll love Wildside. If you didn't read Jumper, by all means do so, but don't worry, these are stand-alone stories so you don't need to read them in a particular order.
Gould does fine work here, particularly in describing the details that our young protagonist engages in to conduct his business.
The author certainly has a handle on the young and writes about them very well. Enough people have described what the book is about, so you don't need a rehash from me.
Just read it. You'll be glad that you did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie finds a door...and it serves as an amazing read!, July 29 2002
By 
Thef (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
I read Wildside a few years ago, at the beach, and I could barely take my nose out of this book to go swimming! That may seem a bit "uncool" of me, but once you read this book you will know exactly what I am talking about. But you now have fair warning that if you are going to start this book, don't have anything planned for a day or three (depends on how fast you read).
The book's main character, Charlie Newell, inherits a farm at the age of 18. His Uncle Max has been missing so long that he was feared dead, and as per his last will and testament, the farm that belonged to him was left to his nephew, Charlie. Finally, at the age of 18, Charlie can officially become a land owner. After prom, Charlie takes his friends to the farm and leads them to the barn. Inside are sixteen cages, each with a single passenger pigeon in it, alive and well. It seems that Charlie not only inherited the large farm, but also inherited a door to a parallel Earth, where man never existed and some species that died out years ago on our earth, are still thriving.
From this point on, I was totally hooked, and that was pretty much within the first 20 pages. Charlie and his friends devise a plan to make some money to put them through college, by sending 1 male pigeon to three different wildlife foundations, and then sell each foundation four females for a hefty sum of $25,000 apiece. But that's only the beginning. Trips into the "wildside", as they begin to call it, become more frequent, and they build airplane hangars and different stations out in the wild (for a reason that you need to read the book to find out). The problems begin when the funds are finally traced back to the farm, and the black helicopters arrive (you knew they would come eventually, but the point that they come at startled me a bit, and this would make a great movie moment). Now the five friends are trapped in the "wildside", with a group of commandos wanting in, to lay their claim to this vast new world.
This book is near the top of my favorites list, and is a wonderful adventure, with such varying themes as parallel worlds, extinct life, flying an airplane, and fighting against the government who want to use eminent domain on this parallel earth. I would recommend this book to anyone, not only because I (who live on sci-fi/action/adventure novels) enjoyed it so much, but because people of many varying interests have enjoyed it. When you are finished you will be asking for more, and when you read it the second time for want of that extra bit of action and plot development, you'll ask for a sequel even more heartily. Keep it up Mr. Gould!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Journey to an Untamed Parallel Earth, July 17 2001
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
Interesting tale of parallel universes. The premise is not new but it is told in a different way. A universe where man has not developed and nature still controls. Species that are extinct by man in our world, roam freely in the "wildside." A group of young people realize that a fortune can be made by finding a world's full of gold. They finance their venture by selling "extinct" passenger pigeons to zoos. The government eventually learns about their gate to the wildside and a renegade CIA operative tries to wrest control of the gate through an illegal covert action.
Though most of the book seems to slug along, it has a phenomenal ending. The tale is told in "first-person," a style which I am not too crazy about by Charlie Newell. Throughout the book we only learn snitches about Charlie and what makes him tick. Some of his friends (Maria, the Vietnamese girl and Joey particularly) are hardly developed at all.
Gould's book "Jumper" was far superior to this one (I gave that one five stars). In that book as well as this one, the main character has a very poor relationship with his father, which leads me to believe that Gould's childhood may not have been the happiest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a door to another world, Dec 11 2000
By 
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
I would say that this book is aimed at late teen readers. However, the author writes well enough that it is also entertaining for adults.
When Charlie Newell discovers a door in his barn that leads to another, pristine world, where humans never evolved, he puts a plan together. In order to finance his plan he sells some carrier pigeons (extinct birds) to some zoos. Things get tricky and very risky from there.
The author has created very sensible and intelligent characters in this book. Despite the fact that the major characters are just out of high school they they act in many ways with more sense than many 'grown up' people.
The only thing that ocassionaly lets this book down is the author's love of describing 'gadgets' and processes, which can make the prose a bit dry at times.
Worth a read if you like 'reality' based fantasy-adventure novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Take a Walk on the..., May 24 2000
By 
Christopher Dudley (Laurel, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wildside (Mass Market Paperback)
This was another great book from an author with a rapidly expanding fan base. The story was excellent, the characters were well developed, and the main character, Charlie, was just as much a unique indivudual as Gould's hero from Jumper, without being a carbon copy of the character. The story itself is fast-moving and it's hard to put the book down once you've begun.

As the synopsis says, the hero, Charlie, discovers a portal in an old barn that leads into an alternate earth; an earth where humans never existed. Actually, it's not proven that there are no humans anywhere -- it doesn't matter to the story and the main character doesn't explore the entire world -- but it appears there aren't.

Charlie hatches a scheme to use this portal for fun and profit, but to do so he needs to enlist the help of some friends. So the group establishes a base on the far side of the portal - the wild side - and gets to work. Though it seems as if the story of setting up a base in a humanless environment would be dull, Gould is able to tell even this with a writing style that compells the reader to continue. The logistical element is used in large part for character development, as we see the dynamic of the group of friends and watch them progress in their lives even as the story progresses.

In his realistic if somewhat cynical fashion, the writer does not allow Charlie's actions to go unnoticed by the government, and they decide to get involved, which creates a building conflict between the heroes and the government which infuses the story with a sense of urgency and suspense.

In his previous book, Jumper, Gould used teleportation as a device to further the plot, never fully explaining the reasons behind it. It seems throughout most of Wildside that he is going to do the same thing with the portal. However, at the end of the book, the portal itself is explained, and the explanation is... unexpected.

I found the book to be enjoyable and fast-paced without being a vapid adventure tale. There is plenty to think about in the story, and it leaves you with the satisfying feeling you can only get from a good story told well.
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Wildside
Wildside by Steven Gould (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 15 1997)
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