Most helpful positive review
Charlie finds a door...and it serves as an amazing read!
on July 29, 2002
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!